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Imagine Us Happy: #OwnVoices YA Fiction

Join us for an evening with diverse, challenging, and inventive YA authors Jennifer Yu, Amanda Foody, Katy Chatel, and Zetta Eliott. They'll be sharing work from new books that explore gentrification, depression and mental illness, coming out as LGBTQ, and surviving sexual abuse.


Jennifer Yu is a Boston resident and recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied creative writing. her new novel "Imagine Us Happy" is inspired by her own struggle with depression and mental illness.

Amanda Foody lives in Philadelphia surrounded by her many siblings and many books. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Her novel "Ace of Shades" is set in the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow. It's a 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee.

Zetta Elliott is an award-winning author of thirty books for young readers. Her urban fantasy novels blend African American history with “black magic.” Her imprint, Rosetta Press, generates culturally relevant stories that center youth who have been marginalized, misrepresented, and/or rendered invisible in traditional children’s literature. She lives in West Philly. Her newest novel, "Dragons in a Bag," is a chapter-book fantasy with an urban setting, an array of brown-skinned magic wielders, and a lovable black protagonist readers will root for and sympathize with. (or so says Kirkus Reviews)

Katy Chatel is a queer unschooling parent living in Philadelphia with her inventive kid, Jessey. Her favorite thing is to write for older young adults. Boxes are meant to be explored from all sides, both figuratively and literally--her house is strewn with them. "Chasing Laura" is an older coming of age LGBTQ book of poetry set in the Bay Area, California. The reader is taken into the world of sex work as the narrator explores her sexual and gender identities, relationship with an older more deviant person, and what it means to love and find autonomy.

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