The Texas Teen Book Festival is one-stop shopping for aficionados of young-adult literature, but there are more authors for young people appearing at BookPeople in October, particularly from Austin’s fertile writing community. Read on for the details, and look for additional options in our Texas Book Festival preview later this month:
K.A. Holt’s middle-grade novels in verse, including “Rhyme Schemer” and “Knock Out,” have used the power of poetry to take readers inside the minds of a wide array of seventh graders, from a reformed bully to a once-ailing student who desperately wants to box. The Austin author’s newest, “Redwood and Ponytail” (Chronicle Books, $18.99) is an exquisite portrait of two girls falling in love and finding their true selves, a self-discovery story both distinctive and universal.
Tam is an athlete, tall as the redwood of her nickname. Kate is a cheerleader, with a bouncing ponytail topped by a perfect bow. The two connect instantly on registration day. As the school year continues, their relationship blossoms as they begin to question how they want to live their lives — romantically, academically, athletically and authentically. (Ages 10 and older; 7 p.m., Oct. 7)
Rebeka Uwitonze was born with feet that curled and twisted, preventing her from walking. When she was 9, she was offered hope. An American doctor was willing to try to fix her feet — but Rebeka would need to leave her home and travel on her own to the U.S. Austin author Meredith Davis, whose family hosted Rebeka, teams up with her to share an incredible story of persistence in “Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight to Walk” (Scholastic, $17.99). Rebeka’s medical journey eventually included 31 casts and 58 hospital visits. A former bookseller, Davis started the Austin chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. (Ages 8-12; 2 p.m., Oct. 19)
Maya Angelou is well-known for her writing and activism, but her success came after a childhood marred by a series of hardships. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Angelou’s iconic work “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Austin author Bethany Hegedus traces her life in “Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou” (Lee & Low Books, $20.95), a picture-book biography for older readers illustrated by Houston painter Tonya Engel. Hegedus, the author of “Grandfather Gandhi” and “Alabama Spitfire,” delicately handles challenging subjects such as racism and abuse while spotlighting Angelou’s resilience and love of the written word. (Ages 7-12; 2 p.m., Oct. 20)
Have the most fashionable of Halloweens with Eva Chen, who unveils her newest “Juno Valentine” picture book in tandem with illustrator Derek Desierto. Chen, head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, will read from and sign “Juno Valentine and the Fantastic Fashion Adventure” (Feiwel and Friends, $18.99), her third collaboration with Desierto. Young Juno has a sartorial emergency on school picture day, but that’s soon overshadowed when she needs to rescue her little brother from a magical hall of shoes. If you don’t already follow @evachen212 on Instagram, it’s well worth it for the peek into her existence of Manhattan mom of two, fashion guru and traveler extraordinaire. (Ages 4-6; 6 p.m., Oct. 31)