Well-known authors will visit schools in San Antonio during the San Antonio Book Festival

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SAN ANTONIO – Several well-known authors will visit select San Antonio schools as part of the San Antonio Book Festival’s Authors in Schools program.

The program aims to ignite a passion for reading in young children and teens by pairing award-winning authors with underserved and low-income schools in Bexar County.

This year, the authors will visit four local schools between May 20-23 – James Russell Lowell Middle School and Sidney Lanier High School in the San Antonio Independent School District, and Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary and Loma Park Elementary in the Edgewood Independent School District.

New York Times bestselling children’s author Mac Barnett and award-winning illustrator Shawn Harris will discuss their book, “The First Space Cat Ate Pizza” at Loma Park Elementary.

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Rebecca Balcarcel, an award-winning children’s author based in Texas, will talk about her new book, “Shine On, Luz Veliz” at Lowell Middle School.

Authors David Bowles and Raul the Third will present their graphic novel, Clockwork Curandera: Witch Owl Parliament, at Lanier High School.

Monica Brown, award-winning multicultural author of the children’s book “Small Room, Big Dreams: The Journey of Julián and Joaquin Castro,” will visit Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary School.

Justin Reynolds, author of “It’s the End of the World and I’m in a Bathing Suit,” will visit the Carver Cultural Community Center for a presentation to students from Artemisia Bowden and Mirabeau B. Lamar Elementary Schools.

Each student who attends the session will receive a free, signed copy of the author’s book to take home.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the San Antonio Book Festival. Over the past decade, the festival has donated over 10,000 books to local children and teens.

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“Celebrating our 10th anniversary during a global pandemic forced our team to reflect on what we want SABF’s legacy to be in this city. We want to have a lasting impact on young readers in this city by providing meaningful literary experiences,” San Antonio Book Festival Executive Director Lilly Gonzalez said in a press release. “I consider it part of our mission to inspire young people in San Antonio to read more. This fundamental principle guided our decision-making in creating this year’s Writers in Schools program. Teachers and librarians are the greatest champions of literature and literacy in our city. Over the past two years, they have faced insurmountable challenges while their work has gone largely unrecognized. For our 10th anniversary, we are including teachers from our partner schools in the celebration.

“The San Antonio Book Festival’s Authors in Schools program offers students the opportunity to make real connections with authors and illustrators,” said Jeannie Zurita Hewgley, librarian at Loma Park Elementary and Henry B. Gonzalez. Elementary, in a press release. “Students are inspired by their message which encourages them to want to read more books.”

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The San Antonio Book Festival is a free, family-friendly event taking place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. at the Central Library and the Southwest School of Art in downtown San Antonio.

This year, more than 90 local, regional and national authors are expected, including Julia Glass, Sandra Cisneros, Jericho Brown, Margo Jefferson, Natalie Diaz, Emma Straub and many more.

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