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Girl Versus the World: Searching for Identity

Sat, Nov 11, 2017 from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm PST
1422 SW 11th Ave Portland, Oregon 97201

These three characters deal with first loves, overbearing adults, heartbreak, yearning to escape where you come from, and the complications of money and class as they search for who they are. Julia is dealing with her sister’s death and the secrets she left in her wake in Erika L. Sánchez’s I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. In Chris Struyk-Bonn’s Nice Girls Endure, Chelsea tries to keep to herself to make it through the tough days until her isolation is challenged by a new friendship. And in Renée Watson’s Piecing Me Together, Jade is determined to get out of her poor neighborhood, despite the obstacles she is faced with as she tries to find her voice and her place in the world. Moderated by Gesse Stark-Smith of Multnomah County Library.

Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival admission is FREE for attendees 17 and younger and/or with valid high school ID! Reserve your ticket today.

Erika L. Sánchez

Erika L. Sánchez has won a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Her most recent works are a poetry collection titled Lessons in Expulsion and the YA novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. She lives in Chicago.
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Renée Watson

Renée Watson is a New York Times-bestselling author, educator, and activist. Her young adult novel, Piecing Me Together received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. Her books include Ways to Make SunshineSome Places More Than OthersThis Side of HomeWhat Momma Left MeBetty Before X, cowritten with Ilyasah Shabazz, and Watch Us Rise, cowritten with Ellen Hagan, as well as two acclaimed picture books: A Place Where Hurricanes Happen and Harlem’s Little Blackbird, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Renée grew up in Portland, Oregon, and splits her time between Portland and New York City.

Purchase Ways to Make Sunshine from Green Bean Books, one of our Portland-based, independent bookstore partners HERE.

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Gesse Stark-Smith

Gesse Stark-Smith is the Community Outreach Librarian for Multnomah County Library. She works to break down barriers that keep community members from connecting with the library’s awesome free resources. A former Youth Librarian, Gesse enjoys filling in at storytime and writes monthly reviews for School Library Journal. She served on the American Library Association’s Amelia Bloomer Project from 2013-2016, highlighting the best feminist books published for young people. Outside of her library life, Gesse is a freelance writer and avid baker.
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Chris Struyk-Bonn

Chris Struyk-Bonn is originally a Midwesterner from a small town in Iowa. Currently, she works in alternative education at a small charter school that houses its curriculum primarily online. She works with many students who have found traditional schooling to be a poor fit for them for a variety of reasons. She often finds inspiration for her stories through her students’ experiences. Struyk Bonn’s first novel, Whisper, was released in 2014 and won praise from critics in CM Magazine, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and more. Her most recent title is Nice Girls Endure.
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