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Fall preview: Kid-lit events for New York City families

Time Out Kids' fall preview of literary events rounds up the best author readings, signings and lit festivals New York City has to offer.

Brooklyn Book Festival

Brooklyn Book Festival Photograph:Brooklyn Borough President's Office

The cultural hustle and bustle that is New York City in the autumn seems to bring the very best literary talent to the city for one appearance or another, children's-book authors included. That's why we're excited to share our fall preview of what's on fall's kid-lit horizon, from Newbery Award winners like Lois Lowry and Rebecca Stead to Hunger Games director Gary Ross, with his book debut, and the ne plus ultra of secretive authors, Lemony Snicket, who's got a new series in store. See what piques your child's interest in our fall preview, then succomb to the joy of great books with your mini reading aficionado.

A Maisy Party
Maisy creator Lucy Cousins comes all the way from England to share original drawings and lead a crafting session in this bash celebrating the cartoon mouse. Little ones will enjoy a cheese and juice tasting, as well as a visit by Maisy herself. (Cousins will also appear at the East 86th Street Barnes & Noble on Sun Sept 9 at 3pm.) Tue Sept 11 at 4pm. Greenlight Bookstore. Ages 18 months to 10 years. Free.

Rebecca Stead and R.J. Palaccio
Tween readers can listen to readings of Liar & Spy by Newbery Award--winning author Rebecca Stead, a novel that centers around seventh-grade Brooklyn misfits (and budding masters of espionage) Georges and Safer, and Wonder by R.J. Palacio, a book its author calls a "meditation on kindness," about the odyssey of a boy with a disfigured face fitting into his new surroundings. (Stead will also appear at Symphony Space on Nov 4 at 6pm, and Palacio will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival). Sat Sept 15 4--5pm. The powerHouse Arena. Free. Ages 8 to 12.

Brooklyn Book Festival
The largest free literary event in the city is back for its seventh year in Brooklyn Borough Hall and Columbus Park. In the tented Target Children's Area, kids ages one to nine can listen to readings by such authors as Selina Alko, reading her newest, B Is For Brooklyn; Marc Brown, the mind behind the Arthur book and TV series; and Paul O. Zelinsky, who'll share his latest, Z Is for Moose (That's Me). Tweens ages ten and up can meet-and-greet Young Adult literary talents such as R.J. Palacio (Wonder) and Jon Scieszka (Spaceheadz) at the Youth Stoop. Sun Sept 23 10am--6pm. Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza. Free. Ages 1 and up.

Selina Alko
The author of I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother is back with a new picture book, B is for Brooklyn. Little ones will recognize the stoops and brownstones of their own neighborhoods as they read about the magical borough, then participate in a Brooklyn-themed craft activity. Sat Sept 29 at 11am. Greenlight Bookstore. Free. Ages 3 to 8.

Lois Lowry
Incontestably one of the most revered kid-lit authors of our time, Lois Lowry—the winner of two Newbery Awards, for Number the Stars (1990) and The Giver (1994)—is in town to launch her sequel to The Giver, a dystopian novel that's found its way onto countless middle-school and high-school reading lists. In Son, Lowry picks up where she left off, concluding the story of Jonas and Gabriel, the baby whose life Jonas saves when he learns the boy has been chosen for "release" by the Orwell-esque society that surrounds them. Tue Oct 2 at 7pm. Barnes &amp. Wed Oct 3 at 6:30pm. 92YTribeca. Both free. Ages 9 and up.

Thalia Kids Book Club: Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall
Meet the author and illustrator of the Ivy and Bean series, which chronicles the adventures of two strikingly opposite girls (one loud and nosy, the other quiet and imaginative) who form an unlikely friendship. Thu Oct 18 at 6pm. Symphony Space. $15. Ages 8 to 12.

Thalia Kids Book Club: Lemony Snicket
The author who shot to fame with A Series of Unfortunate Events discusses All the Wrong Questions, his latest foray into the realm of the macabre, with Sarah Vowell (This American Life). It's the perfect opportunity to pick up the first volume in the series, Who Could That Be at This Hour?, which hits stores Oct 23. Wed Oct 24 at 6pm. Symphony Space. $15. Ages 8 to 12.

Gary Ross
Drop by Books of Wonder to fete the release of Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind, the debut book by powerhouse film producer and director Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit). Ross wrote a few stanzas of the tale 15 years ago, when a friend needed an unpublished children's book read in his movie (The Trigger Effect), and for years afterward people inquired about what the book was called and where they could find it. But it wasn't until Ross met the publisher of Chronicle Books on the set of Tales of Desperaux (another film he directed) that the project came to fruition. Told completely in rhyming verse, the story is about a boy who flies on his bedsheets into the night sky on a series of adventures; it is illustrated with colorful oil paintings by Matthew Myers (Tyrannosaurus Dad). Nov 13 6--8pm. Books of Wonder. Free. Ages 6 to 10.

Brooklyn Children's Book Fair
The annual fair returns to the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion at the Brooklyn Museum to fete the Borough of Kings with Brooklyn-themed picture books, storybooks, novels and graphic novels. Author and illustrator readings and signings from the likes of David Ezra Stein (Love, Mouserella), Melanie Hope Greenberg (A City Is) and Peter Brown (You Will Be My Friend) are in the mix, as are art-making activities and a family-friendly performance following the event. Happily, snacks are available for purchase on-site. Sat Nov 17 noon--4pm. Brooklyn Museum. Free. All ages.


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