BAM! A Festival of Books and Music Downtown West Palm Beach March 3, 2018 A Free Family Event!

WEST PALM BEACH – The Mandel Library of West Palm Beach and its courtyard neighbor, West Palm Beach City Hall, will be excitement-central as twenty-six authors for children and young adults will entertain their fans with panel discussions, story times & yoga for the wee ones, and book sales & books signings.
WHAT: BAM! A festival of books and music

WHERE: Mandel Library of West Palm Beach, City Center Courtyard

WHEN: Saturday, March 3 
                 Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and events begin at 10 a.m.
Local student music and choral groups will perform in the City Center Courtyard. Emily Arrow and her ukulele, Bow, will entertain with her children’s music at 10 a.m.
This unique literary and musical experience provides students, families, and educators with an opportunity to meet the authors of some of their favorite books. An advanced copy of the program is on the website,

BAM! 2018 – featured authors represent a diversity of subjects and interests for all grade levels. Ibi Zoboi’s American Street was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young Peoples Literature. The story of a Haitian girl coming to America with her mother, and after her mother is detained at US immigration, Fabiola travels alone to Detroit to meet her cousins and a new culture. Acclaimed Haitian-American author, Edwidge Danticat, has written books for all ages, as well as articles for the New Yorker and the New York Times. Danticat and Zoboi will share their collective thoughts and comments in “A Chat with Edwidge Danticat and Ibi Zoboi” at BAM!

Aaron Reynolds is the New York Times bestselling picture book author with books titles as funny as the books! Creepy Carrots, Creepy Pair of Underwear, and Nerdy Birds. Henry Cole is an illustrator, and author, of over 150 books, including Unspoken, Eddie the Bully, Tango Makes Three, and Chicken Butt!. Erica Perl is the author of Chicken Butt!, illustrated by Henry Cole. Perl’s books, whether for the wee ones or middle graders (grades 4-8), are funny with lots of laugh-out-loud moments. Her books for the older readers combine laughter with life’s lessons. The capybaras at the Palm Beach Zoo are featured in publicity for The Capybara Conspiracy. Her latest book is The Three Stooges, and it’s not about three comedians!

Popular local favorites Michael Patrick O’Neill, Harvey Oyer, Robert Forbes, Susan Beattie, JJ Howard, and Sarah Granato provide something for all ages! Who isn’t interested in the sea creatures of South Florida that come alive in O’Neill’s photographically spectacular books? Palm Beach County’s favorite storyteller, Harvey Oyer, continues to mesmerize audiences with the adventures of Charlie Pierce. Forbes’ whimsical poetry, Beattie’s tales of Luke the dog, and Howard’s tales of pugs and coming of age will charm the young, the middle grades, and the not so young. Granato offers yoga for the wee ones in the City Center Courtyard!
BAM! welcomes middle grades favorite Tyler Whitesides! Whitesides’ series Janitors was a huge hit in Palm Beach County. And, Whitesides is back with a new series The Wishmakers, which premieres on February 27th with a book signing at the Legacy Place Barnes & Noble! Other popular middle grade authors include James Ponti, with “Framed” nominated for an Edgar Award in 2017.
Cuban American authors Christina Diaz Gonzalez and Pablo Cartaya, who’s books are realistic, historical, and mythical. Interestingly, Gonzalez’s Red Umbrella about the Pedro Pan exodus from Cuba has been translated into Spanish, and mythical Moving Target into Turkish! Donna Gephart’s books of surviving middle school especially if you are 12 1/2 and your mother is running for president, and the struggles of a single mom, toilet paper, and a dead fish are poignant and funny. Lily and Duncan, the friendship of a transgender girl and a bipolar boy has gained national recognition in the LGBTQ and mental health communities. Paul Griffin’s When Friendship Followed Me Home and Saving Marty are heartfelt, coming of age stories. Griffin is another fan favorite!

The angst, the drama, the fantasy, the reality of young adult books is expertly represented by Jeff Zentner, Paul Griffin, Shaun David Hutchinson, Aisha Saeed, Makiia Lucier, and Brigid Kemmerer. Religious cults, traffic deaths caused by texting, homelessness, bullying, arranged marriage, the Spanish influenza after WW 1, and high school romance in so many ways you’ve never thought of, these authors represent the YA genre. Teenagers aren’t the only ones reading these books, YA is the fasting growing genre for book sales. What separates YA books from adult books? The age of the characters, that’s it! Authors began arriving Monday, February 26th, for school visits and would be available for interviews.


April is for Authors Foundation was created by a group of dedicated Palm Beach County educators and librarians as a way for students to interact with their favorite authors. The AIFA Foundation sponsors BAM! 2018. BAM! will provide not only a valuable experience for the children, but also an opportunity for authors to connect with their audience as well as key decision makers in local literacy programs.


For more information, please visit or contact Helen Zientek, Founder of April is for Authors Foundation, at or (561) 818-9753.