TED Talks by Favorite Children’s and YA Authors

If you’ve exhausted your choices on cable and streaming services, why not spend some time with the author of your favorite children’s book? Many authors who write for children and teens share inspirational stories, thought-provoking ideas, and good advice in TED talks and graduation speeches available online. Here are just a few:


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“Make Good Art”

Neil Gaiman is a prolific writer of fiction and graphic novels for children, teens and adults. In a 2012 commencement speech, “Make Good Art” Gaiman gives advice to aspiring artists, writers and freelancers. The Graveyard Book and Coraline are just two of his award winning novels available in Libby/Overdrive. His groundbreaking Sandman graphic novels for older teens and adults and many other works are available in Hoopla.


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“How A Boy Became an Artist”

Jarrett Krosoczka, creator of the Lunch Lady graphic novels and the National Book Award nominee Hey, Kiddo, tells how art provided a lifeline in his youth in the TED talk, “How a Boy Became an Artist.” Many of his books are available in Libby/Overdrive.



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“The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf”

Grace Lin
writes picture books, chapter books and middle grade novels for children. She passionately advocates for diversity in children’s books in her popular TEDx talk, “The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf”. Many of her works, including the Newbery Honor book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and its companion, When the Sea Turned to Silver are available in Libby/Overdrive.


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“Fringe Benefits of Failure”

JK Rowling
talks about the “Fringe Benefits of Failure” in a 2008 speech to Harvard graduates that is both funny and deeply moving. All of the Harry Potter books are available as ebooks and audiobooks in Libby/Overdrive!



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“What Reading Slowly Taught Me About Writing”

Jacqueline Woodson
is the author of dozens of books for children and teens and adults, including Brown Girl Dreaming, which won the National Book Award. Savor her lyrical TED talk, “What Reading Slowly Taught Me About Writing ” which celebrates the power of storytelling and the joy of reading. Woodson’s books are available in Libby/Overdrive.


~Karen deWilde, Teen Librarian 





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