NJ SCBWI Conference Recommended Books, YA & MG (Part 2)

I have finally returned to my normal self after having my brain imploded with amazing information at the NJSCBWI Conference last weekend. I shared Picture Books on Monday. Here were the YA and MG recommendations I noted from agents and editors at the conference.  (Fewer because I mostly hit PB-focused sessions)


The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri

I already ordered this one. I have to admit
I hadn't heard of it before. It is an art-focused
book, but was recommended for
for picture book writers, too!
When Mr. Dog Bites, by Brian Conaghan

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

If We Kiss, by Rachel Vail

Secrets of the Book, by Erin Fry

Okay for Now, by Gary Schmidt

The Water Castle, by Megan Blakemore

Zora and Me, by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage


Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, by Ursula Nordstrom, Leonard Marcus (editor), and Maurice Sendak (illustrator) 

Comedy Writing Secrets, by Mel Heltizer

How to Write Funny, by John Kachuba

Please let me know if you wrote down any other recommendations at the conference which I should add!  Enjoy your summer reading.


  1. Lauri, I wish I'd taken more notes in Kami Kinard's workshops, but I was jotting down what she was teaching rather than the books, though I "thought" I was doing that, too, only can't find those notes! lol

    Anyway, I did jot down some from the "Cross-Genre" workshop with Joanna Cardenas. Here are the 2 MGs she mentioned:

    Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon

    Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

    And here are two writing books on humor mentioned by Kami:

    Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Heltizer

    How to Write Funny by John Kachuba

    1. Ooh! Love those adds! I betcha Kami's workshop was great. there were so many great ones, it was hard to choose.

  2. Oh wow, I own a copy of Molly Bang's book, Picture This! It's great! It shows in a very easy to follow way, how different shapes and colors, as well as placement on the page can change the whole mood of a picture. Super interesting!

    1. Great It should be arriving tomorrow so I can dive in!


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