Michelle Knudsen

Michelle Knudsen is a New York Times best-selling author of more than fifty books for young readers, including the award-winning picture book Library Lion (one of Time magazine’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time). Her MG fantasy and YA horror-comedy-romance novels have won honors including VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, and the Sid Fleischman Humor Award. She also sometimes writes for grown-ups, and she was a 2024 BSFA Finalist for her short story “The Pigeon.” Her next book will be BEVVY AND CAT AND THE WILD MAGIC, a middle grade portal-fantasy adventure novel (coming summer 2025). Michelle teaches writing in Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program. When not writing or teaching, she enjoys musical theater, karaoke, and walking in places that have trees. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with one husband, two stepdaughters, two cats, and one snake.

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Michelle Knudsen

Related Events

Too Many Dragons or Never Enough? Contemplating the Familiar in MG/YA Fantasy

June 7, 2024 9:00 am to 10:00 am

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Readers and reviews will sometimes criticize a book for including familiar concepts and tropes (dragons are overdone! no one needs another traditional medieval-style secondary world! why are they always fighting with swords?) but there are also readers who love certain kinds of content and can’t wait for the next new dragon (or whatever) book to come out. Panelists will discuss the value and drawbacks involved in embracing or rejecting familiar fantasy elements in books for young readers and perhaps touch on ways to balance new and old ideas in the same story. Particular emphasis on how these issues affect MG and YA, where much of what seems “old” to older readers is still new to younger fantasy fans.
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