This March, our guest is multiple award winning, and New York Times bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes.
Already an author of adult works, Rhodes penned Ninth Ward, her first novel for children, in 2010. This led to two additional books in her Louisiana Girls’ Trilogy: Sugar, and Bayou Magic. In 2017, her work shifted to more urban settings – New York City for Towers Falling, Chicago for Ghost Boys, and Boston for her newest novel, Black Brother, Black Brother.
Both beautiful and hard hitting, Rhodes’ books are about family connections, identity, racism, prejudice, violence, growth, pain, and hope. From a young girl fighting to survive Hurricane Katrina, to a 12 year-old ghost struggling to overcome his brutal shooting in Chicago, Rhodes writes with honesty and a powerful empathy. She is a truly gifted storyteller who takes us into the difficult lives of people, connects us to them through her words, and then invites us to carry that new understanding into the real world, and change it.
Rhodes’ books have won a Coretta Scott King Honor Award, an EB White Read-Aloud Award, a Walter Award, and have been New York Times bestsellers and Junior Library Guild selections. She holds a Master’s and a Doctor of Arts from Carnegie Mellon and is the Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University, where she also teaches writing and literature.
Author photo by Jay Watson Photography