Participating Authors

The Inaugural Lehigh Valley Book Festival worked with publishers to organize a wonderful line-up of authors & illustrators with new books to share with our community. The books span from literary fiction to historical non-fiction, and from thrilling fast-paced action to exquisite children's picture books. 

Lehigh Valley Book Festival 

Jeanne Birdsall Award-Winning Kid Lit With Universal Appeal, Moderator

Jeanne Birdsall is the National Book Foundation National Book Award-winning author of the children’s book The Penderwicks and its sequel(s), The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, The Penderwicks in Spring, and the conclusion, The Penderwicks at Last, all of which were also New York Times bestsellers. In addition to being an incredible author, Birdsall is also an extraordinary photographer, and her photographs are included in the permanent collections of museums, including the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Art Museum. She lives with her husband in Northampton, Massachusetts. Their house is old and comfortable, full of unruly animals, and surrounded by gardens.

Deborah Heiligman

Deborah Heiligman is the author of 32 books, most of them nonfiction. Her latest, Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship” (October, 2019, garnered four starred reviews, won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award and is a finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award. VINCENT AND THEO: THE VAN GOGH BROTHERS (2017), won the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for nonfiction, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for nonfiction, and an ALA Printz Honor. CHARLES AND EMMA: THE DARWINS’ LEAP OF FAITH( 2009) won the inaugural YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, was a Printz Honor and a National Book Award Finalist. The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos (2013) won the Cook Prize, the Anne Izard Storytelling Award, was a New York Times notable book.

Gregg Hurwitz - Key Note Panel: Making Noise in a Multimedia World, Moderator

New York Times #1 internationally bestselling author of 21 thrillers including INTO THE FIRE (January 2020). His novels have won numerous literary awards and have been published in 32 languages. Additionally, he’s written screenplays and television scripts for many of the major studios and networks, comics for DC and Marvel, and political and culture pieces for Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and others. Gregg lives with his two Rhodesian ridgebacks in Los Angeles, where he continues to play soccer, frequently injuring himself.

Victoria Jamieson

Victoria Jamieson, Best-Selling & Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl (Penguin Books) will be joining us to talk about her new, much-anticipated book, When Stars Are Scattered (Penguin Books 4/14/20). Vicki co-wrote this book with Omar Mohamed, the founder of the non-profit organization Refugee Strong, which delivers school supplies to students still living in Dadaab.
When the Stars Scattered tells the story of Omar's childhood spent in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Omar and his younger brother Hassan fled their homeland of Somalia when civil war broke out and spent the next 18 years in Dadaab.

Matt Phelan

Matt Phelan is the award-winning creator of the graphic novels Snow White, The Storm in the Barn, Bluffton, and Around the World, and the picture book Druthers. He is also the illustrator of many books for young readers including Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen, Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park, and The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, winner of the 2007 Newbery Medal.
He has received the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction (The Storm in the Barn), the Carolyn Field Award (Around the World and Snow White) and the Jefferson Cup (Bluffton). Matt has been nominated for five Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, including best writer/artist and best new graphic album for Bluffton. In 2014, Matt was awarded the Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children's Literature Citation.

Mo Rocca - Closing Keynote Speaker, in conversation with Josh Berk

Mo Rocca is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, host of The Henry Fords Innovation Nation, and host and creator of the Cooking Channels My Grandmothers Ravioli, in which he learned to cook from grandmothers and grandfathers across the country. He's also a frequent panelist on NPR's hit weekly quiz show Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me! Rocca spent four seasons as a correspondent on Comedy Centrals The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He began his career in TV as a writer and producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning PBS children's series Wishbone. As an actor, Mo starred on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Mo is the author of All the Presidents Pets, a historical novel about White House pets and their role in presidential decision-making.

David Rosenfelt

David Rosenfelt is an author who has written nineteen novels and three TV movies. His main character in most of his mystery books is Andy Carpenter, attorney and dog lover. Rosenfelt left the corporate industry and wrote screenplays for movies and television. He turned to writing novels and has become quite successful in that genre. In 1995, he and his wife started the "Tara Foundation" which has saved almost 4,000 dogs. He is a dog lover and supports more than two dozen dogs.

Chuck Wendig

American author, comic book writer, screenwriter, and blogger. He is best known for his popular online blog Terribleminds, and for his 2015 Star Wars novel Aftermath, which debuted at #4 on The New York Times Best Seller list and #4 on USA Today's best-seller list. He has written comics for Dark Circle Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Marvel Comics, and VS Comics.


Stay tuned to see the full line-up of authors, illustrators & special guests! 


Acampora, Paul
Baltsar, Suzanne
Barnes, Derrick
Berk, Josh
Deneen, Valerie
Gavigan, Jenna
Gilmore, Jennifer
Havranek, Carrie
Howes, Katey
Lamba, Marie
Lazar, TaraLoveless, Gina
Lubar, David
McCloskey, Kevin
McLeod, Bob

Miller, Donald L.
Miller, Lisalis, Shonda
Moretti, Kate
Murphy, Frank
Noel, KaelaPapp, Lisa
Papp, Robert
Racculia, Kate
Rodale, Maya
Rolli, Jennifer H.
Shanker, Adrian
Taylor, Devon
Watts, Stephanie P.
Whitson, Signe
Wild, Susan