Erin Entrada Kelly is the author of chapter books for kids of all ages, including Hello, Universe — winner of the 2018 Newbery Medal. Her books explore coming of age with sensitivity and honesty, dealing with issues such as bullying, building friendships, and feeling like an outsider.
In this interview, Erin talks about giving voice to quiet characters, different ways to be mighty, celebrating Filipino culture, the importance of diversity in children's books, letting kids choose what they want (and love) to read, and much more.
Erin Entrada Kelly received the 2018 Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe, the 2017 APALA Award for The Land of Forgotten Girls, and the 2016 Golden Kite Honor Award for Blackbird Fly. She is a New York Times bestseller.
Erin was raised in Louisiana, but now lives in Delaware, near Philadelphia. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA. Erin is also a short story writer. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize.
Erin has a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and liberal arts from McNeese State University and an MFA in creative writing from Rosemont College.
Erin is mestiza and identifies as Filipina-American. Her mother is Visayan and lives in Cebu, which is why many of Erin’s Filipino characters speak Cebuano rather than Tagalog.