A video interview with

Kekla Magoon

Kekla Magoon is the award-winning author of many novels and nonfiction books for young readers, including The Season of Styx Malone, The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall's Life, Leadership and Legacy, She Persisted: Ruby Bridges, and the Robyn Hoodlum Adventure series. Although she has written about well-known people in the Civil Rights Movement, she also explores the lives of everyday heroes — the people who are engaged in their own communities and working to make them stronger. 

To learn more about her books, discussion guides, Reader's Theater scripts, classroom activities, and more, visit Kekla Magoon's official website

Watch our interview with Kekla below, view the interview transcript, and read a short biography about her. You can also browse a selected list of Kekla's children's books.

Kekla has also written acclaimed novels and nonfiction for teen readers, including Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the PeopleThe Rock and the River, and How It Went Down. To hear Kekla talk about her YA books, visit our sister site, AdLit 

About Kekla Magoon

Kekla Magoon is the award-winning author of many novels and nonfiction books for young readers, including The Season of Styx MaloneThe Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall's Life, Leadership and LegacyShe Persisted: Ruby Bridges, and the Robyn Hoodlum Adventure series. Kekla has also written novels for teen readers, including The Rock and the RiverHow It Went DownX: A Novel, and Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People.

She has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the John Steptoe New Talent Award, three Coretta Scott King Honors, the Walter Award Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and a National Book Award Finalist (Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People). 

Kekla grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She learned to read at the age of two. Her mom read lots of books to her, and took her to the library every week so she could read and read and read. Kekla made a habit of checking out as many paperbacks as she could carry! She wrote her first novel when she was in high school. 

Kekla is biracial — her mom is white and her dad is black. Her mom grew up in the U.S., but her ancestors came from Holland, Scotland, and maybe elsewhere in Europe. Her dad grew up in Cameroon, a country in western Africa. When Kekla was very young, she lived with her parents in Cameroon for several years. Getting to have experiences like that makes it great to be biracial.

Kekla graduated from Northwestern University, where she majored in History, with a concentration in the History of Africa and the Middle East. Today, Kekla lives and writes in Vermont. She is a full time author, speaker, and writing teacher. She travels to schools and libraries around the country to talk about her books with young readers, which is a lot of fun. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts where she mentors other writers who also want to create books for young readers. Kekla also serves on the Writers’ Council for the National Writing Project.

NOTE: This brief biography is excerpterd from Kekla's website. Visit the site to learn more about Kekla's books and how to use them in the classroom.

"A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket." — Chinese Proverb