Ibi Zoboi will receive the 8th Annual Maplewood Literary Award on April 28

DATE CHANGE: Ibi Zoboi, award-winning author of books for children and young adults, will receive the 8th Annual Maplewood Literary Awards on Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m.

Zoboi’s writing was published in The New York Times book review, horn book magazineand Ruckus, among others. She will receive the Maplewood Literary Prize. She holds an MA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. As an educator, she has received several grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council for her community programs for teenage girls in Brooklyn and Haiti. She has worked for arts organizations such as Teachers & Writers Collaborative and Community Word Project as a writer-in-residence and teaching artist in New York public schools. She is also co-author of the Walter Award-winning hit the airwith prison reform activist Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five and editor of Pretty Black: Stories of Being Young and Black in America. His first picture book, people remember, received a Coretta Scott King Book Honor Award. His most recent books are Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butlerand Okoye to the people: a black man panther romance, for Marvel. Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and currently lives in Maplewood with her husband and three children. Copies of his books will be available for sale and signing.

Since Maplewood Memorial Library:

Now in its 8th year, the Maplewood Library Ideas Festival celebrates the talent and creativity of our community. This year’s Festival will run from Monday, April 18 through Friday, April 29 and will include both in-person and virtual events. In-person events will follow township safety guidelines and protocols. As always, all programs are free and open to the public.

The full list of events follows below, but the highlights will be the Literary Prize and Carol Buchanan Prize presentations. This year, the Library is pleased to announce Ibi Zoboi as a recipient of the Maplewood Literary Prize. Ibi is the New York Times bestselling author of My life as an ice cream sandwichas well as children’s novels, american street and Prideand co-author of hit the air with prison reform activist Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five. His most recent book is Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler.

Ibi Zoboi

Launched in 2021 to honor the beloved Maplewood resident, the 2022 Carol Buchanan Award for Outstanding Contribution to Civic and Intellectual Life will be awarded to Nancy Solomon, senior reporter for WNYC and founding editor of New Jersey Public Radio. Nancy is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who has produced over a hundred stories for NPR and was a Spencer Fellow in Education.

For more information see our Festival of ideas page.

Theater panel: Managing creatively during the pandemic

Monday, April 18, 7 p.m.

Sara Farrington, Becky Gulsvig and Sandy Rustin will talk about what has kept their creativity and enthusiasm for their craft going during the pandemic. In conversation with Amanda Eigen, Maplewood Library Services Manager.

Emma Lawig from Food 52

Tuesday April 19 at 7 p.m.

Emma Lawigthe editor of Food52, is an award-winning columnist and author of Big little recipes. In conversation with event professional Hank Zona.

Dr Joshua Sharfstein

Wednesday April 20 at 7 p.m.

Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein is Professor of Practice in Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he is also Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement. He is director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. In conversation with Teen Services Librarian Emily Witkowski.

Ibi Zoboi, receiving the 8and Annual Maplewood Literary Prize

Friday April 28 at 7 p.m.

Christina Swarns, Executive Director of the Innocence Project

Monday April 25 at 7 p.m.

Christina Swarns is the Executive Director of the Innocence Project. The Innocence Project works to set the innocent free, prevent wrongful convictions, and create justice systems that are just, compassionate, and equitable for all. In conversation with global communications leader Marie McGehee.

Tim Hwang: Silicon Valley and the Future of Innovation

Tuesday April 26 at 7 p.m.

Tim Hwang is a technology policy researcher and writer, currently general counsel at Substack and author of Subprime attention crisis, a book on the online advertising bubble. In conversation with author Jon Gertner.

Nancy Solomon, receiving the Carol Buchanan Award

Wednesday April 27 at 7 p.m.

In conversation with producer and podcast host Deborah Goldstein.

Mandy Gonzalez… Fearless! A program for children and teenagers

Friday, April 29 3:30 p.m. at Maplewood Town Hall
Meet the Broadway star and author of Without fear books for intermediate level readers. Children and teenagers will have the chance to win a copy of his latest bookBoulevard of Dreams. Mandy Gonzalez is currently starring in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. She is best known for her moving portrayal of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. In the heightsand starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Bad.


Ibi Zoboi

People – Nancy Salomon | CMYK | New York Public Radio, Podcasts, Live Radio, News

ORGANIC – Sandy Rustin

Home | Becky (beckygulsvig.com)


Food52 – Food community, recipes, kitchen and home products and cooking contests.


Joshua Sharfstein | Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (jhu.edu)

Christina Swarns – Executive Director – Innocence Project | LinkedIn

Innocence Project – Help us end wrongful convictions!


Mandy Gonzalez | Official site