Panel: Fate, Fear, and Fantasy: Three Writers on the Power of Good and Evil

Grades 3 – 7 Introduced and moderated by Jessie Rebhan, Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher. In One True King, the sixth and final installment in Soman Chainani’s epic fairy tale […]


Panel: Fate, Fear, and Fantasy: Three Writers on the Power of Good and Evil

Authors:Jessie Rebhan, Nnedi Okorafor , Tony DiTerlizzi, Soman Chainani


Grades 3 – 7

Introduced and moderated by Jessie Rebhan, Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher.

In One True King, the sixth and final installment in Soman Chainani’s epic fairy tale series The School for Good and Evil, Camelot’s crown – and the fate of the Endless Woods – are up for grabs. In Tony DiTerlizzi‘s Kenny & the Book of Beasts, a sequel to Kenny & the Dragon, Kenny must cope with many changes in his life including the fear that he’s losing his best friend. Nnedi Okorafor’s Ikenga introduces Nnamdi, who receives superpowers and a charge to use those powers for good.

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Jessie Rebhan

Jessie Rebhan has been a middle school teacher at Leewood K-8 Center for the last 9 years. Recently named the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year, Jessie has taught a wide array of subjects from 6th and 7th grade Math and Science, to Journalism and Creative Writing. As an educator, her goal is to create an engaging environment that instills a love for learning in all of her students, as well as encouraging them to read as much as they can. 

Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor is a novelist of Nigerian (Igbo) descent. She grew up in the Chicago area, but traveled frequently to Nigeria, where she absorbed the history and mythology that infuse her works of science fiction and fantasy, as in her Binti novella trilogy and the novels Akata Witch and Akata Warrior. Nnamdi’s father was a good chief of police, perhaps the best Kalaria had ever had. He was determined to root out the criminals that had invaded the town. But then he was murdered, and most people believed the Chief of Chiefs, the most powerful of the criminals, was responsible. In Ikenga (Viking Books for Young Readers) we follow Nnamdi. Yes, he has vowed to avenge his father, but can a twelve-year-old boy do? But then, in a mysterious nighttime meeting, he gets the gift of a magical object that enables super powers — and a charge to use those powers for good. How will he learn to control his newfound powers? Will he be able to fulfill his mission? Best-selling writer Ursula K. Le Guin, author of A Wizard of Earthsea, commented admiringly on Okorafor’s writing “There’s more imagination on a page of Nnedi Okorafor’s work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics.”

Tony DiTerlizzi

Tony DiTerlizzi, a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, has been creating books for twenty years. His work include titles such as Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-This-World Moon-Pie Adventure and The Spider and the Fly (a Caldecott Honor Book); fantastic middle grade novels like Kenny & the Dragon and the WondLa trilogy. He also created The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black. In Kenny and the Book of Beasts (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), as sequel to Kenny and the Dragon, Kenny must cope with many changes in his life—including the fear that he’s losing his best friend. Time has passed since Kenny Rabbit’s last adventure with the legendary dragon Grahame, and a lot has changed in the sleepy village of Roundbrook. Kenny has a whole litter of baby sisters. His friends are at different schools and Sir George is off adventuring. At least Kenny still has his very best friend, Grahame —until Dante arrives. Dante is a legendary manticore and an old friend of Grahame’s — and their catching up does not involve Kenny. But there’s a Witch to defeat, a pal to rescue, and a mysterious book to unlock — and those are quests for best friends. Booklist noted that “This may be a cozy world filled with darling animals […] but the stakes are high, and the lessons on friendship, acceptance, and the dangers of prejudice are meaningful.”

Soman Chainani

The first five installments in Soman Chainani’s series the School for Good and Evil each debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. The series has sold over 2 million copies, has been translated into 29 languages, and will soon be a major motion picture from Netflix. In One True King (Harper Collins) the sixth and final chapter of Chainani’s epic fantasy fairy tale series, Camelot’s crown—and the fate of the Endless Woods—are up for grabs. Beyond Good and Evil, beyond “Ever Afters,” the tale of Sophie and Agatha comes to a dramatic conclusion. This is the End of Ends. In King Arthur’s words: The first test was passed. Excalibur was pulled from the stone and a new king named. But two claim the crown. The sword returns to the stone, for only one is the true king. Who? The future I have seen has many possibilities, says the King, so none shall be crowned until the Tournament of Kings is completed. Three trials. Three answers. A race to the finish. My last coronation test. Excalibur will crown the winner and take the loser’s head. Prepare. Rick Riordan, author of the bestselling Percy Jackson series, said The School for Good and Evil “Reimagines the world of fairy tales and will make you question who is good and who is evil. Loved it!”

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