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Engaging Middle Grade Readers
Join Crystal Allen, author of The Magnificent Mya Tibbs series, in a partnered conversation with our friends at the Indiana Center for the Book

Crystal Allen is the author of five middle-grade books, all published by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins.  Her accolades include the 2018 SCBWI Sid Fleischman Humor Award for The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: The Wall of Fame Game; starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal; inclusion on Kirkus Best Books and Chicago Public Library Best Books; and books on multiple summer reading and state book award lists, including the Texas Bluebonnet. She is a committee member of The Brown Bookshelf, Co-Director of Kindling Words, and an inspiring speaker for numerous conferences, workshops and retreats. Her forthcoming book, Between Two Brothers, will be released in the Fall of 2022.

Crystal lives in Sugar Land, Texas with her husband, Reggie, and two sons, Phillip and Joshua.


Moderator: Suzanne Walker received her Master’s of Library Science from Indiana University. She is currently the Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian and Director of the Indiana Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress. Through her work with the Center for the Book, she coordinates Indiana’s Letters About Literature competition annually and runs a series of interviews with Indiana authors and a chatty toucan. In the past she has served as the supervisor of the Professional Development Office and the Children’s Consultant at the Indiana State Library. Prior to her time at the Indiana State Library, she was the Director of Youth Services at the Mooresville Public Library and the Teen Librarian at the Lebanon Public Library. She has always been very active in the library field. She was the 2011 Chair of the Children's and Young People's Division of the Indiana Library Federation and assisted in judging the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards in 2013 and 2014. She is a Fellow of the 2014 Public Library Association Leadership Academy. Suzanne won the Indiana Library Federation’s Special Services Award in 2016. She was a judge in the 2017 Indiana Poetry Out Loud competition. Suzanne has guest blogged for the Association for Library Services to Children and presented webinars for ALA Publishing. She has presented numerous times at Indiana Library Federation’s District conferences, annual conferences, and youth conferences. 

The #TXBookChat series offers brief discussions and programs with authors, librarians, and literary professionals. These informal “coffee chats” last about 30 minutes and offer a quick look into different aspects of the state’s literary world. The #TXBookChat series seeks to bring together diverse voices and perspectives.

For a full schedule of the #TXBookChat series, please visit:

Past #TXBookChat Discussions

Page last modified: February 1, 2023