Teen & Kids Programs

Note on book sales & signings: Books are available for sale at Vroman’s Bookstore. To have a book signed, purchase your book in advance at Vroman’s and bring it to the panel or reading you’re attending.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Who Do You Think You Are?
A Teen Writing Workshop Presented by Tunnel Magazine

An interactive workshop and panel discussion that explores personal expression and self-identity in a world that stereotypes youth. This event is presented by TUNNEL MAGAZINE, an online and sometimes irl art community for young people based in Los Angeles.

Featuring Writers: Amelia Anthony, Editor in Chief; Brandon Yung, Curator; and Tunnel Magazine contributors.

Location: Pasadena Playhouse Library


Magical Kingdoms to Taco Queens: Middle Grade Fiction Gets Real

It’s complicated being a kid these days and middle grade fiction is evolving. Whether writing realism or fantasy, our LitFest authors get to the heart of what it’s like to be a tween. Magical Kingdoms to Taco Queens reflects a wide range of themes and concerns with stories about autism, 9/11, the family taco dream, a girl with bees in her hair, and futuristic time collision. These are stories with fully realized characters who challenge readers to think more deeply and empathically. We’ll talk about what it’s like to write compelling middle grade fiction today and the creative process as it relates to writing stories that speak to kids.

Featuring: Armand Baltazar (Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic), Danielle Davis (Zinnia and the Bees), Sally Pla (The Someday Birds), Jennifer Torres (Stef Soto, Taco Queen), Tom Rogers (Eleven), Dana Middleton – Moderator (Open If You Dare)

Location: Pasadena Playhouse Friendship Room

Hey-Ho We Go: Storytime with Picture Book Authors

Gather round, sit down, and get ready for storytime with children’s book authors at LitFest Pasadena. We’ll go to Mars, cosy up to nature, and explore Los Angeles, all in the beautiful Pasadena Playhouse Library!

Featured Authors: Susan Lendroth (Hey-Ho, to Mars We’ll Go!: A Space-Age Version of “The Farmer in the Dell”), Diane Lang (Fur, Feather, Fin―All of Us Are Kin), and Elise Parhad (Los Angeles is…), and Jennifer Gray Olson (Me and Mr. Fluffernutter).

Location: Pasadena Playhouse Library


Adventures in Story Time! Middle Grade Authors Read Favorite Passages from Their Books

Join us in the magical Pasadena Playhouse Library for story time! Middle grade authors (several who appeared on the earlier middle grade panel) will entertain kids by reading favorite passages from their books! Don’t miss the fun!

Featuring: Armand Baltazar (Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic), Danielle Davis (Zinnia and the Bees), Tracy Holczer (The Secret Hum of a Daisy), Henry Lien (Peasprout Chen), Dana Middleton (Open If You Dare), Sally Pla (The Someday Birds), Jennifer Torres (Stef Soto, Taco Queen), Tom Rogers (Eleven).

Location: Pasadena Playhouse Library

Sunday, May 20, 2018


Classic Children’s Storybooks Read Aloud by Performers

Get ready for a fabulous and energetic story time with performers from theatre, film, and TV! They’ll read classic children’s picture books* including:

BEN’S TRUMPET Rachel Isadora


HECKEDY PEG by Audrey Wood



Featured Guest Readers Include: Aaron Burleson, Jean Spinosa, Steven Calcote, Jeffrey Wylie, Lillian Diaz-Przybyl, and more!

* This reading is appropriate for children ages 4 and above. The books are LitFest Pasadena Director Rosalind Helfand’s choice and are inclined towards dark humor. Rosalind taught and wrote curriculum for pre-school and has presented for the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Location: Pasadena Playhouse Library

Teens Take Control in Fiction: Creating Characters with Grit, Resolve, & the Strength to Survive

From love to family to post-apocalyptic worlds, sometimes we have to get tough to figure it out and find our path. On this YA panel, authors talk about how they imbue their characters, often teens, with the grit, resolve, and strength to survive, and, in the process, take us along for the journey.

Featured Guests: Brandy Colbert (Little & Lion), Cecil Castellucci (Don’t Cosplay with My Heart), Jeff Sweat (Mayfly), Isabel Quintero (Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide), and Jennifer Brody – Moderator (The Continuum Trilogy)

Location: Pasadena Playhouse Friendship Room

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queen Story Hour is a storytime event for children of all ages! Los Angeles’ most glittering, magical drag queens read quirky and progressive children’s books, followed by a simple craft. Featuring Queen Devan M and hosted by Michael Roybal-Gonzales.

Featuring: Queen Devan M and hosted by Michael Roybal-Gonzales

Location: Vroman’s Bookstore, Upstairs


Journeys & Realizations: YA Novelists Read Favorite Passages from Their Books

From incredible journeys to key realizations, YA novelists read some of their favorite passages from their book! Join us in the Pasadena Playhouse Library for a fantastic hour of powerful readings with favorite writers!

Featured Guests: Amber Benson (Death’s Daughter), Jennifer Brody (The Continuum Trilogy), Cecil Castellucci (Don’t Cosplay with My Heart), Brandy Colbert (Little & Lion), B.T. Gottfred (The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy), CB Lee (Not Your Villain), Isabel Quintero (Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide), Amy Spalding (The Summer of Jordi Perez), and Jeff Sweat (Mayfly).

Location: Pasadena Playhouse Library


The Tomorrow Prize — Celebrity Guests Read Original Short Sci-Fi by L.A. Teens!

Celebrity guests dramatically read original sci-fi by LA teens on stage followed by awards!

The Tomorrow Prize for short science fiction challenges Los Angeles County teens to explore social, scientific, and environmental issues of today through fiction. Over 200 stories were submitted by 16 high schools for 2018. At LitFest Pasadena, celebrity guests will dramatically read the top five stories on stage, followed by awards presented to the winners. This year, we will also present the first Green Feather Award for eco-themed science fiction together with the Los Angeles Audubon.

Featuring: Amber Benson (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), Peter Mackenzie (BLACK-ISH), Madison McLaughlin (ARROW), Jasika Nicole (FRINGE), Jeryl Prescott (THE WALKING DEAD), and Allison Scagliotti (STITCHERS).

Location: Blankspaces Pasadena