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Once on This Island: Decatur Book Festival

  • Children's Stage at Decatur Recreation Center 231 Sycamore Street Decatur, GA, 30030 United States (map)

How can you know who you are if you don't even know where home is? Both Laurel Snyder's Orphan Island and Alison McGhee's Pablo and Birdy answer this question in their magical tales of enchanted islands, unconventional families, and the path to adolescence.

This panel is sponsored by AIR Serenbe and moderated by Joe Waters.

More information Here


ALISON MCGHEE is the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, as well as Maybe a FoxFirefly HollowLittle BoySo Many DaysStar BrightA Very Brave Witch and the Bink and Gollie books. Her other children’s books include All Rivers Flow to the SeaCountdown to Kindergarten and Snap. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and Laguna Beach, California. More information on Alison Here.

LAUREL SNYDER is the author of many books for children, most recently a middle grade novel, Orphan Island, and an early chapter book, Charlie and Mouse. Laurel also teaches at Hamline University, in the MFA in writing for Children and Young Adults. A Baltimore native, she now lives happily in Ormewood Park. More information on Laurel Here.

Laurel is a 2017 recipient of AIR Serenbe's Mulberry Street Focus Fellowship awarded to an artist making work for children and about the experience of childhood.


JOE WATERS is a member of AIR Serenbe's Board of Directors, and the founder of Capita, a new organization dedicated to harnessing the power of big ideas to ensure that all children and families flourish. Joe also serves as a Senior Advisor to Openfields, a social innovation and impact consultancy. Prior to starting Capita, Joe was the Executive Vice President of the Institute for Child Success. He has given invited talks at the White House, the Aspen Institute’s Forum on Children and Families, and the Lego Idea Conference. His commentary on issues facing young children has been published by Investor’s Business Daily, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The State, and other outlets. He graduated from Furman University and earned a master’s degree in divinity from Duke University. He and his wife Molly, a family physician, live in Greenville, South Carolina.


AIR Serenbe

AIR Serenbe, the non-profit artist residency program of the Serenbe Institute, invests in artists of all disciplines.  We provide the time and space necessary for the creation of new work, as well as focused public programming that brings audiences in close contact with creative processes and practices.