It’s All Relative: Exploring Family Relationships in YA

Sat, May 18, 2024
Room 203
Greensboro Cultural Center

Family forms so much of who we are, but that doesn’t always make those bonds easy to bear. In their YA novels, this trio of authors write about the love and heartbreak that come along with being part of a family. KAREN HOLMBERG (The Collagist) introduces us to Romilly, whose dad is keeping secrets and whose beloved uncle mysteriously disappears from his boat and sets in motion an adventure to uncover the truth beyond what anyone could have imagined; AMALIE JAHN (A Walk Between Raindrops) explores the connection between seventeen-year-old Elise and her younger sister, Wylla, with whom she is desperate to reconnect after the tragic events of the previous fall; and TRANG THANH TRAN (She Is a Haunting) writes about Jade Nguyen, who arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father only to find that the house has other plans.


KAREN HOLMBERG was raised on the water in southeastern Connecticut. Her poems, essays, and fiction are strongly anchored in a love of the natural world. She teaches poetry and poetry writing at Oregon State University, where her greatest joy is helping younger writers give voice to their truths. The Collagist is her fiction debut. LEARN MORE

AMALIE JAHN is a USA Today Bestselling author Amalie Jahn is the recipient of the Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for her debut YA novel, The Clay Lion. Her first YA contemporary, The Next To Last Mistake won the prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award in 2020 and A Walk Between Raindrops was selected by Kirkus as one of the Best Indie Books of 2023. A TED speaker, human rights advocate, and active promoter of kindness, she lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children, and three extremely overfed cats. LEARN MORE

TRANG THANH TRAN writes weird, scary stories for teens and adults. She is a graduate of UNCCH School of Public Health and currently resides in Georgia. Their debut novel She Is a Haunting was an instant New York Times and Indie Bestseller and named a William C. Morris Debut Award 2024 Finalist. LEARN MORE


AMY VINES is an Assistant Professor of Medieval Literature at UNC-Greensboro. Her academic work and primary teaching areas focus on women and gender in medieval romance, issues of consent, and revising our ideas of how gender is represented in chivalric texts. She also teaches courses in Modern Fantasy and Tolkien.