Featured Speaker

Katherine Locke lives and writes in Philadelphia, PA, where she’s ruled by her feline overlords and her addiction to chai lattes.

She writes about that which she cannot do: ballet, time travel, and magic. When she’s not writing, she’s probably tweeting. She not-so-secretly believes most stories are fairy tales in disguise.

Her Young Adult debut, THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON, won a 2018 Sydney Taylor Honor Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries and a 2018 Carolyn W. Field Honor Award from the Pennsylvania Library Association. You can find her online @bibliogato on Twitter and Instagram.

The Girl with the Red Balloon

Ellie Baum feels the weight of history on her when she arrives on a school trip to Berlin, Germany. After all, she’s the first member of her family to return since her grandfather’s miraculous escape from a death camp in 1942. One moment she’s contemplating the Berlin Wall Memorial amidst the crowd, and the next, she’s yanked back through time, to 1988 East Berlin when the Wall is still standing.

Nobody knows how she got there, not even the members of the underground guild–the Runners and the Schopfers–who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall. Now as a stranger in an oppressive regime, Ellie must hide from the police with the help of Kai, a Runner struggling with his own uneasy relationship with the powerful Balloonmakers and his growing feelings for Ellie. Together they search for the truth behind Ellie’s mysterious travel, and when they uncover a plot to alter history with dark magic, she must risk everything–including her only way home–to stop the deadly plans.