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Henry Winkler to present at 2017 AJC Decatur Book Festival Kidnote


ATLANTA, Ga. (June 12, 2017) — Downtown Decatur will come alive with superheroes, a Hollywood icon and the mysterious Lemony Snicket as part of the young adult and children’s programming for the 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival, September 1-3.

Henry Winkler, known around the globe for his television and film roles, and Lin Oliver are this year’s Kidnote speakers at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1 at the Decatur High School’s Performing Arts Center. Distribution locations for free tickets will be announced at a later date.

The duo writes the “Hank Zipzer” and “Here’s Hank” book series for young readers. The New York Times best-selling “Hank Zipzer” series chronicles the “high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences.” In 2014, the writers introduced “Here’s Hank,” a series targeting even younger children with reading difficulties. 

Winkler went undiagnosed with dyslexia during his childhood and suffered from low self-esteem and anxiety, performing poorly in school. Growing up, Winkler has noted his parents even considered him “slow, stupid and not living up to (his) potential.” Despite these obstacles, the television legend went on to graduate from Yale School of Drama and star in television series such as “Happy Days” and “Arrested Development.”

Oliver is the author of numerous book series for young readers as well as a film and television producer, including “Harry and the Hendersons.”

“The DBF Kidnote is always a fun and exciting way to kick off the children and teen festivities,” said Diane Capriola, manager of children & teen programming. “This year, appearances by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver make the event even more special as their books help to engage all young readers regardless of ability.”

Authors of two of the most anticipated young adult books of the year will talk about how they created fresh and reimagined takes on beloved superheroes. Leigh Bardugo offers a modern spin on DC Comic’s Wonder Woman in “Warbringer.” Jason Reynolds introduces a new, edgier Spider Man in “Miles Morales.”

Teens won’t be the only attendees testing their super powers during the festival. Saturday’s parade for kids features Kelly DiPucchio, author of “Super Manny Stands Up!,” along with Shannon and Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham, creators of the very popular Princess in Black emerging readers series.


On Sunday, Atlanta author Carmen Agra Deedy leads the parade, celebrating her newest picture book, “The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!”.

Guaranteed to draw large crowds will be the mysterious and often missing Lemony Snicket, author of both “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “All The Wrong Questions.” Snicket, whose tall tales have sold more than 65 million books, makes his first visit to the festival.

Other highlights of the children’s and young adult stages include:


  • Judy Schachner, author of the popular Skippyjon Jones books, returns to launch “Sarabella’s Thinking Cap.”
  • Local author Laurel Snyder shares her critically acclaimed middle grade novel, “Orphan Island,” a story about nine children who live on an island without adult supervision.
  • Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, and author of “Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World” is joined by Silicon Valley native Tamara Ireland Stone, author of the new fiction series “Click’d,” for an inspiring and empowering conversation on girls and women in today’s high tech world.

Young Adult:

  • Newbery and Coretta Scott King award winner Kwame Alexander, joined by singer-songwriter Randy Preston, brings poetry and music to life with his new novel, “Solo,” which is “a rhythmic, impassioned ode to family, identity, and the history of rock and roll.”
  • Atlanta authors Becky Albertalli, Roshani Chokshi, Lauren Karcz and Marie Marquardt will discuss their latest works.
  • Nnedi Okorafor shares the paperback release of her bestselling “Akata Witch,” a coming of age novel that has been called “the Nigerian Harry Potter.”
  • Bram Stoker award winning author Jonathan Maberry will take the stage to discuss his book “Mars One.”