#WeNeedDiverseBooks with Lamar Giles and Miranda Paul, Tannenbaum Sternberger Room at Greensboro Central Library, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.; Fearless Females of YA with Megan Shepherd and Brenda Rufener, Nussbaum Room at Greensboro Central Library, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

Author Amy Reed spearheaded the creation of the anthology Our Stories, Our Voices shortly after the 2016 election.

“It was a way to deliberate on the hatred and the fear and just a lot of the nastiness that was happening and to just offer this other way of looking at things that was supportive and loving and inclusive,” Reed says. “I reached out to authors that I knew that had really important stories to tell and really important point of views.”

The collection, which features 21 young-adult authors who wrote stories about what it’s like to grow up female in the United States, came out in August of 2018 and is Reed’s ninth book. She says some teachers and librarians have started using it to teach in their classrooms.

“When these topics are made personal, it’s hard to people to rely on their prejudices and argue with someone else’s lived experience,” she says. “These personal stories are such a great way to teach empathy.”

Reed’s previous book, The Nowhere Girls, which came out in 2017, follows the story of three high school girls who seek to avenge a fellow classmate who was gangraped. The response she got after the book was released was eye opening, she says.

“I had people tell me that [the book] articulated so many feelings that [they] were thinking and feeling but I didn’t know how to express,” Reed says. “Girls were empowered to stand up to things happening in their school or start feminist clubs in their schools. To know that I’m part of that dialogue is so beautiful.”

Reed says telling the stories of marginalized groups is essential to her writing.

“I don’t know that I could write without some sort of social justice aspect to my books or some sort of lifting up of marginalized voices,” she says. “It’s always necessary for people’s voices to be heard. Especially marginalized voices need to be heard. Someone has to do that. It’s the responsibility of art to do that.”

Find the full 2019 GSO Bound schedule here.

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