Young Adult Panel with Kathleen Burkinshaw, Linda Phillips, & Lisa Williams Kline










THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM is about a young girl's life in Hiroshima during WWII. She discovers a shocking family secret right before her world is about to become a shadow of what it had been. THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM is based on her mother's experience surviving the atomic bomb. It is through her 12-year-old eyes that readers witness that horrific day. The novel is written with information on the culture, mindset, and daily life during WWII before the bomb was dropped-something that hasn’t been done before.  The author’s hope is to not only to convey the message that nuclear weapons should never be used again; but to also reveal that the children in Japan had the same love for family, fear of what could happen to them, and hopes for peace as the Allied children had. 

Author Bio:

Kathleen Burkinshaw is a Japanese American author residing in Charlotte, NC. She’s a wife, mom to a daughter about to graduate from college, and owns a dog who is a kitchen ninja. She has presented her mother’s experience in Hiroshima to middle and high schools for the past 9 years. The Last Cherry Blossom (Sky Pony Press,2016), is now a United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Resource for Teachers and Students. And is recently nominated for NC School Library Media Association YA book award and 2019-2020 VSBA, 2018& 2016 Scholastic WNDB Reading Club selection, and Finalist for NC Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award, 2018 Sakura Medal, Japan, and SCBWI Crystal Kite Award (southeast region).



For Lizzy Winston, one week will change everything.
Fifteen-year-old Lizzy Winston has always been a good kid—and she sees the good in most everyone else, too. When she meets the charismatic Andy Knox, she starts crushing hard. He distracts her from other parts of her life that she’s trying to hold together. Her grades are slipping, she causes her mom to miss a new job opportunity, and her friends’ actions are making her question what’s right.
Andy seems like a great guy. He’s funny and charming, the Clown Prince of Lakeside High. He loves digging up news stories for the high school TV station, but he’s got some secrets of his own. As he and Lizzy get closer, she grows skeptical of his motives. When she does her own digging on Andy, she learns that everyone has secrets—no matter how good they seem.
Someone’s pulling pranks at Lakeside, and Lizzy thinks she knows who it is. When the pranks escalate and put students in danger, she must decide where her loyalty lies. She doesn’t want to get a friend in trouble, but if she keeps quiet, someone will get hurt. In one week, she learns that adulthood brings new, complicated responsibilities. Is she ready to do the right thing if it means losing her friends?
Fans of Eleanor and Park and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda will delight in this heartwarming coming of age story about first loves and hard truths.

About the Author:

Lisa Williams Kline is the author of nine novels for young people, including the five-book Sisters in All Seasons series (Zondervan) and Eleanor Hill (Carus), which won the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award. She holds a masters degree in Radio, Television, and Film from UNC-Chapel Hill, and an MFA from Queens University. She has served as president of the Charlotte Writers’ Club, is a former board member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, is a mentor in the SCBWI Mentor Program, and critiques manuscripts for Writers’ Digest. She lives in North Carolina.



Claire Fairchild, a musically gifted fourteen-year-old, enters a prestigious music contest, competing against Juan, who has recently become more than a childhood friend.  During the intense contest preparation, Claire learns that not one, but both of her younger brothers are dying of Batten disease, an incurable neurodegenerative disorder.

While attending a conference on Batten Disease, Claire receives word that she has won the contest.  Her musical dreams no longer seem relevant and she struggles to reconcile her goals with the devastation in her family.

When Claire accompanies a friend on a school newspaper assignment, she meets a centenarian with a colorful musical past and one regret in life.  This inspires Claire to use her musical gifts in a new way to celebrate the lives of her brothers before it’s too late. 

About the Author: 

Linda Vigen Phillips finds passion in creating realistic fiction told in verse, to offer hope to teens and their families who face mental or physical health challenges. Her debut novel, Crazy, depicts the struggles of a teenage girl in the1960’s coming to terms with her mother’s bipolar disorder. It earned numerous accolades, including Foreword Reviews lndieFab Book of the Year Finalist, the short-list for SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and an Honor book for the Paterson Prize for Books.

Linda’s second book, Behind These Hands, shows how the life of a teenage piano prodigy is upended when her two younger brothers are diagnosed with Batten, a rare neurodegenerative disease. In its starred review Kirkus says, “Free verse evokes the myriad emotions brought up by the story's numerous well-balanced themes. The result is a richly woven, unforgettable symphony of feelings and words.”  Linda enjoys advocating for better mental health through National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and conducting writing workshops.  She lives in Charlotte, NC, where she and her husband love to sit on the screened porch to watch the grass grow.


Event date: 
Saturday, May 25, 2019 - 11:00am to 1:00pm
Event address: 
4139 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209