Return to Headlines

The 2018 Swiacki Festival and The Storyteller Speaker Series

The 2018 Swiack Children's Literature Festival

In light of our many connections to Framingham State University, we wanted to take a moment to let you know about the 2018 Swiacki Children's Literature Festival.

This event takes place at Framingham State University and is an annual celebration of children’s books featuring renowned authors and illustrators. There are tiered tickets available for purchase if you are interested.

Tickets are available HERE

This year the Swiacki Children’s Literature Festival will feature two incredible authors and a Keynote speaker who is a Framingham High School Graduate.

This year they are joined by author Matt de la Peña, whose diverse body of work includes the Newbery Award-winning picture book, Last Stop on Market Street. Learn more about Mr. de la Peña at

Wendell Minor, a noted chronicler of America’s history and environments, is the featured artist and illustrator. His depicted subject matter ranges from the Everglades to Alaska, and from Amelia Earhart’s transatlantic flight to Buzz Aldrin’s journey to the moon. To learn more about Wendell Minor, visit

Jennifer De Leon, a proud graduate of Framingham High School, is the keynote speaker at dinner. Jennifer is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, the 2015-16 Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence and a 2016-17 City of Boston Artist-in-Residence. Her Young Adult novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, will be published by Atheneum/ Simon & Schuster in 2020.

Swiacki Festival Screenshot


The First Annual Storyteller Speaker Series

Framingham Public Schools is pleased to announce that Newbery Medal recipient Matt de la Peña will visit Cameron, Fuller, and Walsh Middle Schools, as well as Framingham High School on Friday, November 2, 2018. His visit will include four separate presentations that will focus on his transition from a reluctant reader to award winning author.

The works of de la Peña span readership from pre-schoolers to high schoolers and they lend a unique voice to the world of children’s literature - offering stories of children and teens caught between worlds: between two cultures, between the world of adults and the world of children. He tells stories that assure readers that although life brings challenge, hope remains. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity that began organically with our secondary school librarians,” said Joseph Corazzini, Assistant Superintendent for Equity, Diversity, and Community Development. “They had the beautiful idea of creating a bridge for students to the fictional world. Our hope is that Matt’s visit sparks a passionate curiosity that drives students to read more and create more. We believe that there is an artist within all of our students looking to break out. Hopefully this will inspire them to deeply explore their own creativity.” 

Many Framingham High School students are fans of Matt de la Peña’s work and are looking forward to his visit and presentation. "I like Matt de la Peña's writing because it really explains to us how it feels to be new in a place, and it shows us that we are not alone," said FHS Junior, Vitoria Reis.

When asked about Matt de la Peña’s writing, Raul Reis also in the Class of 2020 said it, “... represents what a lot of teenagers go through. It shows that we all are capable to get through it, and that we should never let anyone or anything put us down.”

Matt de la Peña’s visit is generously sponsored by the following school and community partners: Middlesex Savings Bank; the Framingham High School Foundation; and the Cameron, Fuller, and Walsh Middle School PTOs. Framingham State University has assisted in coordinating the visit in conjunction with de la Peña’s Wendall Burns Memorial Lecture at the Swiacki Children’s Literature Festival on November 1st.

“Middlesex Savings Bank is pleased to support this initiative, which connects Framingham students to an accomplished and inspirational figure,” said Dana Neshe, Executive Vice President of Middlesex Savings Bank. “We hope the visit by Matt de la Peña ignites curiosity and confidence among the students. Kudos to the school staff and administration for making this happen.”

The FSU Whittemore Library and the Framingham Public Library worked to support a rejuvenated summer reading initiative focused on de la Peña’s works by offering print, electronic, and audiobooks for student checkout. Framingham State also recently sponsored a contest for middle school students throughout the city. Students were challenged to submit their reflections on how they relate to a character or theme from one of Matt de la Peña’s novels. The three winners were recently announced:

  • Megan Lee, 7th grade student at Cameron Middle School
  • Molly Bronner, 8th grade student at Walsh Middle School
  • Kayley Nicole Romero Garcia, 8th grade student at Walsh Middle School

The essay contest winners were each awarded a seat at the Swiacki Dinner that takes place on November 1st.


Matt de la Peña Poster for FPS