Renée Watson is the author of Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills. Her middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me, debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction by The Independent Children’s Booksellers Association. One of Renée’s passions is using the arts to help youth cope with trauma and discuss social issues. Her first picture book, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen, was based on the poetry workshops she facilitated with young people in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and was featured on NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams. Renée has worked in public schools and community organizations as an artist in residence for several years, teaching poetry, fiction, and theater. She also facilitates professional development workshops for teachers and writers. She currently lives in New York City.