Mayim Bialik, Marie Lu coming to Texas Teen Book Festival in October

Who is ready to see America’s favorite actress/author/girl nerd or the author of “The Young Elites” and “Legends” series? Mayim Bialik (which parents will remember from “Blossom” and kids know as Sheldon Cooper’s girlfriend in “The Big Bang Theory) will be at the Texas Teen Book Festival Oct. 7 talking about her book “Girling Up: How to be Strong, Smart and Spectacular.” Joining her is Marie Lu, who will present her new book “Warcross” and Jason Reynolds, who will talk about his new novel “Long Way Down.”

You also can see and get these authors to sign your books:

Adam Silvera (“They Both Die at the End”)

Adi Alsaid (“North of Happy”)

Aditi Khorana (“Library of Fates”)

Amy Tintera (“Avenged”)

Andrew Shvarts (“Royal Bastards”)

Anna-Marie McLemore (“Wild Beauty”)

Ashley Poston (“Geekerella”)

Caleb Roehrig (“Last Seen Leaving”)

Cindy Pon (“Want”)

Cory Putman Oakes (“Witchtown”)

Corrie Wang (“The Takedown”)

David Bowles (“Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky— Barrio Writers Sponsorship”)

Diana Noble (“Evangelina Takes Flight”)

E. Lockhart (“Genuine Fraud”)

Erin Bowman (“Retribution Rails”)

Francisco X. Stork (“Disappeared”)

Jenna Evans Welch (“Love & Luck”)

Jennifer Mathieu (“Moxie”)

Jessica Taylor (“A Map for Wrecked Girls”)

Julie Buxbaum (“What to Say Next”)

Julie Murphy (“Ramona Blue”)

Kathryn Ormsbee (“Tash Hearts Tolstoy”)

Kerri Maniscalco (“Hunting Prince Dracula”)

Lisa Maxwell (“The Last Magician”)

Lizzie Velásquez (“Dare to Be Kind”)

Mackenzi Lee (“Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue”)

Mitali Perkins (“You Bring the Distant Near”)

Peter Bognanni (“Things I’m Seeing Without You”)

Renée Watson (“Piecing Me Together”)

Ryan Graudin (“Invictus”)

Sandhya Menon (“When Dimple Met Rishi”)

S.J. Kincaid (“The Empress”)

Stephanie Perkins (“There’s Someone Inside Your House”)

Tillie Walden (“Spinning”)

Zac Brewer (“Madness”)

The festival is 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at St. Edward’s University, 3001 S. Congress Ave., and is geared towards fans of young adult books, as well as encourage young readers to stay reading.

Last year, 4,000 people attended this free event, which is a program of the Texas Book Festival, which collaborates with BookPeople, local librarians, and St. Edward’s University. It’s made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Get updates and find more information on and at

Kids who lose a father to death, divorce, jail feel it in their DNA, new study finds

A new study looked at the saliva of 2,420 children enrolled in the federally funded Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Researchers wondered: Would it matter if children did not have a father actively involved in their lives because of death, prison or divorce?

The study “Father Loss and Child Telomere Length” will be published in the August issue of “Pediatrics” from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The 9-year-olds who were separated from their fathers had an average of 14 percent shorter telomeres — that’s the protective portion of the DNA at the ends of the chromosomes.

These telomeres naturally shorten with age. At some point, cell division stops when the telomeres are shortened enough. The concern is that having shorter telomeres might mean that your health or lifespan might be affected.

The biggest effect researchers saw was in the kids who had experienced a father’s death. Those kids had 16 percent shorter telomeres. Incarceration led to 10 percent shorter telomers and separation or divorce, 6 percent shorter. How short the telomeres were in the kids who had experience divorce or separation depended on the extent of income loss. The children whose fathers had died or been incarcerated didn’t vary by income loss.

What does all this mean? Children are affected by the loss of their fathers. They need you, Dad.

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