Author of popular young adult books to speak on campus

Julie Murphy
Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy, a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels, will visit Bradford April 11.

Murphy is the author of four books for young adults, including “Dumplin',” which will become a film by Disney this year, “Ramona Blue,” and “Puddin',” which will be released in May.

She will appear at 7 p.m. in the Harriett B. Wick Chapel to answer questions about her books and the writing process. A book signing will follow her presentation. The Pitt-Bradford hospitality management program will provide refreshments.

At 5 p.m. in the chapel, the Pitt-Bradford education program and Bradford Area Public Library will hold a community forum and panel discussion called “Who am I?” for parents and teachers of pre-teens and adolescents.

The forum will cover issues that teens with, such as body image, sexual identity, economic struggle and peer relationships. Many of Murphy's books, like “Dumplin'” and “Ramona Blue,” feature characters dealing with these matters themselves.

“Who Am I?” will feature a panel of five Pitt Bradford students. The student panel will discuss their own personal experiences dealing with these issues, with the hopes of helping high school students, college students, and even their families as they face similar situations.

Dr. Rebecca McHugh, assistant professor of psychology, and Suzy Meyer-Page, a therapist at Deerfield Behavioral Health, will lead the discussion.

McHugh said, “Many teenagers and young adults deal with some very tough issues in their lives - from finding themselves, to figuring out what they want to be, and who is going to be a part of their lives. A lot of teens feel very lost, and very alone; we are hoping that activities like this can help them realize that they're not alone, and can help their families, friends, and teachers know how to support them through these big changes.”

Meyer-Page said, “One thing that I often hear when interacting with parents of teens is that they don't know how to connect with their adolescent child. This panel will outline typical issues that teens face and ways to make connections with them in spite of any issues that may impact their lives.”

Booklist said in a starred review of “Ramona Blue,” “Julie Murphy knows a thing or two about navigating the worlds of girls on the brink of self-discovery.”

Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband, dog and cats, and enjoys reading, traveling and watching movies.

A librarian with a baccalaureate degree in political science, she wrote her first book, “Side Effects May Vary,” during National Novel Writing Month. She is now a full-time writer.

Both the forum and Murphy's presentation are free and open to the public. All community forum attendees will be entered for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

In addition to Pitt-Bradford and the Bradford Area Public Library, her trip to Bradford is made possible by Walmart, Hanley Library and the University of Pittsburgh's Humanities Center.

For more information on Murphy, visit For disability needs related to her appearance at Pitt-Bradford, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at (814)362-7609 or For questions about the forum, contact Lacey Love at or 814-362-6527.