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1. Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Baby Blue Cat Who Said No

My Perfect Picture Book is below - I promise! :) - I just have a little explanation for it first.

As some of you may know, I teach an online picture book writing class.

This week, we got into a discussion about subjectivity.

As a writer, how do you know if your story will appeal to agents, editors, and readers (both the adults who will read your picture book aloud and the children who will listen)?

There are some basic rules of thumb: your story should have a beginning, middle and end (i.e. actually BE a story), it should have an engaging character and/or plot, it should strike an emotional note of some kind, and it's best not to write about inappropriate subjects, use foul language, glorify violence etc... - pretty much common sense :)

But beyond a certain point, there's really no way to tell for sure who is going to like what.  If it appeals to you, if it touches a chord in your heart, if it highlights a truth in your life, chances are it will do that for other people too.  But there will always be at least one person out there who can find something to criticize.  And I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean it in a comforting way.  You can't please everyone, so write the best story you can and likely you'll please someone.  Probably lots of someones :)

My Perfect Picture Book choice for today is a case in point - an older book, beloved by many (me and my children included!) - that received the following review:

"Line drawings that look like doodles of cute kittens in gray, orange, white, and blue cannot save this lame tale of a contrary kitten... This is a story of manipulation at its worst. The language is flat, especially when read aloud. This reviewer says ``NO!''" Marianne Pilla, formerly at Allard K. Lowenstein Library of Long Beach, N.Y. Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Ouch!

But I don't find it manipulative.  I find it an endearing and true-to-life example of the way toddlers behave - naughty one moment, full of remorse the next, right back to their own agenda the minute after that, but not mean-spirited or malicious in their intent.

Subjectivity :)

I hope you like this book as much as the people in my house do! :)

Title: The Baby Blue Cat Who Said No
Written & Illustrated By: Ainslie Pryor
Re-issue March 1988, Viking Juvenile, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: behavior (contrariness), humor

Opening: "Have you heard the story of the Baby Blue Cat who said No?
Once there was a Mama Cat and her four baby cats.
Baby Orange Cat,
Baby White Cat,
Baby Striped Cat, and
Baby Blue Cat.
Mama Cat loved all of her baby cats very much."

Brief Synopsis: Baby Orange Cat, Baby White Cat and Baby Striped Cat all behave the way little kittens should, but Baby Blue Cat is feeling ornery.  No matter what his Mama asks, he says, "No!"  But when he pushes his Mama too far, he apologizes and behaves... until his contrariness gets the better of him again :)

Links To Resources: Teaching Children A VocabularyFor Emotions; make cards with different emotions pictured and/or written  - e.g. a smiley face and/or HAPPY - and play emotion charades by letting kids pick a card and act out the emotions for the rest of the class or family and see if the observers can guess; talk about behavior - have you ever refused to do something just to be difficult? Do you sometimes do bad things and then feel sorry? Talk about how to say you're sorry - resource HERE.

Why I Like This Book:  The "flat language" :) is fun to read aloud.  (Years later, we still use the phrase "and here's your delicious cupcake, YUM YUM" :) )  The "line drawings that look like doodles" :) are cute and engaging (right down to the smile on the fish sandwich :))  But mostly, anyone who has ever spent 3 minutes around a toddler will recognize and appreciate Baby Blue Cat's desire to have some control, and some opportunity to be independent of his mother and siblings.  As I mentioned above, he's naughty, but when he goes too far he's genuinely remorseful.  Mama Cat loves her baby cats very much, and it is clear that Baby Blue Cat loves his Mama Cat too :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you and see your fabulous picks for this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!!


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2. Hohenemser Literaturpreis

       They've announced this year's winner of the biennial Hohenemser Literaturpreis, a prize for German-writing authors whose mother tongue is not German, and this year the €10,000 prize will go to Que Du Luu; she will pick up her prize on 27 June.
       Her (still unpublished) text 'Das Fest des ersten Morgens' was selected from 75 entries -- neat to see so many writers with other mother tongues writing in German.

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3. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Sibylle Delacroix


“Jenny is feeling out of sorts, but she doesn’t want to talk about it.
She just wants to be loved.”

(Click image to see spread in its entirety)


 

This morning at Kirkus, I weight in on the anniversary edition of Heather Has Two Mommies, as well as a couple of Heather’s descendants. That link will be here soon.

* * *

Last week I wrote here about an import originally published in Quebec in 2013, Sibylle Delacroix’s Prickly Jenny (Owlkids Books, March 2015), so today I’m following up with some art from the book.

Enjoy.


“There’s nothing but ice cream for dessert,
and Jenny says she wants nothing to do with it.”

(Click image to see spread in its entirety)


 


“Wait … Is that a smile, Jenny?”
(Click image to see spread in its entirety)


 


“Jenny doesn’t know what she wants today.
But tomorrow, when she’s bigger, it will get better.”

(Click image to see spread in its entirety)


 



 

* * * * * * *

PRICKLY JENNY. Copyright © 2013 Bayard éditions. Published in North America in 2015 by Owlkids Books Inc. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.

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4. Public School Superhero: James Patterson Reads Prize Pack Giveaway (ages 9-12)

James Patterson's middle school novels are a huge hit at Emerson--kids find them funny, relatable, and engaging. Patterson has long been committed to inspiring kids to read -- I'm a big fan of his Read, Kiddo, Read website and the way he uses his notoriety and success to champion all sorts of reading for kids.
"Here's a simple but powerful truth that many parents and schools don't act on: the more kids read, the better readers they become. The best way to get kids reading more is to give them books they'll gobble up... Freedom of choice is a key to getting them motivated and excited."

We Can Get Our Kids Reading
by James Patterson
Patterson has just announced a tremendous opportunity he's offering to schools across the US: he's pledged $1.5 million to give to school libraries through a partnership with Scholastic. Please share this news with your school librarians, principals and teachers!

Today I'd like to celebrate his newest book: Public School Superhero. I'm excited about this because so many of my 4th and 5th graders ask for funny books and adventure books. They will love the comics that are sprinkled throughout this. And I'm so happy to see the main character is an African American boy.
Public School Superhero
by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
illustrations by Cory Thomas
Little, Brown, 2015
read chapters 1-5 online
Your local library
Amazon
ages 9-12
Publisher summary: Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he's Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he's a chess club devotee known as a "Grandma's Boy," a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more Steel to the real world, but the question is: can he recognize his own true strength before peer pressure forces him to make the worst choice of his life?

Kirkus review: Kenny's dreams of superpowered heroics provide a respite from his tough school. Kenny Wright loves his grandma, chess and superheroes. Less loved is his school, an overcrowded, underfunded cinderblock straight out of the fourth season of The Wire. A string of peculiar circumstances puts Kenny in the position of teaching his enemy, Ray-Ray, how to play chess, but this crummy state of affairs may be just what Kenny needs right now. ... A smart and kind story topped with just the right amount of social justice. (see full review)

James Patterson Reads Prize Pack Giveaway

Make it through middle school with James Patterson! Enter for a chance to win copies of:
  • Public School Superhero
  • I Funny
  • Treasure Hunters
  • House of Robots
Fill out the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This book giveaway is open to participants in the US only. Prizing & samples courtesy of Little, Brown and Company. The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, First Second. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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5. What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) all about? Companies appear to be adopting new attitudes and activities in the way they identify, evaluate and respond to social expectations. Society is no longer treated as a ‘given’, but as critical to business success. In some cases this is simply for the license to operate that social acceptability grants. In others, companies believe that favorable evaluations by consumers, employees and investors (who are, after all, members of society) will improve business performance.

The post What is Corporate Social Responsibility? appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Meet the Commandant from An Ember in the Ashes; Plus a Giveaway

Enter to win an autographed advance reader copy of An Ember in the Ashes (Razorbill, April 28, 2015), by Sabaa Tahir, and a T-shirt. Giveaway begins March 26, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends April 16, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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7. SHOWCASE - art & business of surface design

Today we have a really interesting showcase of patterns from the students on the Art & Business of Surface Design online E-Course run by designer Rachael Taylor. The ABSPD attracts a global audience with students taking part from all over the world and you can find emerging artists who all show great potential and have a passion for colour and pattern. Print & Pattern offers an annual

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8. Friday Feature: YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2015



Hello Everyone! I'm so happy to introduce to you the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors! We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamGold! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days. 

If you've never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. During the hunt, I'll be sharing an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of THE DARKNESS WITHIN. 

You don't want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days. And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up.)

Blue Team 1 Pink TeamTeam Gold (2)Team Purple 1Team GreenTeam Red 1Team Teal (2)Team Orange  
I hope you are all as excited as I am!
THE HUNT BEGINS 4/2/15!

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9. Telephone by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jen Corace

Telephone, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jen Corace (two of my absolute favorites) is one of those books that makes you wonder why no one has jumped on this idea before. It's also one of those deceptively simple picture books that has so much more going on. Taking the old game that kids still love to play as inspiration, Barnett sets the story in motion when a mother pigeon

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10. Murphy's Wake

It was the last time I would go to Finn, I swore to myself as I searched for him in the Elmdale Tavern. He was around one of the regular spots. I needed to see him fast. At the Carleton Tavern I found Finn with a quart and money coming out of every pocket. I sat down with him, ordered a pint. It was still early in the day. I hit Finn up for fifty bucks to pay Murphy. Finn charged a fee for even handing you the loan. It cost sixty to borrow fifty for a week, but it would be worth it. Finn copied phone numbers and odds as he readied himself for a busy day ahead. Sunday, of course, was his big day because of the NFL betting. This was Saturday when college football and pro baseball took most gamblers’ attention. I finished my pint, said goodbye to Finn, caught Murphy at the Prescott Tavern, gave him a lift to Mary’s. Murphy and Mary had been engaged for twenty years. He still visited her little flower shop every morning. We stopped so he could pick a bouquet of flowers for her in a city park. Murphy didn’t believe in paying for flowers. When they were in season, he helped himself. It was a bone of contention between them. Murphy believed that flowers were given to man by the good Lord, shouldn’t be bought and sold. Mary believed that people gladly paid for the little ray of sunshine they purchased with a nice bouquet of flowers. Murphy had a friend named Calhoun in Montreal who could, for a price, buy a block of tickets in a provincial lottery which would produce winners. All I had to do was give fifty dollars to Murphy. I didn’t follow the whole scam back to the actual score, but I questioned Murphy enough to know that it felt like a winner. He assured me that fifty dollars would produce five thousand for me. Added to some others and passed through the right hands, it would yield twice as much, for him. This guy, Calhoun, had an in, was sharing the wealth. Murphy did it for me out of the kindness of his heart and good business sense. He didn’t have to include me, but he saw me as a good luck charm. I dropped Murphy off, went home to a weekend of sports on t.v. and too much beer. It didn’t cheer me up, to hear, on Monday morning, that Murphy had died on the weekend from a heart attack. I drove to Mary’s which was above her flower shop. It isn’t decent and polite to speak ill of the deceased, but getting lottery tickets was another matter. He always wore the same suit, his best, for giving and taking payments, more taking than giving, it always seemed with Murphy as he did his weekend rounds, careful not to exceed his booze limit. The lottery tickets had to be in his suit. Mary was in her shop with a short, dark, Scottish lawyer named Jack Scullion. She introduced us without mentioning if the man even knew Murphy. I listened with polite sadness, shook my head regretfully. Mary described Murphy’s last moments. It seemed that he died in her arms. Just after they had named a date. They had been engaged now for twenty years, so they were celebrating the twentieth year by marriage. She was as good as his wife anyway, Mary said. I agreed and inquired about Murphy’s “effects” as diplomatically as possible. Perhaps it was a little too vaguely phrased. Mary didn’t respond. Jack Scullion walked around the shop like he was looking for something suspicious. He kept an ear cocked in our direction though. He was trying to figure out who I was, where I fit in. Margaret, Murphy’s sister, appeared with her husband, Ralph, a used car lot owner. It was safe to say that the vultures were circling. I managed to find out that Murphy would be dressed in his best suit tomorrow at Ralph’s showroom. They were having the wake there. Ralph told me, in confidence, that it was his idea. It seemed a bit greedy for Ralph to take advantage of the crowd of potential customers which would gather to send Murphy off, but I wasn’t one to judge. There didn’t seem to be much of a chance of getting at Murphy’s suit pockets until the next day so I drove home and waited. I joined the line of people entering Ralph’s showroom. The place had a western theme, the staff were dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. They wore black armbands while Ralph himself was resplendent in a black western suit with tie and boots to match. He had probably considered wearing his black, ten gallon Stetson, but decided against it in case of misinterpretation by the mourners. There was a good mixture at Murphy’s wake. A crowd of children were the offspring of Murphy’s family. The older ones were Murphy’s cousins, uncles and aunts. When Murphy had mentioned his family at poker games or at the end of late night pub crawls, he gave the impression that he was the black sheep. His own opinion was that the family disliked him because they were jealous of his money and freedom. The people grew noisier as the booze flowed freely. Their presence was welcome. I needed as much attention diverted as possible while I sought the tickets. Most of the sniffling and crying came from Mary and Margaret. As I shuffled along toward them in the line, I could hear Margaret declaring that Murphy looked like himself. Mary’s voice rose over Margaret’s, in grief stricken tones, to tell someone that her brother had called to extend his condolences. He added that it was nice to think about old Murphy finally laying quiet with his big yap shut. People in the line who heard it at first looked puzzled, then made clucking noises. They agreed that it was a down to earth, honest assessment of the deceased, rest his soul. I eyed the coffin, snuck a peek at Murphy within. He did look like himself, I will say that. The dark, pinstriped suit, Murphy’s best, with the vest done up, decorated his body. His face was pinker than normal, but I only saw him in bars or restaurants so maybe this was what he really looked like. He had his hands folded peacefully over his pot belly and, all in all, looked like he had just exhaled and forgotten to inhale. There was no doubt about it, the life had gone out of Murphy. I could smell the gin on Margaret when she hugged me and the rye on Mary’s breath as she looked at me with red rimmed eyes and running mascara I managed to nod sadly and escape her while giving Murphy another quick, visual once over. Jack Scullion hovered in the background, watching everyone, especially me. There was plenty of drink and some sandwiches which the ladies had made. I helped myself to the food, found the coffee. It would take a clear head, whatever I did. Ralph was giving a sales pitch to a couple beside a beat up old clunker which looked like it had recently been retired from delivering pizza. He made the mistake of leaning a little too hard on the front bumper when he pushed it to demonstrate the shocks. The bumper fell off, barely missing his cowboy boots. Ralph never lost a beat. He made a note to see the mechanic about “bodywork problems”, kicked the offending bumper under the car. The pile of sawdust beneath it was turning black, absorbing oil. Jack Scullion approached me with a beer in one hand and a smoke in the other. He had jet black hair, scars on his nose and around his eyes. He bore all the signs of a fighter feeling no pain. He stood spread legged in front of me and asked if I was in Murphy’s will. When I told him I didn’t think so, he seemed to relax. As much as a short, Glaswegian lawyer can relax. His shifty eyes wondered how I could benefit from Murphy’s death. He turned and stood by my side with a wide stance. He gestured alternately with the beer and the smoke while he surveyed the room. “Ach, it’s a right shower here, just noo, Jimmy” I nodded, but I didn’t really know what he meant. He didn’t notice, went on with his monologue, sometimes addressing the room, sometimes confiding to me. “Aye, they’re aw here noo. The vultures’re here. Look at em circlin, look at yersels, ach. See em? They’re after his money. The poor old boy isn’t even cauld yet. See em? They’re a right shower a bastards” No doubt, like most of his race, the Scottish lawyer was a little crazy and extremely violent. Rather than point out that he, too, was in attendance for strictly financial reasons, I managed to escape back to Margaret and Mary. I was getting desperate. Mary and Margaret had been absorbing the alcohol at a rapid rate. They had run out of tears. Their mutual hostility emerged with each drink. I addressed them with an eye on the coffin. “Well, ladies, it must be tense waiting for the will to be read. To see who gets what of Murphy’s. I understand that Mary here was just about to tie the knot with poor Murphy” Margaret frowned and produced many heretofore unseen lines in her face. “Hah” She blurted out with a laugh. “Tie the knot. He’s been engaged to her for twenty years” Mary reacted with bug eyed indignation. Her truthfulness about Murphy’s last moments was being questioned. “We were like man and wife. He didn’t spend time with his other family” she said before she found another glass of rye. Ralph had finished his pitch, but had no takers. He threw regretful glances at the bumper as he approached us, beer in hand. “Anyone got a few words to say?” he asked with a kindly smile. “Ha. Family’s family. It’s his blood in my veins” Margaret asserted. Jack Scullion had joined us. He had a fresh beer, stood spread legged with shoulders back. It was as though he was bracing himself on a heaving deck. “The will overrides everything” said Mary pugnaciously in Margaret’s direction. This hostility caught Jack’s attention, it was right up his alley. He looked around for an opponent, saw Ralph about to speak. I sidled toward the casket as Ralph began what he thought was sort of a eulogy for Murphy, but which he never finished. He never really got it started. Mary took offence at the look which Margaret gave her, hit the dead man’s sister with her purse. Jack saw his opportunity, gave Ralph a Glaswegian handshake which could be heard all over the showroom. There was evidence of Jack’s nutting ability the next day in the taverns; quite a few black eyes and bandaids sported by the mourners who clashed with him He made up for his lack of height by jumping straight at the other man’s face, applying the head, around the hairline, into whatever features were available. With Ralph sitting in a pool of the blood which was spouting from his nose, the women shrieking as they rolled around in front of him, I made it to the casket. Jack was taking on all comers. He seemed to be enjoying himself. I searched Murphy’s vest and trouser pockets with one hand, the other still holding my coffee cup. I was about to try his jacket when the lights went out. It wasn’t dark, but it turned everything in the showroom shadowy. The struggling figures in the brawl were being joined by others, the children shooed to the office. Maybe it was one of them who was responsible for the half light. I checked one side of Murphy’s jacket pockets and found nothing. The noise of fighting and breaking glass became louder. I tried the other pocket, felt cardboard. I pulled the lottery tickets out of Murphy’s pocket, squinted at them. They were the right ones. I was saying a prayer of thanks to my dead chum and the good Lord when I dropped the tickets. They slid down on the other side of Murphy. I panicked for a moment. Placing my cup between Murphy’s folded hands, I used one of my hands to shift his weight, the other to feel for the tickets. I grasped them just as a bottle crashed against the casket and a sliding body took my feet out from under me. Ralph had provided a fold out table from the lunch room upon which to place Murphy’s casket. As my weight shifted, the casket slid off the table. Murphy sat up with my coffee cup in his hands. Crawling toward the door, tickets in my hand, I glanced back. Murphy’s sudden rise from the prone to the sitting position, had caused a pause in the fighting. I heard various opinions of this phenomenon. “It’s a sign” The words “miracle” and “resurrection”were mentioned several times.. When I joined Finn, the next day, at the Carleton Tavern and paid him back, cheerfully, he gave me a curious look. He was totalling up the weekend’s action over a quart, asked me if I’d been to Murphy’s funeral after the donnybrook at his wake. I confirmed that I’d attended the burial. It was a sad and solemn affair for all involved including Murphy’s family and everyone’s legal representatives. We drank a memorial toast to Murphy that day before I bought everyone a round and placed a few bets.

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11. plot framework trouble!

Question: I have a plot regarding a protagonist with an abused past. When her mother dies and she is left alone, she takes an exotic vacation as a last

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12. Tools to Help You Monitor Your Social Media Network Efforts

If you’re including social media marketing in your business plan, and you absolutely should be, you need to take some time to find out what type of results (ROI) you’re getting. Bufferapp.com has a post with 19 FREE social media analytical tools that will help you keep an eye on things. I’ll admit I don’t go waist-deep into analytics, but I do monitor my websites and social media efforts. I’d

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13. Poetry Friday - Rock Me To Sleep

To say I'm exhausted is putting it mildly. Work is overwhelming at the moment, but I know all this will pass and the semester will end far too soon. Before I know it I will be bemoaning the dearth of students on campus.

While I work to catch up, I will dream of sleep. Those dreams and a strong desire to see my mother have brought me to this poem today.

Rock Me to Sleep
by Elizabeth Akers Allen

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;—    
Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,—    
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,—  
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,—  
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;—  
Rock me to sleep, mother – rock me to sleep!

Read the poem in its entirety.


I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jone of Check It Out. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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14. Out and About with Carla in Miami



One of the great parts of being an author is speaking to audiences about my books.   While I enjoy every group, some are extra special.  Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Miami, Florida, to share my book In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry.  This book is about Varian Fry, an American journalist who volunteered to go to Nazi controlled France in 1940 to order to rescue (mostly) Jewish refugees whose lives were in danger.   This true story of one man who believed he could make a difference is filled with intrigue and danger.  Ultimately, Varian Fry rescued more than 2000 people.  Yet few Americans have ever heard his name.


   
I was invited by the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach to share the work of Varian Fry as part of Holocaust Education Week.  They asked me to speak to three different audiences.   The first night, I presented my program for the public at the Holocaust Memorial.   It was an honor to speak about rescue during the Holocaust at a place dedicated to the memory of so many who were not rescued.  Every Holocaust Memorial is different, and here the centerpiece is the massive statue of a hand reaching toward the sky with human figures huddled around the bottom.  The sculpture is powerful and moving.  It says so much-silently.   In the audience that night, listening to my program were Holocaust survivors and the descendants of some who had been killed at Auschwitz.


       
The next morning I spoke to university students at Miami Dade College.  Many in the audience – including one of the administrators – had come to American as refugees.  As I shared about the refugees of 1940 leaving their homes, these young adults understood the concept in a much more personal way than my usual audience does.


 
In the afternoon, I presented my program to students at a private Jewish high school.   These modern American students carrying their backpacks entered the room and chatted as they took their seats.  While relating the work of Varian Fry, I told them about several people who helped him.  One of them was a seventeen-year-old boy named Justus Rosenberg.   He was their age and his life was in danger because he was Jewish.   Rosenberg survived but countless other teens didn’t.
 
I shared the work of Varian Fry with three different audiences in Miami.  Each one was very special.
  
Carla Killough McClafferty


We are currently running a giveaway for IN DEFENSE OF READ-ALOUD that ends at midnight on April 1.  (CORRECTION NOTE:  There was a typo in an earlier post that said the end date was April 6.  The correct end date is April 1.)  For more details see Esther Hershenhorn’s post:    
http://www.teachingauthors.com/2015/03/a-two-for-price-of-one-interview-with.html

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15. Translating from ... Chinese

       At The Millions Barclay Bram Shoemaker writes on Literary Prowess Lost: On Mo Yan's 'Frog' and the Trouble with Translation -- well worth a look.
       Get your copy of Frog at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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16. Book Blogger Hop - 3/27 - 4/2

 Question of the Week:

Which books have you read in the past month that still have you thinking back to the storyline and the characters? 

My Answer:
A few of these books were read in February.

Night, Night Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron was a book that was non-stop suspense.

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford was a good read too.  It was a psychological thriller. 

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor is wonderful.

The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman is very heartwarming and homey.

Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander was a great historical fiction with strong female characters.

Reviews are in the titles.

What about your books?




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17. Uday Prakash Q & A

       At Music & Literature translator Jason Grunebaum has A Conversation with Uday Prakash.

       The two Grunebaum-translated works available in English are under review at the complete review: The Girl with the Golden Parasol and The Walls of Delhi.

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18. 8 Great Ways to Promote Your Fiction Novel - Part 6 - #authorpromotion

PART SIX ON BOOK PROMOTION 

Some authors might disagree with this, but I think it’s crucial if you’re a self-published or indie author that you have an online media presence. If you’re trying to publicize your novel and you don’t have a website and you’re not active on sites like Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads, etc., you’re actually sabotaging your own success.

Step One:
I think all authors should do is create an “Amazon Author Profile” through Author Central to help promote your books.
Keep your Bio short and professional and include a link to your blog or website. The reason, I say keep it short and simple is because you want readers to visit your site to learn more about you and your books. Especially, if you have more than one book published, and so that you can drive traffic to your site and other social media links. 

I have included my own Amazon profile as an example and I encourage you to visit my page to get an idea of how it should look. 

***
EXAMPLE OF PROFESSIONAL AUTHOR BIO:

Sherry Soule is an Amazon bestselling author and lives with her family and one very spoiled black cat in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's always wanted to live in a world where sweatpants are sexy, cupcakes don't make you fat, and she could adopt every homeless animal.

Many of her books have spent time on the 100 Kindle bestseller lists and have been nominated as Top Picks in the "Best Paranormal Romance" categories.

When she's not writing thrilling tales of romance and suspense, often mingled with a dash of the mystical and a splash of trendy fashion, you can find her watching Netflix, reading (often crushing on fictional characters), or hanging with her family.

***
My author Bio is simple yet informative. And it gives potential readers some insight into my writing style and what type of books I write.
Step Two:

Use ONLY head shots as your author photo. Yes, I’ve uploaded some questionable photos of myself and even used “fake” images because at one time I wanted to remain anonymous. Or another option is to use your latest book cover as your profile picture. 
Step Three:
I would put up a website or start a blog. Blogs are usually free if you’re on a budget and can look very professional if you hire a designer or use a premade template. If you’re not sure what to add to your site just browse around at other author’s sites to give you some ideas. 
Make sure it easy to navigate and that you have links to purchase your novel(s). Basically, you’ll need these page posts:
Author Bio
Contact
Purchase Books
Excerpts

Step Four:
Get a Twitter account and start following other booklovers, but please don’t spam every hour asking people to buy your books. It is tacky and rude. I post funny sayings and converse with other booklovers, and then occasionally, I’ll include a book promo with a link to buy my novel. 
A great way to reach readers is to create a Twitter hashtag (searchable word phrase with a # before it) just for your books, your event, or any promos. For example, I use #StarlightSaga for my new YA PNR series. 

Step Five:
Connect with bloggers who are not related to writing or book reviews, but blogs that feature a topic close to your novel’s theme or subject matter. Contact them to see if they’ll host a guest post. 
For my YA novel, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN, I contacted several true ghost story websites and horror lover forums and asked to post something pertaining to my series. And I contacted other writers and offered guest posts on writing and/or editing.

 
Step Six:
Discover new book bloggers in your genre, and then follow their site, and start commenting on the posts and reviews. Make friends with these people. They are often the keys to a book’s success.

Step Seven:
Join Goodreads and offer a giveaway (print only). Connect with other booklovers on Goodreads through groups or discussions.

Step Eight:
Visit the libraries in your area, but don’t try to sell librarians your book. Just make friends with them and offer to do a book signing or reading. (Most library systems have acquisitions managers you can contact about stocking your books.)

Well, there you have it. Quite a few ideas for marketing your novel!





Also, my handbook "Get Book Reviews the WRITE Way" has TONS of suggestions on great ways to market your novel!

Hope this info helps. Best of luck!




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19. All That Burns by Ryan Graudin

Review by Krista All That Burns by Ryan GraudinPaperback: 464 pagesPublisher: HarperTeen (February 10, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon All That Glows author Ryan Graudin returns with the fantasy novel's sequel, rife with intense romance and riveting action. As this alluring mortal-prince-meets-immortal-fairy love story continues, this urban London tale serves up irresistible chemistry

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20. Social Media Etiquette

What not to do when using social media.


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21. Day 27 of the March SOLSC! #SOL15

Day 27 of the March SOLSC: Write, Share, Give

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22. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip



There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 


An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
 

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule
http://www.wattpad.com/story/29486760-irresistible-mistake-new-adult-romantic-suspense


Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 
 

0 Comments on New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip as of 3/18/2015 4:48:00 PM
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23. San Francisco: Where To Eat and What to Do?

San Francisco 2015

What to eat and what to do in San Francisco (photo courtesy of Flickr user runner310)

“Where should we go to eat?” In San Francisco, that question can have a myriad of answers. Never fear, whatever you decide will be delicious. Considered to be mecca for foodies everywhere, be prepared for your taste buds to dance in gastronomical delight!

Here are my top three reasons San Francisco offers the best culinary experience.

First, we have a diverse menu to choose from for your palette. From Japanese to Vegan to Brazilian and Pakistani, there isn’t much that’s missing. In addition to the diversity in food, we also like to offer yummy cuisine Off the Grid style or in a food court like the Hall SF.

Second, food is just a hop, skip, or even a jump away in many of our neighborhoods. The Mission District is the first that comes to mind when it comes to door to door food options. When people think of the Mission District the Mission Burrito usually comes to mind, and yes it’s good, but there’s also so much more!

Third, and my final point although I could go on and on, you will always find traditional and long standing establishments such as the House of Prime Rib, The Cliff House, and Farallon  among the new and innovative restaurants that pop up around the city.

The only downside to being in such a great place to find delicious food is deciding where to go. For your viewing and tasting pleasure, we’ve provided you with some of our favorite restaurants that are easily accessible by BART, MUNI, or within walking distance of the San Francisco Main Library, the Moscone Center, and the ALA hotels. Click here for some delicious dining options courtesy of the ALSC Local Arrangements team.

After a great meal, I love to walk around the city to do some shopping. Near the Powell Street BART station, you’ll encounter numerous shoppers walking up and down Powell Street as well as around Union Square. You can also spend a fair amount of time shopping in the Westfield San Francisco Centre which is also conveniently located at the Powell Street BART station.  Fairly close and within walking distance is Chinatown. Take a picture on Bush Street at the entrance and then have fun visiting all of the shops and eateries. Another tourist must see for shopping is Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. You can find plenty of San Francisco themed gifts in both locations including one shop dedicated to Alcatraz. Don’t forget to take a picture with the famous sun bathing sea lions also known as the “Sea Lebrities while you walk around.

Welcome to San Francisco! Have fun and eat lots!

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Today’s blog post was written Rebecca Alcalá-Veraflor, the Early Literacy Coordinator at the San Francisco Public Library, for the ALSC Local Arrangements Committee.

The post San Francisco: Where To Eat and What to Do? appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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24. Heroes of Social Work

Few professions aspire to improve the quality of life for people and communities around the globe in the same way as social work. Social workers strive to bring about positive changes in society and for individuals, often against great odds. And so it follows that the theme for this year's National Social Work Month in the United States is "Social Work Paves the Way for Change."

The post Heroes of Social Work appeared first on OUPblog.

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25. Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 27 of 31

You and your students are on the home stretch! You can do it!

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