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Chris Barton writes about Chris Barton's writing ... and other, more fascinating elements of the world of children's book publishing.
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1. “When every man, woman, and child can feel and know…”

“[W]hen every man, woman, and child can feel and know that his, her, and their rights are fully protected by the strong arm of a generous and grateful Republic, then we can all truthfully say that this beautiful land of ours, over which the Star Spangled Banner so triumphantly waves, is, in truth and in […]

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2. A Whoosh! of good news

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions was among the Notable Children’s Books Nominees discussed by the Association for Library Service to Children during the American Library Association’s annual conference in Orlando last month. I’m not sure how nervous I would have been while hearing my book discussed in such a public setting, so it’s […]

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3. To Jupiter and beyond (and back)!

With Jupiter in the news — NASA’s Juno spacecraft has arrived to do what spacecraft do — it’s not hard for me to make a leap to Lonnie Johnson, subject of my newest book with Don Tate. Before Lonnie became known as the inventor of the Super Soaker water gun, he worked at NASA’s Jet […]

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4. June 2016 Bartography Express: From telepathic fish to “Where do I come from?”: Mike Jung on UNIDENTIFIED SUBURBAN OBJECT

To get Bartography Express in your inbox each month — and to have a shot at the July giveaway of Maria Gianferrari and Bagram Ibatoulline’s Coyote Moon — you can sign up on my home page.

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5. Where I’ll be at ALA in Orlando

(Or rather, where I’m supposed to be during the American Library Association annual conference in Orlando. But I’ll try to be everywhere else, too.)

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6. How to Make a Kidlit List, Version 2.0

Updated and improved, thanks to some thoughtful feedback, and now available as a Google Document.

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7. My 18 days in Singapore

Until the very end of April, I’d never been outside North America, but I corrected that in a big way when I took a 14-hour flight from Dallas to Doha and then another flight — this one a mere seven hours — to Singapore. The occasion was my 12-day stint as author-in-residence at the Singapore […]

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8. May 2016 Bartography Express: Talking with Don Tate & Troy Cummings, giving away Whoosh! & Mighty Truck

To get Bartography Express in your inbox each month — and to have a shot at the June giveaway of Mike Jung’s Unidentified Suburban Object — you can sign up on my home page.

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9. Whoosh! (or, What’d I Miss?, part 1)

I just got back from teaching for twelve days as author-in-residence at the Singapore American School (yes, there will be photos here). And that stretch was only part of the nearly four weeks that went by between my previous two posts, thanks to a technical issue that was tough to fix from afar for someone […]

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10. Why I wrote The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

The three-minute version, anyway, courtesy of Teaching Books. I could go on for a lot longer about why I wrote a book for kids about Reconstruction. Go ahead — try me!

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11. Weekend backpacks — and books — for students in need

Until I visited Charles Haskell Elementary in Edmond, Oklahoma, recently, I’d never heard of the weekend backpack programs that some schools and local food banks use to provide students from low-income families enough to eat on Saturdays and Sundays. And until I met Becky Walderbach, Haskell Elementary’s librarian, I’d never considered the lengths that one […]

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12. How to make a kidlit list

I have made some good-looking flowcharts in my time. This is not one of them. But the concept for this one — a flowchart for anyone assembling a children’s literature list of any sort — has been on my mind for a long time, and I finally decided to put together a draft to share. […]

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13. A four-year-old as polite as he is honest

At a bookstore event last week, right after I read Mighty Truck: Me: Want me to read another book? Young customer: No, thank you.

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14. “An Open Letter to Our North Carolina Readers”

I signed the letter below. So did Jennifer. So did 267 other authors and illustrators, a number limited only by time constraints rather than by any shortage of opposition to the recent North Carolina law through which the state government went out of its way to discriminate against its citizens. School Library Journal has more […]

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15. March 2016 Bartography Express: “Students have clapped after hearing the book and seeing themselves.”

To get Bartography Express in your inbox each month — and to have a shot at the April giveaway of Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies, written by Carmen Oliver and illustrated by Jean Claude — you can sign up on my home page.

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16. The Nutcracker Comes to America is a Texas Institute of Letters finalist

So many friends to root for! That was my first reaction upon seeing this year’s finalists in the various children’s literature categories of the Texas Institute of Letters awards. I’m honored that my The Nutcracker Comes to America, illustrated by Cathy Gendron, is in the running for the Denton Record-Chronicle Award for Best Children’s Picture […]

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17. Don Tate goes for sound effects, while I go to the dogs. (Well, a dog.)

The Texas Bluebonnet Award committee invited authors and illustrators with books on the 2016-17 Master List to answer a few questions about their books — not in writing, but on camera. Don and I each got a little gimmicky as we discussed The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, but we both had a lot […]

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18. If you’ll be in Austin at the end of SXSW…

…and want to catch my first-ever public reading of Mighty Truck (a few days before it’s published)… …then plan on getting yourself to The Domain on Sunday, March 20, for Rock + Read!

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19. John Roy and George and Don and me

To commemorate Black History Month, the Texas Book Festival has posted an interview with Don Tate and me about his book Poet: The Remarkable True Story of George Moses Horton and our book The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch. Here’s a bit of what Don has to say about the stories he wants to […]

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20. A special guest in the audience

The first slide in my school-visit presentation lists a number of things I am in addition to being an author, and one of them is “son.” “Usually,” I told an audience of second- and third-graders last Friday at Holiday Heights Elementary, “you have to take my word for it.” But not that day. Friday marked […]

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21. Comment on Many thanks to Joe McDermott and Phil Bildner by Chris Barton

Hi, Julie — yes, please, share away! Joe and Phil are terrific people who do terrific work, and the more folks know about them, the better.

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22. Comment on Many thanks to Joe McDermott and Phil Bildner by nymediaworks

Hey Chris! It was a pleasure to share your Modern First Library video on KidLit TV. The camera work was super! Thank you to Joe. And a BIG thanks to Phil for doing a brilliant job. I’d love to share this post to shine a little light on the folks behind the scenes, too!

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23. Mail call

Recently I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty nifty cards and letters and artwork from students — some at schools I’ve visited, some who have connected with my books without ever meeting me. I look at all of it, and I appreciate all of it, and I thought you might like to see […]

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24. Advice for young writers, tips for parents of young readers

PTO Today (“Helping Parent Leaders Make Schools Great”) interviewed me recently about my own reading and writing as well as about how parents can support their kids’ growth in those areas. When asked what advice I would give PTOs and PTAs that want to encourage kids to read and write, here’s how I answered: It’s […]

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25. February 2016 Bartography Express: “Grandmother was scary to me but, at the same time, intriguing.”

To get Bartography Express in your inbox each month — and to have a shot at the March giveaway of Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land by John Coy and Wing Young Huie — you can sign up on my home page.

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