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Kathryn Huck will serve as a senior editor at Simon & Schuster’s North Star Way.
According to the press release, North Star Way is a “a new publishing unit that will offer authors an expanded suite of profile-building, ancillary services that extend beyond the boundaries of traditional publishing.” The company announced the launch of this venture back in January 2015.
Prior to this development, Huck worked as a freelance editor. In the past, she has held editorial positions at St. Martin’s Press and HarperCollins.
Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.
To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.
Pinkalicious series creator Victoria Kann will make an appearance at Books of Wonder. Meet her on Saturday, May 9th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (New York, NY)
Young adult author Kiera Cass will discuss her newest book, entitled The Heir, at the 92Y (Lexington Ave. branch). Join in on Saturday, May 9th starting 7:30 p.m. (New York, NY)
The next session of the Macaulay Author Series will feature a conversation between Better Than Before author Gretchen Rubin and journalist Anne Kreamer. Check it out on Monday, May 11th from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (New York, NY)
Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched the Cultivating Creativity Student Essay Contest.
According to the press release, the winning entries will be published on the restaurant’s cups and bags some time in 2016. Each of the winners will receive $20,000 in prize money which will be “deposited into a 529 savings account, to support their continuing education.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, an author and the curator of this series, and Laura Esquive, a novelist and screenwriter, will serve as the judges. The submission deadline has been set for May 31st. Follow this link to submit a story.
By: Suzanne Lieurance,
Blog: The National Writing for Children Center
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Andrea Lochen
, Barbara Claypole White
, books about moms
, Five Days Left
, Greer Macallister
, Heather Webb
, House Broken
, Imaginery Things
, Julie Lawson Timmer
, Kathryn Craft
, Lisa Steinke
, Liz Fenton
, Lori Nelson Spielman
, mother's day fiction
, Rodin's Lover
, Sonja Yoerg
, The Far End of Happy
, The Life List
, The Magician's Lie
, The Perfect Son
, Yona Zeldis McDonough
, You Were Meant for Me
, Your Perfect Life
, Add a tag
Although these are not children’s books, what better time of year than Mother’s Day to showcase some of the most memorable fictional mothers in some of the best new novels? From loving, supportive mothers to complex, trailblazing mothers to selfish, vindictive mothers, this list has it all!
1) The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White (Lake Union, July 2015)
Ella Fitzwilliam, the mom in THE PERFECT SON, quit a successful career in jewelry design to be full-time parent, mental health coach, and advocate for her son, Harry, who has a soup of issues that include Tourette syndrome. She has devoted 17 years of her life to his therapy, to educating teachers, to being Harry’s emotional rock and giving him the confidence he needs to be Harry. Thanks to her, Harry is comfortable in his own skin, even when people stare. After Ella has a major heart attack in the opening chapter, her love for Harry tethers her to life. But as she recovers, she discovers the hardest parenting lesson of all: to let go.
2) Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb (Plume, January 2015)
In RODIN’S LOVER, Camille’s mother, Louise Claudel, is spiteful, jealous, and disapproving of Camille’s pursuit to become a female sculptor in the 1880s. She also shows signs of mental illness. Because of this relationship, Camille struggles with all of her female relationships the rest of her life, and ultimately, to prove to her mother that she’s truly talented.
3) Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen (Astor + Blue Editions, April 2015)
In IMAGINARY THINGS, young single mother Anna Jennings has a unique power that most parents only dream of—the ability to see her four-year-old son’s imagination come to life. But when David’s imaginary friends turn dark and threatening, Anna must learn the rules of this bizarre phenomenon, what his friends truly represent, and how best to protect him.
4) The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister (Sourcebooks, January 2015)
In THE MAGICIAN’S LIE, Arden’s mother is remarkable both for what she does and what she doesn’t do. As a young woman, she bears a child out of wedlock and runs away with her music teacher, never fearing the consequences. But later in life, her nerve fails her—just when her daughter needs her most.
5) Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer (Putnam, 2014)
In FIVE DAYS LEFT, Mara Nichols is, in some ways, a typical mother: she loves her daughter fiercely, thinks about her constantly and goes to great lengths to balance her high-stress legal career with her daughter’s needs. But there are two ways in which Mara isn’t typical at all. First, she adopted her daughter from India, making good on a lifelong promise to rescue a baby from the same orphanage where Mara herself lived decades ago. And second, when Mara is diagnosed with a fatal, incurable illness that will render her unable to walk, talk or even feed herself, she has to make the kind of parenting choice none of us wants to consider—would my child be better off if I were no longer alive?
6) House Broken by Sonja Yoerg (Penguin/NAL, January 2015)
In HOUSE BROKEN, Helen Riley has a habit of leaving her grown children to cope with her vodka-fueled disasters. She has her reasons, but they’re buried deep, and stem from secrets too painful to remember and, perhaps, too terrible to forgive.
7) You Were Meant for Me by Yona Zeldis McDonough (Penguin/NAL, 2014)
In YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME, having a baby is the furthest thing from Miranda Berenzweig’s mind. She’s newly single after a bad break up, and focused on her promotion at work, her friends and getting her life back on track. Then one frigid March night she finds a newborn infant in a NYC subway and even after taking the baby to the police, can’t get the baby out of her mind. At the suggestion of the family court judge assigned to the case, Miranda begins adoption proceedings. But her plans—as well as her hopes and dreams—are derailed when the baby’s biological father surfaces, wanting to claim his child. The way she handles this unforeseen turn of events is what makes Miranda a truly memorable mother.
8) The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft (Sourcebooks Landmark, May 2015)
In THE FAR END OF HAPPY, Ronnie has hung in there as long as she can during her husband’s decline into depression, spending issues, and alcoholism and he will not accept her attempts to get him professional help. She is not a leaver, but can’t bear for her sons to witness the further deterioration of the marriage. She determines to divorce—and on the day he has promised to move out, he instead arms himself, holes up inside a building on the property, and stands off against police. When late in the day the police ask Ronnie if she’ll appeal to him one last time over the bullhorn, she must decide: with the stakes so high, will she try one last time to save her husband’s life? Or will her need to protect her sons and her own growing sense of self win out?
9) Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke (Washington Square Press, 2014)
In YOUR PERFECT LIFE, long-time friends, Rachel and Casey wake up the morning after their twenty year high school reunion to discover they’ve switched bodies. Casey is single with no children before becoming an instant mom to Rachel’s two teenagers and baby. Despite her lack of experience as a parent, and her often comedic missteps with the baby in particular (think: diaper blow outs and sudden sleep deprivation) Casey’s fresh perspective on her new role helps her connect with each of the children in a very different way than Rachel. And when the oldest, Audrey, is almost date raped at her prom, it is Casey’s strength that she draws from an experience in her own past that ultimately pulls Audrey through. Although it is hard for Rachel to watch her best friend take care of Audrey when she so desperately wants to, she realizes that Casey can help her daughter in a way she can’t. And Casey discovers she might have what it takes to be a mom to her own children someday.
10) The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman (Bantam, 2013)
Elizabeth Bohlinger, the mother in THE LIFE LIST, is actually deceased. But she still has a big presence in her daughter’s life—some may say too big! With heartfelt letters, Elizabeth guides her daughter, Brett, on a journey to complete the life list of wishes Brett made when she was just a teen. Like many mothers, Elizabeth has an uncanny ability to see into her daughter’s heart, exposing buried desires Brett has long forgotten.
Andrea Lochen is a University of Michigan MFA graduate. Her first novel, The Repeat Year (Berkley, 2013), won a Hopwood Award for the Novel prior to its publication. She has served as fiction editor of The Madison Review and taught writing at the University of Michigan. She currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, where she was recently awarded UW Colleges Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her second novel, Imaginary Things (Astor + Blue Editions, 2015) is recently released and has garnered wonderful praise. With features on Barnes & Noble.com, Huffington Post, and Brit + Co., her work is being introduced to thousands of new readers. Andrea currently lives in Madison with her husband and daughter and is at work on her third novel. For more information visit www.andrealochen.com.
Book Links for Imaginary Things:
Joseph Marshall III is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux) tribe. Born and raised on the Rosebud Sioux reservation, he is the author of several books about Lakota people. Last year, I read his The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History. I highly recommend it. In 2011, Marshall's book was selected for the One Book South Dakota project. Over 2400 Native high school students in South Dakota were given a copy of it. How cool is that? (Answer: very cool, indeed!)
Yesterday, I finished his In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse.
First thing I'll say? Get it. Order it now. It won't hit the bookstores till later this year, but pre-order it for your own kids and your library. Like The Journey of Crazy Horse
, it provides insights and stories that you don't get from academic historians.
To my knowledge, there is nothing like it for kids. Some of the reasons I'm keen on it?
First, it is set in the present day on the Rosebud Sioux
reservation. Regular readers of AICL know that I think it is vitally important that kids read books about Native people, set in the present day. Such books provide Native kids with characters that reflect our existence as people of the present day, and they help non-Native kids know that--contrary to what they may think--we weren't "all killed off" by each other, by White people, or by disease, either.
Second, the protagonist, Jimmy McClean, is an eleven-year old Lakota boy with blue eyes and light brown hair. Blue eyes? Light brown hair?! Yes. His dad's dad was White. Those blue eyes and light brown hair mean he gets teased by Lakota kids and White ones, too.
Third, it is a road trip book! I love road trips. Don't you? In this one, his grandfather (his mom's dad) takes him, more or less, in the footsteps of Crazy Horse. Along the way, he learns a lot about Crazy Horse, who--like Jimmy--had light brown hair. When his grandfather is in storytelling mode, giving him information about Crazy Horse, the text is in italics.
Fourth, Jimmy's mom is a Head Start teacher! That is way cool. My little brother and my little sister went to Head Start! When I was in high school, I'd cut school and volunteer at the Head Start whenever I could. But you know what? I can't think of a single book I've read in which one of the characters is a head start teacher, but for goodness sake! Head Start is a big deal! It is reality for millions of people. We should have books with moms or dads who work at Head Start!
Fifth, Jimmy's grandfather imparts a lot of historical information as they drive. At one point, Grandpa Nyles asks him if he's heard of the Oregon Trail. Jimmy says yes, and his grandpa says (p. 29):
"Before it was called the Oregon Trail, it was known by the Lakota and other tribes as Shell River Road. And before that, it was a trail used by animals, like buffalo. It's an old, old trail."
I love that information! It tells readers that Native peoples were here first, and we had names for this and that place.
Sixth, they visit a monument. His grandpa tells him that the Lakota people call it the Battle of the Hundred in the Hands, and that others call it the Fetterman Battle or the Fetterman Massacre. They read the inscription on the monument. See the last line? It reads "There were no survivors." That is not true, his grandpa tells him. Hundreds of Lakota and Northern Cheyenne survived that battle. It is a valuable lesson, for all of us, about perspective, words, who puts them on monuments, why those particular ones are chosen, etc.
Last reason I'll share for now is that Marshall doesn't soft pedal wartime atrocities. Through his grandfather, Jimmy learns about mutilations done by soldiers, and by Lakota people, too. It isn't done in a gratuitous way. It is honest and straightforward, and, his grandfather says "it's a bad thing no matter who does it."
The history learned by reading In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
and the growth Jimmy experiences as he spends time on that road trip with his grandfather make it invaluable.In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
, with illustrations by Jim Yellowhawk, is coming out in November from Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams). Pitched at elementary/middle grade readers, I highly recommend it.
There’s a new library in Nova Scotia. Central Library in Halifax opened mid-December with great fanfare. Thousands of people turned out for opening day. Thousands! Now, Halifax is about a 2-hour drive from our small, rural community, but it is still exciting to me that we have this library. It is simply amazing.
photo by A. Reynolds
I get pretty excited about a new library anywhere. We have a couple in the works in our region, and we plan to take a page from the Central Library book and create spaces that draw people in. The thing that I love about the new library in Halifax is that though it is not near us, we are still benefiting from the buzz. Libraries are on people’s minds.
Photo by A. Reynolds
The building is just amazing. Honestly I feel like I am in Disneyland for Librarians when I go there. And I am not alone—I’ve had parents tell me that they’ve taken their kids to the city for a museum trip, and the kids kept asking “When are we going to the library?” It is that cool. With a giant Lite-Brite wall, a play area that is downright fabulous, a LEGO table, iPads galore, and a space that makes you feel right at home, why wouldn’t they want to go there? There’s even a gaming area and a lovely built-in puppet theatre.
The Teen area is a big WOW as well. There’s a recording studio, a craft/maker room, tons of great programs, another gaming area, really comfy seating, and staircases that remind me of Hogwarts (though these don’t actually move). And the colors! So bright and happy. Go there on a weekend and you won’t find a spot to sit. After school the place just buzzes.
Photo by A. Reynolds
Photo by A. Reynolds
Photo by A. Reynolds
So what can a rural library take from this? Central Library is a million miles away from anything we will ever have in our region as far as size goes. But we can listen to our patrons, and if they ask for something, we should try to do it. We can make our library comfortable, with ample plugs for devices and spaces where people can work on whatever they need to work on. We can allow covered drinks and food. We can make the space bright, modern, clean, and welcoming. We can add local art. We can make play spaces and quiet spaces.
I want our libraries to be the place that kids and teens choose to visit. I think we need to figure out how that happens, without building a 5-story gem. The building is part of it, but the feeling is the real draw. We can all learn from other libraries, and continually ask our communities how we can better serve them.
The post Disneyland for Librarians appeared first on ALSC Blog.
Syfy plans to create a dramatic TV series based on Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy. No air date has been announced yet.
Here’s more from Deadline.com: “Based upon Grossman’s books— the first of which was published in 2009 — The Magicians stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year) as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his twentysomething friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real — and poses a grave danger to humanity.”
Other members of the cast include Stella Maeve, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta, and Summer Bishil. The first season will consist of 12 episodes. (via The Hollywood Reporter)
Author Celeste Nghe will kick off the #TwitterFiction Festival next week as she tells a love story from a note that she found hidden in the Cambridge Public Library.
The online writing marathon will begin on Monday, May 11 at 9 a.m. The festival will feature the works of 24 #TwitterFiction Festival contest winners from seven countries and sixteen states. The five-day event will include participation from authors including: Margaret Atwood, Jackie Collins, and Lemony Snicket.
Stories will range from a thriller starring a CIA agent on the hunt for a terrorist told from multiple Twitter handles to love poetry from one Star Wars character to another in iambic pentameter. The event will also include an in-person event in New York City on May 13 in which writers and artists will live tweet stories in front of a live audience.
Platform: iOS and Android
When stories about Kong, a social media app devoted to selfie GIFs, started popping up in my news feed, I had some questions. Mostly of the "why?" and "really?" variety. I couldn't see how a network of moving selfies could possibly be interesting or worthwhile. But I'm here to tell you I was wrong. This thing is super fun.
Set up an account and you're introduced to the app through your home page, which starts as a grid of brightly colored boxes that are empty except for the top left square -- a live feed from your front-facing camera (the only camera Kong allows you to use at this time.) The other boxes will eventually fill up with the feeds of friends you add through your phone's contact lists or by following other users.
When you click the search box at the top of the screen, you're taken to the channels page, where you can search by hashtag for channels of interest or click on the featured channels listed below, such as #coffee, #highfive, #doubletake, or whichever channel is feeling the love at the moment.
Once you find a channel that you like, swipe left or right on your live feed (still at the top left of the screen) to access filters and special effects, or double tap your feed to add words, then shoot a short video of yourself by pressing and holding the shutter button at the bottom of the screen. Tapping the arrow button adds your GIF to the channel and opens a box of saving and sharing options, of which there are plenty. The result is a collection of GIFs on a single topic, with a fun, Brady-Bunch-Opening-Credits sort of feel.
Kong's appeal is due in large part to some smart choices made by the developers, including the decision to allow only one GIF per person, per channel -- if you post another GIF to the same channel, your original post disappears. This keeps the channels fresh and free of spammers. They also made it easy to create your own channels, both public and private, by simply creating a hashtag no one else is using.
It may seem like a selfie social media app wouldn't necessarily lend itself to Library programs or services, but 15 minutes after introducing it to my Teen Advisory Board they were already devising ways to incorporate it into our After-Hours Party scavenger hunt and brainstorming ways we could use it with our book club. Thus definitively answering my initial, knee-jerk questions of "why?" (Because it's quick, original, fun, and surprisingly useful) and "really?" (YES!)
Submitted by Maria Taylor for the Illustration Friday topic WIGGLE.
In December of 2014, I made a list of books that I'd recommended in 2014. It was a list of books that were published in that year.
This year I'm starting the Best Books of 2015 list today (May 6) and will update it as the year progresses. If you're looking over the list and want me to consider a book, do let me know!
BOOKS BY NATIVE WRITERS
Comics and Graphic Novels:
- The Blue Raven written by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by Steven Keewatin Sanderson, published by Pearson.
For Middle Grades:
For High School:
- Feral Pride written by Cynthia Leitich Smith, published by HarperCollins.
Comics and Graphic Novels:
For Middle Grades:
For High School:
- Shadowshaper written by Daniel Jose Older, published in 2015 by Arthur A. Levine (imprint of Scholastic).
Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for ENDURE by Sara B. Larson, releasing January 5, 2016 from Scholastic. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Sara:
Hi YABCers!! I am so thrilled to be here today to share with you the cover and title for the third and final book in the DEFY series. I have been so incredibly fortunate with this series to have truly spectacular covers. I had no clue how they were going to top the previous two books, but somehow they did it! When I first saw this cover, I was actually in the backseat of a car being driven through a jungle. How appropriate is that?? My editor had emailed it to me, and it managed to come through on my phone after a day of hiking and exploring in the Puerto Rican jungles, where I was basically pretending I was Alexa. And when I saw this cover, it took my breath away. It's beautiful, it's symbolic, it's powerful. I love it and I'm SO excited to finally get to share it (and the title!) with everyone!
~ Sara B. Larson (ENDURE, Scholastic)
Ready to see?
Scroll, YABCers! Scroll!
Here it is!
*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Sara's giveaway. Thank you! ***
by Sara B. Larson
Release date: January 5, 2016
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-545-64490-7
E-book ISBN: 978-0-545-64492-1
Apple E-book ISBN: 978-0-545-75476-7
About the Book
(SPOILER ALERT for both DEFY and IGNITE)
At last, Alexa and King Damian are engaged to be married. But their lives are far from safe. The kingdom of Antion is under siege, and Rylan is a prisoner of the enemy. Even worse, Alexa remains at the mercy of the evil Dansiian Rafe, who controls her mind and can force Alexa to kill or harm Damian at any moment. Despite this, Alexa is determined to rescue Rylan, which soon leads her far from Damian and deep into enemy territory.
When she arrives, what awaits her is deadlier than anything she could have ever imagined: an army of black sorcerers, and a horrifying plot to destroy the world as Alexa knows it. Will she be able to gather the strength to free herself, protect the love of her life, and save the land? Will there ever be true peace?
Acclaimed author Sara B. Larson has woven a stunning, romantic, and evocative finale to the Defy trilogy, that is sure to leave readers breathless until the very last page.
To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
About the Author
Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy novel DEFY, and its sequel IGNITE. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day (while mourning the demise of naptime) and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction. Or you can find her online at www.SaraBLarson.com.
Twitter | Web | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | YouTube | Pre-order Amazon
Three winners will each receive an ARC of ENDURE (when available).
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.
During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:
What do you think about the cover and synopsis?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
“Gathering Prey” by John Sandford has debuted on the iBooks bestsellers list this week at No. 3.
Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending May 4, 2015. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins remained at No. 1 and “Memory Man” by David Baldacci rose to the No. 3 slot.
We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump.
iBooks US Bestseller List – Paid Books 5/4/15
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
by David Baldacci – 9781455586387 – (Grand Central Publishing)
by John Sandford – 9780698152519 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
by Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Kevin Sullivan & Mary Jordan – 9780698178953 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr – 9781476746609 – (Scribner)
by John Green – 9781101010938 – (Penguin Young Readers Group)
by Nora Roberts – 9780698161351 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
Thirty-Four and a Half Predicaments
by Denise Grover Swank – 9781939996268 – (DGS)
by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press)
Victorious (Quantum Book #3)
by M.S. Force – 9781942295105 – (HTJB, Inc.)
The Longest Ride
by Nicholas Sparks – 9781455520664 – (Grand Central Publishing)
by Lee Child – 9781440638930 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
by Harlan Coben – 9780698186200 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
Virtuous (Quantum Book #1)
by M.S. Force – 9781942295082 – (HTJB, Inc.)
Fifty Shades Darker
by E L James – 9781612130590 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
Take Me With You
by K.A. Linde – 9780996053020 – (K.A. Linde Inc.)
NYPD Red 3
by James Patterson & Marshall Karp – 9780316284561 – (Little, Brown and Company)
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles – 9780062311146 – (William Morrow)
The Gods of Guilt
by Michael Connelly – 9780316069502 – (Little, Brown and Company)
by Diana Gabaldon – 9780440335160 – (Random House Publishing Group)
Step One: Find a story. (A good one.)
Step Two: Find a reading buddy. (Someone nice.)
Step Three: Find a reading spot. (Couches are cozy.)
Now: Begin.Storytellers Kate Messner and Mark Siegel chronicle the process of becoming a reader: from pulling a book off the shelf and finding someone with whom to share a story, to reading aloud, predicting what will happen, and--finally--coming to The End. This picture book playfully and movingly illustrates the idea that the reader who discovers the love of reading finds, at the end, the beginning. Ask for HOW TO READ A STORY from your library, or get your own copy at your local independent bookstore, or Oblong, or Bookstore Plus, or anywhere fine books are sold!
The Fault in Our Stars author John Green delivered a speech at YouTube’s Brandcast conference.
The video embedded above features Green talking about the impact that YouTube has had on his careers as a writer and a video content creator. He encourages advertisers to devote less of their focus on attracting eyeballs.
Green has posted the piece in its entirety on The Huffington Post. Here’s an excerpt: “I can say ‘Our videos have been viewed more than a billion times’ and it sounds impressive, but it’s not actually an important number to me. I don’t care how many people watch or read something I make. I care how many people love what I make.” (via TechCrunch.com)
Happy Children’s Book Week! Since 1919, this national literacy initiative, the longest-running in our history and co-anchored by the Children’s Book Counciland Every Child A Reader, has celebrated books for young people and the joy of reading. Visit the website to learn the bounty of events and activities that commemorate this once-a-year week and to read more about this year’s poster creator, Grace Lee. Book Week’s goal? To make sure every child is a reader! But today is Wednesday, yes? – which means it’s time for a TeachingAuthors Wednesday Writing Workout, one that will give every child, both current and former, the opportunity to write.
Don’t forget to enter our Book Giveaway to win a copy of Stefanie Lyons’ YA novel in verse DATING DOWN (Flux). The deadline to enter is midnight May 15.
. . . . . . . .
Let’s tweak the Children’s Book Week goal a tad to read…. make sure every child – current and former (!) – is a reader who writes!
Click HERE to download these children’s book week story starters and create your own ending! What I Did begun by National Ambassador Katherine Paterson (New!) BLAM! begun by Mo Willems (2009 Children's Choice Book Award winner) (New!) The Night Visitor begun by Dinah Williams (2009 Children's Choice Book Award winner) (New!) And Then... begun by National Ambassador Emeritus Jon Scieszka
"No, seriously, this is the LAST post-apocalyptic dystopian book I'm going to review." I say that frequently, don't I? And yet, I keep finding stories that, for me, at least, add to the sub-genre. Few are the novels which move past the end-of-days... Read the rest of this post
I can't believe that it's less than a week before the RT Convention! What is RT, you ask? It's a HUGE book fair with workshops, parties, and book signings. This year, it's in Dallas, TX, and--the best part--there's an enormous Teen Day program.
Want a sneak peek?
11-2pm Giant Book Fair and Author Signing (I'll be in Row 1 with swag--Come find me! : ) )
2-3pm Fierce Reads Pizza Party, including many/most of the authors who will be at Teen Day as well as the Fierce Reads authors. (I'll be there)
3-4:15pm Author Speed Reading (I'll be there)
3-4:15pm Strong Heroines: Writing Fictional Girls Who Can Save Themselves
3-4:15 YA Family Feud: Test your knowledge of YA books!
4:30 - 5:45 Humble Beginnings: YA Authors Share Their Teen Writing
4:30 - 5:45 The Match Game: Authors and Readers Team Up to Answer Lit Questions
4:30 - 5:45 Writing Tips & Techniques
6-7:45 Teen Day Party -- Come hang out with the authors!
What authors will you find?
And if that's not enough, there's TONS more going on all week.Want to know what I'm looking forward to?
Readers. Readers are why I write, and when I get a chance to hear what readers thought while reading Compulsion,
that's an amazing, humbling, gratifying, and uplifting experience for me. I also love connecting with authors (okay, fangirling over them in deeply embarrassing ways) whose work I love. And finally, I allow myself one weeklong craft workshop to focus on improving my writing per year. This is it, so I'm looking forward to attending the workshops, learning, going back to my room and applying what I learned, and hopefully getting stronger as a writer.
Want to know what other authors are looking forward to?
"I love Teen Day. It's a whirlwind of a day, where we get to meet readers in a more casual atmosphere, and this year we're playing games too (I'm play Family Feud!). So basically, I'm super excited about pretty much everything!!:
"Great clothes, great costumes, amazing writers and wonderful fans!
That's what I found last year, at least, and I'm REALLY yearning for another dose!"
I got a bonus sneak peak for you, too--something you might hear Marie Rutkoski say in one of her session:
"I'm looking forward to Maggie Stiefvater's last book in the Raven Cycle series (The Raven King), Lindsay Smith's Dreamstrider, Mary Pearson's The Heart of Betrayal, and Becky Albertalli's Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda."
~ Marie Rutkoski
"I'm looking forward to meeting readers (always!), and seeing old authors pal (it's been too long!). Oh, and maybe indulging in some giggle-inducing, memory-making, 'I shouldn't have done that' parties with fellow book junkies. I love RT!"
"I'm looking forward to the Teen Day party - nothing like free books and teen fans! Oh, my horror panel on on Thursday!"
"I'm looking forward most to the networking: hanging out with other authors, industry professionals, and, most of all, READERS! Bring on the Twitter-worthy shenanigans!"
"I'm most excited about the panels! I love learning about craft and industry--hearing what work for other people, or how they cope with similar problems I face. Or just listening to writers talk about writings--that's PURE BLISS to me!!"
And now for the GIVEAWAY!
How about a mystery box of FIVE books from RT Teen Day authors? (Mix of signed and unsigned)
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for CynsationsDanica Davidson
is the first-time author of Escape from the Overworld
(Skyhorse, 2015). From the promotional copy:Eleven-year-old Stevie, who comes from a long line of Steves, doesn't feel as if he fits in the Minecraft world. His father is great at building and fighting off zombies, but Stevie struggles in these areas. One day, when Stevie is alone in the field trying to build something new that will impress his dad, he discovers a portal into a new world.
Stevie steps out of a computer screen and into the room of eleven-year-old Maison, a sixth-grade girl who loves to build and create, but who is bullied and made an outcast by her classmates for not indulging in activities deemed "cool." Stevie is shocked by how different this world is, and Maison takes him under her wing and teaches him all about her world. The two become friends, and Maison brings Stevie to school with her.
Stevie is horrified to see there are zombies in the school He realizes that when he opened the portal, this allowed zombies to also enter the new world. More and more creatures are slipping out by the second, wreaking havoc on a world that has no idea how to handle zombies, creepers, giant spiders, and the like. Stevie and Maison must put their heads together and use their combined talents in order to push the zombies back into Minecraft, where they belong. As Stevie and Maison's worlds become more combined, their adventure becomes even more frightening than they could have imagined.When and where do you write? Why does that time and space work for you?
I’ve always loved writing — I still have stories I dictated to my parents when I was three, or little notebooks I wrote in when I was so small I had to follow my mom around and ask her how to spell each word.
This continued on throughout the years, with me starting to write multiple novels in middle school. I like to write in a private area, usually with music playing. The music varies depending on the type of scene or book I’m writing.
For my book Escape from the Overworld, I got the contract before I’d written the book and the publisher wanted a quick turnaround of about six weeks.
There was definitely a moment of, “Six weeks – what have I gotten myself into?” But then I made myself plan.
Working as a journalist has taught me that you sit down and you write your project; if breaking news is happening, your editor is not going to care if the Muse isn’t inspiring you that day.
I’d turned in a synopsis for the book, which is what led to the contract, so I spent the next week figuring out in my head the details of the scenes. The main characters are eleven, so I reread some writings I did at eleven to help me get back in the voice. The week after that, I made myself write at least 2,000 words at day on the manuscript before taking any breaks. I wrote more on the weekend or if the words were flowing extra well that day.
In one week, I had my rough draft of about 20,000 words. I gave it to some friends to help me edit (warning them it was called a rough draft for a reason), and waited till I got their edits back before I returned to the manuscript. Once I got their thoughts, I started my revisions and I made my deadline.
There were a number of things that were important to me while writing. I know some people might be quick to dismiss it as, “Oh, it’s just a Minecraft book,” but I wanted it to be more than that.
Since I notice a lot of Minecraft books (or even just adventure books in general) are male-dominated, I made sure my protagonists are male and female and on equal footing. I take on issues like bullying and the fears of going to a new school. I made the shop class teacher female, because I know many people would unconsciously picture a shop class teacher as being male. Both the main characters are from single-parent households, since I wanted to show that’s normal for many kids and nothing to be ashamed of.
As a result of my bullying and girl-power angles, the book has been included in an anti-bullying, girl-empowerment program called Saving Our Cinderellas
that aims to inspire young girls of color in cities around the country. I want the book to be fun — I end almost every chapter with a cliffhanger for a reason — but I also hope it can inspire young readers and touch them emotionally as well. It's my goal to write all different types of books for all different ages.
As someone with a full-time day job, how do you manage to also carve out time to write and build a publishing career? What advice do you have for other writers trying to do the same?
This is kind of a trick question for me, because writing is my full-time day job, but it’s journalism.
Hear me out.
My fantasy was to publish novels and become a professional writer that way, but as many writers know, that’s easier said than done. When I was in high school, I had to start earning my own money because of financial and family issues. Like many a naive young writer, I submitted stories to "The New Yorker"
and other such prestigious places. And like many a naive young writer, I have some fabulous rejection letters from the "The New Yorker" and other such prestigious places.
I realized that wasn’t going to work, so I started out smaller, writing for local newspapers. Once you’ve published things professionally, other places will take you more seriously. I would take samples of my published work and send them to bigger and bigger places.
My interest in anime and manga had me writing about the subject for local papers, and then I used that to get me in Anime Insider
, which led to Booklist
, Publishers Weekly
, The Onion
, Los Angeles Times
and other places. (I know this sounds really quick, but I can tell you it actually took years, and I got many rejections in the meantime.)
I even found opportunities to write the English adaptation of Japanese graphic novels for the publishing company Digital Manga Publishing
At first I was working other part-time jobs to supplement my income, but within a few years I became a full-time writer. Every single day I wrote articles and sent out more submissions.
I began to be known as an expert on manga and graphic novels, and this led me to writing for MTV, which at the time had me reporting on superhero comics being made into movies. I love writing for MTV News
, and now I cover social justice issues for them, which means I write about things like philanthropy, activism and advocacy with causes that matter to young people. I was part of a small group of MTV writers to receive a Webby Honor for Best Youth Writing.
All of this helped me hone my craft, get my name out there, and pay the bills.
When I got my agent not long ago, he was very impressed to see a twenty-something who’d sold more than a couple thousand articles to big-name places.
Then while he was shopping around a YA series of mine, Skyhorse Publishing approached me, wanting a manga art guide. Of course I was thrilled and grateful! Next they asked me if I could write some sort of Minecraft book, which led me to pitch Escape from the Overworld. The manga book will be out soon, and I just finished my rough draft for my sequel to Escape from the Overworld, which has the planned title Attack on the Overworld.
I still haven’t been in "The New Yorker," but that’s okay.
You all are in for a real treat today! Not only do we have an incredibly original upcoming book to highlight -- 5 To 1, a half-verse dystopian set in futuristic India -- but I dare you to read this post by the author Holly Bodger without laughing like crazy. I sure did.
Holly is also one of our newest mentors for First Five Pages Workshop, so you'll be seeing her a lot around here. Please make her welcome!
The Rules of Author Club: a WOW-Wednesday Post by Holly Bodger
The first rule in being an author is YOU DO NOT READ YOUR REVIEWS
The second rule of being an author is YOU DO NOT READ YOUR REVIEWS
Did you get that? Perhaps I should say it again. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, READ ANY REVIEWS OF YOUR BOOK NO MATTER HOW TEMPTED YOU ARE
! No, it is not okay if you only read part of the review. No, it is not okay if you get your mom or your dog to read it. Seriously, the moment you get published, you need to forget that Goodreads and Amazon and Twitter and YouTube and pretty much the whole internet exists. Got it?
Okay, now that we have that clear, I’m going to answer the following question from the audience:
Do I read my reviews?
Of course I read my reviews! I just wrote a half-verse, near futuristic dystopian book set in a former part of India. Do I look like the kind of person who follows rules???
Seriously, I really really really
try not to read my reviews. In fact, every morning, I follow these precise steps in order to ensure I don’t:
- Get out of bed. Have shower. Turn on laptop. Open Twitter. Check notifications. If there is a review link, click on it.
- Scan review. Close browser and promise self not to read any more reviews.
- Turn on kettle. Remove tea bags from pantry. Return to Twitter. Search for name mentions without @. Click on link to review.
- Scan to bottom to see if rating is scary. If not, read review. If so, read anyway.
- Close browser. Close Twitter. Pour water in mug.
- Open Goodreads. Check overall rating. Attempt to ascertain how number could have gone down by .01. DO NOT LOOK AT LATEST REVIEWS IN ORDER TO FIND OUT. READING REVIEWS ON GOODREADS IS ABOUT AS SMART AS CLOSING YOUR HAND IN A CAR DOOR. EVEN I KNOW THAT!
- Add honey to tea. Go to Google. Search for book name. Scan for new reviews. Click on link.
- Scan page for nice words in bold. If found, read review. Spend 5-7 minutes Googling name of reviewer. Considering nominating said reviewer for Nobel Peace Prize. Remember that Nobel committee blocked you after first 12 nominations. Close browser again.
- Remove tea bag from tea. Add milk. Text writing partner quotes from bad reviews. Be sure to add at least 4 exclamation marks.
- Eat cookie while waiting for response.
- Read return text from writing partner. Count number of exclamation marks after “YOU PROMISED NOT TO READ YOUR REVIEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (17, in case you’re wondering.)
- Promise writing partner that you will never ever ever read reviews again. Well, not today, at least.
- Eat another cookie. Or three.
In all seriousness, the reason you are not supposed to read reviews is because they might hurt and hurt will not help you move forward as a writer. For some people, hurt is debilitating. Hurt makes them think they are a bad writer and should not bother to ever write again. Hurt makes them want to lock themselves in their closet with a soup spoon and a container of Cherry Garcia.
The thing that people often forget about reviews is that they are a) personal, and b) personal. Just because one person does not like your book does not mean that another won’t love it. It does not mean you should stop writing. It does not mean that you are bound to never sell another book again. It simply means that you cannot please everyone. Also? You shouldn’t even try to.
So why do I find myself reading some of my reviews even though I know I should not? Well, in addition to the problem I have with rules, there’s also the fact that some of them say really nice things like BRILLIANT
and BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN
and WHY ISN’T THIS A MOVIE STARRING SOMEONE REALLY FAMOUS YET?
And this is exactly what I need to hear when I’m feeling like this:
(Not an exact replica of my head. Or my laptop.)
Of course, searching for my good reviews means I am going to come across the bad ones, too. These ones may put mean words in bold like NO ROMANCE
and MAKES NO SENSE
and WHAT A WASTE OF PAPER! I ACTUALLY THREW IT AGAINST A WALL!!!!!
(5 exclamation marks.)
But the real reason I read some of my reviews is because of the ones that offer constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is good. Constructive criticism helps writers improve their writing and I know I need to do that as much as anyone else. None of us are perfect and none of us are ever going to even approach perfection if we don’t continue to work harder and harder every single day.
And so, unless something changes, I am going to continue to pretend I don’t read my reviews. But only after I do this:
About the Book:
In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, Koyanagar–a country severed from India–now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, and women are an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of wedding their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife. But after fighting so hard for freedom against the old ways of gender selection, these women have become just as deluded as their male predecessors.
Sudasa Singh doesn’t want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy competing to be her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Kiran’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, each thwarts the other until they slowly realize that they might want the same thing.Amazon
About the Author:
A long-time resident of Ottawa, Canada, Holly has been working in publishing since she graduated with an English degree from the University of Ottawa. 5 TO 1
is Holly’s debut novel.Website
-- posted by Susan Sipal, @HP4Writers
Blog: The Open Book
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Sunday Shopping, our new spring title released this month, is a whimsical and fun-filled story of a young girl and her grandmother who use their big imaginations to go “shopping” through the Sunday paper. We asked illustrator Shadra Strickland to take us behind the scenes for creating the art work used in Sunday Shopping.
Making the Art for Sunday Shopping
Making the art for Sunday Shopping was almost like making two different books. The two art styles were distinctly different. The illustrations of Evie and grandma in bed were painted in watercolor, much like the paintings I made for Bird. The second set of images were made with a combination of line drawings, acrylic paintings, and assembled digitally.
The most challenging part of making the art for Sunday Shopping, was making sure that all of Evie and grandma’s “bought” items were consistent in all of the small paintings. I had to draw the same small bits of paper in every scene as the wall of items grew and grew.
Once the watercolors were done, I drew all of the Evie, grandma, and cat characters on pieces of Bristol board. They were all painted in the same week to make sure that the clothes and skin tones were consistent. Even then, some colors had to be adjusted after I scanned them into the computer.
Once the characters were all done, I made drawings of the imaginary world with a wax pencil (also known as a China Marker). I drew on sheets of smooth plastic like drawing vellum. Those drawings were then scanned into the computer.
Next, I painted different pieces of newspaper in different colors based on all of the elements I needed in the book. Some colors were adjusted digitally, but not many. Most of the paper was used as it was painted.
After everything was scanned in, I began to “cut” shapes out in photoshop and compose them within the line drawings.
The last step was digital retouching. I had to go back into a few faces and digitally paint over some faces to make sure that skin tone was consistent throughout.
My wonderful editor checked all of the art for consistency, and after a few passes back and forth, we made sure all of the elements were lined up throughout.
Once all of the art was assembled, I worked closely with our designer to discuss page color and type design for the book. My favorite thing about making books with Lee and Low is how truly collaborative the process is!
You can learn more about Shadra Strickland and her creative process on her website.
Martin Freeman has joined the cast for Captain America: Civil War.
Freeman (pictured, via) has become well-known for his work in two book based adaptations: The Hobbit film trilogy and the Sherlock TV series. Marvel Entertainment has not revealed the role that Freeman will be taking on for this movie.
Anthony and Joe Russo, two brothers and the directors behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will return to helm this project. Captain America: Civil War is set to hit theaters on May 06, 2016. (via Deadline.com)
Tor Books has partnered digital app BitLit to allow print book owners to download free eBooks of titles in their library.
To do so, book owners must download the BitLit app and use it to take a “shelfie” of their print books. The app will then search the digital library for the titles in the photo and alert the user as to which titles are available through the program. If the title is available, then the app will prompt the user to take a photo of their name on the copyright page of the book, in order to claim the free eBook.
The book owner can download the free eBook free of charge to their device.
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Do you love books like Harry Potter, Wings of Fire, and The Spiderwick Chronicles? Then we think you will love this brand-new series Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures (for ages 8 and up)!
Meet Pip and her world full of magical creatures and whimsical adventures! Click to read an excerpt, watch the trailer, and take the quiz to see which magical creature matches your personality!
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Looking for a book review from 1950? It’ll be pretty easy to find pretty soon. Publishers Weekly, which reviews about 9,000 titles a year, is making its entire archive available to read digitally.
The trade publication has teamed up with NA Publishing who will digitize the magazine’s entire archives, which consists 750,000 pages. The publication has already published about 200,000 reviews digitally, but there are about 100,000 more book reviews in the archives that will be available digitally soon.
“The complete digitization of the Publishers Weekly archives has been a goal since our acquisition of this extraordinary resource; for the sake of posterity and of history it must be saved,” stated George W. Slowik, Jr., president and CEO of PWxyz LLC. “It will provide an historical record of the advancement of the industry, with news, features, sales figures, trends and so much more. As well, the inclusion of PW’s renowned book reviews, which began in the 1940s, serves literary historians and lovers of literature alike.”