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1. Minions Would You Rather

MinionsMinion Mayhem! Minions Would You Rather . . . 

We know you guys are big fans of the Despicable Me movies, and as you might know, the unofficial prequel Minions movie is hitting theaters July 10th! In the movie, we follow the minions in search of the perfect supervillain to work for before they met Gru. They try out Dracula, Napoleon, and the new character Scarlet Overkill.

Minions Operation GameAnd, this month only, if you subscribe to the STACKS Blast Newsletter you can enter for a chance to win a free Minions Prize Pack including the Minions Operation game and a Minions lunchbox! Subscribe here right now!

Now, get into the minion mindset, and let us know would you rather . . .

1. Be Stuart (one eyeball) OR Bob (small bald guy) OR Kevin (tall skinny guy)?

2. Be Dracula’s minion OR Gru’s minion?

3. Be able to understand “minion” OR speak 10 languages?

4. Be a supervillain OR superhero?

5. Battle The Incredible Hulk OR Darth Vader?

6. HAVE a sidekick OR BE a sidekick?

7. Eat bananas for a week OR watermelon for a week?

8. Have a dragon breathe fire on you OR a sumo wrestler sit on you?

Leave your answers in the Comments below, and let us know if you’re psyched for the movie!

-Ratha, Stacks Writer

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2. Lee & Low Books named Indie Publisher of the Year 2014

We’re just back from the ALA Annual Conference, and kicking off the long weekend with some happy news: Lee & Low Books was named Indie Publisher of the Year 2014 by Foreword Reviews! Lee & Low Books Foreword Reviews We are so thrilled, overjoyed, and humbled by this honor. Here’s what Foreword Reviews said about us at the Award Announcement:

Foreword presented Lee & Low Books with its Publisher of the Year award for the minority-owned company’s commitment to diverse voices in children’s literature. Lack of diversity in children’s literature has been a recent topic of discussion in the publishing world, but Lee & Low has focused on filling this void for a couple of decades. “For more than 20 years, Jason Low and his talented team have continued an honorable mission of increasing the number of diverse books available for children,” said Foreword Reviews Publisher Victoria Sutherland. “They are being honored by Foreword for more than books, however. We admire their leadership role in the indie publishing community.”

Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support. We are lucky to have such passionate fans, partners, and readers. Happy Fourth of July weekend, and we’ll see you next week!

0 Comments on Lee & Low Books named Indie Publisher of the Year 2014 as of 7/2/2015 2:52:00 PM
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3. An Intern’s Experience

blog picGoing into this summer, I did not have much of an idea of what I wanted to do with my life. As a rising senior English major at Washington & Lee University, I knew I had options, but having too many options gives me a headache, so I tended to push them all to the side and ignore the looming presence of adulthood. After a month of interning here at Arbordale Publishing, I am still at a loss as to what I want to do with my future, but now it’s not because I haven’t thought about it – it’s because I love everything I have been exposed to here!

I have always loved books. I could read my collection of Dr. Seuss books alone by the age of three, devoured the first Harry Potter book in kindergarten, and tried my hand at writing a few (now embarrassing) short stories throughout my elementary school years. Imagine my delight when I eventually discovered that there is a whole industry dedicated to reading, editing, and publishing new books! I started looking more deeply into the publishing industry during high school, and entered college knowing I wanted to be an English major. When I got the opportunity to intern at Arbordale Publishing this summer, I was excited to be one step closer to a job I have dreamed about for years.

Working with children’s books for the past month has been a fun summer activity, as well as a great introduction into the world of publishing. I have done everything from the typical reading submitted manuscripts and editing those that are accepted to the more creative designing activities in the books’ For Creative Minds sections and choosing photographs to go into a book currently in production. I have seen the schedule of a book’s journey from manuscript submission to eBook design to final printing, and learned of the hundreds of tiny steps that must happen in between to make for a successful story. More recently, I have witnessed all the work that goes into the publicity side of things, from getting stories reviewed to working with authors as they attend events to promote their book. Even with children’s books, the amount of work is no joke!

Thankfully, I have one more year to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up. Do I want to go into editing or publicity? Should I write on the side? What am I going to enjoy the most? I am grateful to be here at Arbordale Publishing this summer, where I can explore so many different options and decide which aspect of publishing fits me best. Working with children’s books has been a wonderful way to learn the basics of story editing, fact checking, and appealing to specific markets without being overwhelmed by lengthy novels or heavy facts. Will I eventually wander into the world of books for adults? Probably, but this internship is the ideal jumping-off point for that journey. Now I just have to figure out where it’s going to take me.

–Cara Scott, Intern


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4. Cover reveal for Christina Mandelski’s THE SWEETEST THING

We are so very excited for today’s cover reveal! THE SWEETEST THING by Christina Mandelski is a fantastic contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and cake, and it’s soon to be re-released on Amazon with this gorgeous new package and some yummy bonus materials.

TheSweetestThing Cover Shadow WEB

When it comes to cake, Sheridan Wells is a true artist. She’s happiest working in the back of her family’s bakery, dreaming of the day her mom will come home. But when her dad makes an announcement that threatens to change their lives, Sheridan launches a desperate plan to find her mother before it’s too late. Add to that a school art project that she can’t seem to start, a moody best friend and the fact that she may or may not have been asked out by the cutest boy in

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5. Least Favorite Good Character

Writing Prompt: Shout-outDebate: Your Least Favorite Good Character

There is a debate happening on the Harry Potter Message Board re: Who is your least favorite good guy? And TechnologyAthlete12 has some harsh words about Ron:

Ron. Yep I know a lot of you will be surprised but I just dislike Ron, as he is quite useless throughout the series other than the one time when he destroyed a horcrux. Other than that, all he does is take the female main character (Hermione Granger) as a wife and yeah. He really just slows things down, makes too much noise, and is too sensitive. I guess his family is okay as they help Harry quite a bit throughout the series, but Ron himself really does nothing. I guess he can be funny at times but that is the only positive thing that he does consistently throughout the series.

What do YOU think? Do you agree that Ron is useless? Who is YOUR least favorite good character? Tell us in the Comments!

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6. More Vacation Questions

Would you rather . . .Vacation Would You Rather

Today’s Would You Rather questions come from from IpodClub36.

You and your family are planning a trip, so would you rather . . .

  1. Go meet your favorite famous movie star OR go to China?
  2. Go to Paris OR go to Texas?
  3. Go to Greece OR go to Italy?
  4. Go hike up a mountain OR swim with dolphins?
  5. Go play at your friend’s house OR just play in your back yard?
  6. Go to an art place OR go to a music place?
  7. Go to Oz :lol: OR go to Hogwarts? :lol:

Hoped you liked them! Leave your answers in the Comments!

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7. Happy Pub Day to Jessixa Bagley’s BOATS FOR PAPA!

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I’m so thrilled to wish Jessixa Bagley a very happy pub day for her debut book, BOATS FOR PAPA. I met Jessixa at SCBWI NY in 2013; that was the first conference I attended with my agent hat on after nearly ten years on the other side of the desk at Simon & Schuster. Jessixa came to my session, politely introduced herself and struck up a conversation. She was a runner-up in the Illustrator Showcase and submitted a dummy called Drift to me after the conference. I opened it and was immediately drawn into the world of Buckley, a young beaver who creates increasingly intricate boats to send to his absent and much missed Papa. And she made me cry. Tears-streaming-down-my-face cry. I sold the book to the brilliant and wonderful Neal Porter. Neal, … [more]

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8. Heat Wave

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Below follows a brief excerpt from “Heat Wave,” Chicago magazine’s excellent, comprehensive oral history of the week of record-breaking temperatures in July 1995 that killed more than 700 people, became one of the nation’s worst disasters, and left a legacy of unanswered questions about how civic, social, and medical respondents were ill-equipped and unable to contend with trauma on such a scale.

***

Mark Cichon, emergency room physician at Chicago Osteopathic Hospital

I remember talking to friends at other hospitals who said, “Man, we’re in the middle of a crisis mode.” It was across the city. Our waiting room and the emergency departments were packed. We were going from one emergency to another, all bunched together, almost like a pit crew. The most severe cases were the patients with asthma who were so far into an attack we couldn’t resuscitate them. I remember a woman in her early 30s. The paramedics had already put a tube into her lungs. We were trying to turn her around, but there was nothing that could be done.

Eric Klinenberg, sociologist and author of the 2002 book Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (to the Chicago Tribune in July 2012)

[Fire officials] did not call in additional ambulances and paramedics, even though the wait times for people needing help were long.

Raymond Orozco, commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department (at an Illinois Senate hearing in late July 1995)

Nobody indicated that we needed more personnel or supplies. Our field supervisors told us, “We’re holding our own.” We needed something to trigger the mechanism. Nobody pulled the trigger.

***

Klinenberg, who offers a line of commentary in the piece, explored those days in depth in his classic work of sociology, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, a second edition of which just published this past May, including a new preface by Klinenberg that situates climate change at the center of untenable weather events in urban centers and pushes for changes in infrastructure, rather than post-disaster responses. You can read more about the book here.

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9. 10 Myths about Teaching STEM Books and How You Can Teach STEM in Your Classroom Now

STEM Friday + Lee & Low Books (1)Join Lee & Low Books and Anastasia Suen, Founder of the STEM Friday blog and award-winning children’s book author, for a dynamic discussion on how to teach STEM in your classroom starting this fall. Share My Lesson is hosting a Summer of Learning professional development series and Thursday, July 9 focuses on all things STEM.

With the right tools and support, we will show how educators can support all students to become successful in learning STEM content knowledge and conceptual understanding.

We will look at persistent myths about teaching STEM, explore the intersection of STEM and English Language Arts, and reexamine what makes a great STEM read aloud.

Sign up to learn how to discover the right STEM book and hands-on activities for your students’ interests and learning needs. We will cover strategies on inspiring and supporting underrepresented groups in STEM as well as how to differentiate for special populations.

In addition to learning about how Lee & Low titles can fit into your science and mathematics units and how to integrate STEM learning throughout your literacy block, teachers can earn an hour of professional development credit! The whole series is FREE and open to all.

At the end of the presentation, you will have strategies you can apply immediately to your classroom and resources for further exploration.

share my lesson 2Overview:

Title: Teach STEM Now

Date: Thursday, July 09, 2015

Time: 01:00PM Eastern Daylight Time

Duration: 1 hour

Cost: FREE

Register here!

Jill Eisenberg, our Senior Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. In her weekly column at The Open Book, she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

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10. Random Acts of Kindness Writing Prompt

Hi!Random Acts of Kindness

So far this has happened to my friend TWO times . . . She was in line at the drive-thru Starbucks, and the person in the car in front of her paid for her order! Isn’t that crazy? So by the time she got to the window to pay, it was already paid for!

Sometimes I wonder about these random acts of kindness. If we all did something at least once . . .  one time a day . . . could we change the world one small step at a time? Or at least make it a little happier?

I love this quote by the Chinese poet Lao Tzu: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

What do you guys think? There are at least a million ways to be kind! Let’s get a list going of acts of kindness that you can do anywhere to brighten someone’s day. Like . . .

  • including someone new into your conversation
  • giving away a few of your old toys you’ve outgrown to your neighbor’s baby
  • holding the door instead of barging ahead
  • saying “Hello” to someone in school you’ve never spoken to before

What else can you guys think of? We can’t wait to see your small acts of kindness. We’ll tally the count in the Comments below!

-Ratha, STACKS Writer

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11. The crisis in non-fiction publishing

Untitled

Bolder. More global. Risk-taking. The home of future stars.

Not a tagline for a well-placed index fund portfolio (thank G-d), but the crux of a piece by Sam Leith for the Guardian on the “crisis in non-fiction publishing”—ostensibly the result of copycat, smart-thinking, point-taking trade fodder that made Malcolm Gladwell not just a columnist, but a brand. As Leith asserts:

We have a flock of books arguing that the internet is either the answer to all our problems or the cause of them; we have scads of books telling us about the importance of mindfulness, or forgetfulness, or distraction, or stress. We have any number about what one recent press release called the “always topical” debate between science and religion. We have a whole subcategory that concern themselves with “what it means to be human.”

Enter the university presses. Though Leith acknowledges they’re still capable of producing academic jargon dressed-up in always already pantalettes, they are also home to deeper, more complex, and vital trade non-fiction that produces new scholarship and nuanced contributions to the world of ideas, while still targeting their offerings to the general reader. If big-house publishers produce brands, scholarly presses produce the sharp, intelligent, and individualized contributions that later (after, perhaps, some mutation and watering down by the conglomerates) establish their fields. Especially nice to see Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Cambridge, and UCP called out for their “high-calibre, serious non-fiction of the quality and variety.”

More from the Guardian article:

In natural history and popular science, alone, for instance: Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendell’s amazing book The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins or Brooke Borel’s history of the bedbug, Infested, or Caitlin O’Connell’s book on pachyderm behaviour, Elephant Don, or Christian Sardet’s gorgeous book Plankton? All are published by the University of Chicago. Beth Shapiro’s book on the science of de-extinction, How to Clone a Mammoth? Published by Princeton. In biography, Yale – who gave us Sue Prideaux’s award-winning life of Strindberg a couple of years back – have been quietly churning out the superb Jewish Lives series. Theirs is the new biography of Stalin applauded by one reviewer as “the pinnacle of scholarly knowledge on the subject”, and theirs the much-admired new life of Francis Barber, the freed slave named as Dr Johnson’s heir. Here are chewy, interesting subjects treated by writers of real authority but marketed in a popular way. The university presses are turning towards the public because with the big presses not taking these risks, the stuff’s there for the taking.

You can read more about the University of Chicago Press’s biological sciences list here. And the rest of our titles, organized by subject category, here. Follow the #ReadUP hashtag on Twitter for old and new books straddling the line between accessible scholarship and exciting nonfiction.

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12. Carol Kasper receives the 2015 AAUP Constituency Award

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Carol Kasper, our very own marketing director, was recently honored by the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) with their 2015 Constituency Award. The Constituency Award is unique, in that it involves an open-call nomination process from one’s peers, and focuses not only on individual achievement, but also on the spirit of cooperation and collaboration that marks the measure of integrity and success within the scholarly publishing community.

From the official press release:

The Constituency Award, established in 1991, honors an individual of a member press who has demonstrated active leadership and service, not only in service to the Association but to the scholarly publishing community as a whole. In addition to a term on the Association’s Board of Directors from 2009 to 2011, Kasper has been a member of numerous committees and panels throughout the years, including the Marketing Committee, the Bias-Free Language Task Force, and Midwest Presses Meeting Committees. . . . In addition to her formal service to the Association, and her leadership in the university press and international scholarly publishing worlds, Kasper has hosted numerous Whiting/AAUP Residents over the years. One of the nominating letters added: “Carol has dedicated all this time and energy to the AAUP in her typically quiet, unassuming fashion.”

From University of Chicago Press director Garrett Kiely’s remarks at the award ceremony:

What makes Carol special and what uniquely qualifies her for this award are the people that Carol has mentored, supported, and trained in her time here in Chicago,” says Garrett Kiely, Director of University of Chicago Press and presenter of the award. “To put it in scholarly journal terms, her ‘impact factor’ has been very high!”

And just to add:

Carol is a phenomenal teacher and mentor—the very best kind, in that the generosity she extends to her colleagues, the fierce integrity with which she makes things happen, the self-determination and cooperation she encourages, and the good humor she doles out all seem effortless, because they are so very much a part of her. Congrats, CK!

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13. Teen Beach 2 New Stars

Teen Beach 2Meet 3 of the new cast members from Teen Beach 2!

Teen Beach 2 is airing this Friday, people, at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel! Are you ready? The Wet Side Story gang will be traveling forward in time to Brady and Mack’s world. That means we will get to meet all their modern-day friends and schoolmates including 3 new characters: Alyssa (played by Piper Curda), Devon (played by Raymond Cham, Jr), and Spencer (played by Ross Butler).

TEEN BEACH 2 stars Piper Curda, raymond Cham Jr, and Ross Butler

Photo credit: Disney Channel/Bob D’Amico

Piper, Raymond, and Ross were visiting New York with the cast of Teen Beach 2, and they stopped over for a visit at Scholastic! Here is the whole cast celebrating in New York’s Central Park. Read on for more about my super-fun visit with Piper, Raymond, and Ross.

Teen Beach 2 Cast in New York

Photo credit: DISNEY CHANNEL/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua

They started off on a serious note recommending their favorite books in this video.

Then, things got very contentious when I asked them the Teen Beach 2 Would You Rather questions. Watch this video to see them argue it out!

So fun, right? It was really great to meet them, and I can’t wait to see Teen Beach 2 on Friday! Leave a Comment and tell us what you think!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

 

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14. Pride Month: Fifteen LGBTQ-Themed Books for Readers of Every Age

June is Pride Month!  Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots, which happened June 1969, and was a starting summer deals!point for the Gay Rights movement. The Stonewall Inn, where the riots took place, in New York City recently gained landmark status.

To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of fifteen books that celebrate different gender identities, sexual orientations, families, and ways to be!

Picture Books

Antonio’s Card by Rigoberto Gonzalez – Mother’s Day is coming up. Antonio searches for the right words to express his love for his mother, and Leslie, his mother’s partner.

Call Me Tree by Maya Christina Gonzalez – In this completely gender-neutral story, Maya Christina Gonzalez empowers readers to reach … and be as unique and free as trees.

I am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel – Based on the life of transgender activist Jazz Jennings. Jazz has known she was a girl since the age of two, even if everyone around her doesn’t know it yet.

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman – This classic is one of the first lesbian-themed picture books. Heather is being raised by her mother, Jane and her mother’s partner, Kate.

Middle Grade

George  by Alex Gino – Everyone thinks George is a boy, but George knows that she’s a girl. After her teacher announces that the class play is Charlotte’s Web, George hatches a plan with her best Kelly, so that everyone can know who she is once and for all.

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle – Nate has always wanted to be in a Broadway show. But how is he supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in a small town in Pennsylvania?

Wandering Son by Takako Shimura – Shuichi Nitori and Yoshino Takatsuki are two friends at the start of puberty sharing a big secret: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. First graphic novel in a series.

 

Young Adult

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin – Six transgender and gender-neutral teens share their stories.

Ash by Malinda Lo – In this retelling of Cinderella, Ash must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio– In this debut novel, Kristen, has a seemingly ideal life. She’s just been voted homecoming queen and is a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college. Everything unravels when Kristen and her boyfriend decide to take it to the next level, and Kristen finds out she’s intersex. Somehow her secret is leaked to the whole school.

Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez – Sanchez’s debut novel follows three boys, Jason Carrillo, Kyle Meeks, and Nelson Glassman, as they struggle with their sexualities and their friendships.

 

Books for Adults

Autobiography of My Hungers by Rigoberto Gonzalez – Rigoberto Gonzalez takes a look at his life through the lens of hunger.

Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima – Kochan is unlike other men; he is homosexual. In post-war Japanese society, Kochan must keep this fact hidden under a mask of propriety.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker – This book focuses on the lives of several poor African American women in rural Georgia.

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson – The rich and privileged have left Toronto for the suburbs. Now, the people with money need bodies, so they prey upon the helpless people on the street.

 

 

 

 

 

0 Comments on Pride Month: Fifteen LGBTQ-Themed Books for Readers of Every Age as of 6/25/2015 3:40:00 PM
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15. Gregg Sulkin Answers YOUR Questions

Gregg SulkinGregg Sulkin from the new DVD movie Frog Kingdom (rated PG) is here to answer YOUR questions!

Q: Can you describe your character in Frog Kingdom? Do you have anything in common with him?Frog Kingdom
Gregg: I play Inspector Noggin but the movie is about a self-contained world, which is actually just a pond where all the frogs live. It’s a monarchical society with a king and queen and a princess. Every year, they hold the frog Olympic Games and this year, the king has decided to give away his daughter in marriage to the winner of the games. So Princess Froglegs runs away. She disguises herself to compete in the games and win to prove “she don’t need no man.” LOL. Inspector Noggin is one of the king’s advisors and a bit of a know-it-all Sherlock Holmes type. The King sends him off to find the princess and bring her back.
I couldn’t really relate because I like to listen and learn from people who are more knowledgeable than myself, whereas my character definitely doesn’t.

Q: What is your favorite scene in the cartoon Frog Kingdom?
Gregg: Probably Princess Frogleg’s scene at the games.

Q: How did you decide that you wanted to be in the Frog Kingdom?
Gregg: Mychal Simka and I had worked together before and I liked the idea of the film. Mychal wanted me on board, so I was happy to join.

Q: What’s your favorite book and why?
Gregg: Wow. Tough question – I read so many scripts I don’t have time to read books as much as I would like!

Q: Is it fun acting in shows and movies?
Gregg: It’s the best. I’m very lucky and I am very aware of that.

Q: What was it like to be a werewolf in Wizards of Waverly Place?
Gregg: It was awesome. The channel treated me very well and gave me a great platform to build from. I’ve developed as an actor and thankfully my fan base has grown massively too.

Q: What is your favorite food?
Gregg: Chocolate or cookies. I have a sweet tooth.

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16. Michael Northrop Tombquest Q & A

Michael NorthropTombquest author Michael Northrop talks about his books!

Q: Are any of your characters based on real people?
Michael Northrop: 
None of the characters are based entirely on real people—and I don’t know anyone who’s been brought back from the dead!—but they all have some bits and pieces and traits and tics from real people. As a writer, pieces of yourself make their way into all of your characters. I like to think that I have some of Alex’s determination, and some of Ren’s serious work ethic.Tombquest by Michael Northrop

I’ve also visited many of the places mentioned in the books, so I was able to bring real history and a real sense of place into the books. As a New Yorker, I’ve spent many hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and in the subway system!) and I was also able to visit London and the British Museum, where Book 2 takes place. It did rain while I was there . . . just not blood rain.

Q: If you had to trade places with one of your characters for a day, who would it be?
Michael Northrop:
 That’s an easy one—I’d trade places with Alex and spend the day having a blast (of wind) with the scarab!

Q: In real life, would any of your characters be friends of yours? 
Michael Northrop: I like all of the main characters! Luke might be too cool for me, but if we found ourselves together we could definitely talk sports for an afternoon and probably catch a game. And Alex and Ren are a tight little BFF unit—they don’t necessarily need a third wheel following them around and trying to write down everything they say as research for the fourth book. So I’d probably end up hanging out with Todtman and practicing my horrible German.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Michael Northrop, Author

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17. Very Deep 20-Question Quiz

Peep says Hi.Hi! Now that school is out, you have time to think about very deep, important topics that your brain just couldn’t focus on while you had so much homework to finish! Well, this quiz is your chance to go deep into your own heart and soul and tell us about the real you. We want to know . . .

  1. What is your favorite season and why?
  2. Do you prefer new beginnings or old traditions?
  3. What is your favorite place and why?
  4. What is your favorite food?
  5. In general, do you enjoy school?
  6. What is one thing that is very important to you?
  7. Do you think outside the box?
  8. What is your favorite subject in school?
  9. What genres of books do you like to read and why?
  10. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
  11. Do you like happy endings, sad endings, or open (hopeful) endings?
  12. Do you prefer peace or excitement?
  13. Do you enjoy a lot of suspense in books?
  14. Name a few of your favorite books.
  15. Name someone you admire and why.
  16. What are you excited for in the upcoming year?
  17. What is something in your life that is bothering you at the moment?
  18. What is something about other people that is bothering you at the moment?
  19. Name a couple of books that have affected you in some way.
  20. When making an important decision, do you mostly consider the past, the present, or your hopes for the future?

Leave your answers in the Comments — to just 1 question or as many questions as you want to answer!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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18. Come meet LEE & LOW BOOKS at ALA 2015!

ALA is just around the corner and we would love to meet you! We’ll be in the North Exhibit Hall at Booth #1020!

See below for our signing schedule as well as a few other events we’ll be participating in:

jason low ignite session

Join LEE & LOW BOOKS publisher Jason Low for a quick-as-lightning Ignite Session: “Diversity’s Action Plan.” This will be a short talk packed with big ideas about how to create change in the publishing industry. Join us on Saturday, June 27th at the Moscone Convention Center from 11: 30 AM – 12:00 PM in room 130N.

SIGNINGS AT BOOTH #1020

Friday, June 26

6:00 – 7:00 PM: Children’s Book Press authors Alma Flor Ada (Let Me Help!/ ¡Quiero ayudar!); Mira Reisberg (Uncle Nacho’s Hat/ El sombrero del Tío Nacho); Harriet Rohmer (Honoring Our Ancestors)Carmen Lomas Garza (In My Family/ En mi familia); and Jorge Argueta (A Movie in My Pillow/ Una película en mi almohada)

Saturday, June 27

Floyd Cooper (Ira’s Shakespeare Dream), 9:15 – 10:00 AM

Maya Christina Gonzalez (Call Me Tree/Llamamé arbol), 10:00 – 10:45 AM

Frank Morrison (Little Melba and Her Big Trombone), 11:00 – 11:45 AM

Jennifer Torres (Finding the Music/ En pos de la música), 12:00 – 12:45 PM

Nikki Grimes (Poems in the Attic), 2:00 – 2:45 PM

Emily Jiang & April Chu (Summoning the Phoenix), 3:00 – 3:45 PM

Monica Brown (Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash), 4:00 – 4:45 PM

Sunday, June 28

Frank Morrison & Katheryn Russell-Brown (Little Melba and Her Big Trombone), 10:00 – 10:45 AM

Paula Yoo (Twenty-two Cents), 11:00 – 11:45 AM

Karen Sandler (Tankborn trilogy), 12:00 – 12:45 PM

Jane Bahk (Juna’s Jar), 1:00 – 1:45 PM

Valynne E. Maetani (Ink and Ashes), 2:00 – 2:45 PM

Christy Hale (Dreaming Up), 3:00 – 3: 45 PM

Monday, June 29

Valynne E. Maetani (Ink and Ashes), 10:00 – 10:45 AM 

You can also download a printable PDF of our schedule here.

PANELS

Join LEE & LOW authors at the following panels:

Sunday, June 28

Diverse Authors Need Us, 9:00 – 10:00 AM

Karen Sandler (Tankborn trilogy) & G. Neri (Yummy, Chess Rumble)

PopTop Stage, Exhibit Hall, Moscone Convention Center

 Poetry Blast, 3:00 – 4:00 PM

Nikki Grimes (Poems in the Attic)

PopTop Stage, Exhibit Hall, Moscone Convention Center

 Monday, June 29

2K15 Debut Novels Panel, 9:00 – 10:00 AM

Valynne E. Maetani (Ink and Ashes)

PopTop Stage, Exhibit Hall, Moscone Convention Center

Hope to see you there!

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19. The Dead Ladies Project at Public Books

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From Nandini Ramachandran’s review of The Dead Ladies Project at Public Books:

The Dead Ladies Project is part of a long literary tradition of single ladies having adventures. As a genre, it has had to contend with the collective energies of late capitalism (which tries to convert all adventure into tourism), patriarchy (which tries to make all single women into threatening and/or pathetic monsters), and publishing (which tries to repackage and flatten all women who write into “women writers”). It does, on the whole, remarkably well, perhaps because it’s written by insightful people who have resisted, for an entire century, the call to cynicism. It’s easy, these days, to be jaded about human relationships, to believe that they have been fabricated and marketed and focus-grouped into torpor and that no one remains capable of an authentic emotion. Jessa Crispin, like so many writers before her, flatly refuses to believe that. She insists on the fleeting, transcendental passion, the abjection of unrequited longing, the thrill and terror of waking up in an alien city. She insists, further, that a woman can revel in all that tumult.

(I choose this excerpt as the best teaser for the book, yet a part earlier on, a sort of prelude in which Ramachandran relays the mise-en-scène of the spinster’s myth, that consuming-qua-shrill narrative surrounding a woman with “too much plot”—I feel you.)

Read more about The Dead Ladies Project here.

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20. Authors of Color: Submit Your Manuscript to the New Visions Award!

new visions award winnerSummer is already here! That means that the third annual NEW VISIONS AWARD is now open for submissions! Established by Tu Books, an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS that publishes middle grade and young adult books, the award is a fantastic chance for new authors of color to break into the world of publishing for young readers.

The New Visions Award writing contest is awarded for a middle grade or young adult manuscript, and is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a publication contract with LEE & LOW BOOKS.

Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani, the first New Visions Award winner, was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

The New Visions Award is modeled after LEE & LOW BOOKS’ successful New Voices Award for picture book manuscripts. New Voices submissions we have published include Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee StoryIt Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, and Bird.

The deadline for this award is October 31, 2015.

For more eligibility and submissions details, visit the New Visions Award page. Spread the word to any authors you know who may be interested. Happy writing to you all and best of luck!

 

 

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21. Celebrate Pollination!

Achoo-spread-11Where would the world be, if Baby Bear’s wish came true and all the pollen was to disappear? Well, many of his forest friends would be without food, and the bees and butterflies would have no reason to hop from flower to flower. That is why this week is pollinator week!

Why do we celebrate pollinators? These insects and animals are a vital part of our shaping our diet. Without pollinators many of the fruits and vegetables that we eat would not grow, not to mention… honey! The services of pollinators cannot be easily replicated by human farming practices and some plants, like almonds which are entirely dependent on honeybees would not be around anymore for us to enjoy.

In recent history, scientists have seen a drastic decline in the numbers of honeybees, monarchs and bats. Each of these species plays an important role in our lives. Whether it is the pollination of flowers by the monarch, bananas by bats, or blueberries by honeybees, humans are very reliant on pollinators and there are many things we can do to conserve these important creatures.

On Friday June 19th the Pollinator Week Festival is being held by the USDA on 12th Street in Washington DC! If you can’t make it to the nation’s capital, but would like to learn more, visit the pollinator site, and also read a few of Arbordale’s books about pollinators.

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22. Teen Beach Movie 2 Would You Rather

TeenBeach130This Summer’s Biggest Wave: Teen Beach Movie 2!

When I heard they were making a Teen Beach Movie 2, I. Could. Not. Believe. It. But what could they possibly do to top the first movie?

For those of you who don’t know, Teen Beach Movie stars Ross Lynch (You heard me right!) and Maia Mitchell as teen surfer sweethearts Brady and Mackenzie. They get sucked into a tidal wave-time warp, and end up in a classic 1950s movie where everyone spontaneously breaks into song and dance. It’s hard to tell what’s real and not. And it is delicious!

Teen Beach Movie 2 premieres on June 26th at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel. This time, the tides have turned, and Tanner and Lela from the first movie find themselves in Brady and Mackenzie’s world. Imagine teens from the 1950s coming to 2015! They discover all our modern day inventions . . . like selfies and chicken nuggets.

To get you stoked for TBM2, grab your surfboard, and let us know Would You Rather . . .

  1. For one week, live in the past (1950s) OR the future (year 3000)?
  2. Be a surfer OR a biker?
  3. Ride a giant wave surfing OR jump between two cliffs on a motorcycle?
  4. Have Brady’s hair OR that cool “ting” thing when Tanner smiles?
  5. Spontaneously break into singing OR dancing?
  6. Wear hot pink high heels OR flip flops?
  7. Have beach sand in your hair OR motorcycle oil?
  8. Be a character in Teen Beach Movie 2 OR a character in Austin & Ally?

Let us know what YOU’D rather in the Comments below, and if you’re psyched for the movie! Also, check back here next week for some very special, EXCLUSIVE videos with the new stars of TBM2.

-Ratha, Stacks Writer

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23. INK AND ASHES Blog Tour Round Up

To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Ink and Ashesearlier this month, author Valynne E. Maetani has been stopping by blogs to talk about her writing process, winning the first ever New Visions Award, and much more.

More about Ink and Ashes:

Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away ten years ago. But on the anniversary of his death, she finds a letter from her deceased father to her stepfather. Before now, Claire never had a reason to believe they even knew each other.

Struggling to understand why her parents kept this surprising history hidden, Claire combs through anything that might give her information about her father . . . until she discovers that he was a member of the yakuza, a Japanese organized crime syndicate. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.

The race to outrun her father’s legacy reveals secrets of his past that cast ominous shadows, threatening Claire, her friends and family, her newfound love, and ultimately her life. Winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, Ink and Ashes is a fascinating debut novel packed with romance, intrigue, and heart-stopping action.

Here is a round up of the tour.

YA Books Central – Valynne E. Maetani shares 5 facts you should know about the Japanese mafia, known as the Yakuza, here.

Dear Teen Me – Read Valynne E. Maetani’s letter to her teen self here.

We Are Word Nerds –  Valynne E. Maetani on the inspiration behind Ink and Ashes and her journey to publication here.

The Book Smugglers – Valynne E. Maetani on winning the New Visions Award here.

Teen Lit Rocks! shares why they enjoyed reading Ink and Ashes here.

To find out more about Valynne E. Maetani and Ink and Ashes, follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.

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24. The Perfect Picture Book for the Last Day of School


The Perfect Picture Book for the Last (2)Your last day with this class is here. You have one last time to share the moment when you gather for a read aloud. How will you honor the moment?

The last day of school is hectic, a blur, a blast, sweet, and wistful.

 

Will you pick a book you already read this year with your students to live again in that moment? Or will you pick a book to launch your students toward their summers and the rest of their education journey?

 

Will your last read aloud be nostalgic or hopeful? 

We’ve gathered some of our favorite Lee & Low titles to conclude and celebrate a year’s worth of reading with your students. Let us know what you recommend (any book!) and your reading tradition on the last day of school!

Poetry

Amazing Faces

An anthology of universal poems focusing on the human experience–emotions, perceptions, and understandings–as expressed by poets of diverse heritage and reflected in illustrations featuring people of all ages and backgrounds.

Confetti: Poems for Children

The renowned poet Pat Mora celebrates the culture and landscape of the southwest through the eyes of a Mexican American girl. 

I and I Bob Marley

A biography in verse of reggae legend Bob Marley, exploring the influences that shaped his life and music on his journey from rural Jamaican childhood to international superstardom. 

Summer

My Steps

An African American girl shares her private world of playtime on her front steps over each of the four seasons. 

Quinito’s Neighborhood/El Vecindario de Quinito

This bilingual book takes readers around the buildings, streets, shops, and people that make up Quinito’s neighborhood. 

Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy

A biography of William “Dummy” Hoy, one of the first deaf major league baseball players. 

Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story

The inspirational true story of Sammy Lee, a Korean American who overcame discrimination to realize both his father’s desire that he become a doctor and his own dream of becoming an Olympic champion diver. 

Strong to the Hoop

A boy finally gets to play basketball on the main court with the older boys, and has to prove he can hold his own. 

Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon

Ruth Forman offers a poetic testament to childhood, language, and play, bringing to life the streets of South Philadelphia. Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon is a celebration of city summer memories, and of African American culture and community.

Drummer Boy of John John

A joyous picture book set in the Caribbean  during Carnival, based on the childhood of one of the inventors of the steel drum. 

The Power of Learning and Education

Armando and the Blue Tarp School

The story of a young Mexican boy living in a colonia (trash dump community) who takes the first steps toward realizing his dream of getting an education. 

Chess Rumble

A story in free verse about a troubled boy who learns to use his mind instead of his fists through the guidance of an unconventional mentor and the game of chess. 

How We Are Smart

Readers will learn that being smart is about more than doing well in school. There are eight ways to be smart, and they are reflected in how a person uses his or her body, relates to the natural world, responds to music and art, and more.

Love to Langston

This inspiring biography on Langston Hughes celebrates his life through poetry. 

Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace

A picture book biography of scientist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman–and first environmentalist–to win a Nobel Peace Prize (in 2004) for her work planting trees in her native Kenya.

Yasmin’s Hammer

A young Bangladeshi girl who helps support her family by working in a brickyard finds a way to make her dream of going to school and learning to read a reality. 

Silly/Humor

George Crum and the Saratoga Chip

An account of the life and career of George Crum, a biracial chef who is credited with the invention of the potato chip at a Saratoga Springs, New York, restaurant in 1853. Based on historical records. 

Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

Overflowing with family, food, and a tall stack of fun, this story is sure to warm the heart and tickle the tummy. A fun way for children to learn about the cultural traditions and foods of India. 

Jazz Baby

A celebration of music and movement, this story in verse is inspired by the riffs, rhythms, and freedom of jazz.

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina

A mestiza Peruvian American of European, Jewish, and Amerindian heritage, renowned author Monica Brown wrote this lively story to bring her own experience of being mismatched to life.

Sunday Shopping

Every Sunday night a young girl and her grandmother go on an imaginary shopping trip in this delightful picture book.

The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen

A spunky African American girl has a hula-hooping competition with her friends in Harlem, and soon everyone in the neighborhood–young and old alike–joins in on the fun.

Where On Earth is My Bagel?

A young Korean boy gets a craving for a New York bagel and goes on a journey to fulfill his hunger. 

Believe in Yourself

Allie’s Basketball Dream

Basketball is Allie’s favorite sport–she’s loved it ever since her father took her to her first game at Madison Square Garden. 

Call Me Tree/Llámame Árbol

An imaginary  tale of self-discovery told by a child who grows, learns about the natural world, embraces others, and is free to become who he or she is meant to be–a child as unique as a tree. Gender neutral.  

Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl’s Baseball Dream

The spirited story of Marcenia Lyle, the African American girl who grew up to become “Toni Stone,” the first woman to play for an all-male professional baseball team.

Cora Cooks Pancit

Cora and Mama work together to cook up pancit for the family in this celebration of Filipino heritage and foods. 

Crazy Horse’s Vision

The true story of the great Sioux warrior who, as a young boy, defies tradition and seeks a vision on his own in hopes of saving his people. 

Poems to Dream Together/Poemas para soñar juntos

A bilingual collection of poetry by acclaimed Chicano poet Francisco X. Alarcon celebrating family, community, nature, and the positive power of dreams to shape our future.

The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story

Meena, a young Asian Indian American girl, grows in self-confidence when she learns to practice yoga and apply the underlying principles to her performance in the school play.

Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree

The true story of the famous writer, who as a young girl, learned about hope and strength from her mother.

Jill Eisenberg, our Senior Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. In her weekly column at The Open Book, she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

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25. Summer Would You Rather

CatGymnastics Profile AvatarWould You Rather: Summer

Today’s Summer Would You Rather questions come from CatGymnastics173 on the STACK Back Message Board.

1. Would you rather have a summer with tons of snow OR a winter with a massive heat wave?

2. Would you rather drink hot chocolate in summer OR eat ice cream in winter?

3. Would you rather have your own custom beach umbrella that you designed online for a lot of money OR buy a very cheap beach umbrella with only a few colors?

4. Would you rather go to summer school but have more breaks off during the year OR not go to summer school and get no breaks at all (except for holidays)?

5. Would you rather study all summer (with no free time) and have nice, breezy weather OR not study at all and have it be so hot that you need a cooler every second?

6. Would you rather read 300 books by the end of the summer and get extra credit in school and an awesome prize OR read only 10 books by the end of the summer, have to redo a grade, and get a rock as a prize?

7. Would you rather have a big summer party for one day but have to go back to school for the rest of the summer OR have to study every day but never have homework and have many breaks during the year?

8. Would you rather have tons of fun free time all year without school and homework, but lose all your friends OR go to school every single day of the year with large piles of homework but keep all your friends?

9. Would you rather sew your own bathing suit for 2 weeks in the heat (no breaks) and have it be totally worth it OR buy a bathing suit at the store and never ever get to go to the beach again?

10. Would you rather go to the beach every single day with it very cool out OR go to the amusement park every day with the weather being roasting hot?

Hope you like it!

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