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26. Coloring Page Tuesdays - Reading Bench

     It's time for summer reading. Read, read, read everywhere you go. It's a contagious act.
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages!
     CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of six literary awards. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

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27. Elegant Country Barn - an Inspirational Place

Summer Camp at the Highlights Foundation. Chandelier in the Barn at Fox Hill Farm

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28. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 198 - 7.25.16


Backpacking bears! A "day-in-the-life-of-the-artist" theme coming up for the next little bit. Enjoy!

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29. Finding Your WAZE

Hearing raves from several friends
We thought that we would try it.
It's just a free app on the phone - 
We didn't have to buy it.

It's GPS but up-to-date
So if you let it guide you,
You'll feel as if you have a genie
Sitting right beside you.

Avoiding all the traffic jams
You get to where you're going
In much less time than if you didn't
Have this way of knowing.

WAZE is what this app is called
And I forgot one perk - 
They let you know exactly where
The policemen like to lurk!

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30. CBCA Shortlist. Now Reading: A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

I'm around 70 pages in since last night. This one has already won some awards, including the Aurealis, and been shortlisted in another. It's a dystopian novel in which a small village is located in a valley formed after a rockslide long ago. It's run by the Mothers and girls are valued more than boys because they can be sent, if good enough, into the mountain to harvest mica, which, in this world, is useful for heat and light. They need an alternative to wood fires because in the winter the snow comes right up to the top of the houses and smoke can't escape theough the chimneys, though they do have escape pipes.

I must admit I never knew mica could be used for that! Must look it up. 

So, these girls have to be small in order to squeeze into the tunnels. They're swaddled for their first few years, they eat as little as possible and if they're not quite small enough, well, bones can be broken and rearranged... The chosen girls receive training and are formed into teams to go harvest mica. Then they do something else for the rest of their lives, including having babies, preferably females - the whole village parties when a girl is born. 

I can't help wondering, though, if these people have, as it seems, been stranded in this valley for quite a few generations, wouldn't the gene pool be rather small? Everyone would be related to everyone else. That hasn't been mentioned yet, but still a couple of hundred pages to go. The soil would be rather poor after being farmed all that time, so I can only assume they have a three-field system. 

Anyway, more to come! 

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31. स्वच्छता अभियान और मेरे मन की बात

क्लिक करिए और सुनिए स्वच्छता अभियान पर  4 मिनट और 35 सैकिंड की ऑडियो… मेरा अनुभव स्वच्छता अभियान और मेरे मन की बात बात स्वच्छता अभियान के दौरान की है. जब गांव गांव जाकर लोगों को जागरुक किया जा रहा था.लोगो को समझाया जा रहा था कि  खुले मे शौच नही जाओ आसान नही था […]

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32. introducing the Juncture video shorts: lessons on memoir for readers and writers



Over the past several weeks I've been here in my pretty little house reading and re-reading some of the world's great memoirists as I prepared for a series of six video shorts that will soon go live on Udemy. Think of Virginia Woolf, Alison Bechdel, Maggie Nelson, E.B. White, Abigail Thomas, Sy Montgomery, Angela Palm, James Baldwin, Helen Macdonald, Ta-Nehesi Coates, Chang-Rae Lee, Annie Dillard, and a variety of others all showing up for the same party. I'm hosting that party.

Bill, meanwhile, has been building (yes, building) a teleprompter, fixing the lights, turning on the camera and the voice recording equipment, and not making too much fun of me when I falter and we have to begin all again.

(I make him cookies. He forgives.)

This video tells you more about what this series is. I'll be reporting back when it is officially available. But if you have any interest and want us to send you an email when the whole series is fully live, just send us your address through the Juncture Workshop site (here) and we'll get back to you.

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33. SOUTHERN WRITERS

http://bittersoutherner.com/bitter-southerner-summer-reading-roundup-2016/#.V5dPaOgrIps

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34. Botched Beginnings

Here are some things to avoid in the opening pages of your novel.

https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/botched-beginnings-common-first-page-killers/

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35. Short Story Competition 2016

https://dacunha.global/made-up-words-short-fiction-competition-2016/

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36. इंटरनेट स्पीड -हम और हमारी अधूरी कहानी

   इंटरनेट स्पीड -हम और हमारी अधूरी कहानी Its loading …. 80 % remaining. बेशक, इंटरनेट हमारे लिए ढेर सारी खुशियां लेकर आया है क्योकि इससे न सिर्फ हम जुडे रह सकते हैं बल्कि ढेरो जानकारी का माध्यम है पर दुख इस बात का है कि यहां स्पीड बहुत स्लो है… और सारी खुशियों पर […]

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37. oh, the places I'll go

Last evening, between storm surges and convention watching, Bill and I finished filming the sixth video in our memoir series (see our introductory video here). We put the finishing touches on the packet we're about to send to the first dozen writers (we love them all already) who will be joining us for our five-day workshop on the old farm in September. We looked, again, ahead.

Here's where I'll be (when not in this house reading and writing memoir) over the next few months:


On August 4th, I'll be at the Stone Harbor Yacht Club in Stone Harbor, NJ, sharing my Jersey Shore novel, This Is the Story of You and reading some of the Jersey Shore pieces I've written over time (a chapter in Small Damages, a chapter in Love: A Philadelphia Affair). We'll also have some memoir writing fun. The event begins at 3:30.

On September 4, I'll be in Decatur, GA, for that most amazing AJC Decatur Book Festival, sharing a panel with young adult writers Alexandra Sirowy and Ami Allen-Vath.

On September 11, I'll be on a farm with the incredible memoirists who have said yes to the inaugural Juncture Workshop series

On October 15, I'll be joining fiction writers Angela Flournoy and Toni Jensen, poets Robin Coste Lewis and Chloe Honum, YA fantasy writer Brenna Yovanoff, mystery writer Will Thomas, and romance author Sherry Thomas at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma for the Nimrod Conference Readers and Writers.

On November 1, I'll be in Cape May, NJ, for the second Juncture Workshop.

On November 8, I'll be conducting training for the T/E School District.



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38. Shake Up Your Writer's Group!


This month my writer's group is trying something new: art journaling together. It isn't the first time we've "changed the rules" and jumped into fresh territory, but adding artwork to our writing is a bit of a departure for us. 

To start things off, we agreed to each choose a special sketchbook or journal to work in. In keeping with many of my "how wrong can this go" attempts to get things right, I chose a sketchbook that came with impossible-to-remove stickers on both the front and back covers. After an hour of attempting to remove them, I ended up with a thousand little bits of paper still clinging on like limpets, as well as some deep gouges and tears in the cardboard. Solution? Start my art journal with some cover collage!



Lemonade out of lemons, right? 

Despite my somewhat rough start to the project, I think it's going well. We've had two art journal-based meetings so far; chosen themes for our journals (I've only changed mine twice); written down our intentions for our journaling practice, and started filling pages.

Regardless of whether we're working on journaling, short stories, or poetry, our group meets every two weeks, usually in a bookstore or museum cafe, and the one thing we've always done is have fun. The second objective that has kept our group strong and lively is that we concentrate on writing together rather than critiquing. It's made a difference to a) not have "homework assignments" between meetings; b) be able to support each other's creativity without playing editor, imposing our opinions where they don't really belong, and/or stifling a work at any stage of the draft-process. 

Writing together has had all sorts of benefits, new manuscripts being the least of them. More than anything we've learned to: 
  • Write on demand regardless of where we are, how we're feeling, or how lousy we think our work is at any given time. 
  • Be fearless. After we write, we read aloud. Although we've always provided the option to not read if something feels too personal or too raw for sharing, I've never known any one of us to use that option. 
  • Ink. In every color of the rainbow. We write by hand when we get together, and the results have never been anything less than impressive. (Hear that, writer's group? You are fantastic writers!!)
Some of the other ways we've kept the inspiration high has been to:
  1. Write flash fiction or poetry using word and picture prompts cut from magazines. Sometimes we'll all use the same picture, e.g., a strange setting, an evocative character, or an unusual object. At other times we'll combine them, or have a little package of our own (passed out during the meeting) containing two or three individual images. I never cease to be amazed at how different our stories are, or how publication-ready the writing is. 
  2. Go for timed writing. We give ourselves anywhere between thirty to forty-five minutes to write. Once the time is up, it's pens down. 
  3. Take field trips. We haven't had as many of these as I would like (note to group: take more trips!), but the trips we have taken have been unforgettable. I'm especially thinking of the time we all went up to Santa Fe and back by train. 
  4. Bring pot-luck brunch and meet at someone's house. Yum. 
  5. Treat ourselves to a restaurant lunch. No clean-up involved. We had pizza last time. Super yum. 
  6. Watch a how-to video together. Great for discussion (and eating. We combined the video with another pot-luck.). 
  7. White elephant parties. We got so good at this we've had to give them up, but essentially what we did was bring unwanted items from home, play a silly game to hand them around, and anything we didn't want was collected and taken to the thrift store the next day. Now that we're all beautifully de-cluttered, we've decided to keep our homes as junk-free as possible meaning the parties are over, but they were entertaining while they lasted.
I can't wait to see how our art journaling experiment works out. Although we are pretty much trying a free-form approach, we are also using this helpful list of 50 ideas I found at Blacksburg Belle for when we get stuck and need a small prompt (or a big shove). This motivational blog is loaded with lots of other excellent creative tips, so I highly recommend a visit. In the meantime, get out those glue sticks, write your hearts out, and keep the lemonade flowing.

Tip of the Day: Break out of the box. Even if you love your writer's group exactly the way it is, it never hurts to shake things up a bit. Meet somewhere new, read a book together, brainstorm some fresh possibilities. Drop a line a let me know how it's going.

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39. Reading Re-Cap - Peter Geye at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor

Went to see Peter Geye read at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor last night and it turned PG - Winteringinto a fairly cozy reading. That is, summer in Ann Arbor might not always be the best time for readings, especially right around Art Fair as people are running around, busy, worn out, etc. After those of us that were there for the reading spread ourselves our rather widely in the available seating, the moderator of the event suggested maybe we sit around their (UNLIT) fireplace--couple of couches, some comfy chairs, etc., and so we did.

Peter read the first chapter and then opened things up for questions and as he knew 71.4% of the listeners, I think maybe it opened up for some different types of questions than from a completely cold audience. He had a former student in the crowd, somebody with which he had shared a panel at Voices of the Midwest, another novelist, etc. He also had people that had read all three of his novels and knew of the association between the new one, Wintering, and the last before that, The Lighthouse Road, and those who had yet to read any of them. 

So one or two of the questions were a bit more personal than you might usually see, and at the same time, Peter was doing his best not to release anything that might spoil the reading of Wintering for those that had not yet done. What it was though was enjoyable. The novel is fantastic, Peter's a nice guy who gave very long, thoughtful answers--a couple of the questions were in similar veins to those that he's been asked, but different enough that he had to think a bit about how exactly to answer them. Had it been snowy and cold out and that fireplace lit up might have been a bit more appropriate for this particular author/novel combination, but it was still a very good way to spend a portion of my evening.

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40. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 197 - 7.25.16


And on Tuesday of last week, July 19th, I celebrated a picture book birthday for the brand new LATER, GATOR! Alas, I was deep in the woods and my mountaintop celebration was pretty quiet... No polar bears in the book, but I drew one here for an appropriately themed Presidential Post Card :) You can find Gator at a bookstore near you or call my local shop for a signed and personalized copy: Trail'sEnd Bookstore (509) 996-2345

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41. Goats!

I've been continuing to struggle with the same work/life balance issue ever since I returned home from Indiana two months ago: how do I find any time at all for my early morning writing and walking while living with a beloved little girl who tends to wake up VERY VERY EARLY - while one of her parents has left for work well before dawn and the other is zonked out exhausted after a night of sleep interrupted from bouts of nursing? 

I still have no good solution except to note that the earlier I get up, the better the day goes. Plus, sometimes willful toddlers don't get their own way and have a good ol' tantrum about it, and that's okay. And sometimes, I learned recently, I don't get my own way - and the results can quite wonderful.

The other day Kataleya got up just as I was about to leave at 5:30 a.m. for my cherished hour-long walk with poor little Tanky the dog who lives for our outings. (In houses with new babies, older siblings aren't the only ones temporarily dethroned). But there Kat was, doing what she always does whenever I prepare to leave the house: running to get her shoes, as if they were some magical talisman to ensure that she can come, too. "Shoes on! Shoes on!" she wailed inconsolably. 

Oh, well. Often I come up with some excuse she will accept: Mimsie has to go to work, Mimsie has to go to that mysterious thing called "a meeting." This time, I sighed, loaded child and dog into the car, and drove down to Viele Lake. Because this time, I had something splendid to share with her: goats!!!

The city of Boulder has decided to control noxious weeds on public lands not with environmentally toxic herbicides but with a traveling herd of goats accompanied by a guard llama. They are currently down by the lake in the park where I walk, behind an electric fence just a foot or so away from the yellow-net fence beside the path for cyclists, pedestrians, and their companion animals,

What a magical half hour the three of us had, in that crisp, cool dawn air, so close to two dozen goats that we could practically reach out to touch them.



I didn't get a proper walk that day.  I missed getting it desperately. Those of us with Fitbits hate sacrificing any chance for steps!! But I shared sweet companionship with an enthralled toddler. (And don't you love the purse?)

Before she became an acclaimed novelist, Elizabeth Berg was a frequenter contributor of personal essays to the women's magazines I love to read. I still remember one from decades ago. She wrote about attending an elementary school music program and looking at her watch to make sure she wouldn't be trapped there for too long. Then she had a revelation: if she didn't have time to hear little children playing Mozart, what more important thing did she have time for? Her answer: nothing.

Ditto for spending the first, best hour of the day with a two-year-old and a flock of hungry goats.

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42. Some physical picture books to have a look at!

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43. My tweets

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44. Challenges

I know, Princesses. It's been a while. I'm sorry.
Today I'm just in a place. You know the one. That place where everything you need is right in front of you, but it doesn't seem to matter.
That place where you know there's that ONE THING you need God to do. You need Him to reach down and make a miracle and you'd give just about  ANYTHING for that one life changing thing to happen. For that secret nightmare to be over and life to be okay. It's not my nightmare I'm seeing in front of me. It's other people's nightmares that are keeping me awake at night.
Here's the thing, though. I already know the answer. His name is Jesus. How do I know? Because He was my answer. When my own life was a nightmare and it felt like I had no hope HE made the way. All of a sudden. He did it, Princess. Not because I deserved it. But because I am His child. He gives good to His children.
Hang in there, lovely. Listen for His still, small voice. He'll lead you out of this. And into a better life.
If you don't know Jesus, get with me. I'll help you. My email is iamstillaprincess@gmail.com. Or J. Susanna Watt on facebook.
Feel free to comment, email, ask questions or ask for prayer. God bless and follow me on Twitter, facebook, google+, Pinterest, etc. Subscribe to this blog and I will follow back.
I love you. Jesus loves you more.
Love,
Mama Jae

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45. हमारी आवश्यकता – बिजली और फोन

हमारी आवश्यकता – बिजली और फोन देखो आसमां में खिलकर सूरज निकल रहा है, देश का परचम अब ऊँचा उड़ रहा है ! वर्षो का अँधेरा रोशन हो रहा है,. गरीब की रसोई से धुआं हट रहा है ! मेरा देश, मेरा देश, मेरा देश…. मेरा देश बदल रहा है…आगे बढ़ रहा है… अचानक मुझे […]

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46. 14 Minecraft Books for Kids

**some of these links are affiliate links
minecraft booklist

Last week we had some much fun digging into the Minecraft Lab book from John Miller and Chris Scott. So much so, I decided to roundup a Minecraft booklist just for the Minecraft fans in your life! Here are 14 Minecraft Books for Kids to inspire reading and creativity.

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection by Stephanie Milton and Paul Soares Jr.

Minecraft books
Minecraft: Ultimate Handbook, Master Minecraft Secrets by Kwick Reads

minecraft books
Diary of a Minecraft Zombie by Zack Zombie (multiple books)

minecraft books
Ultimate Minecraft Secrets: An Unofficial Guide to Minecraft Tips, Tricks, and Hints You May Not Know by Zack Zombie Books

minecraft books
Minecraft Creative Handbook by Steve Builder

minecraft books
Amazing Minecraft Activity Book by Gameplay Publishing

minecraft
Minecraft: The Ultimate Survival Handbook by William Herobrine

minecraft books
Ultimate Book of Traps by Minecraft Books

minecraft books
Minecraft Book of Mysteries by Minecraft Library

minecraft books
Minecraft: Kids Stories by Minecraft Books

minecraft books
Diary of a Steve Trapped in Minecraft by Minecraft Books

minecraft books
Minecraft Short Stories by Minecraft Books

minecraft
Diary of a Minecraft Creeper by Minecraft Books

minecraft books

Diary of a Wimpy Minecraft Herobrine by Minecraft Books

minecraft books

See any “must-haves” in this booklist? Happy Reading!

**some of these links are affiliate links

Breaking News! Proof that Dragons are indeed REAL!

My newest book, Dragons are Real is available and the excitement is almost blowing the roof off at Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press headquarters!
Dragons are real
SO…what if I told you that all of the fairy tales, myths and legends that have been told about dragons over the years are WRONG. What if I told you that Dragons are indeed Real and that they are different than you’ve ever imagined?
This fairly true story is based on the author’s childhood friendship with a REAL live Dragon; a very special Dragon that she and her brother spent two magical summers with.

As readers turn the pages and learn the truth about Dragons, they will see that the fiercest beasts in known history can actually be the best of friends. It’s a lesson in finding companionship in the most unusual of places. Dragons are Real is a magical book filled with stunning illustrations and hints that dragon are indeed all around us :)

Dragons are Real is now available for purchase on both Amazon and Gumroad! We are also offering a special free bonus gift of a Dragons Are Real Inspiration Activity Guide when you purchase your copy of this enchanting picture book.

The post 14 Minecraft Books for Kids appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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47. Fan Mail Wednesday #232: Bears In Backyards

postalletter-150x150

 

I received this note from Ethan, who likes my style. But before I get to that, I should note that 98% of my fan mail comes during the school year, and many arrive with the aroma of “assignment.” That’s not a bad thing, mind you, just reality. In today’s case, this is a letter I received in late July, along with a stamped and self-addressed envelope (love that!). I can’t help but sense a  parent’s helping hand making this all possible.

“Would you like to write to the author?”

I don’t know where I’m going with that observation. Except to say that behind every enthusiastic reader, there’s usually a loving adult helping to cultivate & nurture that experience. Thank you for that, and for this:

 

Scan

 

I replied:

 

Dear Ethan,

Thank you for your letter. I am pleased to learn that you like my style. Yes, style points!

You know, it seems like every Spring there’s an incident in Upstate, New York (where we both live), when a bear wanders out of the woods and into a town, or near stores, or into someone’s backyard. It’s a worrying thing, because bears are big, strong,  wild animals. Often, animal control has to get involved for everyone’s safety. I read articles like this in the newspaper every year.

I wondered why this happens, so I found an animal expert. He told me that bears are “territorial,” they like to have their own area –- a territory is like the property of your house –- and that sometimes a big male bear will make a smaller male go find his own territory. They don’t like to share. So the young male goes looking for somewhere to live, and sometimes he gets confused, make a few wrong turns, and ends up at Crossgates Shopping Mall. Yikes! What’s a bear doing at Banana Republic? The poor bear is lost. Bears don’t want to hurt people –- bears are usually shy; they don’t look for trouble -– but bears can be dangerous. It’s a sad and scary situation for everybody.

Writers often start with “what if?” questions. And that’s how I began The Case of the Bear Scare. I’m so glad you read it. Thank you.

This is a rough sketch for an illustration in my upcoming Jigsaw Jones book, THE CASE FROM OUTER SPACE, illustrated by my pal R.W. Alley. The character depicted here is Joey Pignattano on a stake-out.

This is a rough sketch for an illustration in my upcoming Jigsaw Jones book, THE CASE FROM OUTER SPACE, illustrated by my pal R.W. Alley. The character depicted here is Joey Pignattano on a stake-out.

I just finished a new Jigsaw Jones book titled The Case from Outer Space. It will be out in the summer of 2017 and it’s pretty funny. I hope you check it out. My newest book is called The Courage Test (grades 4-7) and comes out in September. And guess what? There’s a mama bear in it, and a boy hiking in the woods of Idaho . . .

Stay cool and have a great summer!

Your friend,

James Preller

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48. Notable Women: Author Linda Sue Park

Is summer flying by or WHAT?! Goodness, before we know it we will be reading about “first day of school” booklists!

I’ve been having so much fun with my Notable Women series these last few weeks. I kicked things off American Revolution hero Sybil Ludington, then moved on to favorite author Pam Muñoz Ryan. This week I want to focus on the wonderful works of author Linda Sue Park.

Linda Sue Park

Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Medal book A Single Shard, many other novels, several picture books, and most recently a book of poetry: Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems). She lives in Rochester, New York, with her family, and is now a devoted fan of the New York Mets. For more infromation visit www.lspark.com

Here are a few of my favorite Linda Sue Park books for kids:

A Long Walk To Water

A Long Walk to Water

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

A Single Shard

A Single Shard

In this Newbery Medal-winning book set in 12th century Korea, Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself — even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.

When My Name was Keoko

Linda Sue park

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them—even their names—are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

The Kite Fighters

Linda Sue park

In a riveting narrative set in fifteenth-century Korea, two brothers discover a shared passion for kites. Kee-sup can craft a kite unequaled in strength and beauty, but his younger brother, Young-sup, can fly a kite as if he controlled the wind itself. Their combined skills attract the notice of Korea’s young king, who chooses Young-sup to fly the royal kite in the New Year kite-flying competition–an honor that is also an awesome responsibility. Although tradition decrees, and the boys’ father insists, that the older brother represent the family, both brothers know that this time the family’s honor is best left in Young-sup’s hands. This touching and suspenseful story, filled with the authentic detail and flavor of traditional Korean kite fighting, brings a remarkable setting vividly to life. AUTHOR’S NOTE.

Project Mulberry

Project Mulberry

Julia Song and her friend Patrick want to team up to win a blue ribbon at the state fair, but they can’t agree on the perfect project. Then Julia’s mother suggests they raise silkworms as she did years ago in Korea. The optimistic twosome quickly realizes that raising silkworms is a lot tougher than they thought. And Julia never suspected that she’d be discussing the fate of her and Patrick’s project with Ms. Park, the author of this book!

**some of these links are affiliate links

Something To Do

In honor of the amazing Linda Sue Park book Project Mulberry, here are some fun ways to bring this book to life.
As we stood under our mulberry tree remembering this great story, we decided right then and there that we had to grow our own silkworms. I must admit to you that we are at the beginning of this process and are waiting for our little silkworm eggs to arrive. We promise to keep you updated on our progress.

Would you like to join us in growing silk worms? Just leave a comment below and let us know if you will share this experience with us.

Here’s where you can order the silkworms:

The Carolina Company has a silkworm farm kit.

Silkworm kit

They also offer silkworm eggs and food.

A few weeks ago I saw the most interesting TED talk about what they are now using silk for. It’s amazing and is being used in ways one could not even imagine. It is taking science and technology to a new level. This is a great video for kids probably age 8 and older.

Happy Reading!

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Looking for more ways to not only get your youngsters reading, but get them OUTSIDE as well? Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together.

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Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE.

A Year in The Secret Garden

The post Notable Women: Author Linda Sue Park appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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49. Free Kid's ebook on Amazon! Moopy wants a Kitty by Marcia Hoeck

And today's free kindle ebook for kids is: Moopy Wants a Kitty by Marcia Hoeck!
Check it out on Amazon:

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50. Summer Check In + Writing Links

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A long way from home!

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is getting some good R & R in during these warm, flower-filled summer months. In fact, I thought it might be fun to post a check in, to catch up on how everyone’s summer is going.

As some of you know, I’ve been out of the country for the last 3 weeks, visiting Malaysia, Thailand, and Korea. I love travel, and I am sure some of you do too, so here are a few highlights of the trip. These pictures are untouched (sorry Instagramers!)

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Yep, I climbed all those stairs!

When we travel to these far-flung locations, we usually go on a group tour, one that really immerses a person in the culture while taking care of the flights, transfers, hotels, and many of the activities, so you can just enjoy, participate, and soak everything in.

We started off in Malaysia, checking out local markets, visiting war memorials, the palace, Muslim temples & Buddhist shrines…and so much more.

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The Gibbon babies are orange when born, and slowly turn black. The cuteness!

We also hung out with monkeys and gibbons, saw fireflies, visited a tea plantation, ate some crazy stuff like jellyfish (like eating cartilage…not a repeat!), learned how to shoot darts with a blow gun, and went on a jungle hike to find a rare fungus-flower.

(The hike in the jungle was tough, and I’m pretty sure I got heat stroke–it was incredibly hot out. I also fell off a 5-foot high boulder and bashed up my legs quite bad, but luckily no broken bones.)

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The main house

The highlight of Malaysia was a “home stay” visit where we lived with a Muslim family for a few days at the Suka-Suka Lake Retreat, where they owned some lovely property at the edge of the water.

You could swim, fish, kayak, walk the nature trails or hang out in a hammock and read (which I did and it was BLISS).

IMG_2999My oldest son and I did a cooking lesson here and learned how to create some popular Malaysian dishes. Later, we dressed in sarongs and ate dinner in the traditional style: on the floor, using only our right hand. Messy, but fun!

The visit was extra special as we arrived at the end of Ramadan which is also the beginning of the Muslim New Year. So there was much celebrating, fireworks, and socializing, and what a treat to be invited into the locals’ homes and experience another culture’s celebrations first hand.

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Railay beach…usually the water is crystal clear, but we’ve come during the rainy season.

In Thailand, we started out at Krabi, just beating out a monsoon that showed up after we left. We traveled to the world-famous Railay Beach, and loved all the rock formations that reminded us so much of Halong Bay in Vietnam.

Ironically, while in the water here I was stung by a jellyfish…I guess it was karma for eating a relative a few nights earlier!

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Hubs with one big Buddha!

We also saw a ton of Buddhist temples and ruins, often traveling around on tuk-tuks or by boat.

We stopped to see the famous bridge on the River Kwae and swam in a 7 level waterfall filled with fish (the small ones liked to go after our feet in a “Au natural” fish massage, lol). It was hilarious to see the reaction of our tour mates who have never felt fish nibble at their feet!

One night we stayed on a floating house that was pulled out by tugboat to a private island on a lake. We swam, kayaked and drank Chang beer as the sun went down.

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Very tranquil

There were geckos EVERYWHERE too, living on the floating house, chomping down on all the mosquitoes. I’d fall asleep watching them skitter back and forth across the ceiling of the boathouse, chasing their dinner.

At the end of our time in Thailand, we spent a day at an Elephant Rescue Park, one that was truly a rescue, with no riding, no tricks for tourists, just a sanctuary for elephants to roam and live free.

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They would nuzzle our pockets, trying to grab the sugarcane we had there, haha!

The elephants there were purchased by the sanctuary’s owners from circuses, tourist riding attractions, and illegal logging camps, saving the elephants from a lifetime of misery and abuse.

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This one loved it when I scrubbed his trunk!

We spent the day feeding three young elephants bananas and sugarcane, accompanying them on a walk, and finally bathing them in a river.

It was something I will never forget.

After this, it was time to leave our group and set off for Korea, then home.

IMG_3589We arranged a 10 hour layover, enough time to see a bit of Seoul.

While we didn’t have time to visit the DMZ, we did venture into the city for a bit of site-seeing.

All of us enjoyed the time we spent there and I could see us heading back again for another trip.

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Because, Korea!

I tooled around the market too, and found these gems:

We continued our marathon travel back home, (about 38 hours all told). Exhausting.

I came home to roughly 1000 emails, and a nice surprise…more foreign editions from Japan, this time, The Positive and Negative Trait Thesaurus books.

IMG_3600While the covers seem unusual to me, I know they must make perfect sense for that market.

Our Japanese publisher made us two beautiful books–they are just incredibly well laid out in the interior, and you can feel the quality.  I’m really happy with them and hope they are as popular as the Emotion Thesaurus is over there.

WestWordAnd, as if this coolness wasn’t enough, I also came home to The Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s magazine…and a familiar face on the cover. Crazy right?

Inside there’s an interview with me written by phenomenal YA author Janet Gurtler, and what’s so fun is that they used a bunch of my photos from my last big trip (Australia) in the article. Seeing this sort of made my vacation feel like it had come full circle! Such a wonderful homecoming.

So, that’s been my summer so far! What about you? Are you relaxing? Gardening? Traveling? Writing? Reading? Let me know all about it!

I managed to get a few books read during my trip–the second and third book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series (so terrific!), and also the mammoth novel Dune (an oldie but a goodie.)

Your turn. Fill me in on your summer plans! 🙂

Oh and before I forget, a few guest posts published while I was out and about. So, if you’ve ever struggled with Describing a Setting in a Place You’ve Never Visited, you’ll want to check out the advice and mother-lode of helpful researching links at Romance University.

Also, if you’re wondering How To Show Readers What Your Character Is Hiding, Be It A Secret or Emotion, I hope you’ll stop by The Romance Times’ Author Portal.

Happy Summer!

Angela 🙂

 

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The post Summer Check In + Writing Links appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

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