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1. What's New in YA--October 5, 2015


Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!





Mindy McGinnis, the acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, combines murder, madness, and mystery in a beautifully twisted gothic historical thriller perfect for fans of novels such as Asylum and The Diviners as well as television's True Detective and American Horror Story.

Grace Mae is already familiar with madness when family secrets and the bulge in her belly send her to an insane asylum—but it is in the darkness that she finds a new lease on life. When a visiting doctor interested in criminal psychology recognizes Grace's brilliant mind beneath her rage, he recruits her as his assistant. Continuing to operate under the cloak of madness at crime scenes allows her to gather clues from bystanders who believe her less than human. Now comfortable in an ethical asylum, Grace finds friends—and hope. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who will bring her shaky sanity and the demons in her past dangerously close to the surface.






"A story threaded with shimmering vibrance and beauty, A Thousand Nights will weave its spell over readers' hearts and leave them captivated long after the final tale has been told." -Alexandra Bracken, New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds series






Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here--it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

Carry On - The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.





Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he barely knows—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .





The sequel to the New York Times bestseller and international multimedia phenomenon, Endgame: The Calling.

Endgame is here. Earth Key has been found. Two keys—and nine Players—remain. The keys must be found, and only one Player can win.

Queens, New York. Aisling Kopp believes the unthinkable: that Endgame can be stopped. But before she can get home to regroup, she is approached by the CIA. They know about Endgame. And they have their own ideas about how it should be Played. Ideas that could change everything.

Kingdom of Aksum, Ethiopia. Hilal ibn Isa al-Salt narrowly survived an attack that leaves him horribly disfigured. He now knows something the other Players do not. But the Aksumites have a secret that is unique to their line. A secret that can help redeem humanity—and maybe even be used to help defeat the beings behind Endgame.

London, England. Sarah Alopay has found the first key. She is with Jago—and they are winning.But getting Earth Key has come at a great cost to Sarah. The only thing that keeps the demons at bay is Playing. Playing to win.

Sky Key—wherever it is, whatever it is—is next. And the nine remaining Players will stop at nothing to get it.









Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men shows up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired. 
Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word, and her brothers are dead.
Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back? 
Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans fuses all the heart of the classic tale with a stunning, imaginative world in which a star-crossed family fights for its very survival.
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2. flashback or narrarated past?

Question: My MC has a really dark/sad past. I hint at it vaguely a few times throughout the book. A while in, I finally explain his past straightforwardly.

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3. A Deafening Silence in Heaven by Thomas E. Sniegoski

It's time for a new Remy Chandler novel! Here's a sneak peek of A DEAFENING SILENCE IN HEAVEN by Thomas E. Sniegoski, now available in bookstore everywhere:

He was once known as the angel Remiel. But, generations ago, Boston PI Remy Chandler renounced Heaven and chose to live on Earth, hiding among us humans, fighting to save our souls...

Remy Chandler is hovering on the brink of death, surrounded by friends who are trying to ward off those who would take advantage of his vulnerability. Unbeknownst to them, the greatest threat to Remy is one they can’t fight - God himself. The Almighty dispatches Remy far beyond their reach, to an alternate universe where there has been an apocalyptic catastrophe: the Unification.

Only as he hunts down the source of this calamity, it becomes clearer and clearer that the person responsible for the tragedy may have been none other than Remy himself.

And while he searches for a way to stop his world from following in the footsteps of the doomed alternate reality, enemies are massing in his universe. For the Unification is at hand and, this time, Remy may be powerless to affect its outcome...

Read an excerpt.

A Deafening Silence in Heaven is the latest in a series. I've read them all, and I recommend them all.

Read them in order:

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski   Dancing on the Head of a Pin by Thomas E. Sniegoski   Where Angels Fear to Tread by Thomas E. Sniegoski   A Hundred Words for Hate by Thomas E. Sniegoski   In the House of the Wicked   Walking in the Midst of Fire by Thomas E. Sniegoski   A Deafening Silence in Heaven by Thomas E. Sniegoski

To learn more about the series, visit the website: http://www.sniegoski.com/apocalypse/

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5. Jon Voight, Gemma Chan and Carmen Ejogo join ‘Fantastic Beasts’

The newest list of actors joining the set of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been announcedSelma actress Carmen Ejogo, Gemma Chan from Humans and Mission Impossible / Transformers actor Jon Voight.




They will be joining Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Dan Fogler and Samantha Morton on set, alongside director David Yates (director of the final four Harry Potter films).

Filming for Fantastic Beasts began in August 2015, following the 2014 announcement of the three-part film series. The film is set for release in November 2016.

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6. The In$sane Chicago Way


John M. Hagedorn’s The In$ane Chicago Way mines the secret history of the attempt to form a Spanish Mafia by Chicago gangs in the 1990s—including why it failed—in order to examine and contextualize our current potential to intervene in and reduce gang-related violence. Hagedorn was recently interviewed by Milt Rosenberg (podcast in full here), and submitted his book to the scrutiny of the Page 99 Test, both of which you can access online, including an excerpt from Page 99 below. And, if you’re in Chicago, you can catch Hagedorn in person at the Great Cities Institute (412 S. Peoria, Suite 400) on Monday, October 19th, at 2:30PM.

From the Page 99 Test blog:

The In$ane Chicago Way tells a heretofore unknown story of how Chicago Latino gangs tried to create a Spanish mafia and why they failed. In$ane explains how a coalition of Latino gangs, Spanish Growth & Development (SGD), was created by gang leaders to control violence, organize crime, and corrupt police. Law enforcement and even most gang members were not aware of the 10-year existence of SGD which ruled the streets from the Illinois prison system. SGD was not destroyed from outside by arrests but by an internecine war of the families, or rival groups of gangs. The book follows SGD from its origins to its bloody demise in an assassination of the steps of a peace conference.

Chicago’s mafia, the Outfit, was not an uninterested observer to these efforts. They worked backstage through their minor league team, the C-Note$, to influence SGD, particularly to control violence in order to safeguard profits. The book follows the exploits of the five principal C-Note leaders, who my Outfit informant called “Two Dagos, Two Spics, and a Hillbilly.” In order to infiltrate SGD, the Outfit had to overlook their Italian C-Note leaders and push forth a Puerto Rican, Mo Mo, as their de facto representative. Page 99 is a small glimpse into Mo Mo and why he became the Outfit’s choice as their covert liaison to SGD.

To read more about The In$sane Chicago Way, click here.

To read the Page 99 Test post in full, click here.


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7. A Brilliant One Stop Resource for Writers of All Levels and a Sneak Peak at Persuasion

Something AMAZING is about to happen, and if you are a writer, it's going to make your life much easier.

One of the VERY first posts that I wrote for Adventures in YA Publishing way back in 2010 when this blog was new was about an incredible website that I had found with an incredible tool for writers to help create richer, more realistic stories: The Emotion Thesaurus. It was this brilliant resource that let you choose an emotion and find the right body language, visceral response, or internal reaction to help express what a character was feeling or doing in response to a particular situation. Then the site owners, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, added to the site to make it better and better. They added a Setting Thesaurus, a Character Thesaurus, a Weather Thesaurus, and a whole collection of helpful tools.

Fast forward a couple more years. Angela and Becca published the Emotion Thesaurus in book form. Then they added two volumes of the Character Thesaurus. They racked up awards and sales so fast you'd have said it wasn't believable if you hadn't seen it. And now, working with one of the developers behind SCRIVENER, tomorrow they will unleash One Stop For Writers™, a brand new website. It will not only have The Emotion Thesaurus fully realized and searchable online, but all the other thesaurus as well. All in one place. Here's what you get:

Read more »

0 Comments on A Brilliant One Stop Resource for Writers of All Levels and a Sneak Peak at Persuasion as of 10/6/2015 8:08:00 AM
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8. The Great Big Harry Potter Fansite Interview: Leaky’s Q&A with Harry Potter Illustrator Jim Kay

Today, October 6, Bloomsbury is publishing the first illustrated edition of the Harry Potter books–Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is hitting shelves in stores near you. As a part of publication celebrations, illustrator Jim Kay agreed to participate in Q&A sessions with major Harry Potter news sites, calling it The Great Big Harry Potter Fansite Interview. The Leaky Cauldron was honored with the opportunity to be apart of this event.

The Leaky staff came together to create and ask Kay four specific questions that we thought fans might like answered, and questions that Kay had not yet answered in previous interviews or Q&As. Jim Kay took the time, between drawing illustrations for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, to answer two of each site’s questions, and send never-before-seen images from Philosopher’s Stone. Please see the images and the interview below!


The Great Big Harry Potter Fansite Interview


Were you influenced by previous Harry Potter illustrators/the films or did you veer away from both?(Alwaysjkrowling.com)

I’m a huge fan of both the books and the films. I thought the screen adaptations were a wonderful showcase of the best set design, product design, costume, casting, directing and acting their disciplines had to offer. I knew from the start that I’m competing to some degree with the hundreds of people involved in the visuals of the film. I remember watching the extras that come with the movie DVDs a few years back, and wondering how on earth you’d get to be lucky enough to work on the visuals for such a great project. To be offered the opportunity to design the whole world again from scratch was fantastic, but very daunting. I’d like to think that over the years lots of illustrators will have a crack at Potter, in the same way that Alice in Wonderland has seen generations of artists offer their own take on Lewis Carroll’s novel. I had to make it my version though, and so from the start I needed to set it apart from the films. I’ll be honest I’ve only seen a few illustrations from other Potter books, so that’s not been so much of a problem. I love Jonny Duddle’s covers, and everyone should see Andrew Davidson’s engravings – they are incredible!

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What was the most important detail for you to get right with your illustrations? (Magical Menagerie)

To try and stay faithful to the book. It’s very easy when you are scribbling away to start wandering off in different directions, so you must remind yourself to keep reading Jo’s text. Technically speaking though, I think composition is important –the way the movement and characters arrange themselves on the page – this dictates the feel of the book.

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What medium do you use to create your illustrations? (Snitchseeker)

I use anything that makes a mark –I am not fussy. So I don’t rely on expensive watercolour or paints, although I do occasionally use them – I like to mix them up with cheap house paint, or wax crayons. Sometimes in a local DIY store I’ll see those small tester pots of wall paint going cheap in a clear-out sale, and I’ll buy stacks of them, and experiment with painting in layers and sanding the paint back to get nice textures. The line is almost always pencil, 4B or darker, but the colour can be a mixture of any old paint, watercolour, acrylic, and oil. Diagon Alley was unusual in that I digitally coloured the whole illustration in order to preserve the pencil line drawing. I’d recommend experimenting; there is no right or wrong way to make an illustration, just do what works for you!

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Because each book is so rich in detail, what is your personal process when choosing specific images?(The Daily Snitcher)

I read the book, then read it again and again, making notes. You start off with lots of little ideas, and draw a tiny thumbnail illustration, about the size of a postage stamp, to remind you of the idea for an illustration you had while reading the book. I then start to draw them a little bigger, about postcard size, and show them to Bloomsbury. We then think about how many illustrations will appear in each chapter, and try to get the balance of the book right by moving pictures around, dropping or adding these rough drawings as we go. With Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury were great in that they let me try all sorts of things out, different styles, concepts. Some I didn’t think would get into the final book, but everyone was very open to new ideas. There was no definite plan with regards to how the book would look; we just experimented and let it evolve.


(McGonagall is from Telegraph’s photos)

Given the distinct split of younger vs. more mature readers of the series, how do you construct your illustrations so that they can appeal to both audiences at once? (Mugglenet)

The simple answer is I don’t try. I think only about the author and myself. You can’t please everyone, particularly when you know how many people have read the book. I don’t think good books are made by trying to appeal to a wide audience. You just try to do the best work you can in the time given, and respect the author’s work. Most illustrators are never happy with their own work. You always feel you want to try more combinations or alternative compositions. You are forever in search of that golden illustration that just ‘works’, but of course it’s impossible to achieve –there will always be another way of representing the text. Effectively you chase rainbows until you run out of time! You get a gut feeling if an image is working. I remember what I liked as a child (Richard Scarry books!). Detail and humour grabbed me as a nipper, and it’s the same now I’m in my forties.

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Did you base any characters or items in the book on real people or things? (Leaky Cauldron)

Lots of the book is based on real places, people and experiences. It helps to make the book personal to me, and therefore important. The main characters of the books are based on real people, partly for practical reasons, because I need to see how the pupils age over seven years. In Diagon Alley in particular, some of the shop names are personal to me. As a child we had a toad in the garden called Bufo (from the latin Bufo bufo), Noltie’s Botanical Novelties is named after a very clever friend of mine who works at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. The shop called ‘Tut’s Nuts’ is a little joke from my days working at Kew Gardens; they had in their collections some seeds from the tomb of Tutankhamun, which were affectionately known as ‘Tut’s Nuts’. The imprisoned boy reaching for an apple in Brigg’s Brooms is from a drawing my friend did when we were about 9 years old –that’s thirty two years ago!

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Which character was the most difficult to draw? (Harry Potter’s Page)

Harry, without a doubt. Children are difficult to draw because you can’t use too many lines around the eyes and face, otherwise they look old. One misplaced pencil line can age a child by years, so you have to get it just right. Also Harry’s glasses are supposed to look repaired and bent out of shape, which I’ve found tricky to get right.

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What is your favourite scene you have illustrated? (Alwaysjkrowling.com)

That’s a difficult one. I’m fond of the ghosts. I paint them in reverse (almost like a photographic negative) and layer several paintings to make them translucent. I enjoyed Nearly Headless Nick. I really enjoyed illustrating the trolls too. Your favourite illustrations tend to be the ones that gave you the least amount of difficulties and I think Diagon Alley was nice for this reason. It was more like a brainstorming exercise, slowly working from left to right. My favourite character to illustrate is Hagrid – I love big things!

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Are there any hidden messages/items in your drawings for the Harry Potter series? (Magical Menagerie)

There are, but they are little things that relate to my life, so I’m not sure how much sense they’d make to other people. I like to include my dog in illustrations if I can (he’s in Diagon Alley). I also put a hare in my work, for good luck. There’s a hare in A Monster Calls, and in Harry Potter. My friends appear as models for the characters in book one, and some of their names too can be seen carved on a door, and on Diagon Alley. There are little references to later books too, such as on the wrought-iron sign of the Leaky Cauldron. I do it to keep things interesting for me while I’m drawing.

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How did you approach illustrating the Hogwarts Castle and grounds? (Harry Potter Fan Zone)

I really enjoyed doing this. You have to go through all seven books looking for mentions of the individual rooms, turrets, doors and walls of the castle, and make lots of notes. Then you check for mentions of its position, for example if you can see the sun set from a certain window, to find out which way the castle is facing. I then built a small model out of scrap card and Plasticine and tried lighting it from different directions. It was important to see how it would look in full light, or as a silhouette. Then it was a long process of designing the Great Hall, and individual towers. I have a huge number of drawings just experimenting with different doorways, roofs. Some early compositions were quite radical, then I hit upon the idea of trees growing under, through and over the whole castle, as if the castle had grown out of the landscape. This also gives me the opportunity to show trees growing through the inside of some rooms in future illustrations.

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What illustrations in the book are you most proud of? (Leaky Cauldron)

Usually it’s the ones that took the least amount of effort! It takes me so many attempts to get an illustration to work, that if one works on the second or third attempt, it’s a big relief. There is one illustration in the book that worked first time (a chapter opener of Hogwarts architecture, with birds nesting on the chimney pots). It kind of felt wrong that the illustration was done without agonising over it for days, it didn’t feel real somehow, so I’m proud of that one because it’s so rare that I get an image to work first time! The only other illustration that was relatively straightforward was the Sorting Hat. Illustrations that come a little easier tend to have a freshness about them, and I think those two feel a little bit looser than others in the book.


Which book do you think will be the most challenging one to illustrate? (Harry Potter’s Page)

At the minute it’s book two! I think book one I was full of adrenaline, driven by sheer terror! Book two I want to have a different feel, and that makes it challenging to start again and rethink the process.

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Is there a particular scene in the future Harry Potter books you’re excited to illustrate? (Harry Potter Fan Zone)

I’m really looking forward to painting Aragog in book two. I’m really fond of spiders – there are lots in my studio – so it’s great having reference close to hand! I’m hoping that by the Deathly Hallows we will be fully into a darker and more adult style of illustration, to reflect the perils facing Potter!

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How many illustrations did you initially do for the book, and how many of those appeared in the final edition? (Snitchseeker)

There are stacks of concept drawings that no one will ever see, such as the Hogwarts sketches, which I needed to do in order to get my head around the book. Then there are rough drawings, then rough drawings that are worked up a little more, and then it might take five or six attempts for each illustration to get it right.

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What house do you think you may have been placed in, aged 11, and would it be the same now? (Mugglenet)

I’d like to think it was Ravenclaw as a child. I was much more confident back then, and creative, plus they have an interesting house ghost in the form of the Grey Lady. These days I work hard and am loyal, so probably Hufflepuff.

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Illustrating aside, what is one thing that you love doing to express your creativity? (The Daily Snitcher)

It’s difficult to say because for the past 5 years I have worked on illustration seven days a week, every hour of the day. A few years back I started to write, and I really enjoyed that, it’s far more intimate than illustrating, and I love going over the same line and trying to hone it down to the core of what you are trying to express. My partner makes hats, and I’m very envious. It looks like wonderful fun. We have lots of designs for hats in sketchbooks. I really want to get some time to make some. I’ve always been slightly torn that I didn’t go into fashion, but my sewing is terrible. I used to play guitar a lot and write little bits of music, but that’s difficult now because my hand gets very stiff from drawing all day! The funny thing is, if I did ever get a day off, I’d just want to draw!

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This morning, J.K. Rowling invited all to check out the book and “see Harry Potter through Jim Kay’s extraordinary eyes,” and Pottermore also released their exclusive interview.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone–Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay, is now available from any book retailer near you (or online)! Happy reading and please let us know your impressions of the new version of the Harry Potter books–our favorite books!

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9. Guest Post & Giveaway: Meg Wiviott on Telling the Toughest Stories & Paper Hearts

Interview with Meg Wiviott.
By Meg Wiviott
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

History is filled with horrible, frightening events. Still, history needs to be taught. Finding a gentle way to tell a tragic, truthful story is something for which I seem to have a knack.

Kristallnacht, Auschwitz, and death marches are not the usual stuff of books for young readers. Finding an age appropriate manner to tell the story is a trick.

Honesty is the only way to tell any story, but especially an historical one. A writer must be respectful of the history and the characters. This requires that the writer not impose her twenty-first century sensibilities on a different time. I always start with truth. I do not dilute it. I do not dumb it down. But how is that done for young readers not yet ready to face some historic horrors? I have found that giving the reader space, distance, room to digest the truth works best.

For Benno and the Night of Broken Glass (Kar-Ben, 2010), I used a cat. Benno is a child-like, innocent, unbiased observer. He gives readers the emotional space to witness history from a safe place, allowing readers to take in what they can.

In Paper Hearts (McElderry, 2015), verse gave me that same emotional space. Poetry is all about metaphor. The use of white space, illusions, and elisions allow a writer to be honest without being blunt. The poetry allows a reader to take in only what he or she is capable of understanding. On subsequent readings, the reader should be able to take in more.

Both techniques allow for a gentle way of telling a horrendous truth. Simply because a story is terrible and filled with hatred, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be told. In fact, it probably mean it needs to be told.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win one of two signed copies of Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (McElderry, 2015). Author sponsored. Eligibility: one U.S. only, one international. From the promotional copy:

Amid the brutality of Auschwitz during the Holocaust, a forbidden gift helps two teenage girls find hope, friendship, and the will to live in this novel in verse that’s based on a true story.

An act of defiance.

A statement of hope.

A crime punishable by death.

Making a birthday card in Auschwitz was all of those things. But that is what Zlatka did, in 1944, for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all—for freedom.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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10. The Scoop on Multicultural Children’s Book Day Author Sponsorships!

Can you believe it’s less than 120 days until Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016!

multicultural children's book day

As time continues to speed forward, the MCCBD planning team continues to create amazing opportunities to get multicultural children’s books into the hands of teachers, librarians, parents and young readers. We are also continuing our quest of shining the spotlight on the many diverse book authors out there as well.

Our 2015 event was wildly successful and thanks to 9 co-hosts and 2 Co-founders, many sponsor and a ton of review bloggers, the event generated 26 million social media shares over a span of 7 days during the Multicultural Children’s Book Day celebration. In 2016, we expect far more of a reach, response and success… and here’s why:

  • For MCCBD 2016, we have a very special Classroom Reading Challenge planned that will target and engaged 200 classrooms in reading diverse books. (More details to come!)
  • We are adding more Co-Hosts who will bring with them a significantly enhanced social media reach.
  • We have hired Susan Raab of Raab Associates to do our PR for six weeks leading up to January 27th, Multicultural Children’s Book Day

With the 2015 event, we had 150+ blogs participating in and each blogger was matched with an author or publishers. These bloggers received a multicultural children’s book to review on their blog. They day of the event (1/17/2015) everyone linked up their blog post on a Linky on the MCCBD site to create a giant reading resource for parents, teachers and librarians. We expect the number of participating review bloggers to grow this year.


As you can imagine this creates a very special opportunity for authors of multicultural children’s books to get their books in front of their target audience; parents, teachers and librarians. Our Author Sponsorship option is a very affordable way for authors to gain visibility before and after this growing event and also get their books into the hands of review bloggers.

author sponsorships

Benefits for our Author Sponsors include:

  • A 300x 300 image of your book cover, book description in the form of a 300 word blog post, and links to your site from our special Authors/Illustrators BlogRoll Page.
  • 2 Tweets and one Facebook update directing readers to the blog post on the MCCBD blog that is highlighting your book(s) and information.
  • The opportunity to supply 2-10 books to review bloggers to review for MCCBD 2016.

But wait! We thought we would throw in an extra perk for those authors wishing to lock in an Author Sponsorship before November 30th!

Any author who purchases an Author Sponsorship between now and 11/30/15 has the option of submitting TWO guest posts on the MCCBD blog! One post will be published before 1/27/16 and the second will be published on a pre-determined date after the MCCBD 2106 celebration is over. All guest posts must follow our guest post guidelines, but it is an excellent way to continue receiving visibility for their published works.

Our Author Sponsorships are a very affordable $65 and sign-up is as simple as going HERE and choosing the Author Sponsor option. Again, it’s a very effective way for author’s to get recognition and raise awareness for their diverse children’s books.

We’d love to have all multicultural children’s books author participate (all genres!) and together we will continue to be the voice championing diversity in children’s books!

Please direct questions and inquires to Project Manager Becky Flansburg at Becky@AudreyPress.com

The post The Scoop on Multicultural Children’s Book Day Author Sponsorships! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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11. Seize the Night anthology

Attention Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood fans: Here's a new anthology for your to sink your teeth into today!

Seize the NightSeize the Night is old-school vampire fiction at its finest. A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins.

Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again.

Seize the Night was edited by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden and features all-new stories, including:

Up in Old Vermont by Scott Smith
Something Lost, Something Gained by Seanan McGuire
Blood by Robert Shearman
The Neighbors by Sherrilyn Kenyon
On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin by Michael Koryta
Paper Cuts by Gary A. Braunbeck
Miss Fondevant by Charlaine Harris
In a Cavern, In a Canyon by Laird Barron
Whiskey and Light by Dana Cameron
We Are All Monsters Here by Kelley Armstrong
May the End Be Good by Tim Lebbon
Mrs. Popkin by Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry
Direct Report by Leigh Perry (Toni L.P. Kelner)
Shadow and Thirst by John Langan
Mother by Joe McKinney
The Yellow Death by Lucy A. Snyder
Last Supper by Brian Keene
Separator by Rio Youers
What Kept You So Long? by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Blue Hell by David Wellington

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12. The Story of Diva and Flea, by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi -- a winning combination (ages 5-8)

Friends not only figure out how to work out conflicts, they also encourage each other and grow together. The Story of Diva and Flea is a delightful new chapter book that is going to have huge appeal, and at its heart it's a wonderful story of friendship.

The Story of Diva and Flea
by Mo Willems
illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
Disney Hyperion, 2015
Your local library
ages 5-8
*best new book*
Diva has lived at the same building in Paris for as long as she can remember, loyally guarding the front courtyard. "She took her job very seriously," making sure that everything is safe. But she is a very small dog, and just a little nervous.
"If anything ever happened, no matter how big or small, Diva would yelp and run away."
When alley-cat Flea wanders past Diva's building, flaneur-ing as he does through the streets of Paris, Flea is fascinated by the little dog. Unfortunately, Flea also finds it very funny when Diva yelps and runs away. This happens day after day, until Diva has had enough:
"Then one day Diva didn't yelp or run away. Instead, she looked right at Flea's big face and asked, 'Are you trying to hurt my feelings?' Flea had never thought about it like that."
Right from the beginning, readers know that Diva and Flea are completely different: one lives in the world of humans, the other explores the streets of Paris on his own. But it's this moment--when Flea realizes that he's hurt Diva's feelings--that the story crystalizes and captures readers' interest. Flea apologizes, and their friendship develops from there as the two learn from each other.
sketches of Diva and Flea, by Tony DiTerlizzi
With Flea's encouragement, Diva ventures out beyond the gates of her courtyard. It is scary for nervous little Diva, but she learns to trust Flea and be brave. I'd love to talk with kids about what helps Diva take these steps. How do friends support one another? How have they encouraged a friend?

I loved learning about the friendship behind this creation, how Mo Willems started with the idea of a story but then reached out to Tony DiTerlizzi. Enjoy watching this video where they share the story behind the story:

Please complete the rafflecopter below to enter for a chance at winning one copy of The Story of Diva and Flea and a DIY friendship bracelet kit. The giveaway will run from Tuesday, October 6th until Wednesday, October 14th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Illustrations ©2015 Tony DiTerlizzi. The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, Disney Hyperion. Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing is provided by Disney Publishing. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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13. The Art of Gardening/by R. William Thomas, Rob Cardillo, and the Chanticleer Gardeners

Yesterday was moving day at my father's house. After so many months of packing and renovation, the big truck came. I snuck away from the activities for two beautiful hours in the afternoon to celebrate the release of The Art of Gardening (Timber Press) by the gardeners of Chanticleer. (And then rushed home, changed back into grunge wear, and began again the unpacking of boxes.)

Readers of my blog and books know that Chanticleer has served as backdrop for many of my musings, both nonfiction (Ghosts in the Garden) and fiction (Nothing but Ghosts). (Indeed, my Inky story about this fabled landscape is featured in Love: A Philadelphia Affair.) But as a writer I merely bear witness. I do not know the names of most things, do not capitalize upon the folds in the earth, do not walk the garden every day looking for the ebbing away and the new opportunity.

Bill Thomas and his gardeners do. They make these now 48 acres (the garden is growing) glow, season after season, with their plants, their sense of purpose, their artistry. You'll find their winter projects—clay pots, wood furniture, metal work, hand rails, sculptures—in among the blooms. You'll hear them talking about ways to preserve the biodiversity of soil and to optimize microclimates, not to mention the secrets still stashed in the greenhouse.

The Art of Gardening, featuring photographs by Rob Cardillo (who once took this photo of me on a rainy Chanticleer day for what has become an award-winning magazine), is subtitled "Design, Inspiration, and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer." Its authors are the gardeners themselves, with Bill Thomas editing the overall narrative and Eric Hsu providing the captions. The history and vision of Chanticleer is represented here, as are design strategies, reports on experiments, and a planting list.

It's a lovely compilation, celebrated on a gorgeous day that also marked the unveiling of the grand new path that winds up toward the Chanticleer house and (at this particular moment in time) makes the hover above the ground feel airbrushed with a color that is not quite pink and not quite purple.

Huge congratulations to the Chanticleer gardeners (and Rob) whose artistic spirits are so well captured here.

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14. And Then It Rained on Malcolm - a bookwrap


Written by Paige Feurer

Illustrated by Rich Farr 

Ages 3-6

Unwrapping the illustrations...
OMGosh they are just brilliant!

About the book...

Malcolm has great aspirations of playing outside in his sandbox, creating magnificent sandcastles and building an imaginative world tailor-made to his specifications. Then guess what?  Rain moves in soaking and washing away all his dreams of grandeur.  

At first Malcolm is upset.  Imagine the nerve of that rain to squelch his outdoor playtime.  But then he contrives a novel idea to partner with the rain and together they have an adventure extraordinaire.  He trucks inside, dons his red boots, his red coat and his goggles and forges back out ready to celebrate his rainy day.  

He splashes, he thrashes, he throws himself in muddy puddles soaking his dog who is not impressed.  Wiggly worms squirm into his boots, his hair and his coat, tickling him and making him giggle and laugh. 

He runs through the mud, through the sand and right into the house where he runs into .... Mom!  She is not impressed either! Oh my...he's in big trouble.

How can Malcolm fix this problem?  Is he able to bail himself out and get back into Mom's good books?  Well grab a copy of this fabulous book and find out.

"Debut author/illustrator team Paige Feurer and Rich Farr are sure to bring out the giggles in this silly and imaginative story of a little boy who finds the silver lining in the rain clouds that come his way."

There certainly is a rainbow at the end of this book because this book is pure gold. 

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15. Despite everything


I've made very few of my own personal creations this year; partly because I am still struggling to recover my creativity after the awful, life changing events of 2013. *Warning* This is an old post that some people who don't know what happened may find upsetting, but I've put it in, as this is to some extent my personal blog and anyhow, it's been 'out there' since it happened.

Grief doesn't just stop once the initial agony subsides; it continues to send out ripples and in my case, this has meant a rather grey no-man's land as far as inspiration goes. Bit of a problem when your only income is creatively based.

So I have been busy flogging whatever I can on eBay, to pay the bills. Once upon a time, this wasn't such an issue, but my circumstances now mean that anything which doesn't bring in an income has to be forfeited in favour of things which do. But I have cobbled together a few things. Just to keep my hand in.

These odd looking beasties - 'Hawses' - were a bit of a self indulgent experiment and a move away from my mainstream cute style. If nothing else, it was good to try something different.

The rest has been more familiar work. I've fiddled about unsuccessfully with different ideas, including the 'Teddy Bear of Doom'. One of the most difficult things I have ever attempted, shown here at halfway stage. Limbless, unloved and a bit wistful. Little blighter.

On another note, my kits have found their way to Berlin, via the gorgeous AMODO shop - I feel as if I have gone international, albeit in a very small way!
But sadly, a squirrel and a simple circus bear have been pretty much the only finished work so far this year.  

I continue to weather things out and as always, try to look on the bright side. Despite everything that has happened, and some recent health issues, I have so many blessings in my life and count them every day.

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16. FAN MAIL WEDNESDAY #215: Advice to a Young Writer & the Idea of “Downshifting”

I’m posting this one for two reasons. First, Megan’s sweet reply, so simple and direct, surprised and moved me. That last sentence. And secondly, because I am frequently asked for “advice” and often fail to give a satisfactory answer. In this case, I don’t fail quite so miserably as usual and it included a notion that applies to a great many young writers I’ve encountered over the years — the idea of downshifting. I don’t have time for many exchanges like this, but I do what I can.
This begins, atypically, with my response. Megan, I’d guess, is 13 or 14, and she genuinely inspires to be a writer. This wasn’t a question of a student dutifully asking a question that her teacher would approve of. No, Megan wanted to send me her book and I was like, “Oh, please, don’t do that. Send me an excerpt.”
This is my reply, which she waited for patiently.
Greetings. I’m very impressed with your story, and I’m grateful for your persistence & patience.
I am wrestling with a deadline of my own, have a pile of unanswered letters, etc., so I hope you’ll understand that this will be brief, of necessity.
In general, I’m not a great advice-giver when it comes to writing. I’m not full of tips, largely because I’m still trying to figure it out for myself. The standard pieces of advice are still the best: Read widely, read often, & read with a writer’s eye; and write. You’ve got to write. Have a place where you can write, a crummy journal, anything. And try to write everyday. Don’t let all your best work be text messages.
The other thing that I really believe in is that you should trust your enthusiasms. If you are excited about a topic, an idea, a writer, a series of books, an activity — then pursue it. Don’t worry so much if it will be practical or publishable or realistic. Just try to find those things that get your heart racing. That make you happy. And trust that good things will come out of it.
As for your story, you are filled with many interesting characters and ideas. When I read, I know there is a lively mind at work here. An interesting mind. That’s very good to see. So many good, descriptive details. At the same time, your work reflects an inexperienced writer. That makes sense, because it’s true. You are young and inexperienced and you have not yet honed your writing muscles.
The one idea I want to convey to you is “downshifting.” Slowing down. You have enough ideas in here for a 500-page story, so all of it feels rushed, like you are in a hurry to get to the next thing, then the next, then the next. You need to slow down, add a beat, let each scene, each moment, have it’s own moment (if you will).
I loved the initial sense of the magical in the air that begins the story. The girl in the woods. (I didn’t like that she was trudging, especially after I learned that she was sent to give an urgent message; to me, that’s not a trudging errand, that’s running, exhaustion, resting, eating, running, and so on). It’s lungs burning, muscles aching. Then as readers, we are caught up in that feeling. There’s a deadline, a rush, and something important is at stake. We are eager to know why.
The visit with Corporal Hillson’s needs to slow down. Take your time. I didn’t understand why Hillson was telling Vivian all this. Why did he trust her? What was she doing there? I didn’t completely get it. His news is “extremely secret,” yet he blabs it to her. Why? You need to set this up better.
Next, almost as suddenly, she is in a cavern. That’s cool. The two girls. Again, slow down. Stay in the moment more, linger over the details, set the scene.
Good work, Megan. You have talent and, as I said before, a lively, inventive mind. You probably have more story here than you are fully capable of writing at this point in your life. Keep at it. Focus on individual scenes. Word by word, sentence by sentence. And also, write poems, write short stories, and keep writing.
You are already much more accomplished than I was at your age.
Good luck,
James Preller
Megan replied:
Dear Mr. Preller,
Thank you for your support. You have no idea how much this means to me. I will edit my story so that I do that. Thank you for your time. I would give anything to write like you. 

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The relationship in dysfunctional families between kids and parents isn't something often directly discussed in YA novels, but this one, from the first paragraph, is all about what happens when a kid is accustomed to taking care of a parent.... Read the rest of this post

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18. Aladdin


This is a piece I did for a Educational reader a little while back. It’s interesting how the original story differs from the Disney version that so many of us are familiar with. It’s much darker.

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19. Tuesday Teaser: EMERALDS, K.A. Linde

#Emeralds is coming #Nov16th #TrihnsStory  #AStormIsBrewing  #IsWalkingAwayEasy #AllThatGlitters @authorkalinde

Author KA Linde is also giving away a $10 gift card on her Facebook page! Go there to enter!

Also, don't forget to add EMERALDS to your Goodreads account!

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20. Wake me up when it’s all over

sleep-paralysis-1170x668I confess to feeling nonplussed when the publicist wrote to see if “Horn [ed note: AARGH] will review The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Sleep,” the self-published bestseller that Random House picked up for a rumored seven-figure advance. I mean, yes, the Horn BOOK will review it in the Spring 2016 Horn Book Guide because that publication reviews non selectively, but, really, why are you asking me this? Is somebody making you do it? I felt one step away from a drunk Reese Witherspoon bellowing at a cop who didn’t know who she was.

But, okay, Rando, here’s what Horn thinks. The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Sleep is a book designed to help parents get their kids to go to sleep. It has sold so many copies (already, I mean, but clearly RH thinks there are even more suckers out there) because it probably works as advertised. The text is long–really, really long– and droning and uneventful, and it will bore the brats right into dreamland. Authorial directives are everywhere, telling parents where to whisper, where to provide emphasis, where to yawn: “The name of the rabbit, Roger [ed note: fuck you], can be read as ‘Raaah-gerr’ with two yawns.” The combination of boredom plus suggestion will induce a hypnotic state in both parent and child and cause Chandler to walk around the apartment with a towel round his head like a girl make them very, very sleeeepy. (Despite what the Amazon reviews will tell you, this is not “magic.” Now, I would have thought that the kind of parent  susceptible to The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Sleep might have been horrified at the prospect of hypnotizing their offspring because that is how demons get in, but anything for a good night’s sleep, I suppose.) Mission accomplished.

If the seven-figure-advance rumor is true, I’d love for someone to do the math for me. Can this book (or books; the author and publisher are threatening a series) earn that much money back? Won’t parents figure out that Goodnight Moon–cheaper, prettier, and a billion times classier–does the same thing?


The post Wake me up when it’s all over appeared first on The Horn Book.

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21. Little progress in how to advise women with dense breasts

Lawmakers around the country are rushing to enact laws that require providers to notify women if their screening mammograms find dense breast tissue. Meanwhile, clinicians remain at a loss concerning how to counsel such women.

The post Little progress in how to advise women with dense breasts appeared first on OUPblog.

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22. Cemetery Girl, Book Two: Inheritance by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden

Cemetery Girl: Inheritance
Last year, I devoured the first Cemetery Girl graphic novel, The Pretenders, in one sitting. I am not always "into" stories in which the main character has amnesia - I am impatient and want to know what happened to the character, and I also really wish I could help them/heal them/restore their memories immediately - but the quick pace of this story offered intrigue and action rather than hemming and hawing, plus I liked the full-color illustrations...and I still felt the urge to help the protagonist and learn more about her.

Today sees the release of Book Two in the Cemetery Girl trilogy, Inheritance. Here's the cover summary:

She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill. She has been living - hiding out - in Dunhill Cemetery ever since someone left her there to die. She has no idea who wants her dead or why, but she isn't about to wait around for her would-be killer to finish the job.

Despite her self-imposed isolation, Calexa’s ability to see spirits - and the memories she receives from them - guarantees she'll never be alone, even among the deceased. The only living people she allows herself to interact with are Kelner, the cemetery's cantankerous caretaker, and Lucinda Cameron, an elderly woman who lives in an old Victorian house across the street. With their friendship, Calexa has regained a link to the world beyond tombstones and mausoleums.

Until the night she witnesses a murder that shatters her life - a life now under a police microscope - as their investigation threatens to uncover Calexa’s true identity...

Cemetery Girl: Inheritance was written by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden and illustrated by Don Kramer.

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23. Flying robot

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24. Cybils Nominations--What to Nominate!

Cybils Nominations are Open!

There haven't been that many nominations yet in YA Nonfiction, and we need some more books to read so that we can pick the best ones!

When I was preparing for the Cybils, I started looking around to see what books had gotten stars or a lot of good review so I could start placing my holds and gathering up potential nominees.

Are you still looking for something to nominate? Here's a list of things that I found that would be a good nominee, but no one's nominated yet:

Fuel Under Fire: Petroleum and Its Perils by Margaret J. Goldstein

Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson

The Untold History of the United States, Volume 1: Young Readers Edition, 1898-1945 by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, adapted by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus

The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics (Young Readers Adaptation) by Daniel James Brown

Also, on Sunday, Jean Little Library posted a long list of possible nominations--all of her suggestions for YA Nonfiction are still waiting to be nominated!

Anyone can nominate! If you're reading this YOU CAN NOMINATE. Go do it.

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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25. Beverly Slapin reviews SMUGGLING CHEROKEE by Kim Shuck

Editor's Note: Beverly Slapin's review of Smuggling Cherokee may not be used elsewhere without her written permission. All rights reserved. Copyright 2015. Slapin is currently the publisher/editor of De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children.


Shuck, Kim (Tsalagi, Sauk/Fox, Polish), Smuggling Cherokee. Greenfield Review Press, 2005; grades 7-up

Smuggling Cherokee is full of powerful insight: part autobiography, part musing, part outrageous wit, and part punch-in-the-gut startling. Kim Shuck is a visionary: she knows who she is, what she comes from, and what she’s been given to do. Her poems are honest and passionate, and, without polemic, will shatter just about every stereotype about Indians that anyone has ever espoused: The man asks me,/ “Do you speak Cherokee?”/ But it’s all I ever speak/ The end goal of several generations of a/ smuggling project./ We’ve slipped the barriers,/ Evaded border guards./ I smile,/ “Always.”

Some of Kim’s poems are tenderly, achingly beautiful: The water I used to drink spent time/ Inside a pitched basket/ It adopted the internal shape/ Took on the taste of pine/ And changed me forever. And for those who didn’t know, or didn’t care to know, the many faces of depredation:

I call the slave master
Who lost track of my ancestor
A blanket for you
In gratitude.

I call the soldier
With a tired arm
Who didn’t cut deeply enough
Into my great-great grandfather’s chest to kill clean.
I return your axehead
Oiled and sharpened
Wield it against others with equal skill.

Will the boarding school officer come up?
The one who didn’t take my Gram
Because of her crippled leg.
No use as a servant – such a shame with that face…

Finally the shopkeeper’s wife
Who traded spoiled cans of fruit
For baskets that took a year each to make.
Thank you, Faith, for not poisoning
Quite all
Of my

Blankets for each of you,
And let no one say
That I am not
Grateful for your care.

Smuggling Cherokee, as with all of Kim Shuck’s poems, will resonate with Indian middle and high school readers. Students who are not Indian may not “get” some of them the first time around, but they will, eventually, if given the space to sit with them.

Kim Shuck—a poet, teacher, fine artist and parent of at least three—teaches college courses in Native Short Literature, creates phenomenal beadwork and basketry, curates museum collections, teaches origami to young children as an introduction to geometry, grows vegetables, converses with trees, takes long walks, and meditates while doing piles of laundry. She won the Native Writers of the Americas First Book Award for Smuggling Cherokee, as well as the Diane Decorah Award for Poetry, she has a fierce and gentle heart, and I’m honored to call her “friend.”

—Beverly Slapin

(Note: Smuggling Cherokee can be ordered from kshuck@tsoft.net. Discount for class sets, free shipping.)

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