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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. (Library books don’t count, but eBooks & audiobooks do).
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!
Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday.Every week Mailbox Monday will have a new linky posted for our Mailbox Monday links at Marcia's Mailbox Monday blog.Here’s a shout out to the new administrators:Leslie of Under My Apple Tree Vicki of I’d Rather Be at the BeachSerena @ Savvy Verse And Wit THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive.
****************I hope you had a good mailbox. My mailbox had a win for my book club.
****************On Monday, September 8, I received:1.THIS IS WATER by Yannick Murphy, courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours. I won a set of 10 books for my book club.
********** How about your mailbox? Any titles in your mailbox that you were excited about seeing?
By: Daniel Olivas,
Blog: La Bloga
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The City of West Hollywood celebrates National Literacy Month in September 2014 by launching a new, free literary-based community event “WeHo Reads: Noir” and a month of free Saturday programming
for adults and children at West Hollywood Library and Park. The programming includes not only great literature, but also special screenings of noir classics.
I want to note that on Saturday, September 27, there will be a day of author panels beginning at 1:00 and running to 7:00 p.m. Here is the full schedule
. I am delighted that I will be a panelist on “Noir in Color: Voices from Beyond the Pale” that starts at 3:30 and lasts until 4:15. Here is a description of panel: Color blind or color in mind? Noir, neo-Noir and not-so-Noir? Join us and look “beyond the pale” at characters of color in Noir and into the “pale of Noir” to examine the broad nature of how Noir is defined.
The panel will feature:
◙Gary Phillips (Moderator) is the editor and contributor to the bestselling anthology “Orange County Noir” and “Black Pulp.” His novel “Warlord of Willow Ridge” was about a career criminal hiding out in suburbia and “Big Water” is his graphic novel about a community’s fight against water privatization.
|Gary Phillips (Moderator) |
◙Gar Anthony Haywood is the Shamus and Anthony award-winning author of twelve crime novels and numerous short stories. He has written for both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and for long-form television. His short fiction has been included in the “Best American Mystery Stories” anthologies and Booklist has called him “a writer who has always belonged in the upper echelon of American crime fiction.”
|Gar Anthony Haywood |
◙Nina Revoyr is the author of four novels, including “Southland,” which was a BookSense 76 pick and a Los Angeles Times “Best Book” of 2003; the “The Age of Dreaming,” which was a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and “Wingshooters,” which won an Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award, was one of O: Oprah Magazine’s “Books to Watch For,” and was one of Booklist’s Books of the Year for 2011. Her new novel, “Lost Canyon,” will be published in 2015. Revoyr is also co-editor of the textbook “Literature for Life: A Thematic Introduction to Reading and Writing”. She has taught at Cornell, Antioch, Occidental, and Pitzer, and is executive vice president of a non-profit children’s service organization in Los Angeles.
◙Désirée Zamorano delights in the exploration of contemporary issues of injustice and inequity, via her mystery series featuring private investigator, Inez Leon, published by Lucky Bat Books. “Human Cargo” was Latinidad’s mystery pick of the year.
◙Daniel A. Olivas is the author of seven books including the award-winning novel, “The Book of Want” (University of Arizona Press), and “Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews” (San Diego State University Press). He is the editor of “Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature” (Bilingual Press), and has been widely anthologized including in “Sudden Fiction Latino” (W. W. Norton), and “You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens” (Arte Público Press). Olivas has written for many publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, La Bloga, High Country News, and California Lawyer.
|Daniel A. Olivas |
For more information about WeHo Reads: Noir, visit here
Last spring, during our morning Genius Hour time, one of my students had a small container with her when she entered the classroom. I asked her what she had and she said happily, "My Acorn Cap Collection. I am going to run a workshop this morning teaching people about them." She proceeded to gather magnifying glasses, markers paper and sticky notes. She quickly made a sign and invited people to the table to learn about ways to observe acorn caps. It was quite a popular spot in the room that morning and I thought, "This is what Genius Hour should look like every day!"
This year, as I thought about Genius Hour, I knew I wanted to change it a bit from last year. Last year, students found areas of interest and spent time learning about those and sometimes creating things to share their learning. I wanted it to be playful and purposeful. But I wanted it to be more for this year and this Acorn Cap workshop gave me some ideas.
This year, we are changing the name of Genius Hour to "Wonder Workshop". We have Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop and Math Workshop so having a Wonder Workshop makes sense. Our students know what a workshop is and they know their role in learning in a workshop. And a Wonder Workshop seems to make sense to 8 year olds. This will be a time that we explore those things we wonder about each day.
This year, when I think about Genius Hour/Wonder Workshop, I wanted it to be a combination of so many things. I love the Genius Hour movement and I also love the possibilities around Maker Space and Passion Time. I wanted to create a time that made sense for 8 year olds, where they could explore and learn. I wanted a place where they could sometimes be the learner and sometimes be the teacher. I wanted a place where anything was possible and where kids were in charge of their own learning.
To kick off Wonder Workshop, each child is creating a workshop for the class. We spent time talking about those things they love, things they are good at, things they want to teach others about. So, every day, for 2 weeks, we are learning from each other. For homework last week, kids prepared 10 minute mini-workshops on a topic of their choice. For 2 weeks, kids are rotating to workshops, learning from every other child in the classroom. So far we've learned:
- how to play guitar
- how to make fortune tellers
- how to braid hair
- about the sea
- how to make clay animals
- how to make puzzles
And these are just a few of the things we've learned about!
As students share, the audience members are jotting down new things they are learning and questions they have. They are also jotting down things they want to try. I am hoping that we are setting the stage for a Wonder Workshop that has us thinking about the following questions.
- What do we know?
- What can we teach each other?
- What can we learn from and with each other?
- What are you interested in/good at now?
- What might we be interested in later in the year?
There have been some added perks. The idea of "research" is already being discussed as something far more than finding the right answer. Students are seeing themselves in various roles and the variety of the presentations will give us things to build on when it comes to writing and communication for much of the year. They've also built a community around learning that I can see grow each day by listening into the questions they ask of each presenter. Each child is not only discovering new interests, but they are also discovering things about their classmates.
I'm excited to move forward with the idea of a Wonder Workshop after spending a few weeks exploring our interests and learning from and with each other. I imagine much of workshop will be a continuation of some of these workshops at first--kids are already wanting to try out and build on the things they are learning. Just as with any workshop during the first few weeks of school, I am listening in, observing, and thinking about how we might build on the amazing things that kids are already doing!
By: Mary Ann Scheuer,
Blog: Great Kid Books
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One of my great joys is connecting students with authors who inspire them. The moment I first read Andrea Davis Pinkney's Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America, her voice filled me with hope and song. I knew I wanted to share that same voice with students in Berkeley. And so I'm thrilled that she will be visiting this week, speaking at an elementary school, a middle school, and with families at a fireside chat.
A lot of work goes into arranging an author visit like this, but most important is getting the students excited about meeting her. I want to give students a sense of the author's work and what she's like as a person before they meet her. We're sharing this presentation throughout Berkeley schools:
I especially like sharing resources from TeachingBooks.net
with my students -- listening to how authors pronounce their name, hearing their voice, and watching videos. My students really liked the variety of images I was able to share -- from pictures of Andrea with her family to illustrations from her books.
It's a busy week here in Berkeley, as we get ready to host several author visits -- Andrea Davis Pinkney, Rita Williams Garcia and Jacqueline Briggs Martin. They're all in town for the ALSC Institute
. We feel incredibly lucky to be able to connect these inspiring authors with our students.
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.©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books
By: Kathy Temean,
Blog: Writing and Illustrating
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The SCBWI established the On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award in 2012 with funding from Martin and Sue Schmitt of the 455 Foundation. The grant was created to foster the emergence of diverse voices in children’s books.
Applications accepted between September 15th and November 15th, 2014
Two writers or writer/illustrators will each receive:
- An all-expense paid trip to the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles August 1-4, 2015 (transportation and hotel)
- Tuition to the SCBWI Summer Conference
- A manuscript consultation at the Summer Conference with an industry professional
- An additional meeting with an industry professional
- Tuition to the Summer Conference Writers or Illustrators Intensive
- A press release
Any writer or writer/illustrator from an ethnic and/or cultural background that is traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America. (American Indian, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander)
The manuscript must be an original work written in English for young readers and may not be under contract. The applicant must be over 18, be unpublished, and should not yet have representation.
All applications will be accepted via email only between September 15th and November 15th at Voices@scbwi.org and must include the following:
In the body of the e-mail:
1. An autobiographical statement and career summary in less than 250 words.
2. Why your work will bring forward an underrepresented voice in less than 250 words.
3. A synopsis of your manuscript in less than 250 words.
Attached to the e-mail:
4. A PDF of your entire manuscript. If the manuscript is not complete, it is not eligible.
The winners will be announced December 19, 2014 and the award presented at the 2015 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, August 1-4.
When your work is published the author/illustrator should include in the acknowledgement “This book was made possible in part by a grant from SCBWI”
VIEW PAST WINNERS
Good Luck! Remember you can not win if you don’t submit.
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By: Chuck Sambuchino,
Blog: Guide to Literary Agents
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This week’s agent spotlight is not a new agent, but rather an established one who has just made an agency move and is actively seeking clients. Get to know Lana Popovic of Chalberg & Sussman (info below) and see if she is a good fit for you work. Good luck!
(What query letter mistakes will sink your submission chances?)
About Lana: Lana Popovic holds a B.A. with honors from Yale University, a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law, where she focused on intellectual property, and an M.A. with highest honors from the Emerson College Publishing and Writing program. Prior to joining Chalberg & Sussman, Lana worked at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, where she built a list of Young Adult and adult literary authors while managing foreign rights for the agency.
With an abiding love for dark, edgy themes and shamelessly nerdy fare—Battlestar Galactica and Joss Whedon are two of her great loves—Lana is looking for a broad spectrum of Young Adult and Middle Grade projects, from contemporary realism to speculative fiction, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and historical. For the adult market, Lana is interested in literary thrillers, horror, fantasy, sophisticated erotica and romance, and select nonfiction. An avid traveler, she has a particular fondness for stories set in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, although she also loves reading deep and original stories about American subcultures. You can follow her on Twitter at @LanaPopovicLit. She will be a panelist at the Boston Book Festival this year, and also the AWP 2015 conference.
(Writing non-fiction? Hear submission advice from literary agents.)
She is seeking:
- Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction: Contemporary/realistic, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical, horror, sci-fi
- Adult Fiction: Literary thrillers, sci-fi, horror, romance, erotica, women’s literary fiction
- Adult Nonfiction: Pop culture, blog-to-book, literary memoir
How to contact: To query Lana, please e-mail lana [at] chalbergsussman.com with the first ten pages of the manuscript included in the body of the e-mail. Lana accepts queries by e-mail only.
The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.
Blog: The Children's Book Review
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SALINA YOON is the award-winning author/illustrator of nearly 200 books for children. Check out which picture books are her family's favorites!
Review by Becca
First off, I want to send Andye a HUGE thank you for having me here on Reading Teen! I've become quite the regular here on Reading Teen, which is fabulous! But if you haven't seen one of my reviews yet, I'm going to review Afterworlds a little bit different than others. I'll be writing a letter to the book, saying what I did/didn't like, similar to how I normally review on my
Posted on 9/14/2014
Question: I'm trying to write a story about a psycho killer who thinks himself a vampire. He's the main character. My story goal is to let him kill and
Wow! I love talking to Mel - he is so positive and inspirational - I really hope you guys like listening to his words of wisdom as much as I did. We talk about money and art and all kinds of other tid bits along the way. I listen to a lot of pod casts as I work and thought that perhaps some of you will like this longer format as you work on your art.
When your submission materials arrive in an agent’s inbox, they land among hundreds of others. At that point, one of two things will happen. Either the agent will like the submission and request more materials, or they will reply with a rejection. Authors who get rejected tend to fall in one of two categories when submitting materials: they try too hard, or not enough. This Writer’s Digest Boot Camp, which starts on Sept. 22, 2014, is designed to help you streamline your submission materials to stand out in a good way.
Attendees will learn how to write a dynamite query letter, tackle a one-page synopsis. The instructing literary agents of Kimberley Cameron & Associates will also explain the importance of author platform in addition to basic etiquette in dealing with an agent and manuscript basics. Lastly, all attendees will have an opportunity to interact one-on-one with an agent and submit the first ten double-spaced pages of their manuscript and a query letter for valuable feedback provided by successful literary agents. Note that there are limited seats for the event, and WD boot camps frequently sell out, so sign up sooner rather than later.
Here’s how it works:
On September 22, 2014 you will gain access to a special 60-minute online tutorial presented by literary agents Kimberley Cameron and Elizabeth Kracht. This tutorial will provide nuts & bolts advice on how to help you streamline your submission materials.
After listening to the presentation, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. Following the tutorial, writers will have two days in which to log onto the blackboard and ask your assigned agent critiquer questions related to revising your materials. The agents will be available on the Blackboard discussion boards from 1-3 p.m. (PT) on both Tuesday, September 23 and Wednesday, September 24. By end of day (11:59 p.m., PT) on Thursday, September 25, attendees will submit up the first 10 double-spaced pages of their manuscript and a query letter for review to their assigned agents.
The agents will spend one week reviewing all assigned pages, provide relevant feedback and offer suggestions to help attendees improve upon them. The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more.
(Sign up for the September 2014 boot camp here.)
The agents at Kimberley Cameron & Associates are allowing all attendees to individually choose exactly what they want to receive instructor feedback on. You are able to submit the first ten pages (double spaced) of your manuscript and a query letter for review by the agents.
If there are questions about how to submit work for critique, please ask them during the boot camp’s multiple Blackboard Q&A sessions, and either an agent or WD staffer can help you with an answer. Please note that agents cannot edit materials a second time, so please do not send your revisions back to them for a second review, unless they have specifically requested more work from you in an effort to consider your book for representation.
RECAP ON DATES:
Monday, September 22: Online Tutorial
Tuesday, September 23: Agent Blackboard Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (PT)
Wednesday, September 24: Agent Blackboard Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (PT)
Thursday, September 25: Submit Ten Double-Spaced Pages by EOD (11:59 pm PT)
Thursday, October 2: Agent Critiques Due
Only registered students can access the discussion boards. You’ll also be able to ask questions of your fellow students. Feel free to share your work and gain support from your peers.
Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.
(Sign up for the September 2014 boot camp here.)
In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also receive:
– Download of “Everything You Need to Know About Literary Agents,” an on-demand webinar by WD editor Chuck Sambuchino
– 1-year subscription to the WritersMarket.com literary agent database
Please note that all attendees should have ten double-spaced pages of the beginning of their manuscripts finished and ready to submit to the agent prior to the beginning of the event. If you are submitting fiction, please send in a one-page query letter and the first ten pages of your manuscript (double spaced). If you are submitting non-fiction, please send in a one-page query letter and ten pages (double spaced) of the same chapter text. If attendees have a preferred agent they want to work with, please notify the assigning WD editor. Though not guaranteed, we will try to link attendees with a preferred agent if they have one. Also, please note that no Additional discounts are available. All sales are final.
About the Agents:
Kimberley was educated at Marlborough School for Girls in Los Angeles, Humboldt State University, and Mount St. Mary’s College. She began her literary career as an agent trainee at the Marjel de Lauer Agency in association with Jay Garon in New York and worked for several years at MGM developing books for motion pictures. She was the co-founder of Knightsbridge Publishing Company with offices in New York and Los Angeles. In 1993 Kimberley became partners with Dorris Halsey of The Reece Halsey Agency, founded in 1957. Among its clients have been Aldous Huxley, William Faulkner, Upton Sinclair, and Henry Miller. She opened Reece Halsey North in 1995 and Reece Halsey Paris in 2006. In 2009 the agency became Kimberley Cameron & Associates. Kimberley resides and works from Tiburon, California and Paris, France, with many visits to New York to make the rounds of editorial offices. She is looking for exceptional writing in any field, particularly writing that touches the heart, and makes us feel something. She’s been successful with many different genres, and especially loves the thrill of securing representation for debut authors. She represents both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, with the exception of romance, children’s books and screenplays.
Elizabeth Kracht represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer. Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors and researching the potential market for new books. Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice or that offers wisdom for contemporary living. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by urban and multicultural themes and loves settings that are characters unto themselves. In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, and YA with crossover appeal. She is intrigued by untrustworthy narrators, tragic tales of class and circumstance, and identifies with flawed yet sterling characters. In nonfiction, she particularly loves memoir and other narrative nonfiction projects that contribute to the well-being of the self or others in addition to niche projects that fill holes in the market, offer a fresh approach, or make her laugh. She also has a soft spot for nonfiction heroic pet stories.
Amy Cloughley came to Kimberley Cameron & Associates with a background in editing, writing, and marketing. She seeks authors with unique, clear voices who put forth smart, tightly-written prose. As a new agent, she is now actively building her client list with both debut and veteran writers. She enjoys literary and upmarket fiction of all types in addition to commercial—including well-researched historical and well-told women’s fiction. She also loves a page-turning mystery, suspense, or thriller with sharp wit and unexpected twists and turns. She has a soft spot for distinctive, strong, contemporary characters set in small towns. Amy always looks for an unexpected story arc, a suitable pace, and a compelling protagonist. She is interested in narrative nonfiction when the plot and characters are immersed in a culture, lifestyle, discipline, or industry. She will also consider a travel or adventure memoir. Amy has studied creative writing, journalism, and literature and holds a B.S. in magazine journalism. She worked in editorial and marketing roles in magazine publishing and corporate business before shifting her professional focus to her lifelong love of books. She leverages her background in both words and business to benefit her clients.
MARY C. MOORE
Mary C. Moore started her career in publishing as a writer. She graduated from Mills College with an MFA in Creative Writing. After freelancing for two years as an editor and writer in non-literary sectors, she began an internship with Kimberley Cameron & Associates with the desire to learn more about the literary business for her own writing. During the internship she discovered a passion for helping others develop their manuscripts. Now she balances three jobs: writer, editor, and agent, and finds that the experience in each helps and supports the other. She is looking for unusual fantasy, grounded science-fiction, and atypical romance. Strong female characters and unique cultures especially catch her eye. Although she will not consider most non-fiction, stories about traditional dance or pagan culture may interest her. Above all, she is looking for writing that sweeps her away.
(Sign up for the September 2014 boot camp here.)
Create a Caption for These Amazing Dogs!
Dogs can do some pretty cool tricks, but how many dogs do you know that can skateboard? Thanks to Guinness World Records 2015 —a treasure trove of weird, amazing, goofy, and straight-up bizarre photos and facts—we now know that a dog named Norman scooted 30 meters (98 feet in) only 20.77 seconds, making him the world’s fastest dog on a scooter. Bet you didn’t know there was even a record for that!
Also amazing? The world record, at 6.56 seconds, for the fastest 10 meters (32 feet) walked on hind legs by a dog. It’s currently held by rising celebrity dog Jiff, who apparently has appeared in a Katy Perry music video. Jiff also holds the world record for fastest 5 meters (16 feet) walked on front legs by a dog, clocking in at 7.76 seconds.
Obviously, you guys need to see photos of these awesome dogs in action. What do you think Jiff and Norman would be saying in these photos?
Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World Records
Jiff: “Seriously? I’m famous now. You couldn’t find me an outfit with more pizzazz? Also–someone fetch me a Diet Coke, stat!”
Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World Records
We wanna hear what wacky, hilarious, clever, and interesting captions you’d give these talented pups. Share in the Comments below!
— En-Szu, STACKS Staffer
After the apparent success of Shin Kyung-sook's Please Look After Mom abroad the Koreans are apparently busy, as Kwon Mee-yoo reports in The Korea Times, Looking for next Shin Kyung-sook.
Kim Ae-ran is one hopeful -- though her success has been in other languages, not English -- while: "earlier Korean writers, such as Yi Mun-yol [Our Twisted Hero, etc.] and Hwang Sok-yong [The Guest]" are (regrettably) being written off as producing less: "universal themes in lively style" .....
The LTI said that in addition to Kim, Park Min-kyu and Kim Young-ha were also drawing attention from translators interested in Korean literature.
Dalkey Archive Press' Library of Korean Literature
is leading the Korean-charge into English, and among their upcoming offerings is Park's Pavane For a Dead Princess
(see their publicity page
), which I should be getting to soon.
Kim Young-ha has done quite well in English -- I Have the Right to Destroy Myself
, etc. -- though I'm not entirely reassured by the claim that: "More than 40 of her works have been translated and published overseas" (as Kim is a dude).
Guest post for the Brown Bookshelf
by syndicated cartoonist, author and illustrator,
I published my first book back in 1997. Since then I have written and / or illustrated more than a dozen others. I think the reason why I’ve dedicated my life to get kids to read is because I went through most of my life not enjoying reading whatsoever. In fact, whoever coined the term “reluctant reader” must have known me as a kid. And as a teen. And even as a young adult. To be honest, I was a grown man before I ever read a book on my own for enjoyment. It’s not that I couldn’t read, I was an “A” student who made Honor Roll every semester. It was that reading was never anything that was fun. Actually, it was a chore, like mowing the lawn. (Even though there were no lawns in the Washington Heights section of NYC, where I grew up.) And for a kid with a very active imagination, I needed something to grab my attention. I know my parents read to me as a kid, but once the Dr. Seuss stage passed, I was on my own.Sure, I’d see them read newspapers and magazines, but have few memories of them with books.
The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, written by Patrick Henry Bass, illustrated by Jerry Craft
In school, reading was always something I HAD to do, there was no getting around it. And believe me, I tried. Books being boring. For one thing, even though I attended schools that were 99% African American, I don’t ever remember having to read a book that featured characters that looked like any of us. Unless you count runaway slaves. So if it wasn’t for Marvel Comics, my reading enjoyment would have been close to zero! As a kid I was a huge comic book fan. Each week, I’d anxiously run to the corner candy store in order to buy the latest issues of Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four. But even then, if the plots had too many non-fighting pages, I’d kind of gloss over all that boring dialogue in order to get to the good stuff. Ka-Blam! But even though I, and many of my classmates, were reading, having a teacher catch you with a comic book was only slightly better than being caught with some kind of illegal contraband. Apparently, they didn’t want any of those “foul things” rotting our fragile little brains. It wasn’t until I reached the 7th grade that I had my first, and probably only, teacher who was a comic book fan. That was refreshing.
And then … as if books didn’t have enough competition with things like stickball, and touch football (way back when kids used to go outside to play) they invented the Atari 2600! That was one of the very first video game systems, for those of you who may not know. And reading for enjoyment went the way of the dinosaur.
In high school, there were a bunch of us who read comics, but unfortunately as I got older, the books that we were supposed to read for got bigger. And more boring. And even less reflective of my life. The memory of having to read William Faulkner’s, “As I Lay Dying,” still haunts me to this day!
The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention! By Jerry Craft, with Jayden Craft & Aren Craft (his sons)
Fast forward to college where I attended The School of Visual Arts. Most people who know that I went there, think that I was a cartooning major. But the cartooning classes were so popular that I was never able to actually sign up for one. Instead I majored in advertising copywriting where I wrote headlines for newspaper ads, radio commercials and TV commercials. This was right up my alley. What I wrote could be funny, it could be serious, but whatever it was, it had to be short.
Fast forward about 10 years, when I left the struggling advertising world to get a job at King Features Syndicate and later at Sports Illustrated for Kids. It was during this time that I had created my Mama’s Boyz comic strip. Again, the writing was funny and short! This was way back when personal computers just started taking off. And for the first time in my life, I found something that I actually ENJOYED reading other than comic books. Software manuals! Really! I could actually sit down for hours and read a book on how to use Photoshop or Flash. The books were not only huge, nor were they the least bit exciting. But for some reason, I LOVED them!!!
Then one day I got an email from a fan of my Mama’s Boyz comic strip. I used to have a page on my website where I showed how slang had changed from my father’s era, to mine, to the current group of teens. After exchanging a few emails, he told me that he was an author and wanted to know if I wanted to swap books with him. Why not? I sent him a copy of Mama’s Boyz: As American as Sweet Potato Pie! (which I had published myself), and a few days later I got a package in the mail with not only one book, but two! And they were long. “Aw crap, I remember thinking, now I HAVE to read both of these books, ‘cause he’s gonna want to know what I think of them.” And so I started the task. By now, I was married and living in Connecticut, so I had a few hours commuting on MetroNorth each day that I could devote to reading them. And you know what, I liked them. In fact, I LOVED them!!! When I was done, I was proud to write my new author friend, Mr. Eric Jerome Dickey and tell him what I thought of Sister, Sister and Friends and Lovers. From that point on, I felt like a superhero who had gotten super powers as a result of some freak accident. I LIKED TO READ! Now it was a matter of catching up on books that I had always heard about, but had never actually read. Classics like The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Invisible Man.
A few years later I had kids. Not wanting them to be reluctant readers like their dad, I literally read to them every single night for the first six years of their lives. Maybe longer. And then they’d read to me. Or we’d do it together. Short books. Long books. Everything we could get our hands on. I even did voices for the characters. Plus I made sure that they saw characters who looked like them. Their bookshelves were filled with names like Eric Velazquez, Bryan Collier, Shadra Strickland, Don Tate, E.B. Lewis, R. Gregory Christie, and anyone whose last name is Pinkney.
Then when I decided to write chapter books, there was no better sounding board than the two of them. They were my own private focus group. A few years ago, I was reading them a story that I was working on about 5 middle school bullies who get superpowers. And this time, instead of just sitting back and listening, they (now teenagers) were critical. Very critical. “Dad, no kid would say that,” I remember one of them saying. “Well what would he say?” And they told me. And it was good. After a few sessions of them setting me straight, I decided to make them co-writers. Luckily they accepted. And after about a year of writing, we were overjoyed to see, “The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!” published.
I had not only come full circle, from reluctant reader, to reader. Then to father of readers. Now that they had actually helped to write a book, they had broken through the circle. And that’s something that even a little boy from Washington Heights with an active imagination would have NEVER imagined possible.
Jerry Craft has illustrated and / or written more than two dozen children’s books, comic books and board games. Most recent is a middle grade novel co-written with his two teenage sons, Jaylen and Aren called: “The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!” — an adventure story that teaches kids about the effects of bullying. He is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, a comic strip that won four African American Literary Awards and was distributed by King Features from 1995 – 2013. He also illustrated “The Zero Degree Zombie Zone,” for Scholastic. For more info email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.jerrycraft.net
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Nino Haratischwili's Juja.
This 2010 novel was her debut -- and it was longlisted for the German Book Prize; she's been getting a lot of attention for her Das achte Leben (Für Brilka), her just-released 1200+ pager that (somewhat controversially) missed this year's German Book Prize longlist cut.
(I have a copy and warmed myself up for it with Juja.)
Interesting sidenote: Georgia-born Haratischwili writes in German under this name -- but literary agent Rachel Gratzfeld lists her (in English) transliterated as Nino Kharatishvili (note, however, the URL-spelling ...).
Today we look at the work of Saskia Gutekunst, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!
By: C. C. Gevry,
Greg Heffley and his family hit the road in author-illustrator Jeff Kinney’s latest installment of the phenomenal bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Series: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books (November 4, 2014)
Pre-order at Amazon!
Here are some more pages from my sketchbook in Tokyo this summer. I already posted this selection on Facebook, so apologies to my friends who've already seen them!
Today, I’d like to welcome my
friend and author, Katie Carroll and her main character, Katora Kase, from her YA
novel, ELIXIR BOUND. Let’s give a big round of applause for our guests.
Katie, I’m happy you were able to visit The Storyteller’s Scroll. We are all
anxious to meet Katora.
why don’t you start by talking about exactly what you are up against in your
You probably know Annie Barrows for her fantastic ivy + bean series, now 10 books strong (you can read my review here) but my first introduction to Annie Barrows was when I reviewed her book The Magic Half in 2010. Published in 2007, this story captured my imagination and has stayed with me. I was THRILLED when I learned that Barrows was working on a sequel and am happy to say that it's
Blog: Kelly Hashway's Blog
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Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.
Here's what's on my mind today:
- Scholastic Book Fair I'm helping out with the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's school this week. That's always dangerous because I can't be around books and not spend a lot of money.
- Kiss of Death I have a FREE Touch of Death prequel novella from Alex's POV. It's no secret I love Alex, so I had to tell his story. It's been in my head since I wrote Touch of Death. Check out the cover below, and download it FREE here.
- Into the Fire Challenge Have you seen my #IntotheFire Challenge? If you review the book on Amazon before October 10, you'll be entered to win an awesome prize. You could become a phoenix in the Birth of the Phoenix series and get signed copies of all the books! Check out my video about the challenge here.
- FREE! In celebration of the releases of Perfect For You and Into the Fire, I'm making Campus Crush permanently FREE. It's already free on Nook and I'm trying to get Amazon to price match. Hopefully soon.
- Milayna Cover Reveal Michelle Pickett has a cover reveal today. Milayna releases March 17 through Clean Teen Publishing. Check it out.
It’s hard being good all the time. Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn’t a choice. It’s a job requirement. And it’s a job she can’t quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half angel isn’t all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell’s demon, wants Milayna’s power and he’ll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.
With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting by her side is Chay. He’s a demi-angel who’s sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love… or her nemesis in disguise?
When she learns of a traitor in her group, there’s no one she can trust… not even the one she loves.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?
Just a reminder that my blog has moved to:
If you have subscribed in the past, you will need to resubscribe as there was a loss of the subscriber database, le sigh.
I just jumped back into Poetry Friday with an original poem, Poetry Waits For Me.
DreamWorks Animation continues to expand its footprint in the world of fashion through strategic partnerships with trendy fashion labels, like its new Jeremy Scott x Shrek line.
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2014 ALSC National Institute (photo courtesy ALSC)
So you’re going to the 2014 ALSC National Institute in Oakland, California. Or…you’re not.
Either way, you can participate. The conversations that happen at the Institute will inevitably spill over into social media and that is a beautiful thing. We put together a do’s and don’ts list to help those participating on both sides: on-site and online:
Do: Check out this Steve Sheinkin video from the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting
Yup. He’s our Thursday evening opener!
Don’t: Be Timid About Becoming a Live-Blogger
We’re still looking for live-bloggers for the Institute! Don’t be shy. There are people out there depending on you to report your favorite programs, speakers, moments, places to eat, and exciting new ideas. You can participate by simply emailing ALSC Blog Manager Mary Voors.
Do: Join the Conversation
We’ll be tweeting, posting information to Facebook and live-blogging via the ALSC Blog. A few hashtags for your consideration: #alsc14, #alscleftbehind, #CCSS, #oakland. Also look for some pictures that we’ll post to the ALSC Facebook page.
Don’t: Miss the site selection for the 2016 National Institute
Already thinking about 2016!? Are you crazy? Nope, just preparin’. At the 2014 ALSC National Institute, we’ll be announcing the location for the 2016 ALSC National Institute. Keep an eye out for that announcement.
Do: Bring the ALSC14 Recommendation Map
The National Institute Task Force has done the dirty work for you. They’ve scoped out all the best restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. They put all of these great tips into the ALSC14 Local Recommendations map. Remember to keep this map handy and don’t miss everything that Oakland has to offer!
Don’t: Forget to Bring Your Pirate Gear
Friday, September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. There no will be no formal acknowledgement of this day at the Institute. But, please don’t that stop you…
Har! See you in Oakland!