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<<November 2014>>
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1. Hot Butterbeer Now Sold at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Orlando announced today that in addition to cold, frozen, and ice cream flavor guests at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter can now drink butterbeer the way it was written in the books: hot!

Just in time for winter, this delicious new addition has the same alluring flavors of butterscotch and shortbread that have been so popular in the colder varieties. But the top-secret recipe has been fine-tuned just the right way to make it perfect as a hot treat.

Hot butterbeer can be found at Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head Pub on the Hogsmeade side, and at the Leaky Cauldron, the Hopping Pot, and the Fountain of Fair Fortune on the Diagon Alley side. You can read more here.

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2. Week in Review, November 17th-21st

banner weekinreview 550x100 Week in Review, November 17th 21st

This week on hbook.com…

Jim Arnosky’s “Remembering Trina Schart Hyman” on the 10th anniversary of her death

Congratulations to Jacqueline Woodson on her National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming! Here’s our starred review.

Reviews of the Week:

Read Roger:Being a White Guy in Children’s Books

Out of the Box:

Calling Caldecott:

Lolly’s Classroom: 

Events calendar

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!

share save 171 16 Week in Review, November 17th 21st

The post Week in Review, November 17th-21st appeared first on The Horn Book.

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3. Elephants Have Wings- inclusion at Christmas

Why we must promote acceptance to children

FLINT eMagazine writes:-http://flintmag.com/children/

Acclaimed author Susanne Gervay’s new children’s picture book,Elephants Have Wings (Ford Street Publishing, H/B $26.95,) is inspired by the ancient story of the blind men and the elephant and promotes the importance of peace and inclusion to younger readers.

IndiaInspired by Susanne’s journey to India and South East Asia, she returned imbued with the cultures of India and Asia and the parable of the blind men and the elephant with its spiritual traditions in Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Sufism and modern philosophy. As the child of refugees, Susanne wanted to open a discussion about pathways to peace by creating an illustrative text that gave young people positive ways to navigate a world torn by conflict.

Beautifully illustrated by Anna Pignataro, Elephants Have Wings follows the story of two children, riding on the wings of a mystical white elephant, embark on an extraordinary journey to discover the meaning of the parable of the blind men and the elephant, and the humanity in all of us. Endorsed by the esteemed Blake Society and created by the award-winning picture book team of Susanne Gervay AO and Anna Pignataro, Elephants Have Wings is a remarkable book that promotes peace and understanding to young readers.

ELEPHANTS HAVE WINGS COVER by Susanne gervay illustrated by Anna PignataroG

Interview with Susanne

Kiribati -speaking to childrenI’ve spoken to hundreds of thousands of young people, sharing my books across the world, in remote indigenous communities, Australian capital cities, throughout regional Australia, across the USA, Asia, India, Kiribati, Europe, from the richest to poorest communities, to young people in prison, hospitals, special schools, remote Outback stations, international schools. The young people I speak to come from many faiths, ethnicities, cultures. However there is a commonality. They seek acceptance, safety, love and are overwhelmed and disempowered by a world in conflict. Story can create a place to unravel their fears and disempowerment and provide pathways to compassion, understanding of other peoples and faiths and become a participant in creating a safer world.

On my tours, a little American boy told me that when he grows up he wants to be an architect. But he will only design short buildings. The Twin Towers of 9-11 are part of who he is now. I included his words which felt so poignant, in my ‘I Am Jack’ series.

I was flown to New York to speak about the power of my young adult novel ‘Butterflies’ to travel with young burns survivors and families. I had the extraordinary privilege to be on the faculty with Kim Phuc, the 9 year old Vietnamese girl running naked from napalm bombs in Nick Ut’s 1972 iconic Pulitzer Prize winning photo. With 80% of her body burned, she decided to turn pain into compassion. She is a UNESCO Ambassador for Peace and established the Kim Phuc Foundation for child survivors of war.

Kim Phuc Pulitzer Prize photoKim Phuc became incorporated into ‘Always Jack’:-

My hero Jack, of the ‘I Am Jack’ books and his friend Christopher whose parents are Vietnamese refugees present their project to the school.

“Jack and Christopher say together. ‘Kim Phuc, the girl running from the bomb, said, ‘Don’t see a little girl crying out in fear and pain. See her as crying out for peace.’” (Chapter 10)

As part of a delegation, an initiative of the Edmund Rice Centre, I travelled to Kiribati with Patrick Dobson, father of Indigenous reconciliation. Kiribati looks like paradise, an island nation of 32 atolls in the Pacific with approximately 100,000 people. However, without sanitation, rising sea levels, inadequate fresh water supplies, one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, it is a multi-faith country struggling for survival. I had the privilege of sharing my books with wonderful teachers, students and communities. I addressed an assembly of hundreds of students under an open canopy. When I announced that I would donate my books to the school, in a spontaneous thanksgiving of song, their voices rose in a powerful celebration of thanks. It was deeply moving.

Peace Story UNICEF IBBY - by Susanne gervay and frane LessacThere have been many special moments of connection through story. I was invited to represent Australia in the international peace anthology by IBBY Korea under the auspices of the United Nations. My story ‘Remember East Timor’ was one of 22 stories, by 22 authors, 22 illustrators from 22 countries with different faiths and cultures. My author visit to the Deaf and Blind School where I read my picture books to children with multiple disabilities and diverse faiths, was significant in sharing the commonality of all children while recognising their difference.

As the child of refugees, ‘Elephants Have Wings’ encompasses the ethos that drives all my writing, engaging with young people as they face the challenges of life and empowering them with compassion, understanding of different faiths, humanism. The extraordinary tree of life that connects all humanity spreads its ways through the pages of ‘Elephants Have Wings’, as the mystical white elephant takes the children across the beauty of the world, its conflict and then safety of home.

‘Elephants Have Wings’ was written for young people and adults to open discussion about what sort of world they want and how they can contribute to it because ‘The elephant is in all of us’.


The post Elephants Have Wings- inclusion at Christmas appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.

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4. ….a tidbit from the sketchbook. I sometimes wish I could...

….a tidbit from the sketchbook. I sometimes wish I could have been a roving naturalist illustrator, a century ago, taking inspiration from nature & conveying it to the rest of the world with paints and pen. But I might have had a hard time suppressing my surrealist instincts.

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5. "Damn everything but the Circus."

“Damn everything but the Circus.” - Sister Corita Kent

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6. "A painting is a symbol for the universe. Inside it, each piece relates to the other. Each piece is..."

“A painting is a symbol for the universe. Inside it, each piece relates to the other. Each... Read the rest of this post

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7. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits Five 11/20/14: Five trends that will change the way you count on one hand

§ Roz Chast did not win the National Book Award—Evan Osnos won for Age of Ambition— But she’s still a winner in my book! There ceremony also saw Neil Gaiman presenting Ursula K. LeGuin with a lifetime achievement type award. LeGuin had things to say:

As she delved into the state of the publishing industry today, Le Guin’s speech was not without message. “Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and a practice of an art,” she said. Le Guin, too, referenced the Amazon issue, citing a “profiteer trying to punish publishers for disobedience.” She continued, “I have had a long career and a good one, in good company. Now, here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds. But, the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.”

§ Rob Salkowitz recently summed up Five Trends In Digital Comics To Watch including Google maybe not being in the mix on digital comics yet. And also this blunt assessment that sort of points out the elephant in the room:

Dark Horse Digital needs… help

There is no polite way to say this: Dark Horse’s app was already falling behind in 2012. The company has left piles of money on the table by cutting itself off from the broader market and denying readers a decent digital experience.

On the upside, this situation has kept Dark Horse from getting entangled with Comixology, even at the level of core technology (Comixology tech powers most of the industry’s “white label” publisher apps, including DC and Marvel). Dark Horse would be well advised to get out of the app business and turn its digital distribution over to a competent partner. That presents a good opportunity for anyone ready.

§ I loved this post: Ines Estrada looks back on 2014 and it was pretty great from the micro press/small press/ indie side…at least artistically. I assume everyone is living on a single can of tuna a day as they share precious Risograph ink cartridges, but the comics look great.

ww0036cov Kibbles n Bits Five 11/20/14: Five trends that will change the way you count on one hand

§ Welp, that new Wonder Woman by the Meredith and David Finch team came out yesterday. Tim Hanley was underwhelmed. Tech Times felt it
“deliver[ed] some captivating mysteries” and Graphic Policy felt it “does what it needs to have done.” One thing is for sure, WW is back to having that whole “boobs and butt” look.

§ Speaking of BnB, J. Caleb Mozzocco comments on the return of 90s icon Jim Balent:

Here his art isn’t even recognizable (to me) as that of the same guy, but I guess it has been 20 years or so. I’m guessing it’s largely the coloring, which gives the figures a sickly, wax dummy-like appearance. The way Catwoman’s kicking though, that’s definitely a Balent pose. And, looking closely, they’ve definitely got Balent proportions…although, like I said, Harley’s breasts look remarkably realistic, at least in the way they get smooshed like real breasts when wearing a super-tight corset (Also, that’s a really nice background and, if you look closely, you’ll find a cat shape hidden in it, something Balent used to do with his covers for the Catwoman).

§ The 4th Letter Blog, mainly run by David Brothers, with help from Gavin Jasper, is closing up shop. Brothers now has a busy job with Image Comics, and it had fallen into silence, so it’s no surprise, but let’s give it the 21 kb salute…or whatever you ive when a website goes away. Brothers was a passionate advocate for Manga and for diversity and lots of other stuff. He’s taken his passion behind the scenes now and that’s good, but so few really strong “personality blogs” remain…their time has passed I guess.

§ - Andrice Arp interviewed Simon Hanselmann for Gridlords and it was highly amusing. Hanselmann totally has the comics rock star thing down pat.

§ A look at this years Best American Comics by Paul Morton is called Emancipation from Irony—and Scott McCloud did catch a certain zeitgeist, even if it is a bit normcore.

The Best American Comics 2014 reads as a sequel to McCloud’s theoretical studies. Previous guest editors instructed readers to thumb through the anthologies and choose work that interests them most just as they would browse the shelves in a comics shop. McCloud asks that you read his anthology in order, cover-to-cover, and that you treat it as a critical narrative. He divides his book into discrete sections, presenting a taxonomy of genres. The book is an argument on the state of comics in the second decade of the 21th century.

§ As a counterpoint to the above there’s the upcoming The Mammoth Book of Cult Comics Kibbles n Bits Five 11/20/14: Five trends that will change the way you count on one hand which collects a bunch of lost comics. I was particularly happy to see Gregory Benton’s Hummingbird and Jeff Nicholson’s Through The Habittrails resurrected here.

§ Peoples like to make lists. Here’s Paste Magazine’s 10 Great Comics for Adolescent Girls.

Gird Up Your Loins 2 Kibbles n Bits Five 11/20/14: Five trends that will change the way you count on one hand

§ Cartoonist Ted Slampyak drew Little Orphan Annie until it was cancelled, and his own Jazz Age Chronicles. He also draws occasional informational comic strips for The Art of Manliness, such as this truly essential one showing How to Gird Up Your Loins which tuns out to be a very practical and important thing.

§ Finally a followup to that Matt Thurber Letter to a Young Cartoonist that we were all talking about a few weeks ago in the form of a letter FROM a young cartoonist :

I am a 19 year old young cartoonist who lives in Malaysia. WHAT? MALAYSIA? If not for the two airplane incidents, I am quite sure the majority of the US population will not know where Malaysia is at all, let alone comic creators in Malaysia.

Which is interesting isn’t it? Here’s something to consider: would people like you, the comment reader, be able to notice Malaysian creators if not for the internet? Would people like you know who Hwei (lalage) is? Would people like you be able to know who I am (well, hello, I am here and I don’t mind work)? Let’s take this further: would people like you be able to read European comics, South American comics, Indian comics, Russian comics, Australian comics, Indonesian comics, African comics, even some AMERICAN comics, if not for the internet?

Would we even have this comic surge right now without the internet?

The reason why we even have a comic surge in the first place is because we’ve finally opened up doors for creators of different races, cultures, nationalities, identities, opinions, political parties, viewpoints, EVERYTHING to express themselves. And that’s good! Because this opens up the audience too!

To shift away from the internet is to reduce opportunities for young cartoonists like me. To reduce flavour in an increasingly globalised industry.

3 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits Five 11/20/14: Five trends that will change the way you count on one hand, last added: 11/21/2014
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8. Join me (@doseofsnark) for a Twitter Chat – 11/20 at 8 pm EST

Are you interested in getting more involved with YALSA? Maybe you’re curious about the appointments process or other service opportunities?

Join me (@doseofsnark) for a Twitter chat on November 20th, starting at 8 pm Eastern. I’ll be answering questions about various ways that you can get involved with YALSA, from just joining to blogging to serving on a committee. This is a fantastic way to discover what opportunities are the right fit for you.

Get involved and follow the conversation with the hashtag #yalsachat. See you 11/20 at 8 pm EST!

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9. Thanks, Obamacomics!

gruber graphic0011 101x150 Thanks, Obamacomics!A graphic novel has become Exhibit A in the latest Obamacare controversy.

Clear, simple, understandable, useful – those are just a few of the words that recurred in reviews of Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works, a 2012 graphic novel by Xeric-winner Nathan Schreiber and MIT’s Jonathan Gruber.

The irony of these descriptions is no doubt evident to anyone who has been following political news over the past weeks — years after Gruber won praise for his adeptness in making the proposed health law easy to grasp, Gruber has become the center of a political storm due to his recent off-the-cuff claim that the language of Affordable Care Act was deliberately misleading and designed to take advantage of Americans’ “stupidity.”

The dust-up has given new life to the Gruber and Schreiber graphic novel, which thanks to the vagaries of Amazon pricing algorithms appears to become an expensive collectible in hardcover. Conservative sites are finding the book funny in unintended ways, although no one has yet to explain the replacement of its originally announced artist, Dean Motter. It’s natural to assume that there may have been issues of scheduling or style, but perhaps there just wasn’t a place for health care in Terminal City.

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10. The legitimate fear that months of civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri will end in rioting

On 9 August 2014, Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis) Police Department, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old. Officer Wilson is white and Michael Brown was black, sparking allegations from wide swaths of the local and national black community that Wilson’s shooting of Brown, and the Ferguson Police Department’s reluctance to arrest the officer, are both racially motivated events that smack of an historic trend of black inequality within the US criminal justice system.

The fact that the Ferguson Police Department and city government are predominantly white, while the town is predominantly black, has underscored this distrust. So too have recent events in Los Angeles, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, St. Louis, and other places that suggest a disturbing pattern of white police personnel’s use of excessive force in the beatings or deaths of blacks across the nation. So disturbing, in fact, that this case and the others linked to it not only have inspired an organic, and diverse, crop of youth activists, but also have captured the close attention of President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, national civil rights organizations and the national black leadership. Indeed, not one or two, but three concurrent investigations of Officer Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown are ongoing—one by the St. Louis Police Department and the other two by the FBI and the Justice Department, who are concerned with possible civil rights violations. The case also has a significant international following. The parents of Michael Brown raised this profile recently when they testified in Geneva, Switzerland before the United Nations Committee against Torture. There, they joined a US delegation to plead for support to end police brutality aimed at profiled black youth.

The details of the shooting investigations, each bit eagerly seized by opposing sides (those who support Brown and those who defend Wilson) as they become publicly available, still don’t give a comprehensive view of what actually happened between the officer and the teen, leaving too much speculation as to whether or not the Ferguson Grand Jury, who have been considering the case since 20 August, will return an indictment(s) against Officer Wilson.

Protest at Ferguson Police Dept, by
Protest at Ferguson Police Dept, by Jamelle Bouie. CC-BY-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

What is known of the incident is that about noon on that Saturday, Michael Brown and a friend, Dorian Johnson, were walking down Canefield Drive in Ferguson when Darren Wilson approached the two in his squad car, telling them to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk. A scuffle ensued between Brown and Wilson within the police car. In his defense, Officer Wilson has stated that Brown attacked him and tried to grab his weapon. Dorian Johnson has countered that Wilson pulled Michael Brown into his car, suggesting that Brown was trying to defend himself from an overly aggressive Wilson. Shots were fired in Wilson’s police car and Brown ran down the street, pursued by Wilson. Autopsy reports indicate that Brown was shot at least six times, four times in his left arm, once through his left eye and once in the top of his head. The latter caused the youth’s death. Michael Brown’s body lay in the street, uncovered, for several hours while the police conducted a preliminary investigation, prompting even more outrage by black onlookers.

Since Michael Brown’s death, protestors from the area and across the nation have occupied the streets of Ferguson, demanding justice for the slain teen and his family. Nights of initial confrontations between police forces (the Ferguson Police, the St. Louis Police, the Missouri State Troopers and the National Guard have all been deployed in Ferguson at some time, and in some capacity, since the shooting) and though there has been some arson, looting, protestor and police violence, and arrests—even of news reporters—the protests generally have been peaceful. Not only police action during these protests, but their equipment as well, have sparked criticism and the growing demand that law enforcement agencies demilitarize. The daily protests have persisted, at times growing in great number, as during a series of “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” events that were held not just in Ferguson, but in many cities nationwide, including Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Omaha, Nebraska in August and September. The “hands up” stance is to protest Brown’s shooting which some, but not all, witnesses have stated came even with Brown’s hands up in a gesture of surrender to Wilson.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and other state and local officials, along with many of the residents of Ferguson, fear that if the Grand Jury does not indict Darren Wilson for Michael Brown’s murder, civil unrest will erupt into violence, producing an event similar to the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. In Los Angeles, large numbers of persons rioted when it seemed that the legal outcomes of two back-to-back criminal cases smacked of black injustice—the acquittal of four white police officers indicted in the assault of black motorist Rodney King, and the no jail-time sentence of a Korean shopkeeper found guilty for the murder of Latasha Harlins, a black teen. The result was the worst race riot in US history, with more than 50 people killed, the burning of a substantial portion of the ethnic business enclave of Koreatown, and at least a billion dollars in property damage.

Certainly the fear is a legitimate one. The vast majority of US race riots that have centered on black participation have occurred with like conditions as a spark—the community’s belief that a youth or vulnerable person among them has been brutalized with state sanction. The nation has witnessed these events not only in Los Angeles in 1965 and 1992; but also in Harlem in 1935 and 1964; Richmond, California in 1968; San Francisco in 1986; Tampa, Florida in 1967 and 1986; Miami in 1980; Newark, New Jersey in 1967; York, Pennsylvania in 1969; Crown Heights (Brooklyn), New York in 1991; St. Petersburg, Florida in 1996; Cincinnati, Ohio in 2001; Benton Harbor, Michigan in 2003; Oakland, California in 2009 and 2010, and the list goes on. These events all have served as cautionary tales that, unfortunately, have not resulted in either the perception or reality of black equality before the law. It is this legacy that frustrates and frightens Ferguson residents.

The post The legitimate fear that months of civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri will end in rioting appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. Who’s Coming down the Chimney? Santa Claus!

Launch of 'Once Uponh A Christmas' by Christmas Press ‘Once Upon A Christmas’ dedicated to:-


Once Upon A Christmas 2014 anthologyLaunched in the heritage courtyard of Balmain Library with community, kids, parents, fabulous librarians on a balmy Sydney night.

Compiled and edited by Beattie Alvarez who did a brilliant job – it contains the funny, joyous, quirky stories, poems, snippets, illustrations of some the best known authors and illustrators about Christmas:-

Ursula Dubosarsky, Libby Hathorn, Duncan Ball, Kate Forsyth, Sally Rippin, Michael Pryor, Kim Gamble, Adele Geras, Pamela Freeman, Stephen Axelson  ……my small anecdote ‘Grandma’s Christmas’ remembers my children’s Grandma and Grandpa … I can’t wait to give it to my family at Christmas.


Melina Marchetta joined in with her daughter

‘Once Upon A Christmas’ is the brainchild of the multi-award winning author Sophie Masson and Christmas Press and the Christmas Press team – Beattie Alvarez, gifted illustrator David Allen and Fiona McDonald.

Fabulous authors Jesse Blackadder and MDuncan Ball at launch 'Once Upon A Christmas'AL CAMERAelina Marchetta came along to cheer on the launch.

Room to Read Writer Ambassadors were there spreading the word about literacy for the kids of Asia and Africa.

Who sets up a new publishing house in this crazy publishing climate? Sophie Masson Libby Hathorn and Ursula Dubosarsky at Upon Upon A Christmasof course. With its first title last year, it’s already selling out.

Called Christmas PressRoom to Read taking literacy to the world

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA small press with big ideas..

Born in the early months of 2013, Christmas Press specialises in beautiful picture books for children, featuring traditional tales–folk tales, fairy tales, legends, myths–retold by well-known authors and stunningly illustrated in classic styles that reflect the cultures the stories come from. We also publish special anthologies, full of wonderful stories, poems, memoirs and illustrations, with the first of these, Once Upon A Christmas, just released now for Christmas!

The post Who’s Coming down the Chimney? Santa Claus! appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.

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12. The Hudson Prize and Blood: Stories

The first book written for adults that I ever coveted and loved and read to pieces was a short story collection: Stephen King's Night Shift, from which my cousin read me stories when we were both probably much too young, and which was one of the first books I ever bought myself. Ever since then, short story collections have seemed to me the most wonderful of all books.

I started publishing short stories professionally with "Getting a Date for Amelia" back in 2001. I barely remember the kid who wrote it (in the summer of 2000). I'm not a prolific fiction writer; I've been lucky enough to publish most of the stories I've written in the last decade or so, but I average only two stories a year. Fiction is the hardest thing in the world for me to write. Some stories have taken many years to find a final form. The kid who wrote "Getting a Date for Amelia" also managed to write a novel; it was mostly terrible (or, rather, not terrible, which might be interesting. Just nothing at all special. Rather boring, in fact. An extraordinarily useful exercise, though, dragging yourself through a novel-length piece of writing, even if the end result isn't all that great). I like fragments and miniatures too much to ever write a proper novel, I expect.


What? Get on with it? Ah.

Yes, I am dithering here.

Because I am about to write a sentence that still feels unreal, though I've been writing various forms of it into emails to friends for a little while now:

I am the 2014 winner of the Hudson Prize from Black Lawrence Press for an unpublished manuscript titled Blood: Stories that will be published by BLP in January 2016.

The book will mostly contain reprints, and finally bring together all of the stories I've published since 2001 that are 1.) worth bringing together and that 2.) play well with each other. There are also a few unpublished stories, ones that I've never found the right home for but that felt to me like they belonged with the others, both gained and added context from/to the others, and were worth publishing. The editors at Black Lawrence Press agreed. One of the things I love about story collections is the way they can recontextualize stories, and the greatest excitement for me of this collection is that it will finally allow stories that have been scattered across a wide range of publications over many years to speak to each other.

I'm also incredibly excited to have found a publisher that is excited by what some others have considered either a fault or danger of the collection: its breadth of genres and styles. Perhaps out of sheer stubbornness and delusion, I was convinced that I could not be the only person on Earth to think the overall perspective of the work would create a coherence beyond genre or tone, that there was, in fact, a persistence of voice and vision. That's what the BLP editors told me attracted them to the manuscript, and when they said that, I knew I'd found what may be the perfect publisher for my work.

So I am excited. Beyond excited. I don't have words to convey the feeling of achieving something I've work toward for so long, something I often gave up hope of ever achieving. I wanted to write this post not only to let the world know the news, but also to preserve this moment so that, working through the more difficult parts of the experience (oh gawd, people might write reviews!), I can look back and remember what it felt like to be at this moment of triumphant possibility.

And to thank you, whoever you may be, who felt that it was worth some bits of your time and attention to read my words. I hope to continue to reward your interest.

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13. Melina Marchetta, Schools and Citizenship address

Melina Marchatte launching Alice Pun's YA novelOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADays of being an author – is called crazy-good and up-for-air.  Madly frantic!!!!

Racing from KINGS School, to TARA Girls School to Murray Farm Public School  to share my I AM JACK books and ‘Elephants Have Wings.’  The librarians are so hospitable – I got well fed and lots of coffee and I got to share my books with gorgeous kids.

Then it’s Gleebook shop Book Launch of Alice Pung’s first young adult novel – Laurinda – launched by my friend and colleague Melina Marchetta. Both Alice and Melina are Room to Read Writer Ambassadors like I am.  We’re all on a mission to get books to kids in the developing world.

Room to Read out for dinner with writer ambassadors Susanne Gervay, Alice Pung, Melina MarchettaThen it’s off to a fabulous Indian restaurant with the Room to Read team led by Jennie Orchard and stayed too late because I was having a great time.

Highlight was the citizenship ceremony at Woollahra Council. I addressed a packed house overlooking the beautiful harbour. Purple-blue jacaranda trees heavy with flowers greeted em and I got to hang out with the Mayor Of Woollahra Toni Zeltzer. Loved the gold chains and warm welcome by Toni and all the Council staff but more than that – I had the privilege of addressing 36 new Australians – from Hungary, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey, Pakistan …

I am an Australia Day Ambassador – it’s something I love doing. I’ll be flying to speak in Tamworth this year on Australia Day.

Woollahra Council citizenship ceremonyIt was moving addressing the 36 new Australians and their families and friends from countries as diverse as Thailand, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, UK  … Pakistan.  The Pakistan young man and his 3 young friends were beside themOAM medal, Order of Australia Susanne Gervayselves that they became Australians today.

I loved speaking to them about our immigrant country that embraced them all and I did a show and tell and held up my Order of Australia.

They loved it. I loved it and it was very special. Made me think about my parents and their journey here.







The post Melina Marchetta, Schools and Citizenship address appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.

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14. Video: “Behind the Walls” by Lumos

J. K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, has posted a new video entitled “Behind the Walls,” which discusses the institutionalization of eight million children in Central and Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall, and underscores how many children in orphanages aren’t orphans. You can watch the video here, and find out more about Lumos here.

Many thanks to SnitchSeeker for the tip.

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15. 100 years old- still dancing, creating in Bodenwieser dance – Eileen Kramer

Eileen Kramer from Bodenweisner dance troupEileen from Bodenweisner New Dance balletEileen Kramer in Bodenwieser Dance Company
Eileen Kramer arrived like an apparition at The Hughenden, in her flowing dress and graceful movements. She was then 99 years old.
She still sews and designs her own dresses. Something she did for the B by revolutionary Bodenwieser Dance Companychoreographer Madam Gertrude Bodenwieser. Eileen was part of the famed ballet troupe.
Elaine told me many stories over breakfast and she’s just gorgeous – she toured across Australia, South Africa and India, USA – an extraordinary life.
Today she turned 100 years old and I’m going to go to a dance class she is running.
ABC Compass has been filming her and her life – look out for it on COMPASS – one of my favourite shows.

The post 100 years old- still dancing, creating in Bodenwieser dance – Eileen Kramer appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.

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16. Image for a wine label that got canned, in the end. I had fun...

Image for a wine label that got canned, in the end. I had fun attempting!

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17. Hand-lettered business card

Hand-lettered business card

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18. I LOVE my writer friends – Deborah Abela and Kate Forsyth – launching books and getting an EGG!

Stanmore Public School with authors Deb Abela, Kate Forsyth and Susanne GervayChickens at Stanmore Public SchoolFabulous kids at Stanmore Public School.

Fabulous teacher librarian -Jan

Fabulous chickens – I scored a fresh egg. Thankyou chooks.

Kate Forsyth The Impossible QuestDeb Abela NEW CITY Random HouseWelcomed 3 authors – Kate Forsyth, Deb Abela and Susanne (Me) – and we’d told stories and had the kids rolling in the aisles!

to a triple a first time ever triple-book launch by three major publishers at an inner city Sydney school- for the kids of Stanmore :-

Deborah Abela’s ‘NEW CITY’ Penguin Random House ISBN 978 174275 855

Kate Forsyth’s ‘THE IMPOSSIBLE QUEST” Scholastic ISBN 9 781743 624067

Being Jack by Susanne GervaySusanne Gervay’s ‘BEING JACK’ HarperCollins ISBN 9 780732 296148

Raising awareness of Room to Read bringing literacy to more than 9 million kids in the developing world.

It was a brilliant afternoon with totally engaged parents and school. Good one!

The post I LOVE my writer friends – Deborah Abela and Kate Forsyth – launching books and getting an EGG! appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.

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19. Daniel Radcliffe Answers Fan Questions on Reddit

Dan Radcliffe participated in an AMA today on Reddit and answered fan questions about filming the Harry Potter series and more. You can see the questions and answers here, but please be advised that there is strong language throughout.

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20. NYCC ’14 panels you missed: Geeks of Color Go Pro

by Edie Nugent

geeksofcolor 1000x635 NYCC 14 panels you missed: Geeks of Color Go Pro

From L to R: Diana Pho, LeSean Thomas, Alice Meichi Li, Daniel Jose Older, I.W. Gregorio and Tracey J. John

The main stage spectacles of NYCC saw panels filled with celebrity actors and moderators alike, whipping thousands of screaming audience members into a frenzy. No less intense or enthusiastic, however, were the panels scheduled towards the end of the night in the smaller conference rooms at the Javits Center. Once such panel —Geeks of Color Go Pro —filled its room to capacity with a diverse audience of fans and comic book industry hopefuls cheering just as passionately as fans in the rooms twice its size.

“Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo,” declared Tracy J. John, writer for such marquee video game franchises as Oregon Trail and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  This comment, which came later in the proceedings, proved to be a kind of mission statement for the panel as a whole. Moderated by Tor Books editor Diana Pho, the panel participants represented a diversity of gender, race, and sexual orientation.

Pho opened by asking the panel to tell their “origin stories,” referring to how they arrived at their current careers within an industry that has long suffered from a dearth of diversity.  Tracey J. John kicked things off, saying: “a long long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…I went to NYU and got a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies.” She went on to say that she garnered an internship at MTV News, which led to a job working for MTV.com. “We wrote about these things called ‘music videos,’” she joked. This job placed her in the perfect spot to capitalize on her World of Warcraft addiction when MTV looked to launch a video game focused section of its website. She recalled thinking, “whoa, I can get paid to write about video games?” She later turned to freelance work for Wired, NY Post, and Playstation Magazine. Desirous of a more stable paycheck, she turned to a job at Gameloft and worked in game development. Recently she decided to shake things up again, and has returned to freelance work.

I.W. Gregorio, who claims she’s still getting used to being addressed by the pen name her day job requires, opened by speaking the question on the minds of many an audience member:  “How did a urologist end up being a YA author?” She went on to explain she felt the better question to be “why would an aspiring author become a doctor?” She spoke of her racially isolated childhood where she knew immediately she wanted to be a writer, but felt family pressure “like a lot of kids of color” to enter either law or medicine to be deemed a ‘success’ culturally. Her talents in math and science led her to choose the path of medicine, “enough people had told me that I wanted to be a doctor that I ended up being one.” She did attempt, in her words, to “try to have my cake and eat it too” also studying English while in college. She went on to pursue medicine and take a 10 year break from writing before her passion was reignited during her residency. She is, however, grateful to be a doctor because it “enables my writing career…and gives me a lot of stories.” She described how her new book None of the Above was inspired by an intersex teenager she treated during her residency.

Daniel Jose Older, author of the upcoming Half-Resurrection Blues, the first book in what is to be an ongoing urban fantasy series for Penguin Book’s Roc imprint, began by saying that Gregorio’s story “actually really connects to mine. In 2009 I was a paramedic and community organizer doing work on gender violence and intersections of racism. I was trying how to figure out how to have a voice and what that meant as a writer.” He  explained that he loved Star Wars and Harry Potter, but that he and the kids of color he was working work didn’t see themselves in those stories, “and there was a disconnect.” This inspired him to “sit down and write Shadowshaper which got picked up by the folks at Scholastic that put out Harry Potter, so it was this really big dream come true.” He went on to explain that the process of publishing that first work took over 6 years and that “publishing will make you learn patience” which drew a big laugh from the crowd. He continued to work on stories during that time, and work on adult fiction, which led him to Half-Resurrection Blues, due out in 2015. He explained that his background as a paramedic directed inspired the new book, saying: “a lot of this comes from being on the front lines…dealing with life and death.”

Author Alice Meichi Li knew she wanted to be an artist since the age of five. “I grew up in a Chinese restaurant in a really rough part of Detroit,” she said. She explained how this kept her indoors for her own safety, drawing on the back of the placemats of her parents’ restaurant. She also felt pushed towards a career in more economically dependable fields like law, medicine, or IT technologies. “When faced with the prospect of applying for college, all I could think about was arts school. I was in Army Junior ROTC and my Staff Sargent saw some of my art and he said: what are you doing here? You should be taking art class, you should be pursuing this.” She eagerly took his advice, worrying her family regarding her future. As she graduated High School at the top of her class, they told her she should be making “six-figures somewhere”—not becoming a starving artist. She conceded that’s “pretty much what happened” to the amusement of the audience, “I did have to end up balancing a day job,” with her art career, working at the well-known comic book store Forbidden Planet. “But I was doing Artist’s Alleys and that’s how I made a lot of my connections. If you’re trying to be an artist in comics that’s pretty much your best bet.”

“Everybody’s got all these cool stories,” remarked Black Dynamite producer and director LeSean Thomas. “I was born and raised in the South Bronx, John Adams projects at 152nd Street,” some in the crowd applauded at this mention—then laughed as Thomas joked that he was in the part of the Bronx that exists “past Yankee Stadium” where most New Yorkers’ familiarity with the Bronx begins and ends. “I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, reading comics books, “ he recalled, saying that he felt comic books was a more realistic career path for him, as the tools used to produce comics were more affordable than that of cartoon animation: “they don’t sell light-boxes at the bodegas,” he quipped.

Thomas ended up in a High School arts program called Talent Unlimited. Following High School he took a job at a sporting goods store to make ends meet. While working there, he was spotted sketching by his store manager whose wife worked at a children’s accessories company. The company quickly employed him to work on designs for accessories featuring licensed characters. Through his work there, he met Joe Rodgers who mentored the young artist and eventually Thomas “became a flash artist/storyboard artist on this web-cartoon called WorldGirl, and it got picked up by Showtime, I think it was the first cartoon to get picked up by a major network.” His success there led to his meeting Carl Jones, who moved to Los Angeles and teamed with The Boondocks creator Aaron MacGruder on the now famous Cartoon Network series based on MacGruder’s comic strip of the same name. “He needed people who could understand Hip-Hop culture, Anime, and social political racial satire, and it was very hard to find that kind of talent in Hollywood,” he paused as the crowd laughed before putting it bluntly: “let alone somebody who could draw a black person.” This led him to move to Los Angeles to work on the show, which he feared would soon be canceled due to its controversial and sometimes “wildly inappropriate” content.

The series proved a critical and ratings success for Cartoon Network, and Thomas felt liberated by the mostly black racial makeup of The Boondocks’ creative team. “I grew up in a society where the White male was the dominant character…to be able to work on a show where my boss was Black, the characters we were creating were Black and we were saying the things we wanted to say without caring what other people thought, Black or White, was really liberating and was one of the best experiences for me.” He went on to comment that his experience working on The Boondocks “catapulted his career,” gave him the chance to move overseas, and opened many career opportunities for him-not the least of which was his teaming up producer Carl Jones to produce the Adult Swim series Black Dynamite. He noted how rare it was to have three shows in a row to his credit that found him working under Black people, on shows starting Black characters: The Boondocks, Legend of Korra, and Black Dynamite.

“I guess I should pitch in about myself, and I thought: oh, I’m the moderator—just sit here and look pretty,” joked Diana Pho, before continuing:  “I grew up in New England, in a very White town. I was always the only Asian girl in my class and my family is from Vietnam: no one knew where Vietnam was, because actually in my High School they never talked about the Vietnam War.” This statement elicited shocked sounds from the assembled crowd, but also some knowing murmurs that appeared to understand all too well the sort of erasure her statement described. Pho explained that she found escape from her outsider status through books, especially science fiction and fantasy novels. While studying English at college, she knew felt her options for employment were limited to work as a teacher, continuing her studies of Russian-her minor field-in order to obtain her Master’s Degree in it, or something else. “I chose something else,” she said, “and that was publishing.”

She explained she felt publishing to be a small field, insular in nature-and a field where it “has to do with the connections you make, that’s what I learned” and mentioned that her first job involved editing test books for college admissions for a summer. “What it did provide me was internship experience in marketing,” Pho remarked, explaining that this led to her getting a job with Hachette Press. She worked there in sales and marketing for several years before a colleague recommended her for a position at the Science Fiction Book Club making catalogues. She ended up following this with a Master’s in Performance Studies-doing her thesis in Steampunk performance-and graduated to assume her current role at Tor Books.

The panel then opened up for questions from the audience where Pho asked that the questions be “tweet-sized” to try and get to everyone’s question , but the line for the microphone grew long enough that the panel was forced to wrap up with audience members still on line. When asked: “what was one thing that you wish you knew when you started out that you know now?” Gregorio explained that as a representative of the We Need Diverse Books campaign (weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com) “I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that there are obviously challenges for diverse authors, the first book I wrote had and Asian-American multicultural protagonist-and three different editors said: oh, it’s too similar to another book with an Asian-American character.” She explained that she knew other authors of color who had run into enough of the same problem that they feared they might have to only write about White characters going forward. “The We Need Diverse Books campaign is most effective because it’s been showing the gatekeepers that they are wrong. Fifty percent of children in schools today are children of color, but only ten percent of books have minority protagonists.” She also called upon the audience to open up their wallets and support works by authors of color and/or featuring main characters of color.

John added on to Gregorio’s comments by telling the audience to not be afraid of the status quo, and gave an example of her work in gaming journalism. “Things that I did…aside from asking the questions I needed to do my job, I’d throw in some poignant questions, I’ve asked Shigeru Miyamoto: why does Princess Peach need saving again? Didn’t she get some self-defense classes by then? Or the developer of a family game why there wasn’t an option to be a Black person, they just had different tans? Ask those kinds of questions. It can be intimidating: Oh I have this opportunity to interview a game developer, I don’t want to screw it up. I’d say ask the normal questions and then save those for the end.”

“When you’re starting out as a writer there’s a lot of advice given out to you, like: you have to build your platform, you have to network! And there’s this very common, very White Western narrative of breaking out as an author. Where you’re that singular rocket ship that flies away to become famous overnight…what it requires us to do, especially as writers and creators of color, is to really reimagine what success means to us anytime we’re entering into any kind of project or career.” He went on to emphasize the need to build community, outside of a “putting points on your resume” style of thinking. “What will sustain you is unity. That’s what will have your back when things are hard, and things will be hard.” He noted that more than fans, writers need people who will tell them the truth-people who will give them the “hard critique.” He also said he wanted to shout-out to: fanbros.com, nerdgasmnoire.net as well as blackgirlnerds.com, saying of the organizations: “these groups are collectives of people of color, proudly nerds, proudly of color, talking about racism, talking about Sleepy Hollow. We need to talk about these things because that’s community” to many loud cheers.

Li wished to add “a piece of advice I hear a lot: you are the average of the five people you interact with most in life. So if you have a bunch of people who are ambitious, who are trying to do what you’re trying to do you’re going to kind of automatically get lifted up with them. So you want at least three of them to be in a place where you aspire to be. I add that you should look for someone who is: 1) an older mentor, to get advice from, 2) an equal, that you can be a comrade-at-arms with and share you career path with and 3) someone you can mentor, because you can learn a lot from teaching.”

“The thing that I wish I’d known before getting into animation, that I do now is that all the animation jobs are in California,” said Thomas, to the laughter of the crowd. Thomas clearly meant the comment seriously, adding: “I wouldn’t have stayed in New York as long if I’d have known there were no real animation jobs in New York the way there are in California…I probably would’ve made my pilgrimage a lot sooner.”

Another attendee asked how the artists dealt with accusations of racism. “I just got called racist the other day, so that was fun,” recounted Older, saying that because the bad guys in a recent story were White he had the accusation leveled at him. “There’s no easy answer, but you have to go with your gut and trust your instincts because when the shit flies, you have to be able to stand up for your work. I know what I did in that story—and I have much worse stories about White people than that,” he said, laughing.

Gregorio added: “publishing is a team sport, you’re going to have editors and marketing people-they’ll catch anything really bad. And also you have to realize we’re all going to get criticism. Haters are gonna’ hate, it’s alright!”

A reporter asked if the panel felt any responsibility towards social justice storylines. Thomas replied, “You know on Black Dynamite me and Carl Jones, the executive producer, always used to joke that we were like social workers in animation, not to belittle social work, but we liked to joke that because we were one of the few [shows] that touched on those issues. The most important thing for us is that it has to be funny, that’s the golden rule. The second rule is that it has to be genuine. If it’s honest, if it comes from a good place there’s always humor in it….and the third is to make people uncomfortable, not in a negative way but to make them think outside what they normally expect.”

The final question came from a Bleeding Cool reporter who asked, “Why are we still having this conversation? I feel like we’re constantly having the same conversation: do you see an end to it, do you think? Where we’re not going to need to have ‘Geeks of Color’ in the corner at 8:00pm?”

“So you’re saying Geeks of Color needs to be at noon, is what you’re saying? I agree I think it should be much earlier.” Thomas joked.

Pho added: “we’re going to keep having this conversation until we hit critical mass,” she explained that critical mass was not when people stopped asking questions, but rather that “we need a critical mass of answers from all over the place, not just from us but from you guys—not just from you guys but from everyone at this convention, and not just this convention—about how pop culture functions, how media functions…we all have to hit that critical mass point and that’s when the conversation stops.”

“I feel your point a lot,” Older added, indicating the reporter, “we do need this and part of the reason is the industry is still very racist, still very White, and so we need to have these conversations…the job and the struggle and the challenge for us is to push the conversation forward so it’s not so circular. So that’s why we need diverse books, which is such an important way to get everyone together. We need to talk about power analysis.” Older also stressed that he felt there were necessary conversations that weren’t had before this generation of creators and it was important to recognize: “we’re here because the folks before us fought their fight, so we’re fighting our fight for the next generation of artist of color, writers of color…and that involves getting together and having ‘geeks of color’ panels which makes people uncomfortable, which is good, as it should.”

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21. Week in Review, October 27th-31st

banner weekinreview 550x100 Week in Review, October 27th 31st

This week on hbook.com…

Preview the November/December 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine

John Green’s 2014 Sutherland lecture: “Does YA Mean Anything Anymore? Genre in a Digitized World”

Self service“: What self-publishers don’t know about children’s books (Nov./Dec. 2014 editorial)

Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 Edition

Nonfiction Notes: Unexplained phenomena, memoir, domestic animals, big ideas, and cookery

Reviews of the Week:

  • Picture Book:
  • Fiction: 
  • Nonfiction:
  • App: Millie’s Book of Tricks and Treats Vol. 2

Read Roger: What’s Going On

Out of the Box:

Calling Caldecott:

Lolly’s Classroom: Science and stereotypes

Events calendar

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!

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22. Happy Halloween! New Umbridge Story from J.K. Rowling

As a Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling has released her new story detailing Dolores Umbridge’s personal history. The story can be found in the “Dolores Umbridge” chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. J.K. Rowling gives light to the parents Umbridge is so ashamed of, and tells of her back-stabbing climb up the ranks at the Ministry of Magic. Visit Pottermore now, to read the exciting full story!


Halloween is a very important holiday throughout the Harry Potter books–from a troll in the dungeon, to a Death Day Party, to the first Hogsmeade visit of the year. Halloween is cause for huge celebration in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. One can enjoy a great feast at Hogwarts, in a Great Hall decorated with Hagrid’s extra giant pumpkins. From all of us at Leaky, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy Halloween! Please share with us your favorite Potter Halloween stories below in the comments!

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23. 'Grow'vember 1st

Yesterday I was doing some visual research just for fun. I do this when I'm not sure what to draw. The topic was the character King Kong. Not only was it fun, but I realised it's too important an exercise to do so infrequently. With drawing, being able to represent form well is one thing. But having a rich mental bank of imagery is just as priceless. With this realisation I decided to undertake 'Grow'vember. Each day for the month of November, I'll take a topic, and fill at least one page in my sketchbook with visual studies. Going public with this was also a way to keep me on track. I'll be posting the sketchbook drawings here on my blog, on my facebook page, and on my twitter account. Here's to a month of artistic growth.

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24. Susan Bonners storytime this Saturday

bonners silver balloon Susan Bonners storytime this SaturdayAuthor/illustrator Susan Bonners and friends will read from Bonners’s books in a special storytime this Saturday, November 8th, from 10 am to noon. As Ms. Bonners is a Roslindale resident, the event will take place in the Community Room of the Roslindale Public Library.

Ms. Bonners’s many books include A Penguin Year (1982 National Book Award: Nonfiction Children’s Book winner), The Silver Balloon (1997 Christopher Award winner), Edwina Victorious, Making Music, The Wooden Doll, and Why Does the Cat Do That?

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25. mixin’ the media, oh yeah

mixin’ the media, oh yeah

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