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Results 26 - 50 of 3,412
26. Jeremy Paxman Inks $1.5M Three Book Deal

bbcnewsBritish journalist Jeremy Paxman has inked a three-book deal for almost $1.5 million.

In the books, Paxman will recount his experiences as a former host at the BBC. The Guardian has more: “The first book of the trilogy will focus on how Britain has changed in the past half-century, the Sunday Times said. The second book with publisher William Collins will tell of his time at the BBC, the paper said, including his experiences of the politicians he interviewed. The content of the third has not yet been decided.”

Paxman recently denied rumors that he was considering running for mayor of London. ”I decided a week ago that I wouldn’t take it on for all the eclairs in Paris,” he said, according to a report in Sky News.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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27. John Green Donates Signed Books to Ferguson Library

tfioscoverFerguson Library Director Scott Bonner recently headlined a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session. During the conversation, he revealed that John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most popular young adult books at his library.

A few hours later, Green joined in with this message: “Hi hi! John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars here. Signed copies of all my books headed your way!”

Here’s more from Mashable: “Scott Bonner, the library’s director, shared his gratitude for the gesture during the AMA, but he also divulged how his staff is coping with the increased need for services, how the library functions monetarily as well as some personal tidbits about his love for table-top role-playing games (think Dungeons & Dragons).”

In addition to this gift from Green, the institution has received over $175,000. More than 7,000 people have sent in monetary donations.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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28. Jacqueline Woodson Responds to the Watermelon Joke

woodsonAuthor Jacqueline Woodson won the 2014 Young People’s Literature Award at the National Book Awards last month.

After being presented with the award at the ceremony in New York, the event’s host, author Daniel Handler, revealed that Jackie is allergic to watermelon and made a joke at her expense. “Just let that sink in your mind,” he said, telling her that she should put a character like that into her next book.

Woodson has responded to the racist joke in a New York Times op-ed saying that “it was the last place in the world I thought I’d hear the watermelon joke.” Here is an excerpt from her response:  (more…)

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29. Middle Grade and Young Adult: An Author(s) Interview

It's a holiday weekend, hooray! I hope everyone has had a most excellent Thanksgiving. I thought for a holiday weekend treat, we'd do something fun here today, so I asked a couple of authors to participate in an interview just for ALSC and YALSA blog readers!

The two authors I asked to participate have something in common: they write both middle grade and young adult books. As a librarian who works with all ages, and especially with the "tween" ages (where ALSC and YALSA's services overlap!), I find myself needing to be familiar with both types of books.

The exact definitions of Middle Grade and Young Adult are subjective and amorphous. For the purposes of this post, we'll just say that the intended audience for middle grade is slightly younger than the intended audience of YA, but both can be enjoyed by all ages.

Our authors:

Alison Cherry

Books:
Red (2013), Young Adult
For Real (2014), Young Adult
Look Both Ways (2016), Young Adult
Grandma Jo's Guide to Prim and Proper Pilfering (2016), Middle Grade

Claire Legrand

Books:
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (2012), Middle Grade
The Year of Shadows (2013), Middle Grade
The Cabinet of Curiosities (coauthor) (short stories) (2013), Middle Grade
Summerfall (2014) (prequel novella), Young Adult
Winterspell (2014), Young Adult

***

ALLY: Are you in a different mindset when writing MG and YA? How do you think differently about your audience?

Claire: Regardless of genre or age category, I approach writing all my books the same way: How do I write the best story I can, in a way that shows I respect my audience and their intelligence? Beyond that, any differences between writing YA and MG are primarily stylistic. For me, it's all about voice and language. YA is generally more introspective than MG. YA characters process experiences internally and think a lot about their emotions, whereas MG characters are still externally focused, looking outward for examples and understanding. MG characters are distilled, pure--not innocent, but rather mutable and unfinished. There's a rawness to MG characters, a lack of sophistication, that lends itself to a certain straightforward, unfettered voice. It's not that MG characters don't feel a complexity of emotion; they simply aren't as adept at understanding and expressing it as their YA counterparts. So, with this in mind, I strive to craft my MG voice using careful language that feels true to the spirit of this emotional purity and inexperience.

Alison: This might sound callous, but once I've chosen the subject matter for my books, I rarely think about my readers at all! As I see it, my job as a writer is to tell the truth through the medium of an engaging, well crafted story, and that's the case whether I'm writing for twelve-year-olds or eighty-year-olds. I think readers of all ages want basically the same thing: a plot that hooks them right away and continues to surprise them throughout the story, and characters who feel three-dimensional, relatable, and flawed. I certainly consider whether or not a sixth grader would know a certain word or a specific cultural reference, but those are minor details, and the important parts of storytelling are way more universal. I'm not writing for kids and teens, specifically. I'm writing for anyone who wants to read stories about kids and teens.

ALLY: Do you think you will continue to write both YA and MG? What's next up?

Claire: I hope to continue writing both, yes. I certainly have ideas for more of each! Currently I'm ensconced in three different MG projects, so those will probably surface first. Unfortunately I can't talk about any of them yet!

Alison: Absolutely! I love the variety that comes from switching back and forth between them. Right now I'm working on a new MG that involves a prank war at a sleepaway camp. My YA work-in-progress, which comes out in 2016, is about musical theater and the fine line between obsessive, platonic female friendship and romantic love.

ALLY: Claire, you started in publishing with MG. What was it like to make the transition to YA, both in your writing, and in terms of the way your book was received by the kidlit community? Did it feel very different?

Claire: From a craft perspective, making the transition was a bit challenging. The MG voice comes more naturally to me, so refining my YA voice required a lot of work (especially since my YA debut, Winterspell, is high fantasy-esque, and that's a tricky voice to get just right). However, since joining Twitter back in 2009, I've made many friends with bloggers, authors, and readers in both the YA and MG communities. There's a lot of overlap between the two. So in that way, I felt like I already had many supporters in the YA world before my YA debut even released, for which I'm incredibly grateful!

ALLY: Alison, your MG hasn't been published yet. Do you anticipate major differences in the entire experience?

Alison: I do! First of all, I anticipate having a lot more contact with actual young people this time around! Although I do get to chat with my teen readers sometimes, tons of adults read YA, and nearly everyone who has contacted me about my books so far has been a grownup. I'm excited for this experience to be a little more kid-centric! Relatedly, I'll have to change my publicity strategy; for YA books, most promotion can be done online through Twitter and blog tours and such, but those tactics won't get my books into the hands of the fifth graders I want to reach this time around. Honestly, the thing I'm most excited about is that the cover for Grandma Jo's Guide to Prim and Proper Pilfering will feature an illustration instead of a stock photo. My editor has already asked me for character descriptions so she can start looking for the right artist, and I'm bouncing in my chair just thinking about it!

***

Y'alllll, aren't they great?!

Claire's latest book, a YA fantasy retelling of the Nutcracker (perfect for Christmas!) is out now, And Alison's latest, a fun YA sister story about a reality show trip around the world will be out December 9:

      

You can find them on twitter at @alison_cherry and @clairelegrand!

Are you interested in reading more tween-related posts?  The YALSA Blog and the ALSC Blog both offer information of interest to librarians who work with tweens.

*
Our cross-poster from ALSC today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a youth services librarian in Mississippi, and has worked with ages birth-18 for the last 5 years.

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30. Middle Grade and Young Adult: An Author(s) Interview

It’s a holiday weekend, hooray! I hope everyone has had a most excellent Thanksgiving. I thought for a holiday weekend treat, we’d do something fun here today, so I asked a couple of authors to participate in an interview just for ALSC and YALSA blog readers!

The two authors I asked to participate have something in common: they write both middle grade and young adult books. As a librarian who works with all ages, and especially with the “tween” ages (where ALSC and YALSA’s services overlap!), I find myself needing to be familiar with both types of books.

The exact definitions of Middle Grade and Young Adult are subjective and amorphous. For the purposes of this post, we’ll just say that the intended audience for middle grade is slightly younger than the intended audience of YA, but both can be enjoyed by all ages.

Our authors:

Alison Cherry

Books:
Red (2013), Young Adult
For Real (2014), Young Adult
Look Both Ways (2016), Young Adult
Grandma Jo’s Guide to Prim and Proper Pilfering (2016), Middle Grade

Claire Legrand

Books:
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (2012), Middle Grade
The Year of Shadows (2013), Middle Grade
The Cabinet of Curiosities (coauthor) (short stories) (2013), Middle Grade
Summerfall (2014) (prequel novella), Young Adult
Winterspell (2014), Young Adult

***

ALLY: Are you in a different mindset when writing MG and YA? How do you think differently about your audience?

Claire: Regardless of genre or age category, I approach writing all my books the same way: How do I write the best story I can, in a way that shows I respect my audience and their intelligence? Beyond that, any differences between writing YA and MG are primarily stylistic. For me, it’s all about voice and language. YA is generally more introspective than MG. YA characters process experiences internally and think a lot about their emotions, whereas MG characters are still externally focused, looking outward for examples and understanding. MG characters are distilled, pure–not innocent, but rather mutable and unfinished. There’s a rawness to MG characters, a lack of sophistication, that lends itself to a certain straightforward, unfettered voice. It’s not that MG characters don’t feel a complexity of emotion; they simply aren’t as adept at understanding and expressing it as their YA counterparts. So, with this in mind, I strive to craft my MG voice using careful language that feels true to the spirit of this emotional purity and inexperience.

Alison: This might sound callous, but once I’ve chosen the subject matter for my books, I rarely think about my readers at all! As I see it, my job as a writer is to tell the truth through the medium of an engaging, well crafted story, and that’s the case whether I’m writing for twelve-year-olds or eighty-year-olds. I think readers of all ages want basically the same thing: a plot that hooks them right away and continues to surprise them throughout the story, and characters who feel three-dimensional, relatable, and flawed. I certainly consider whether or not a sixth grader would know a certain word or a specific cultural reference, but those are minor details, and the important parts of storytelling are way more universal. I’m not writing for kids and teens, specifically. I’m writing for anyone who wants to read stories about kids and teens.

ALLY: Do you think you will continue to write both YA and MG? What’s next up?

Claire: I hope to continue writing both, yes. I certainly have ideas for more of each! Currently I’m ensconced in three different MG projects, so those will probably surface first. Unfortunately I can’t talk about any of them yet!

Alison: Absolutely! I love the variety that comes from switching back and forth between them. Right now I’m working on a new MG that involves a prank war at a sleepaway camp. My YA work-in-progress, which comes out in 2016, is about musical theater and the fine line between obsessive, platonic female friendship and romantic love.

ALLY: Claire, you started in publishing with MG. What was it like to make the transition to YA, both in your writing, and in terms of the way your book was received by the kidlit community? Did it feel very different?

Claire: From a craft perspective, making the transition was a bit challenging. The MG voice comes more naturally to me, so refining my YA voice required a lot of work (especially since my YA debut, Winterspell, is high fantasy-esque, and that’s a tricky voice to get just right). However, since joining Twitter back in 2009, I’ve made many friends with bloggers, authors, and readers in both the YA and MG communities. There’s a lot of overlap between the two. So in that way, I felt like I already had many supporters in the YA world before my YA debut even released, for which I’m incredibly grateful!

ALLY: Alison, your MG hasn’t been published yet. Do you anticipate major differences in the entire experience?

Alison: I do! First of all, I anticipate having a lot more contact with actual young people this time around! Although I do get to chat with my teen readers sometimes, tons of adults read YA, and nearly everyone who has contacted me about my books so far has been a grownup. I’m excited for this experience to be a little more kid-centric! Relatedly, I’ll have to change my publicity strategy; for YA books, most promotion can be done online through Twitter and blog tours and such, but those tactics won’t get my books into the hands of the fifth graders I want to reach this time around. Honestly, the thing I’m most excited about is that the cover for Grandma Jo’s Guide to Prim and Proper Pilfering will feature an illustration instead of a stock photo. My editor has already asked me for character descriptions so she can start looking for the right artist, and I’m bouncing in my chair just thinking about it!

***

Y’alllll, aren’t they great?!

Claire’s latest book, a YA fantasy retelling of the Nutcracker (perfect for Christmas!) is out now, And Alison’s latest, a fun YA sister story about a reality show trip around the world will be out December 9:

      

You can find them on twitter at @alison_cherry and @clairelegrand!

 

Are you interested in reading more tween-related posts?  The YALSA Blog and the ALSC Blog both offer information of interest to librarians who work with tweens.

*
Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a youth services librarian in Mississippi, and has worked with ages birth-18 for the last 5 years.

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31. Neil Gaiman Announces Air Dates For ‘Good Omens’ Radio Adaptation

I have borrowed Aziraphale's flaming sword to let you know that Good Omens starts on Dec 22nd on BBC Radio 4. Look! pic.twitter.com/ST81u6tnBv

— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 27, 2014

BBC Radio 4′s Good Omens dramatization will air from December 22nd to 27th.

Neil Gaiman, who co-wrote the book with Terry Pratchett, made an announcement on Twitter. The cast includes Colin Morgan, Charlotte Ritchie, Mark Heap, Peter Serafinowicz, Paterson Joseph, and Louise Brealey.

Here’s more from RadioTimes.com: “Good Omens follows the attempts of an angel and a demon (Heap and Serafinowicz) to save the world from the antichrist, but all is not as it seems thanks to a bureaucratic mix-up. Soon, the fate of humanity is left to a gang of young children, a trainee witchfinder (Morgan) and a collection of garbled flashcards.”

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32. List of ‘Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors’ Unveiled

rowlingHollywood has been chasing after popular books for inspiration. Titles such as the Harry Potter seriesThe Hunger Games trilogy, and The Fault in our Stars novel have been transformed into blockbluster film franchises.

At this point in time, a diverse array of adaptation projects are being developed for YouTube, Hulu, and the silver screen. In recognition of book creators, The Hollywood Reporter has crafted a list of “Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.”

J.K. Rowling claimed the number one spot because arguably speaking, “no single creator has had so much influence on a megafranchise since George Lucas and the original Star Wars trilogy.” We’ve posted the list of the top 10 authors below—what do you think?

(more…)

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33. Neil Gaiman Reads a Poorly Written ‘Neil Gaiman’ Style Story

What does a poorly written Neil Gaiman short story sound like? The Wits radio station hosted the “Bad Gaiman Challenge” to try to answer that question. Hundreds of submissions came in.

The video embedded above features Gaiman reading the “worst of the worst” pieces—what do you think? Follow this link to view photos. Click here to watch a video clip from the event.

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34. 100 Authors Sign Books to Help Boost Holiday Sales at Barnes & Noble

barnes-noble-logo11 (1)Barnes & Noble asked 100 authors to sign 5,000 copies of their latest books. Some of the participants include The Goldfinch author Donna Tartt, Inferno novelist Dan BrownFifty Shades of Grey trilogy writer E. L. JamesHumans of New York blogger Brandon Stanton, and children’s book creator Jeff Kinney.

These 500,000 autographed books will be made available at Barnes & Noble’s 650+ brick-and-mortar locations. The data from the previous two holiday seasons show that the retailer’s sales figures have been in decline for both the digital store and physical shops.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Drawing customers into its physical stores has become an urgent priority for Barnes & Noble. The chain has been battered in recent years by competition from Amazon and by a sluggish book market. It has closed more than 20 stores since summer 2013 and will spin off its money-losing Nook division into a separate company next year…Some authors said they hoped the new campaign would help the struggling chain.”

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35. Gabriel García Márquez Archive Finds a Home at the Harry Ransom Center

GabrielThe Harry Ransom Center, an institution based at the University of Texas at Austin, has acquired the archive of the late Gabriel García Márquez.

The Nobel Prize-winning writer had passed on earlier this year. Some of the items in the García Márquez archive include letters, photo albums, typewriters, computers, scrapbooks, drafts of his 1982 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, and the manuscripts for One Hundred Years of SolitudeLove in the Time of Cholera, and Memories of My Melancholy Whore.

Here’s more from the press release: “Highlights in the archive include multiple drafts of García Márquez’s unpublished novel We’ll See Each Other in August, research for The General in His Labyrinth (1989) and a heavily annotated typescript of the novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981). The materials document the gestation and changes of García Márquez’s works, revealing the writer’s struggle with language and structure…The archive will reside at the Ransom Center alongside the work of many of the 20th century’s most notable authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, William Faulkner, and James Joyce, who all influenced García Márquez.”

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36. Hey indie ebook authors, here’s how to succeed

Smashwords

Smashwords

Attention, indie ebook authors. Mark Coker at Smashwords wants you to know that there’s never been a better time to be you. He writes, “Thanks to an ever-growing global market for your ebooks, your books are a couple clicks away from over one billion potential readers on smart phones, tablets and e-readers. In the world of ebooks, the playing field is tilted to the indie author’s advantage.”

Then, the wake-up call. Coker goes on to report that “the gravy train of exponential sales growth is over,” with indie (self-published) authors seeing “significant” sales decline at Amazon, especially since the July launch of Kindle Unlimited. He had predicted the slowdown and attributes it to the glut of high-quality low-cost ebooks, the increasing rate of ebook supply outpacing demand, and the slowing, much-discussed transition from print to ebooks.

However, all is not lost. He offers tips on how to succeed in this new ebook environment. You’ll want to see his entire piece at Smashwords, as space constraints require editing them down. Here is a short take on Mark Coker’s 20:

1. Take the long view; focus on aggressive platform building.
2. Good isn’t good enough. Are you bringing your best game?
3. Write more, publish more, get better.
4. Diversify your distribution.
5. Network with other indie authors.
6. Publish and promote multi-author box set collaborations; you can build your base.
7. Leverage professional publishing tools, like preorder, to your advantage.
8. Best practices; there are seven, and Mark gives a good summary in his blog. Your fellow indie authors pioneered these practices, so listen up.
9. You’re running a business: be nice, ethical, honest, and humble. It pays.
10. Pinch your pennies; practice expense control.
11. Manage your time.
12. Take risks, experiment, and fail often.
13. Dream big dreams; aim high. Salvador Dali said: “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
14. Be delusional.
15. Embrace your doubters.
16. Celebrate your fellow authors’ success. Their success is your success.
17. Remember that past success is no guarantee of your future success.
18. Never quit.
19. Own your future.
20. Know that your writing is important.

I’ll just repeat that last one: Know that your writing is important.

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37. Daniel Handler Contributes $10K to the We Need Diverse Books Crowdfunding Campaign

Daniel Handler 300Daniel Handler incited fury within the literary community for the offensive jokes he made at the recent National Book Awards ceremony. Handler, who served as the master of ceremonies, has publicly expressed remorse for those remarks and found a way to make amends.

Handler (pictured, via) revealed on Twitter that he plans to contribute $10,000 to the We Need Diverse Books Indiegogo campaign. For the next 24 hours, he will match whatever donations come in up to $100,000.

Below, we’ve collected all the tweets that make up Handler’s apology and announcement in a Storify post embedded below. What do you think? (via BuzzFeed)

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38. Classroom Connections: SEARCHING FOR SILVERHEELS, by Jeannie Mobley


age range: 10-14 years
setting: Colorado, 1917
Jeannie Mobley’s website

study guide

Pearl’s lively narration reveals her transformation from an old-fashioned, romantic girl into a spirited, courageous champion. Mobley uses the legend of Silverheels to effectively “raise questions about the traditional roles of women and their sources of strength,” as she writes in her author’s note, against the backdrop of wartime Colorado. An engrossing, plausible story of several unlikely feminist heroines with a touch of romance and intrigue. — Kirkus Reviews

Please tell us about your book.

Searching for Silverheels is the story of a romantically minded 13 year old, Pearl, who works in her family’s café in the small mountain town of Como, Colorado in 1917, just after the United States has entered the First World War.  She loves the local legend of Silverheels, a dance hall girl of the gold rush era, who saved a town from smallpox. However, Josie, a cynical old women’s suffragist, scoffs at Pearl for telling the story to the tourists, arguing that Silverheels was more likely a crook after the miner’s gold than a hero. They enter into a bet, each trying to prove their version of the legend, but in the mean time, accusations of sedition and anti-patriotism arise in the town, threatening both Pearl’s family and Josie. Pearl is forced to decide what she really believes in and to act, even if it costs her.

What inspired you to write this story?

I have known the legend of Silverheels for as long as I can remember, being a Colorado native that spent a great deal of time in the mountains in the area where Silverheels lived, and where there is, to this day, a mountain named after her. I hadn’t thought about the legend for a long time, but when I heard it again I realized there are some odd inconsistencies in it that made me think that Silverheels had the perfect set up for a scam–tend the dying miners, seduce them with her legendary beauty, and then take their gold.  As a kid, I had loved the legend for its romantic, tragic beauty, and having this new vision of it as a more cynical adult, I thought, what an interesting story it would be to debate the story from the two sides.

I also realized what a good set up for exploring the roles of women in traditional society, and all the ways that women are called to be strong. So, I chose to set it during World War I so I could bring in the suffrage movement as well as all the things women did on the home front to keep the country going during the war.

Could you share with readers how you conducted your research or share a few interesting tidbits you learned while researching?

I did very little book research before I started writing this story. Since I’ve known the legend of Silverheels and the area where the story took place since childhood, I tried to draw on deep childhood memories to shape the character of Pearl and her experiences and feelings about her mountain home. While Pearl’s story is entirely fictitious, her feelings and personality are  drawn very much on who I was as a kid.  So, I did a small amount of research about the home front in various wars, and settled on World War I, mostly because the National Women’s party, one arm of the  suffrage movement, came to blows with the authorities over criticizing the president during war time.

I researched details as I wrote, stopping when I needed to fill in a detail–like when the first Liberty Bonds were issued, what they cost and how the program worked, or what the train schedule was like in Como, a railroad hub of the era, or how long it might have taken by train to get from one location to another.  Sometimes those details would draw me into an hour of research, sometimes I’d have to work on research for a day or more. And there were a few times I found things out and had to back up and rewrite things I had gotten wrong. That is a definite problem with my system of research-as-I-go, but I don’t know what I need to research until I get there.

Always, when I am writing a piece of historical fiction, I am “researching” in my time away from the writing desk, too. I watch TV programs or read novels set in that era or written in that era, I listen to period music, and I daydream, to get my mind steeped in the deeper feeling of the time period.

What are some special challenges associated with writing historical fiction?

Of course, there is always the challenge of getting the historical era right and finding the balance of including enough historical detail to get a sense of the era without overdoing it. I think it is also important to hit the right balance of making it feel familiar and also exotic.  Historical fiction appeals to readers for its ability to help us escape into a different world, but at the same time, I think historical fiction has a romantic appeal too. There is something warm about the “good old days,” even if they weren’t all that good in reality. I think many readers like the comfortable warmth of stories set in the late 19th/early 20th century. The sense of family and of home that linger in the memories of adults who read the Little House books as kids, for example. 

So for me, I try to evoke some of those same feelings in my work, while still being true to all the things that made the “good old days” not so good. Because there was a lot of hard work and discrimination and sexism in those days, and there was a struggle to survive. I try to keep all of that present in my work.

What topics does your book touch upon that would make it a perfect fit for the classroom?

My book looks at traditional roles of women, the home front during war, and the suffrage movement, all topics of interest in American History. We are now in the hundredth anniversary of World War I, which began in Europe in the summer of 1914, and continued until 1918. For the United States, the centennial of our involvement in the war doesn’t begin until 2017, but there is a new focus on that war right now, and this book fits into that topic very neatly.

I also think that historical fiction can fit in nicely with the focus of the Common Core on increased attention to informational texts, which include things like non-fiction and primary sources.  One of the intriguing things about historical fiction is it creates a personal interest in history, because it gets the reader emotionally involved with people in the past. And once that emotional involvement is there, it is much more interesting to do the background research (for example, people who never study history often love researching an ancestor). 

So, I think historical fiction can be a wonderful gateway into those informational texts, as readers of the novel say, “Did that really happen?” or “Did people really do that back then?” Those questions can be used as starting points for digging in deeper and finding out the truth. For example, in my book, suffragists are arrested at the White House in July of 1917, which triggers a protest rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Denver. Readers might then ask, did that really happen, and they can turn to the history books or old newspapers to find out. Toward that end, I do include various links to research resources in my teachers guides and on my website.

The post Classroom Connections: SEARCHING FOR SILVERHEELS, by Jeannie Mobley appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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39. The Grolier Club is Hosting the ‘Quotations of Chairman Mao’ Exhibit

getImageThe Grolier Club is hosting an exhibit focused on the “Quotations of Chairman Mao.”

Here’s more from The New York Times: “The exhibition begins at the beginning, and even before, with several precursor anthologies that can be seen as steppingstones to the Quotations, first issued with a white paper cover in spring 1964. Vinyl bindings in three shades of blue were tried out, but within a few months, the red vinyl cover with an incised red star in the center, now familiar, appeared, and red it remained, all over the world. One of the more arresting display cases includes nearly identical copies of the Quotations in dozens of languages, from Albanian to Uighur.”

Justin G. Schiller, a collector and rare bookseller, loaned many items for this display. It was organized in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Communist leader’s little red book. A closing date has been scheduled for January 10, 2015. Follow this link to read an English translation of some of the text.

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40. National Book Award Winners for 2014

nationalbookawardPhil Klay has won the Fiction award for his book Redeployment from The Penguin Press/Penguin Group (USA).

Evan Osnos has won the Nonfiction award for Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Louise Gluck won the Poetry award for Faithful and Virtuous Night from Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

The Young People’s Literature award went to Jacqueline Woodson for Brown Girl Dreaming from Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

The National Book Award winners for 2014 were revealed tonight. If you want to read all the finalists, we’ve collected free samples of the finalists in all the categories below. Who was your favorite this year?

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41. Neil Gaiman & Ursula Le Guin at the National Book Awards

ursula_leguinAuthor Neil Gaiman presented the 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Ursula Le K. Le Guin at the National Book Awards this evening.

Before tonight, the two had only met once in an elevator at a sci-fi writer’s conference more than two decades ago in the Midwest. They were on an elevator together and she asked him, ”Are there any room parties tonight that you know of?”  and he replied, “I don’t know.”

While Gaiman had never met LeGuin in person, her work played a huge role in influencing his writing. As a young writer, Gaiman couldn’t figure out how to copy her style as he did with other writers because her work was so “clean.” So he cheated and read her essays on writing to help inform his own writing when he was a young writer.

“She raised my consciousness,” he said explaining that she opened his eyes to women’s issues. “She made me a better writer and much more importantly, she made me a better person who wrote.” (more…)

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42. National Book Award Nominees Share Writing Advice

nbaGalleyCat is at the 65th annual National Book Awards tonight in New York. We have been speaking with the nominees about their advice for writers.

Maureen N. McLean, the nominee in the poetry category for This Blue said: “Have open ears and read dead writers because they are channeling sounds that are still alive and they might attune you to things in the air that aren’t necessarily on the web or on TV or on a video game. English is a huge big weird language and why not swim in it.”

Steve Sheinkin, Young People’s Literature nominee, for his book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights told us that the goal is: “to get to that point where you just show it to somebody. Everyone will always tell you, ‘you have to write every day,’ so you know that. But what really accelerates the improvement, is getting past that fear of showing it to somebody and really listening to what they say open-mindedly. It will be so much better after two or three smart and trusted readers have given you feedback and the whole rest of the world will never know that it was bad to begin with.” (more…)

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43. Lemony Snicket Has Sympathy For Writers

snicket_lemony_lg_400x400Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, knows that it is tough for writers. The author and host of the National Book Awards ceremony in New York tonight told GalleyCat that he knows how tough it is to write.

“People who are trying to be writers have my sympathy,” he told GalleyCat. “I am sympathetic to their plights. I know the feeling of working on something and feeling lonely and undesired. Anyone who is foolhardy and or brave enough to be writing nowadays has my utter support and sympathy.”

His advice for writers: “Eavesdrop and have an excuse ready so when  you are caught eavesdropping the excuse can be uttered immediately,” he told us.

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44. Neil Gaiman Praises The First Amendment

Author Neil Gaiman has shot a video praising the first amendment. In the video embedded above, Gaiman talks about how he came to realize the value of free speech after he came to the United States. The NCAC honored Gaiman at a gala event earlier this month along with Robie H. Harris and the Trumbull High Thespian Society.

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45. Walter Isaacson Declares That This Is a Great Era For Journalism

Walter Isaacson appeared at Google to share his thoughts on the digital revolution and to discuss his new book The Innovators. We’ve embedded the Isaacson’s full talk above—what do you think?

During the Q&A session, Isaacson declared that “journalism is not in demise at all. This is the best era ever for journalism.”

Issacson acknowledges that the business model the industry relies on is not sustainable. He feels that “there is no way advertising will support great journalism alone.” The question now becomes, how will the business evolve to respond to this modern age?

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46. Margaret Atwood Creates a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide

Margaret AtwoodHow would Margaret Atwood handle a zombie apocalypse? According to the guide she posted on BuzzFeed, she would camp out at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City because “zombies can’t climb.”

Some of the other helpful tips that Atwood shares include making an alliance with Lord Baden Powell as “it’d be helpful to be with the founder of the Boy Scouts” and staying connected to Twitter because “people are going to want news, not photos of your baby.” What do you think?

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47. Jonathan Franzen to Publish New Novel in 2015

Franzen 200Jonathan Franzen (pictured, via) has been working a new novel entitled Purity.

Farrar, Straus & Giroux will publish the book in September 2015. Philip Weinstein will share an analysis of Purity in his forthcoming biography, Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “The story centers on a young woman named Purity Tyler, or Pip, who doesn’t know who her father is and sets out to uncover his identity. The narrative stretches from contemporary America to South America to East Germany before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and hinges on the mystery of Pip’s family history and her relationship with a charismatic hacker and whistleblower.”

(more…)

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48. November 2014 Picture Book Month Passes the Halfway Mark



“When we reached the top, there were over a hundred children gathered on the hillside, some of whom had walked miles to hear a story.” – Sophie Blackall from her Picture Book Month Essay

“If a picture book and an iPad got into a fight, a picture book would totally kick an iPad's butt.” – Aaron Reynolds from his Picture Book Month Essay

Picture Book Month has just passed the halfway mark. Around the world, schools, libraries, booksellers, and book lovers are coming together to celebrate the print picture book during the month of November. Now in its fourth year, the initiative is a viral phenomenon.

The website, PictureBookMonth.com, features essays from thought leaders in the children’s literature community. Each day in November, a new essay is posted. This year’s Picture Book Month Champions are: Chris Barton, Aaron Becker, Kelly Bingham , Sophie Blackall, Arree Chung, Anna Dewdney, Johnette Downing, Ame Dyckman, Jill Esbaum, Carolyn Flores, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Robin Preiss Glasser, Deborah Heiligman, Marla Frazee, Stefan Jolet, Kathleen Krull, Rene Colato Lainez, Loreen Leedy, Betsy Lewin, Ted Lewin, Brian Lies, Kelly J. Light, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Alexis O'Neill, Sandra Markle, Ann Whitford Paul, Aaron Reynolds, Judy Schachner, Linda Joy Singleton, and David Schwartz.

New features this year include “Curriculum Connections” by Education Consultant, Marcie Colleen. Every day, a new activity and curriculum connection is posted based on the Author/Illustrator’s book. In addition, the multi-page Picture Book Month Educator’s Guide, correlating picture books across the curriculum, is available as a free download for educators and teacher librarians.

We are pleased to also announce that Reading Rainbow has recently joined as a Picture Book Month partner. Support for the initiative continues with partners such as the American Booksellers Association, the American Association of School Librarians, the Children’s Book Council, Reading is Fundamental, and SCBWI as well as industry trade journals such as Hornbook, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. New 2014 partners also include The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and Friends of Tennessee Libraries.

A downloadable promotional kit is available as well as certificates, posters, and bookmarks created by Joyce Wan. Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books Podcast, the #1 kidlit podcast on iTunes, is dedicating the entire month of November to Picture Book Month with new episodes airing every Friday. The PBM calendar created by Elizabeth Dulemba lists all the Picture Book Month Champions as well as the daily theme. The daily themes are used to plan story times, book displays, and blog posts.

Founder Dianne de Las Casas says, “People are joining the celebration from countries such as Ireland, Jamaica, and Singapore, as well as across the entire United States. We love that school libraries are reporting virtually empty picture book shelves. It’s not too late to join the celebration!” Follow Picture Book Month on Twitter, @PictureBkMonth, and Facebook, and use the hashtag #PictureBookMonth. Visit www.picturebookmonth.com.

“A picture book is a simile that shivers. A metaphor that melts. A not-a-poem, yet Every. Word. Counts. Picture books excite the eye, the ear, the heart.” – Alexis O’Neill from her Picture Book Month Essay


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49. Ursula K. Le Guin Shares Writing Advice at The National Book Awards

ursula_leguinLegendary author Ursula K. Le Guin is receiving the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the National Book Awards ceremony tonight in New York.

GalleyCat caught up with the author at the show and asked for her advice for writers. “Write,” she said. “Put it away and then write some more.”

When we asked her about getting published, Le Guin admitted that these days publishing can be tough. “Write and hope,” she responded.

Le Guin also gave advice for how to work with editors. She says that you should listen to the editor but also to your own instincts. ”You’ve got to decide who is right, and you get to,” she stressed.

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50. What Makes an Award Winning Book?

sharondraperWhat makes for an award winning book? Author/teacher Sharon M. Draper, the chair of committee of judges for the Young People’s Literature, says that it is all about “the language, the charters, the imagery, the history.”

We caught up with Draper at the National Book Awards ceremony where she let us in on how the committee went about selecting books for the category. Faced with 294 submissions, the team set out to find “books that were compelling, books that were lasting, books that young people would want to read over and over again,” Draper explains.

“It is almost indescribable what makes an excellent book, but you know it when you read it and you just say, ‘this one is something that is worthwhile,” concludes Draper. “I used to be a teacher, so I know what young people do, I write for young people so I kind of know what they are looking for and what they like and what they’ll reject.”

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