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Delaram Ghanimifard is the co-founder with her husband Karim Arghandehpour of the exciting Tiny Owl Publishing, which launched its first collection to great acclaim last year. Their catalogue is already bursting with beautiful picture books by … Continue reading ... →
“These books represent my desire that our multiracial and multicultural children are not considered ‘fractions’ but rather celebrated for containing multitudes.” * * * Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Monica Brown, pictured here, about her newest picture book, Maya’s Blanket/la manta de Maya (Lee & Low). It was released back in August […]
Discovering Wes Moore is the YA follow up to education advocate, veteran, and Rhodes Scholar Wes Moore’s New York Times bestseller, The Other Wes Moore. The Other Wes Moore is the story of two men with very different paths. While one is heading off to Oxford University on a scholarship, the other was sentenced to life in prison. The Other Wes Moore traces their paths from childhood to adulthood. What went wrong in the life of the other Wes Moore? Discovering Wes Moore is an accessible version of the bestseller, for young readers, requested by teachers.
This Way Home is Wes Moore’s first young adult work of fiction, with Shawn Goodman. Moore and Goodman’s book is set in Baltimore, which has been in the news most recently due to several protests in response to police brutality. Elijah and his friends live for basketball but a street gang threatens to take that all away if the team doesn’t rep their colors. What happens if they don’t give in? What happens when a community takes a stand?
I want them [young people] to say, “He gets my life. He gets what I see. He understands what I know.” — Wes Moore on writing This Way Home
Watch this episode to learn more about Wes’ books, what he is doing to further his service mission as a veteran, and how he’s making attending college a bit easier for young people in Maryland.
We’re giving away three (3) signed copies of Discovering Wes Moore and This Way Home. Enter to win this mini bundle, now!
For fans of “The Wire “and “Unbroken “comes a story of two fatherless boys from Baltimore, both named Wes Moore. One is in prison, serving a life sentence for murder. The other is a Rhodes Scholar, an army veteran, and an author whose book is being turned into a movie produced by Oprah Winfrey.
Two men. One overcame adversity. The other suffered the indignities of poverty. Their stories are chronicled in “Discovering Wes Moore,” a book for young people based on Wes Moore’s bestselling adult memoir, The Other Wes Moore.
The story of the other Wes Moore is one that the author couldn t get out of his mind, not since he learned that another boy with his name just two years his senior grew up in the same Baltimore neighborhood. He wrote that boy now a man a letter, not expecting to receive a reply. But a reply came, and a friendship grew, as letters turned into visits and the two men got to know each other. Eventually, that friendship became the inspiration for “Discovering Wes Moore,” a moving and cautionary tale examining the factors that contribute to success and failure and the choices that make all the difference.
ABOUT THIS WAY HOME
This Way Home by Wes Moore with Shawn Goodman
Published by Delacorte Press/Random House
One young man searches for a place to call home in this gut-wrenching, honest novel from New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore with Shawn Goodman. Elijah Thomas knows one thing better than anyone around him: basketball. At seventeen, he’s earned the reputation of a top-level player, one who steps onto the court ready for battle, whether it’s a neighborhood pickup game or a tournament championship. What Elijah loves most about the game is its predictability: if he and his two best friends play hard and follow the rules, their team will win. And this formula has held true all way up to the summer before their senior year of high school, when a sinister street gang, Blood Street Nation, wants them to wear the Nation’s colors in the next big tournament.
The boys gather their courage and take a stand against the gang, but at a terrible cost. Now Elijah must struggle to balance hope and fear, revenge and forgiveness, to save his neighborhood. For help, he turns to the most unlikely of friends: Banks, a gruff ex-military man, and his beautiful and ambitious daughter. Together, the three work on a plan to destroy Blood Street and rebuild the community they all call home.
This Way Home is a story about reclamation. It’s about taking a stand for what matters most, and the discovery that, in the end, hope, love, and courage are our most powerful weapons.
ABOUT WES MOORE
Via theotherwesmoore.com Wes Moore is a youth advocate, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur, and host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network. His first book The Other Wes Moore became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.
Born in 1978, Wes and his sisters were raised by their widowed mother. Despite early academic and behavioral struggles, he graduated Phi Theta Kappa in 1998 as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College, and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001, where he also played football and earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. He then became a Rhodes Scholar, studying International Relations at Oxford University.
After his studies, Wes, a paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army, served a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. Wes then served as a White House fellow to Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice. He serves on the board of the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), The Johns Hopkins University, and founded an organization called STAND! that works with Baltimore youth involved in the criminal justice system.
Wes is committed to helping the parents, teachers, mentors, and advocates who serve our nations youth. A portion of all book proceeds for “The Other Wes Moore” are being donated to City Year and the US Dream Academy.
I’m not normally in the habit of posting other people’s interviews in full at my site, but what the hell, I’m doing so today. And that’s because I was very excited to hear on Monday of this week that graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang (pictured left in his self-portrait) was named the 5th National Ambassador […]
Welcome to MATT CHATS, a weekly interview series that goes live every Tuesday conducted between myself and a creator and/or player in the comic book industry, diving into subjects not broached by other comic news outlets. One of the artists most deserving of work from the Big Two or even the “Big Five” is, in my opinion, […]
Scholastic called 2015 the year of the library and to celebrate, KidLit TV took a trip to the Clark Public Library in Clark, New Jersey to interview many well known Young Adult, Middle Grade and Picture Book authors. During the interviews we learned why teens and kids would love these authors’ books, how schools and education are evolving, and how book ideas can be inspired by different media.
When her home is attacked by murderous vampires, 17-year-old Alexa is forced to leave her mother for dead in order to save her sister. She soon learns that she is the last known member of an elite race of supernatural Warriors, and is thrust into a world full of vampires and werewolves who all seem to regard her as some sort of savior. Meanwhile, Alexa battles a monster within herself that seeks to gain control; a monster that seeks blood.
The hidden city she finds herself in appears perfect, but Alexa’s instincts tell her that all is not right within its walls. When she is asked to attend a school of fighters, whose exams consist of gladiator-style competitions, she must decide who she can trust among the smiling faces. And, when she meets Kayden, a vampire she feels undeniably drawn to, she must decide if she can trust herself.
In seventeen-year-old Jax Mitchell’s world, humans are nearly extinct and alien settlers have arrived.
Until recently, the E’rikon have remained segregated in their city and ignored the few humans who have tried to engage them… but now they have taken Jax’s brother. To rescue him, she forms an uneasy alliance with a teenage E’rikon left stranded in the woods. She agrees to guide him to the city if he sneaks her past the human-proof barrier. Too bad it’s not that simple.
Jax, who cannot stand to be touched, finds that she’s drawn to the alien boy with bright green hair and jewel-like scales on his back. And he’s equally affected by her, the courageous redhead with haunted eyes. But she doesn’t know the alien’s true motives and he has no idea that she is much more than she seems.
With the aliens and the humans at odds, the connection forming between the two teens has consequences. What started off as a rescue mission sets a chain of events in motion which threatens not only the remaining humans and the growing alien society, but Earth itself.
Joseph Hashimoto is happy with his ordinary life. A man who believes in fairness and just action, Joe’s greatest love is his family. But as he moves about his days, he is completely unaware that his actions are carefully observed. With one momentous decision, Joe’s ordinary life is about to transform into an extraordinary existence.
While attempting to save a little girl from danger, Joe is killed in a violent explosion. Instead of dying, however, his soul is brought before the elemental Architects of the Universe, who tell him he has been chosen for a sacred duty. Reborn as Lightrider, the earthly representative of Light, Joe is given leadership of the Elemental Knights, a group of half-man, half-animal beings. Charged with maintaining a delicate balance between good and evil, Joe must police both sides and destroy anyone who threatens to ruin it. As Joe struggles with his conflicting emotions and longing for home, he must face his greatest threat—the ancient Chaos Demons.
In this fantasy tale, a man inadvertently thrust into a world of cosmic forces must come to terms with change and accept what needs to be done for the good of all.
Clicks are the sounds the universe makes to tell you what will happen next. Truths you hear in your heart that you can’t explain.
For sixteen year old Cami, the clicks won’t stop. They’re telling her to fall in love with the wrong twin, that her family is hiding something, and that Pinhold, her pristine Island home, is in danger. It’s hard to trust them when they go against everything she knows.
But then an ocean mystery makes people sick, sinking the best swimmers to the seafloor and, while they’re not dead, they’re barely alive.
Modern medicine and island legends have no answers for Cami. Can she trust her instincts to find a cure, or will she lose the most important people in her life forever?
And I Thought About You celebrates the relationship between a working mother and her child. It captures their mutual curiosity about what the other has done throughout the day while they re apart. The playful images of the mother at work, set next to the child’s daily activities, add to this warm and tender piece. And I Thought About You honors the unbreakable bond between mother and child.
In this fast-paced suspense, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name–which none of the others know.
The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia–upending her blissful family life–desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true.
The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose a story of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello’s page turning suspense cautions:
Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma’s past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia.
KidLit TV is always thrilled to visit local libraries! If you’d ever like us to stop by at your library’s author meet and greet event let us know and we’d be happy to stop by!
The first interview of this new year is with an author. Suzanne Slade is an mechanical engineer by trade. She is also a former rocket scientist and lunch room lady (not on a rocket ship). Suzanne has authored over 100 children’s books, her latest being An Inventor’s Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, with illustrations by Jennifer …
I like my comics like I like my men. Chock full of lunch and Pearl Harbor references.
Hm? That didn’t make sense? Maybe not, but if nonsense is pouring out of my mouth then I believe it may have something to do with the excitement I feel about today’s guest. If the term “Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales” means nothing to you then please be so good as to read this and this and then come back to me. As many of you know, he is the one-man genius factory behind some of the best history for kids out there today.
That’s in one corner. In the other corner is the Comics Squad series put out by Penguin Random House. The concept is simple. The books are about the size of your average Babymouse or Lunch Lady comic book. Inside, a bunch of different comic book creators riff on a theme. Last time it was recess. This time, lunch. And our man, Nathan Hale, did a story for it involving . . . well . . .
So where did that come from? He was kind enough to answer my questions on the subject.
Betsy Bird: I don’t know about anyone else, but I was pretty psyched when I saw The Hangman standing on the cover of the latest Comics Squad release. I think the reviewers are already mentioning that yours is a bit more serious than the other fare (Babymouse, kid Lunch Lady, Snoopy, etc.). How’d the editors approach you for the job?
Nathan Hale: Thanks! It is fun to see the Hangman on the cover. He must have looked a little too monochrome for the cover, because someone turned his gloves blue. He looks like he’s working with industrial chemicals or something.
You’re right about the tone. I hope the readers are cool with it. Reading the stories is like: silly story, funny story, goofy story, haha story, PEARL HARBOR!?! I figure readers will either love my story, or skip it completely.
Jennifer Holm approached me for a story. I loved COMICS SQUAD 1, and of course, I’ve always loved BABYMOUSE (fun fact: BABYMOUSE is the reason the Hazardous Tales books are colored in one color. I even got coloring tips from Matthew Holm early on.)
BB: The tale marks the first time WWII has been mentioned in the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series. Did you already know that lunch-related story, or did you have to hit the books to find it?
NH: I had to hit the books. I started researching for an essay about the different meals soldiers ate through history. While doing that, I stumbled across this WWII potato story, I knew I had to do it.
BB: Did you have a competing lunch story you thought about using, or was this always your #1 choice?
NH: My first idea was to skip the history, and just do a goofy story about some chips. When I was a kid I didn’t have a TV. And there was a very popular show at the time called C.H.I.P.S.–California Highway/Interstate Patrol Squad. I never saw the show, so I thought I was missing an amazing show about walking talking tortilla chips who fought crime and had adventures. I drew my own version of CHIPS in my childhood notebooks. I was going to reboot that old idea for COMICS SQUAD. I’m really happy with how the WWII story turned out. But don’t count the CHIPS out just yet. They are still in development.
BB: How about yourself? Do you have a lunch story about yourself that you’d care to tell me?
NH: Once, when I was standing in the lunch line of my fifth grade school cafeteria, the cutest girl in the class, who was wearing a black turtle neck, sneezed and shot an unbelievable amount of snot all over herself. It was like she shot two barrels of silly string out of her nose. She was mortified, tried to wipe it all away, but, of course, she was in the black turtle neck, so it wasn’t going anywhere. She ended up just becoming entangled in it, like a Spiderman villain. The kids in line were so impressed by the biological display, that we didn’t even think about laughing until she had run from the cafeteria. It wasn’t “Ha-ha” it was “WOW!” As a kid, I thought, well, that must be a thing that happens to people. Yet, to this day, I’ve never seen it equalled.
Pretty gross. And, no, that was never a story I was tempted to do for COMICS SQUAD. Although, now that I think about it…
BB: Ew! And . . . kinda awesome. By the way, I don’t suppose you’d happen to be able to mention what the subject of the next Hazardous Tale will be, by any chance?
NH: Hazardous Tales #6 comes out in three months! It’s about the Alamo!
Right now I’m taking a one-book break from history comics to do a science fiction comic (not the CHIPS), then I’m going straight back into Hazardous Tales #7 and #8. I can hint that book #7 takes place in a VERY similar time to the COMICS SQUAD: LUNCH story.
BB: Fantastic. Gonna go over to Abrams now and poke ’em, poke ’em, poke ’em until I get my hands on that Alamo comic. Thanks go Nathan for chatting with me and to Cassie McGinty for setting the whole thing up. The new Comics Squad issue comes out January 26th, so keep an eye peeled for that one as well.
Julie Larios suspects
her love of writing may be oddly linked with a love of the paraphernalia of
“I have an
inordinate love of pencils and pencil boxes, post-it-notes, old fountain pens,
vellum, architectural paper, school notebooks, scotch tape, erasers, paper
clips, ink, envelopes,” she says. “Maybe I became a writer because I loved
But, in a
The Survival Guide to Bullying is author and activist Aija Mayrock’s gift to young people who’ve endured bullying. At sixteen Aija began writing the self-help book for children who are being bullied. The book began as a self-published project in 2014. Eventually the project was picked up by Scholastic after Publishers Weekly covered The Survival Guide to Bullying.
Via Scholastic Aija Mayrock began writing The Survival Guide to Bullying at age sixteen after dealing with bullying in her own life for many years. She promised herself that she would publish it as her gift to the next generation of kids who are bullied. Aija is committed to giving a voice to the voiceless through writing and film.
Currently, Aija is a sophomore at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Aija has appeared on The View and written for Teen Vogue.
ABOUT THE SURVIVAL GUIDE TO BULLYING
The Survival Guide to Bullying – Written by a teenager who was bullied throughout middle school and high school, this kid-friendly book offers a fresh and relatable perspective on bullying. Along the way, the author offers guidance as well as different strategies that helped her get through even the toughest of days.
The Survival Guide to Bullying covers everything from cyber bullying to how to deal with fear and how to create the life you dream of having. From inspiring “roems” (rap poems), survival tips, personal stories, and quick quizzes, this book will light the way to a brighter future. This updated edition also features new, never-before-seen content including a chapter about how to talk to parents, an epilogue, and an exclusive Q&A with the author.
It's time for another reader survey! I interviewed one of my teen customers for GuysLitWire. Here's what he had to say:
Books recently read for fun: Fall of Giantsby Ken Follett - It took me a while, but it was a fantastic read and ultimately awesome! - and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - heart-wrenching, and you really want the main characters to get together.
Books recently read for class:Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Books you want to read: Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity, the second and third books in the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett.
Books you read as a kid: Harry Potter! Book of choice; just great. My sister read the 7th book 13 times.
Why you like to read: I can't stop reading; it's a passion, and it takes my mind off school.
Favorite book genres/topics: Sci-fi/historical fantasy. Fantasy books transport me into new worlds (so) it's hard to stop reading.
Favorite authors: Ken Follett
Favorite playwrights and plays:West Side Story
Favorite movies: Airplane! My favorite movie by far. I love comedy movies.
Favorite musicians/music genres: Jazz
Anything else you want to say: Reading is awesome!
Based on the first two issues I previewed, Si Spurrier with Ryan Kelly have crafted a captivating story about identifying the monsters inside and out. Cry Havoc, described as mixing “the hard-boiled militaria of Jarhead with the dark folklore of Pan’s Labyrinth,” is a fascinating piece of work, so I was excited to speak to […]
In the 2015 superhero comics landscape, Valiant’s Faith stands alone. As someone who doesn’t fit traditional standards of beauty when it comes to BMI, she’s a hero I can relate to on more than one level. Thankfully, Valiant is offering readers the chance to catch up with Faith in a brand new mini-series written by Jody […]
Ezra Miller, Collin Farrell, explosions and (predictably) a lot of rain make an appearance on set, as Yates talks about directing the first of at least three Fantastic Beasts films after directing the last four Harry Potter movies:
‘I’m so excited about this. J.K. Rowling was just inspired to set this movie in 1926 with a completely new set of characters’ he says. ‘I spent seven years doing four of her Harry Potter films so I was desperate to read this script, but also nervous, you know.
‘It’s a beautiful script; it’s really fun. It’s fresh. She’s got such a gift for creating adorable characters. These ones are special, they’re really moving and funny. You see bits of yourself in them, or you see people you know.’
After watching the trailer on Tuesday, we’re definitely excited to get to know these new characters – with humour, mystery and a fresh new (…old?) era of wizard culture to explore, Fantastic Beasts is certainly gearing up to be a great story!
On Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne):
‘Newt is just fascinating. Probably anyone who’s ever done some sort of geeky thing will relate to him… And filmmaking is a geeky profession,’ he says. ‘Newt’s obsessed with beasts and cataloguing facts about beasts.’
‘Oh she’s so adorable because she’s sort of so career-obsessed. A lot of us who work really hard can sometimes relate to that. Jacob is everyman, or everywoman, he’s pure and I like that. Queenie’s glamourous and somehow worldly but innocent. They’re so great.’
And finally, Yates addresses how he built the cast around Redmayne’s character:
‘It was like putting a rock band together. We saw so many people. We got Eddie, he was our anchor and I knew once we’d got him, we had to build the world around him. The other characters in this world had to react to him, they had to have a chemical reaction with Eddie. So we went to New York and saw some really fine actors, a lot of them, over two or three days, one after the other in the same room, all of them with Eddie. ‘
‘Eddie has done certain scenes from this movie so many times with so many different actors. When he was with Katherine, there was just something. It was amazing and I just thought, it’s got to be Katherine. It’s got to be. Then with Dan… Eddie and Dan are like Laurel and Hardy, so it had to be him. It’s funny, how they just clicked.’
Read the full interview here, and watch the new Fantastic Beasts trailer here!
Robert Sawyer said, "I care deeply and passionately about this genre [science fiction]" during a presentation I attended at the Ontario Library Association Conference. And it was obvious he does. I was, however, more than a little surprised by the passion he exhibits to defend his vision for the SciFi genre--although I have to agree [...] Continue reading...
LAST DAY! $50 Gift Certificate Holiday Giveaway Enter here: Mudpuppy Holiday Giveaway . Orangutanka: A Story in Poems Written by Margarita Engle Illustrations by Renée Kurilla Henry Holt & Company 3/24/2015 978-0-8050-9839-6 32 pages Ages 4—8 “All the orangutans are ready for a nap in the sleepy depths of the afternoon . …
When you find the news—both world and local—discouraging and you feel a lot like the characters look in the above illustration from Marsha Diane Arnold’s Lost. Found., illustrated by Matthew Cordell and released last month (don’t worry — things turn around for these guys), I turn to art. Because we all need art every […]
Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and friends made a big splash with their digital-first, pay-what-you-want series The Private Eye. But they always intended for the publisher they created, Panel Syndicate, to house more than just their stories. The first and to date the only other work to appear on Panel Syndicate is Universe! from cartoonist […]
Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, the team behind the smash hit Harley Quinn series are back with a brand new hero: Drusilla Dragowski, a teen-aged girl who dreams of being a superhero but has some wacky ideas for how to go about it.
As a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week (here) with Özge Samanci, I’ve got art here today from Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey (Margaret Ferguson/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, November 2015). You can click on each image below (except for the last one and the book cover) to enlarge slightly and see […]