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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: publishers weekly, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 68
1. Publishers Weekly Picks Best Children's Books 2015

Take a look at Publishers Weekly (PW) editors' choices of 2015 best books to discover outstanding new titles. The lists include picture books, middle-grade, and young adult books.

The picture books range from well-known authors such as Drew Daywalt (The Day The Crayons Came Home) and Dave Eggers (This Bridge Will Not Be Gray) and Mordicai Gerstein (The Night World) to debut authors such as Guojing (The Only Child), who writes about growing up under China's one-child policy.

Middle-grade books include bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson (My Diary from the Edge of the World) and the amazing Brian Selznick (The Marvels).

Young adult titles range from a nonfiction title by M. T. Anderson (Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad) to Chicago-area writer Laura Ruby's new novel (Bone Gap). 

For more information visit PW or click on any of the above links.

The Night WorldThe MarvelsThe Only Child

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2. A new book from me, about Barbara Jordan!

From Publishers Weekly: My excitement for this project is whole; it is complete; it is total. And if you haven’t seen Ekua Holmes’ marvelous artwork in her just-published debut, you are missing out.

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3. Publishers Weekly Will Digitize Entire Archives

Looking for a book review from 1950? It’ll be pretty easy to find pretty soon. Publishers Weekly, which reviews about 9,000 titles a year, is making its entire archive available to read digitally.

The trade publication has teamed up with NA Publishing who will digitize the magazine’s entire archives, which consists 750,000 pages. The publication has already published about 200,000 reviews digitally, but there are about 100,000 more book reviews in the archives that will be available digitally soon.

“The complete digitization of the Publishers Weekly archives has been a goal since our acquisition of this extraordinary resource; for the sake of posterity and of history it must be saved,” stated George W. Slowik, Jr., president and CEO of PWxyz LLC. “It will provide an historical record of the advancement of the industry, with news, features, sales figures, trends and so much more. As well, the inclusion of PW’s renowned book reviews, which began in the 1940s, serves literary historians and lovers of literature alike.”

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4. Weekend Links: Powerful Book Discussions, Celebrations and Initiatives

weekend links

Welcome to Weekend Links! This is my chance to share what I consider some of my my ‘top finds’ that I have discovered over the course of the week. This week there was a plethora of Powerful Book Discussions, Celebrations and Initiatives that I would like to share with our readers. Enjoy!

The Children’s Book Guide has a wonderful article about 100 Most Inspiring Children’s Books


Three Unmissable Books That Can Help Us Honor Our Past from Pacific Citizen | The National Newspaper of the JACL.

Dr. Greene shared The Importance of Playing, Puttering, and Pretending with our kids.

Young girl inspecting a clover in a green field

Kid World Citizen has a great post on “The Danger of a Single Story” and Teaching Kids to Avoid Stereotypes


Quickie Lesson on Slow #Reading Time and Creating a Slow Family Reading Moment

slow reading

Publishers Weekly reported that First Book, Corporate Partners Make 60,000 Books Available to Children in Need

First Book

“In our overprescribed, overstimulated, overscheduled lives, author Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford reminds us about family traditions” at the Smithsonian APA Book Dragon


How Do We #GetKidsReading? A discussion with author James Patterson  via Publishers Weekly

James patterson

Let’s celebrate Children’s Book Week with a Super Spring Sale! I have two of my most popular books on a super special sale until May18th!


The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired #homeschool. And for a limited time, this best-selling book by Donna Ashton, The Waldorf #Homeschool Handbook is now only $17.95 until May18, 2015 ! http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

book sale may1

The post Weekend Links: Powerful Book Discussions, Celebrations and Initiatives appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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5. Books Your Kids Will Love: Discover the Most Awaited Children's and YA Books for Fall 2015

 Even if your kids love to read their favorite books over and over, it's almost fall and time to discover some wonderful new titles. Publishers Weekly's choices for most anticipated children's and young adult (YA) books for fall highlight many good reads you and your kids are certain to enjoy.Their picks include new books from the beloved children's authors Dave Kinney, Audrey and Don Wood, Philip and Erin Stead, and Katherine Applegate, to name a few.

I'm looking forward to these new books that they've highlighted:

 Here's What PW Says:

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel, Aug.) - Daywalt and Jeffers’s The Day the Crayons Quit has been a stalwart on bestseller lists since it was published in 2013. This very funny follow-up sees the crayons writing postcards to their young owner after being left out of town on vacation, lost within the sofa, or otherwise abused.

The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood (HMH, Sept.) - More than 30 years after the publication of bedtime favorite The Napping House, this husband-and-wife team takes readers back to a dwelling, where a certain granny, boy, dog, and cat are having trouble falling asleep under the light of an enormous moon.

Lenny and Lucy by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook/Porter, Oct.) - The Steads made a name for themselves with the Caldecott Medal–winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee and have been accumulating accolades ever since. Their latest tells of a boy who creates a pair of protector-companions as he adjusts to his new home.

Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson (Chronicle, Aug.) - Who says ghosts don’t have feelings? Not Barnett and Robinson, whose “ghost story” is alternately funny, sad, and sweet as a lonesome spirit named Leo tries to make a connection that doesn’t leave the other party fleeing in terror.

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (Feiwel and Friends, Sept.) - Applegate is back with her first middle-grade novel since The One and Only Ivan, which won the 2013 Newbery Medal. In this equally sensitive story, fifth-grader Jackson worries that the reappearance of his childhood imaginary friend portends the return of problems for his family, too.

Visit PW for more listings.  Happy reading!

What are your picks for the most exciting children's books coming this fall? Please share your choices below.

Hope you enjoyed this post! To be notified of future updates, use the subscription options on the right side bar.

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6. A star for Nutcracker from Publishers Weekly!

I couldn’t be happier with this starred review from Publishers Weekly for ‘The Nutcracker’ Comes to America: How Three Ballet-Loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition. Here’s an excerpt: Balancing evocative turns of phrase with a crisp, forthright narrative, Barton delivers an involving account of how watching The Nutcracker ballet, which originated in Russia, became an […]

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7. talking about friends, talking about writing, talking and blogging, here we go

Writer, editor, mother, yoga-ist, friend—Katrina Kenison has been there, over and again, in my writing life. One of the first to read and write of my first book about reading and writing: Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World. One of the first to read and write of my second book about reading and writing: Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir (I had arrived, at long last, at the grave of my great-grandfather, Horace Kephart, in Bryson City, NC, when Katrina's note about Handling floated in—perfect timing, for Katrina had once found and sent to me as a gift a rare copy of one of Horace Kephart's books).  

Katrina has understood what few others haven't. She has written memoirs that I have loved and celebrated—Mitten Strings for God, The Gift of an Ordinary Day, Magical Journey. She edited, for many years, Best American Short Stories, and so she knows a thing or two about fiction, too. And her blog? Beloved.

When Katrina asked if I might participate in the latest blog-a-thon (is that a word? I don't know), I said yes. Because another very dear friend, Patty Chang Anker (Some Nerve, a memoir about facing the things we fear), had asked me the same question a few weeks earlier, when I was deluged, I'm tagging her back here. Patty and I recently shared the most spectacular night in New York City, when both of our books were nominated for a Books for a Better Life Award. Check out her popular blog and find out what this former non-cyclist spent her weekend.

I have two other friends/writers/editors I'm eager to introduce in this very blog post. So I'll quickly move through the a-thon questions. Here we go:

What am I working on?

On April 1, Going Over, my Berlin 1983 novel, was released. I am working on — well, I'm working on surviving the angst/suspense/fear/release that goes along with the publication of each book. I'm getting better at this. I'm trusting fate more. I'm living with who I am, which is this sort of idiosyncratic YA writer whose YA books don't fall into easy categories, which is to say they aren't easily marketed, which is to say, I'm still just Beth Kephart, A Moonlight Writer if Ever There Was One. Real life, for me, is the boutique marketing communications business I run, the stories I write for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the reviews I write for Chicago Tribune, and, in the spring, the creative nonfiction class I teach at Penn. That class recently ended. I'm still sobbing. But I digress.

A few days ago, Publishers Weekly kindly announced my next two books. And so, cheatingly, I share that announcement here:

As reported in PW Children's Bookshelf, April 28, 2014:
Tamra Tuller at Chronicle has acquired two books by NBA-nominated author Beth Kephart. Set in Florence, Italy, One Thing Stolen follows Nadia Cara as she mysteriously begins to change. She's become a thief, she has secrets she can't tell, and when she tries to speak, the words seem far away.This Is the Story of You takes place in an island beach town in the aftermath of a super storm; Mira, a year-rounder stranded for weeks without power, hopes to return storm-tossed treasures to their rightful owners, and restore some sense of order to an unrecognizable world. Publication is scheduled for spring 2015 and spring 2016; Amy Rennert of the Amy Rennert Agency did the deal for world rights.
How does my work/writing differ from others in its genre?

So many ways to answer this question. But I'll be brief. What I write is Kephartian. Linguistically intense. Erupted from the heart. Framed by big questions of history and humanity. That works for some people. It doesn't work for others. And this is not to say (because that would be a lie) that others in my genre don't pursue the same humanity, history, and heart. Others do. In a minute you'll meet A.S. King. You'll see what I mean.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I can't help it. I know that sounds flippant, or something (would flippant be the right word?). But it's as honest as I can be. I write what I must write, what draws me to it urgently, what can't be suppressed, what wakes me up. It all comes from the gut, and then from a heck of a lot of research. I wish I had a plan. I just have instincts.

How does my writing process work?

I could write on and on and on (blog pages!) about all the times the process doesn't work. When it does work, I kiss the wing tips of some theoretical muse (or the nose of my tall wooden giraffe, which is my actual muse) and ask no questions. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. That's what I say. Then pray I'll get the ineffable good-luck process back some other day.

All righty, all righty, enough on me. Now I get to get back to my friends, A.S. King and Karen Rile, who are going to answer their own questions on their own blogs next week.

So let's start with A.S., who is also Amy, who is also (to me) King, who is also Dude. Or. Wait. Dude is what Amy calls me. What Amy calls us. Dude is the name of our extended family. Whatever it is, you know her. She is, perhaps, the most starred YA author working today. She has awards falling out of her overall pockets. John Green has called her a goddess, but Beth Kephart called her a goddess first, and in this case, Beth Kephart Rules. The Dust of 100 Dogs, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Everyone Sees the Ants, Ask the Passengers, Reality Boy, the forthcoming Glory O'Brien's History of the Future. These are King books. This is the King legacy. You can read all about them here.

And you can read what I wrote about King on her most recent birthday here.

Then there's Karen Rile, aka editor of Cleaver Magazine, aka my dear friend at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches fiction and other things to loving students, while teaching how to be a teacher to moi. Cleaver has rocked the lit world, since it was founded not long ago. Below are the facts as Karen provides them. Here is what I had to say when Cleaver launched.

Cleaver Magazine shares “cutting-edge” artwork and literary work from a mix of established and emerging voices. We were founded in January 2013 and are currently preparing our 6th full-length issue, which will launch on June 11, 2014.

We are a web-based magazine. In our first year we received 60,000 unique visits and over 100,000 hits. To give an idea of our readership: over the past three months, we had visits from 119 countries, although about 80% of our readership is American. Our editors have deep ties to the Philadelphia community. We are an international magazine, but maintain a commitment to publish about 25-30% Philadelphia-based writers in each issue.

We publish poetry, short stories, essays, flash prose, visual art, and reviews of poetry books and other small press publications. We publish quarterly, in March, June, September, and December. In each issue we present several emerging writers and at least one emerging visual artist alongside established writers and artists. We see ourselves as facilitators and stewards of the literary and artistic work that we publish.

We are independent and self-funded and are grateful for support, in part, from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and Kelly Writers House.

I cede the stage....

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8. ‘Maggie’ Earns Book of the Week Honors from BookWorks

NEW YORK, NY – The inspirational young adult novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has been selected as the Book of the Week by the BookWorks Self-Publishers Association. “This is an amazingly wonderful surprise for Maggie!” said author Grant Overstake, … Continue reading

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9. One Thing Stolen, the Florence novel, has a PW moment

So grateful to have ONE THING STOLEN included in this Spring 2015 Children's Sneak Previews from Publishers Weekly:

Chronicle channels the Force for Star Wars Short and Sweet: A New Hope by Jack and Holman Wang, a 12-word retelling; I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld, celebrating everyday moments of abundance; The Water and the Wild by Kathryn Elise Ormsbee, a fantasy debut featuring a portal in a bejeweled tree; One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart, about a girl who develops strange behaviors when she moves with her professor father to Italy for six months; and Vanishing Girl by Elena Dunkle and Clare B. Dunkle, a mother-daughter memoir featuring daughter Elena’s struggle with anorexia.

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10. Things That Make Me Happy

Publishers Weekly Children's Books Fall 2014

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11. You Can’t Pay for This

Well, actually you can. People buy reviews all the time – even Kirkus is happy to take money from indie authors to furnish them with a glowing review. Which makes this honest-to-God-they-really-like-me review from Publishers Weekly on Friday even more wonderful: Though first-time author Petersen’s story flits through time and space, it’s easy to follow, […]

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12. Top Book Editors Pick their Favorite Children's Books of 2014

With so many wonderful books published in 2014, it's hard to know where to begin in making reading choices. One easy way to discover amazing stories is to take a look at Publishers Weekly round-up of top children's book editors 2014 picks (only books not published by their own company). In this article you'll discover the books the editors wish they'd snagged before another publisher got to them first, how they learned about the books, and why they love them. Their favorites also include some older classics.
The picks include:  The Bunker Diary; The Iridescence of Birds; Grasshopper Jungle; El Deafo; Blue Lily, Lily Blue; The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender; The Winner’s Curse; Half Bad; Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Brown Girl Dreaming; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; The Glassblower’s Children; Sideways Stories from Wayside School; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; The Storm Whale; The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making; Wild Rover No More; The Secret Garden; Egg & Spoon; and Grasshopper Jungle.

A few quotes from the piece:

David Levithan, Scholastic. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. "Grasshopper Jungle is a messy, repetitive, horny, ridiculous novel with a main character who will strain your sympathies about as far as they can go. And I love it for all of these qualities, and for the exuberance of its daring."

Nicholas During, New York Review Books. Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. "There’s something rather melancholy about the story in combination with Sendak’s illustrations, and, don’t ask why, I find it’s a bit of sadness that makes the best children’s books."

Brittany Pearlman, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater. "There’s a line in the book where the main character, Blue, reflects about herself and her four male companions (the Raven Boys): “We were all a little bit in love with each other”; and that’s exactly how I feel about every one of the characters. The magical realism and fantasy make the story truly enchanting, but it’s always grounded in character so that you feel completely immersed."

T.S. Ferguson, Harlequin Teen. Half Bad by Sally Green. "Half Bad by Sally Green has obvious comparisons to the world of Harry Potter, but the story unfolds in such a uniquely compelling way that I couldn’t put it down. I loved the themes of racism, genocide, and terrorism as viewed through a fantasy lens."

Liz Herzog, Scholastic. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. "When I brought the book home and read it, I loved the way Riggs had so artfully built a rich and engaging world all from a collection of found photos. It made me think about where stories come from, and how pictures can be a powerful jumping-off point for the imagination."

Megan Barlog, HarperCollins Children’s Books. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. "This book takes the best elements of fairytale romps like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz and transforms them into a tale of daring adventure."

Be sure to visit Publishers Weekly for the complete article.

What were your favorite books of 2014 for children?

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13. Charlie Hebdo updates: a year of covers and Publishers Weekly

OneYear1 Charlie Hebdo updates: a year of covers and Publishers WeeklyA few notes on Charlie Hebdo related matters, aside from the ongoing sorrow and tumult. Noah Berlatsky has a very fine analysis of the past year’s covers in terms of how much they mock religions and their satirical intent. Suffice to say that a lot of the satire goes right over non-French people’s heads. Of course satire that localized is easy to misinterpret or interpret according to local standards. It’s complicated.

Also, Publishers Weekly (disclosure: where I work as an editor) has made this week’s issue free to read and it includes a section of publishers showing support for free speech. In a statement the magazine said “Freedom of expression is core to our values and fundamental to the world of books. Whether publisher or author, bookstore or library, agency or citizen of the world: Nous Sommes Tous Charlie.”

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14. On Nova Ren Suma and the power of vivid

I bought Nova Ren Suma's The Walls Around Us strictly on the power of the word-of-mouth roar this writer has accumulated over the years. Didn't read a single review. Didn't read the jacket copy. Did (confession) read the persuasive Publishers Weekly interview, but that was just for edifying fun, for my mind had already been made up.

What kind of writer is the kind of writer that other writers gush about?

What kind of writer reminds other writers of the need (importance, glory) of writing away from commercial expectations and toward one's own heart? Saying,

The Walls Around Us was a book written solely and unapologetically for me. I allowed myself to be as weird and wild as I wanted. I did not hold back. I stopped trying to write to what I thought an audience or a publisher might want from me. It was freeing and exhilarating. And the outcome – what this book has become, and the reaction it’s gotten out in the world so far – completely surprised me. I learned a lot from this process: I should probably stop worrying so much about what everyone else thinks of me more often.

What kind of writer? Nova Ren Suma. (Words above from the PW interview)

I opened the book. I read the first page. What the bleeping heck, I thought. What the wondrous heck. This Suma is a writer, just like everybody said.

First sentences.
We went wild that hot night. We howled, we raged, we screamed. We were girls—some of us fourteen and fifteen; some sixteen, seventeen—but when the locks came undone, the doors of our cells gaping open and no one to shove us back in, we made the noise of savage animals, of men.
Sometimes a writer will take her foot of the gas after the first stellar page or two, then just lay out, in ordinary fashion, the plot, the themes, the (I am sorry to have to use this word) message. Not Suma. Her exaltation of and in language can be found on this book's every page. Her willingness to risk. Here she is, for example, describing an attempted escape from the juvenile detention center where much of this supernatural story takes place. There's a storm going on out there. There's a girl trying to get away.
I caught the rest in flashes. It wasn't that I couldn't focus; it was the lightning, the summer storm raging through the window. She'd be dark, and then she'd go bright. Her yellow hair black, her yellow hair white. I caught her, foot kicking out and the perfect hit in the center of the glass that caved in. Then came the second and third kicks that made it shatter. She'd gouged open the window into the night.
I'm going to call that urgent pattering. I'm going to say I felt the night blow through.

And how about this:
I have this distant memory, hanging on a ratty clothesline in the backyard of my mind, and in this memory, I am running. There I am, running fast and hard for that window as if it's a set of doors that will soon be slamming closed to passengers and I'll lose my chance. I will lose at all chances forever. That feels real enough.
The ratty clothesline in the backyard of my mind. Damn, Suma. Damn.

I am not in the habit of reading supernatural paranormal whatever it is that critics might be calling The Walls Around Us. I cannot tell you where this book falls within the canon. I can only say please count me in to the rapidly growing Nova Ren Suma fan club. She tossed conventional expectations aside. She wrote for herself. She had fun. She was not locked into The Ideas Others Have About What Makes for YA Fame and Glory. And look at what she made—and how the world is responding.

We need, we want, we celebrate the new. Think less of what others think of you.

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15. rgz Newsflash: Wynne Jones and Rock the Drop in PW

In the awesome effort to remember and celebrate Diana Wynne Jones, folks are posting favorite lines from her works at #dwj2012. You can use Tumblr to share photos and further remembrances This is all the heartfelt brainstorm of Virginia Duncan and Sharyn November. Rock on, ladies! We heart you as well!

On April 19th, PW had this to say, which included a Rock the Drop recap:

In another instance of fortuitous timing, the Wynne Jones tribute’s April 12 launch coincided with this year’s Support Teen Lit Day, which followers of the Readergirlz blog and others celebrated by taking part in “Rock the Drop,” the guerilla-style book distribution scheme in which YA fans leave copies of favorite books in public spaces for readers to pick up and enjoy.

Diana Wynne Jones books were used in the recent "Rock the Drop" campaign on Support Teen Lit Day.
Judging from the #rockthedrop Twitter postings, quite a few of Wynne Jones’s books found their way into new hands. Greenwillow’s Duncan shared the account of one Rock-the-Dropper: Lois Adams, the copyeditor and proofreader for many of Wynne Jones’s books in the U.S. “I walked up to a public atrium on 56th Street with Enchanted Glass,” Adams said, “and as I walked in I saw an 11-year-old girl with her dad, eating an ice-cream cone. I told her that I was part of a daylong book giveaway project, and that I had to photograph the book first but then she could have it. She watched me taking the pictures, and when I walked away she headed right over to

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16. THE FOREVER MARRIAGE by Ann Bauer Arrives

We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ann Bauer's upcoming novel THE FOREVER MARRIAGE in our office.  The compelling and irreverent story about an unfaithful widow coming to terms with the death of a husband she never really loved sparked stellar early reviews, and has media and bloggers clamoring to get their hands on a copy. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly has said, "With

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17. A Star from Publishers Weekly for SMALL DAMAGES

The beautiful, wise, wonderful, and ever-dear Tamra Tuller just called with the news.  SMALL DAMAGES has received a star from Publishers Weekly.
When you have a house this fantastic behind you, when  you have a Tamra Tuller in your corner, you desperately don't want to let anyone down.
I am breathing easier.  Thank you, Publishers Weekly
Small Damages
As Kenzie’s senior year of high school begins, her beloved father dies suddenly. Her mother’s coping mechanisms—pack his things, start a business, join Match .com—push Kenzie closer to her friend Kevin, and by spring, she’s pregnant. Kenzie’s mother’s response (which feels more 1896 than 1996, when the story is set) is to arrange for Kenzie to move to a bull farm in southern Spain, where she’ll work until the baby is born and given up for adoption. The wrinkle in this soulless plan is that Kenzie is conflicted; her story is written as a tender, honest letter to her unborn child. Kenzie arrives in Spain sullen and resentful—she’s chopping onions with Estela, the farm’s cook, while her friends are at the Jersey Shore—and the distance brings her predicament into sharp relief. Estela is a better mother than her biological one; Esteban, the teen in charge of horses, a more standup guy than Yale-bound Kevin. This beautifully written “summer of transformation” story will have readers feeling as torn about Kenzie’s choice as she is. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amy Rennert, the Amy Rennert Agency. (July)

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18. The Small Damages Book Trailer

... featuring the words of authors I love, the kindness of bloggers, my photographs of southern Spain, and my husband's deliberately rough Spanish guitar, for that is the kind of guitar my gypsy characters play.

It would mean so much to me if you shared this trailer with others.

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19. The New York Times Review of Small Damages (and a brief accounting of kindnesses)

Twelve books, twelve years, four genres, and seven publishing houses ago, there was a lovely small New York Times review of a book I'd written called Into the Tangle of Friendship

Between that day and this one, I have been buoyed by readers and friends, by an agent and editors, by good-hearted bloggers and students, and of course by family in this strange but essential writing dream.  I have written odd books (a river speaks in one, corporate America is transformed into a Wonderland in another), "small" books, books that might have been more than they were and books that reached more readers than I thought possible.  I have kept writing because I can't help it, because it is, as I have said before, medicinal, because even when I tried to stop, I didn't know how stopping worked.  What does a life look like without story making and sentence crafting, without reaching and metaphor?  I don't know.  I don't want to find out.

Over the past few weeks, extraordinary kindnesses have been shown toward Small Damages, a book that I had worked on for many, many years.  Kindness within Philomel, that big-hearted publishing phenom that has gifted me with the talents and deep hearts of my editor Tamra Tuller (do I love her? yes, I do), Michael Green (president and (also) writer of some of the best emails ever), Jessica Shoffel (publicist extraordinary—unbelievably smart and quick and precise and there), Julia Johnson (who told me once that she has a secret third eye), Jill Santopolo (that uber-bright cutie who forged the original link), a fantastically talented design and editorial team, and an amazingly generous sales team.  Kindness from interviewers like Abby Plesser and Dennis Abrams.  Kindness from magazine editors like Darcy Jacobs of Family Circle and Renee Fountain of Bella and the super nice people of the LA Times.  Kindness from friends and from bloggers, each of whom is so dear to me, so valued.  (In case you are wondering, the spectacular quilted cover of Small Damages above was created by blogger and friend, Wendy Robards of Caribousmom.)

That should be enough, truly, but a few days ago, something else happened.  The phone rang, and it was my agent, Amy Rennert.  Fortunately, I was sitting down, for Amy had called to read me Jen Doll's most amazing review of Small Damages—a review that appears in this weekend's New York Times.

We yearn, as writers, to be understood.  We yearn to be read with an open heart. We can't even believe our good fortune when this happens to us in the pages of the Times.  When we are read and assessed by one as intelligent and thoughtful as Jen Doll.

The Times.

I have always loved the Times.  Today I love Her even more than always and forever.

There are no words.

A final note:  I have been typing this blog post with fumbling fingers, and I'm quite sure that I have erred somewhere up there.  But my fumbling became a trembling when Jillian Canto

17 Comments on The New York Times Review of Small Damages (and a brief accounting of kindnesses), last added: 7/17/2012
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20. Publishers Weekly Interviews Andrew Rosenheim on FEAR ITSELF

Last week Andrew Rosenheim's new WWII political thriller FEAR ITSELF received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it a "top-notch historical thriller" and an "intelligent page-turner." This week PW sat down with Rosenheim to talk about the background behind the book and to discuss the real life American history that inspired the story. While America Slept: PW Talks with Andrew

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21. Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment/Katrina Kenison: the video you must watch now

Katrina Kenison's name is, I'm sure, well known to you all.  As an editor she brought important books into the world and spent many years binding together each year's most essential works of short fiction in Best American Short Stories.  As a writer she has been inspired by her children, her neighbors, her urgent dreams of peaceful, meaningful living to craft books that have found countless readers—immediately upon publication and consistently throughout the years.  As a blogger she inspires and makes whole legions of seekers.  As a force for good she has been interviewed in the New York Times or written for the Huffington Post and other major news outlets.  As my long-time friend, she has listened, coaxed, assured, read, remembered, and, even while under all manner of personal pressure, written words that help me understand my own books better.  She is a letter writer and a prose poemer.  A practitioner of yoga and a cook.  She has a really adorable dog. And when the world shatters, as the world has lately shattered, Katrina is the companion and friend you turn to for binding wisdom.

While the rest of us wish we knew how to make book trailers that were far bigger and better than book trailers, Katrina has gone ahead and blazed a significantly different kind of path by making videos about books that also stand alone as life lessons.  Just look at this trailer for The Gift of an Ordinary Day.  More than 1.6 million other people already have.

This morning I am  proud and happy to share Katrina's newest work of video art, which, among other things, introduces her new book, due out in January, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment.

"Love," Katrina writes in its pages, "is the answer to your most urgent question: What am I really" here to do?"

"You have work to do," she urges.  "Begin it."

Katrina worked hard and for a long time on her new book.  She thought a lot about how to tell its story with audio and film.  She conceived of and posed for the book's cover.  I'm not the only one who believes Magical Journey will soar.  Here, for example, is Publishers Weekly:

In this intensely moving tribute to the importance of enjoying every moment of life, Kenison (The Gift of An Ordinary Day), former longtime series editor of The Best American Short Stories, tells a tale inspired by loss and confides what can be gained from it. After a dear friend dies from cancer and her two sons head off to boarding school and college, Kenison is forced to question what remains relevant in her life and how such an introspective examination might portend a change in priorities. Identifying a common and paralyzing fear (“I am so used to doubting my worthiness that the minute I decide to do something, I start convincing myself I’m not up to the job”), she turns to intensive yoga studies, where she learns that “the best antidote to anxiety about the future is to be present in the here and now,” and that finding contentment in what one is rather than what one thinks one should be is critical. Her journey will inspire tears and determination, and remind readers that anything, “done from the heart, changes the world in some small way for the better.” Agent: Steven Lewers. (Jan.)

1 Comments on Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment/Katrina Kenison: the video you must watch now, last added: 12/20/2012
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22. Caldecott - Past, Present, and Future


With all the Newbery and Caldecott talk and predictions out there I thought it would be nice to take a look at not only what may be the next winner, but what has won in the past. If you have a favorite title you are rooting for post it in a comment. I would love to hear about it! Next week I will post my favorite book of the year that I think is Caldecott deserving in every facet of picture book brilliance.



From Publishers Weekly, with great interviews of winners from the past 5 years.
The Call That Changes Everything- or Not.

From The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) a look at the past.

Newbery Honor and Medal Books, 1922- Present
Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938-Present
2012 Newbery-Caldecott Awards Banquet

From Through the Studio door, an interesting look at what PW dubbed in 1963 "...a pointless and confusing story."
Before They Were Classics



For predictions for this years award winners check out:
A Fuse #8 Production
100 Scope Notes
The Horn Book- Calling Caldecott 
Country Bookshelf
Random Acts of Reading


75th Anniversary Logo by Brian Selznick

Mark your calendar for the Caldecott Medal 75th Anniversary!

The ALA will announce all the awards at 8 a.m. PT on Jan. 28 from the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The awards include the esteemed John Newbery Medal, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Coretta Scott King Book Awards and Michael L. Printz Award.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced that John Rocco will participate in a Caldecott 75th Anniversary Facebook Forum at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Rocco won a Caldecott Honor in 2012 for his picture book Blackout.

Caldecott 75th Anniversary eBadgeWant to learn more about the logo 2008 Caldecott Medal winner Brian Selznick created especially for the 75th Anniversary celebration and the characters in it? Just click here.

And for a little more fun, read Brian's acceptance speech for The Invention of Hugo Cabret  here and watch the illustrated sequence that played on huge video screens during the speech here.


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23. Dreaming Up Children's Books: An Interview with Artist/Illustrator Joy Chu

Reblogged from UC San Diego Extension:

Click to visit the original post

"Sure, it's simple, writing for kids...just as simple as bringing them up." - Ursula K. LeGuin

We recently had a chat with children's book illustrator and instructor Joy Chu about her taste in children's literature and for some advice on entering the field. Joy is teaching our first online children's book illustration course in Winter 2013 (the class opens for enrollment in October)!

Read more… 532 more words

*  NOTE: The above is from an interview that was featured in UCSD Extension's Blog last fall, just before I began teaching the on-line version of my class, "Illustrating Books for Children"/Winter 2013 Quarter. — JC

2 Comments on Dreaming Up Children's Books: An Interview with Artist/Illustrator Joy Chu, last added: 6/19/2013
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24. And So It Begins

Yesterday, my nutritionist mentioned that she could not believe we were already in mid November. Time can get away from us can’t it? I like what Zetta Elliott does every December. She creates an annual retrospective pulling information from her blog and FB posts which helps her see all she has accomplished during the previous year. Looking over what we post in blogs or journals, write about in emails or have taken photos of during the year is a much more powerful statement than the book that didn’t get finished (whether we were reading or writing it!), the project that never got started or the trip that got postponed yet again. Let’s look at what was there and see what was accomplished.

I had pretty much the same thoughts earlier this week when I read and commented on a blog post addressed to John Green and the lack of diversity in his books. I wrote a quick impulsive response, thought about it and wrote another one and still don’t think I said it quite right.

I don’t think John Green should have to include characters of color in his writings no more than I think Coe Booth or Malin Alegria should have to include Whites or Asians in theirs. Authors write best when they write what they know. If they know an all white or an all Latino world, then write that. I may wonder how a neighborhood that I know to be rich in diversity can be portrayed as being so very White, but I know people don’t all seek or have the same experience. I know there are Blacks and Latinos who live in monolithic worlds just are there are Whites who do so. The problem I have is that those white readers can easily find books that reflect how they perceive their world while black and Latino readers have a very hard time find books written by those who understand their world and can write about it. While it amazes me that people can continue to live lives that lack diversity with respect to the types of people they interact with, foods they eat or books they read, I have to accept that there are people who question why anyone would want any type of diversity in their lives. Sure, we could argue that books are the perfect arena to introduce people to different thoughts and ideas, there are readers who don’t want that. They read for other reasons than to explore the world around them.

Why do you read?

Publishers Weekly recently released it’s best of 2013. Looking at the list of children’s books, I am wow-ed by the wide variety of literature on the list. The list includes British fiction, GLBT teens, a character with dyslexia, a female action lead character in a graphic novel, 16th century Scandinavia and monsters in Victorian London. Books by or about people of color are the following.

Boxers and Saints by Gene Juen Yang; Lark Pien

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia

The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tonya Lee Stone

These books stand as markers of what was published in 2013. Do you think they’re the best?

Filed under: Me Being Me Tagged: diversity, John Green, Publishers Weekly, Zetta Elliott

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25. Friday Studio Links - BiG News


Last week my art "Time to Wish" that went to Italy won an honorable mention at the Bologna Children's Book Fair! The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators proudly presented a gallery of images from 34 of it's members as part of the 2014 SCBWI Bologna Showcase. At the fair one winner and 4 honorable mentions were announced for this BiG (Bologna Illustrators Gallery) award.

Time to Wish

I was in great company along with the winner Dorothea Rohner, and three other honorable mentions - Kris Sexton, Ingrid Kallick, and Tanja Wooten. Can you imagine having your artwork show up on the BiG screen at such an enormous event? It would have been amazing to be there, but since I wasn't, here's the next best thing. Check out the links and you can virtually be there too. Thank you everyone for the photos and videos!

In this link from an article in Publisher's Weekly, you can get an idea of just how big and exciting this event is!

The SCBWI Booth with Dueling Illustrators

The SCBWI Booth with the BiG Posters

And in case you haven't seen enough, here's a link to the Bologna Book Fair Photogallery with tons of very cool images.

And a fun video that shows the scope of how BiG the fair really was.

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