I'm Off To California and D.C.

I'll visit my parents in the Bay Area this week and appear (with Mom) at Milpitas Public Library. Then back on the Fire Escape briefly before heading to the Multicultural Children's Book Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Saturday, November 3, 2007 from 12 - 6. Stop by and say hi if you're in the area; my reading's from 1:40 until 2 o'clock.

Snowflakes Brought To You By ...

Monday, October 29
Dan Santat at Writing and Ruminating
Joanne Friar at The Longstockings
Alissa Imra Geis at Wild Rose Reader
Diane Greenseid at Just One More Book!!
Sean Qualls at Brooklyn Arden

Tuesday, October 30
Ann Koffsky at Book Buds
Bill Carman at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Gretel Parker at Finding Wonderland
Matt Phelan at A Year of Reading
Stephanie Roth at Writing with a broken tusk

Wednesday, October 31
Shawna Tenney at Kate's Book Blog
Adam Rex at Booktopia and Welcome to my Tweendom
Mo Willems at MotherReader
Rolandas Kiaulevicius at a wrung sponge

Thursday, November 1
Karen Lee at sruble's world
Diana Magnuson at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Melissa Iwai at Brooklyn Arden
Victoria Jamieson at AmoXcalli and Cuentecitos
Molly Idle at The Shady Glade
Meghan McCarthy at A Fuse #8 Production

Friday, November 2
Tracy McGuinness-Kelly at Sam Riddleburger's blog
Sarah Kahn at Kate's Book Blog
Sylvia Long at Whimsy Books
Jeremy Tankard at the excelsior file
Holli Conger at Please Come Flying

Saturday, November 3
Susan Miller at Your Neighborhood Librarian
Ellen Beier at What Adrienne Thinks About That
Hideko Takahashi at The Silver Lining
Judith Moffat at Jo's Journal
Wendell Minor at Wild Rose Reader

Teens Pick Their Fave Books

More than 6,000 teen readers across the country chose New Moon by Stephenie Meyer as their favorite book in the annual Teens’ Top Ten. The online vote took place during Teen Read Week, October 14–20, 2007, and here are the results:
  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006).
  • Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (Viking Children’s Books, 2006)
  • How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles (Flux, 2006).
  • Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever by James Patterson (Hachette Book Group USA/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006).
  • Firegirl by Tony Abbott (Hachette Book Group USA/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006).
  • All Hallows Eve (13 Stories)by Vivian Vande Velde (Harcourt, 2006).
  • Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Harcourt, 2006).
  • River Secrets by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury, 2006).
  • Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe (HarperCollins, 2006).
  • Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks (Chicken House, 2006).
TTT is a “teen choice” booklist, put together as part of YALSA’s Young Adult (YA) Galley Project, which facilitates access to advance copies of young adult books to national teen book discussion groups. These groups evaluated books published between January 2006 through April 2007 and then created a list of 25 nominations. Teen voters across the country then cast ballots for their three favorites, creating the 2007 Teens’ Top Ten. Final nominations for the 2008 Teens’ Top Ten vote will be posted in April at www.ala.org/teenstopten.

To learn more about the teen book groups and participating in the YA Galley program, visit www.ala.org/teenstopten. Publishers interested in participating in the program may contact Nichole Gilbert, ngilbert@ala.org, for more information.

For 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.

Measuring School Visit Success

As a visiting author, it's sometimes hard to evaluate how effective you've been in the classroom. Last week, I went to Brookline's Devotion School to lead the eighth graders in a workshop on writing place, encouraging them to use descriptive language and to engage as many of their readers' senses as possible. Today I got a bundle of lovely thank-you notes, including this from one participant:
Thank you so much for coming to our school to teach us about writing a good setting in our stories. As I comfortably sit on this soft couch in my cozy living room warmed by the vapors of boiling pasta water I think of you. I especially liked how in that dimly lit crowded library you gave us examples of your final draft and your first draft. It was also cool how you passed the herbs in their silver containers from person to person to give us an idea of their exotic fragrances. I hope that you decide to come to our large brick school again some day.

The assignment didn't include writing thank-you letters that evoke a sense of place, so this tongue in cheek effort to apply my tips was hugely satisfying.

LaCapa Children's Book Awards

While reading Debbie Reese's illuminating American Indians in Children's Literature blog, I learned that the LaCapa Children's Book Awards is now accepting submissions.
Named for Michael Lacapa, children’s book illustrator and writer who died in 2005, the award honors the legacy of his artistic vision and talent for storytelling. This prize acknowledges great books for children that best embody the spirit of the peoples, culture, and natural landscape of the Southwest. Books published in the two years prior to the award are eligible for consideration.

Submissions for the 2008 prize are due December 10, 2007 and winners will be announced in January.

Chief Wahoo Wa Who?

Can't help but be amazed yet again as I watch the Sox play the Indians that Cleveland still uses this caricature as their mascot. As Jonathan Zimmerman editorializes in the Christian Science Monitor:
...When you watch the Cleveland Indians on television this week, watch your kids as well. Ask yourself what the image of Chief Wahoo teaches them about Native Americans. And ask yourself if you can live with the answer...

This Week's Robert's Snowflakes

Monday, October 22
Mark Teague at The Miss Rumphius Effect
Sharon Vargo at Finding Wonderland
Christopher Demarest at Writing and Ruminating
Rose Mary Berlin at Charlotte's Library
David Macaulay at Here in the Bonny Glen

Tuesday, October 23
Carin Berger at Chasing Ray
Marion Eldridge at Chicken Spaghetti
Sophie Blackall at not your mother's bookclub
Erik Brooks at Bildungsroman
Brian Lies at Greetings from Nowhere

Wednesday, October 24
Elisa Kleven at Rozzie Land
Consie Powell at Becky's Book Reviews
Jimmy Pickering at Shaken & Stirred
Frank Dormer at What Adrienne Thinks About That
Sheila Bailey at Lizjonesbooks

Thursday, October 25
Julia Denos at Interactive Reader
Rebecca Doughty at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Brian Floca at A Fuse #8 Production
Margaret Chodos-Irvine at readergirlz

Friday, October 26
David Ezra Stein at HipWriterMama
Juli Kangas at Sam Riddleburger's blog
Ginger Nielson at Miss O's School Library
Margot Apple at Jo's Journal

Saturday, October 27
Julie Fromme Fortenberry at Your Neighborhood Librarian
Sarah Dillard at The Silver Lining
John Hassett at cynthialord's Journal
Abigail Marble at Please Come Flying

Sunday, October 28
Ashley Wolff at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Barbara Garrison at Brooklyn Arden
Kelly Murphy at ChatRabbit

Why I Write For Kids (Reason #10)

I slept and dreamed that life was joy.
I woke and found that life was but service.
I served and discovered that service was joy.

Rabindranath Tagore

This Saturday's Flavorite is Me!

ReaderGirlz continue to amaze one and all with their unrivaled hospitality by hosting teens and authors every night on their MySpace forum at 5 pm PST. Here's the upcoming schedule:
October 18th: Rachel Cohn
October 19th: Kirsten Miller
October 20th: Mitali Perkins (me!)
October 21st: Sonya Sones
October 22nd: Lisa Yee
October 23rd: Carolyn Mackler
October 24th: E. Lockhart

Touching Snow: I Want To Know More

National Book Award nominee M. Sindy Felin’s Touching Snow is the story of a seventh-grader from Haiti who moves to a New York suburb. "The author writes with insight about the realities of immigrant life," an SLJ reviewer wrote. I googled first-novelist Felin and couldn't find much except for this lovely photo on the Simon and Schuster site. I want to read it soon, but as I'm under deadline right now, can someone tell me more?

It's Snowing ... For A Cure!

Some of the best bloggers in the children's book world are featuring the art and thoughts of some of the best illustrators in the children's book world. You can bid for the snowflakes created by the latter group in the Robert's Snow auction to raise money in the fight against cancer.


Monday, October 15

Tuesday, October 16

Wednesday, October 17

Thursday, October 18

Friday, October 19

Saturday, October 20

Sunday, October 21

YALSA's Teen Read Week, ALSC Blog

From the ALA comes news of a new blog for children's librarians, along with events for Teen Read Week, which is next week. Check out the Teens Top 10 Initiative:
Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in five school and public libraries around the country—the 2007 nominees were chosen by book groups in Connecticut, Kansas, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Utah, selected for their experience in discussing books. If you read nominated books throughout the year, you’ll be ready to vote for your favorites during Teen Read Week, October 14 - 20, 2007. Readers aged twelve to eighteen can vote right here anytime that week.

Source: Library Stuff and Zeesays.

UnFairy Tales in New York

The Asian American Writer’s Workshop presents a new program for teens in or near New York City called UnFairy Tales: The Myths in Myths:
In your version of Cinderella, is Cinderella more Jenny from the Block than forlorn maiden servant? Or how about the Frog Prince, is he really just your gamer best friend who can't seem to hit off with any of the girls he meets? In UnFairy Tales: The Myths in Myths you will write down such alternatives to traditional notions of fairy tales and myths and explore why there is a need for revision. Open to all youth ages 13-19, of all ethnicities, races and backgrounds. Saturdays, October 20 - December 1, 2-6 pm. Closing event, Saturday, December 8, 7 pm. $50 artist fee paid to participants. Program directed by Nina Sharma.
Click here for details and to download an application. Submission deadline is Thursday, October 11, 2007.

CCBC's List of International Reads

A new compilation from the Cooperative Children's Book Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison:
Global Reading
Selected Literature for Children and
Teens Set in Other Countries

Compiled by Megan Schliesman
Copyright © 2007 Cooperative Children's Book Center

This bibliography was designed with U.S. readers in mind, so “other countries” refers to countries other than the United States. Books on the list are arranged by geographic region of the world as follows:

• The Américas
• Africa
• Asia/Pacific
• Australia
• Europe
• Middle East
• Multinational

The Outsiders At Midlife

Here's an interview with the grown-up S.E. Hinton, author of the YA novel, The Outsiders, first published forty years ago. The book still sells more than 500,000 copies a year. It's hard but strangely comforting to imagine the teen sensation Hinton as she describes herself now, "a middle-aged woman wandering around the grocery store, looking to see what to buy for dinner.”

Sitting and Sweating

I'll be taking Jane Yolen's advice for a while as I revise The Secret Keeper (Random House, Spring 2009), so please sympathize with the brevity of my daily posts:
Butt in chair. That’s how you become a professional writer. It doesn’t have to do with inspiration; and it doesn’t have to do with agitation, it only has to do with perspiration. William Faulkner once said, ‘I write only when I’m inspired. Fortunately I’m inspired at 9:00 every morning.’ BIC.

First Annual Kidlitosphere Conference

Check out this Saturday's conference and schedule; Chicago is hosting a veritable who's who of the cyber children's book world. Sigh. Sure hope to experience the ripple effect as I wait (wistfully, as I had to turn down Robin Brande's kind invitation) on the Boston shores.

Speaking of Anastasia Goodstein ...

She's coming to Boston, and I'm planning on being there:

Tuesday, October 9th, 6:30 p.m.
Faneuil Branch in Brighton
419 Faneuil Street, Boston, MA 02135
Tel: 617-782-6705

Writer and teen expert ANASTASIA GOODSTEIN (ypulse.com) will be speaking about and signing her book, Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online (totallywired.com). Goodstein will be speaking to parents and educators about blogging, social networking, cyberbullying, technology use at school and at home at conferences, schools and libraries. Her message in two words: "Don't panic." Goodstein's presentation covers the good and the not so good ways teens are using technology to do all the things teens have always done. She offers practical, insightful advice on how to engage with teens and become part of their digital lives.

Why I Write For Kids (Reason #9)

Read Anastasia Goodstein's thoughtful Ypulse post about teen magazines' responsibility to stop the "onslaught." The same challenge applies to those of us who write books for teen and tween girls.

Draw Alpanas In Milpitas!

The main advantage of attending one of my author appearances in the San Francisco Bay Area is that audiences get to enjoy my mother's wonderful alpana art lessons. Your next opportunity to meet Mrs. Madhusree Bose is at the Milpitas Public Library on Monday, October 29th, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Here's the scoop from the Santa Clara County Library system:
RICKSHAW GIRL BOOK DISCUSSION @ the Milpitas Library for Grades 3 to 8


RG.jpgOn Saturday, October 27th at 2:30 pm there will be two book groups meeting to discuss Rickshaw Girl, an interesting read about a girl from another part of the world.

We will chat about the book, have an activity, and enjoy a snack together. Members of this book group will be invited to meet the author, Mitali Perkins, at a special event on Monday October 29th.
Please contact the Children's Reference Desk to sign-up.

*Space is limited, so advance sign-up is required for the book group, AND participation in the book group is required to attend the author visit!

This program is made possible thanks to The Friends of the Milpitas Library.

Robert's Snowflakes In Massachusetts

Robert's Snow logo

Check out the beautiful 2007 snowflakes created for Robert's Snow: For Cancer's Cure. If you're in Massachusetts, you can view the snowflakes in person at two special gallery showings between October and December:

Child at Heart Gallery
48 Inn Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Open House: Saturday, October 6
Exhibit Dates: October 3 – 22

Danforth Museum of Art
123 Union Avenue
Framingham, MA 01702
Open House: Sunday, November 4
Special Sneak Preview: October 31 – November 3
Exhibit Dates: November 4 – December 2

Contact: Lauren Nash
Phone: (617) 632-3863
E-mail: lauren_nash@dfci.harvard.edu