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Showing posts from May, 2010

Children's Author Breakfast 2010 at BookExpo America

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This morning I cleaned up dog poop in the yard, but 24 hours ago it was all glam and glitz at BEA's annual children's author breakfast. I was immensely nervous in the green room beforehand, so I clutched Richard Peck's hand for comfort.  It worked:


Cory Doctorow (For The Win), Richard Peck (Three Quarters Dead), and I had a chance to chat while waiting for Sarah, Duchess of York, to arrive:


The Duchess has been in the headlines this week (google it) and was hounded by paparazzi. It was wild seeing them snapping photos and feeling the glare of the flash every time I stood near:


As the event drew nearer, she gathered poise and charm. Notice how intently Donna Spurlock of Charlesbridge (who spoiled me thoroughly throughout the day — thank you!) watched the Duchess pick up my book:






The Duchess was warm and gracious as the Master of Ceremonies, pouring us cups of water, pronouncing my name correctly, and pitching our books with savoir faire. She even asked for copies of our speec…

My BookExpo America Interview about BAMBOO PEOPLE

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Perkins Shines Light on Burmese Conflict in Bamboo People

In this podcast episode, Mitali tells us about her new book, Bamboo People. Bamboo People is a coming-of-age novel that takes place against the political and military backdrop of modern-day Burma. Narrated by two teenagers on opposing sides of the conflict between the Burmese government and the Karenni, one of the many ethnic minorities in Burma, Bamboo People explores the nature of violence, power, and prejudice. Perkins will speak at the BEA 2010 Children’s Author Breakfast, Wednesday, May 26 at 8:00 AM. She will be joined by Cory Doctorow, author of For the Win; and Richard Peck, author of Three Quarters Dead. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, and author of Helping Hand Books: Emily’s First Day at School will be the Master of Ceremonies.

BAMBOO PEOPLE in Shelf Awareness

Popping in to share this lovely review of Bamboo People featured in Shelf Awareness this week. Here's a clip:
"The author paints war in all of its gradations of gray, including the people who influence those decisions, both powerful and seemingly powerless. Readers will leave this moving story—half from Chiko's first-person narrative, and half narrated by Tu Reh—with the understanding that everyone has a choice, no matter how dire the circumstances."Thanks, Jennifer M. Brown!

See You In Real Life, Maybe?

Spring is a great time for bookies and bears to emerge from our caves and meet face to face. Will I see you at these events?
I'm heading to the Charlesbridge open house today from 4-6 p.m., 85 Main Street, Watertown, MA. Everybody's welcome, so stop by. Here's a map.I'm teaching a social media intensive and moderating a panel of agents at the annual conference of New England's Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in Fitchburg, MA this weekend. Please say Jambo and introduce yourself if we haven't met in real life.I'll be at BookExpo America in New York. After my scary but suh-weet speaking gig in the morning on Wednesday May 26th, I'll be relaxed and happy, so find me and hug me, please. Here's my schedule.I love meeting virtual friends face-to-face, so I'm looking forward to many encounters at these events. Drop a note in the comments so I'll know to keep an eye out for you. I'll be back on the Fire Escape more prolifi…

Amazon as Publisher (Part Two)? An Insider's View From YA Author Andrew Fukuda (CROSSING)

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Last week we spoke with Zetta Elliott (A Wish After Midnight) about her experience working with AmazonEncore, a new venture from Amazon with this motto: "Unearthing Exceptional Books and Emerging Authors for More Readers to Enjoy."

Zetta self-published her book before AmazonEncore released it, but that isn't always how the program works. Today we welcome YA author Andrew Fukuda, author of Crossing, an original novel published first by AmazonEncore. Here's his bio:
Born in Manhattan and raised in Hong Kong, Andrew Fukuda is half-Chinese, half-Japanese. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University and went on to work in Manhattan's Chinatown with immigrant teenagers for a number of years, an experience that led to the genesis of Crossing. He currently resides on Long Island, New York, with his wife and two sons.Crossing is the story of Xing Xu, a Chinese teenager growing up in a small town in upstate New York. ALA Booklist gave the book a s…

KidsBuzz and BAMBOO PEOPLE Giveaway

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Looking for a great way to share a book for children or teens with booksellers, librarians, and parents? Why not try KidsBuzz, the brainchild of Deborah Sloan (formerly director of marketing, promotion, advertising and publicity for Candlewick Press, Abbeville Press and Trafalgar Square)? Here's what KidsBuzz can do for you and your book:
KidsBuzz partners with successful online publications that target readers, bookclubs, booksellers and librarians: Shelf Awareness, DearReader.com and KidsBookClubBook.com. Your KidsBuzz notes will go directly to more than 370,000 readers, 3000 library systems (reaching over 10,000 librarians) and over 3000 booksellers. All of whom are currently subscribed to both newsletters. If you have a book appropriate for kids in grades 2 through high school, your book club note will go to more than 2,000 registered youth book clubs. KidsBuzz is for new and already published books. Think board and picture books. Think nonfiction and graphic novels. Think poet…

RICKSHAW GIRL and a Mother's Day Tribute

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I recently received a poem from a reader of my book Rickshaw Girl who said that the main character in the story, Naima, reminded her of her mother. I asked for permission to post it on my blog in honor of Mother's Day, and here it is:


Naima
by Katherine Nguyen
With your long black hair Fingers like a brush You draw an alpina The work of an artist
Young and free In a world so narrow            You fly like the wind Pave the way to a new tomorrow
Your hopes and dreams Are like blue skies and rainbows Colorful, pure, and hopeful Painting the world, one stroke at a time
With your hair tucked in The fa├žade of a boy, inside truly a girl You embody a woman Strong, independent, beautiful
Unsure of your success Remembering your mother’s bracelet You hold onto that memory Cannot let go, will not forego
Life without a family A vision you cannot see Determined for a better tomorrow Change and you will be free
Withstanding all stereotypes Going off into the unknown You face the bleakness of reality Standing up for your ri…

5 Children's Books About Microfinance

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Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low-income clients who traditionally lack access to banking. Organizations like Kiva and the Grameen Bank believe it's a vital weapon in the war against poverty. But how do we help kids grasp the concept? Here are five books that introduce children to the impact of microfinance (full disclosure: one is mine).

Beatrice's Goat | Page McBrier | Atheneum | 2001

A young girl's dream of attending school in her small Ugandan village is fulfilled after her family is given an income-producing goat. Based on a true story about the work of Project Heifer.

A Basket of Bangles: How a Business Begins | Ginger Howard | Millbrook Press | 2002

With seed money borrowed from a bank, a young woman and four of her friends in Bangladesh change their lives by starting their own businesses.

Rickshaw Girl | Mitali Perkins | Charlesbridge | 2007
Naima is a talented painter of traditional alpana patterns, which Bangladeshi women and girls paint on…

Amazon as Publisher? An Insider's View From YA Author Zetta Elliott

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I admire certain publishing houses because of their history of championing voices from the margins. Recently I was surprised to discover that AmazonEncore (yes, that Amazon) makes a similar claim as a publisher. Here's the program's mission statement:
Even great books can be overlooked. And authors with great potential often struggle to connect with the larger audience they deserve to reach ... AmazonEncore is a new program whereby Amazon will use information such as customer reviews on Amazon.com to identify exceptional, overlooked books and authors with more potential than their sales may indicate. I definitely had my questions, so I invited Zetta Elliot, author of the award-winning picture book Bird, to share about how Amazon Encore published her novelA Wish After Midnight. Zetta calls this program "part of the 'next wave' in publishing," and provides a compelling argument about why it worked for her. (Note: the emphasis in bold in some of her answers comes …