Showing posts from July, 2012

2012 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

2012 South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature Winners

Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (Henry Holt and Company, 2011). Pen Pals Elliot and Kailash discover that even though they live in different countries—America and India—they both love to climb trees, own pets, and ride school buses (Grade 5 and under).

Island’s End by Padma Venkatraman (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2011). A young girl trains to be the new spiritual leader of her remote Andaman Island tribe, while facing increasing threats from the modern world (Grade 6 and above).

2012 Honor Books
Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Arni, illustrations by Moyna Chitrakar (Groundwood Books, 2011). The Ramayana, one of the greatest legends of ancient India, is presented in the form of a visually stunning and gripping graphic novel, told from the perspective of the queen, Sita (Grade 6 and above).

Following My Paint Brush by Dulari Devi and Gita Wolf (Tara Books Pvt. Ltd…

Mitali of Mankato: All Things Maud Hart Lovelace

Some of you may remember how much I enjoyed visiting Orchard House, home of Louisa May Alcott, and Prince Edward Island, where L.M. Montgomery set her Avonlea novels. This past weekend I checked off another visit to a childhood home of a spiritual author-mother. I attended the "Winding Hall of Fate: Betsy-Tacy Society Convention 2012" in Mankato, Minnesota—or "Deep Valley," as it's known in Maud Hart Lovelace's beloved stories.

I was invited to speak on an author panel, but mainly went to see if Mankato, like Concord, Ma, and Cavendish, PEI, felt like home thanks to the rich sense of place created by my favorite authors. And yes, by golly, it did—despite some disturbing "urban renewal" (read: 1970s uglification), I felt like I was wandering the streets of Deep Valley with some of my favorite fictional friends.

Enjoy the photo tour below. I use fictional names in the captions; read the thoroughly-researched afterwords in the recent HarperPerenn…

Four Young African Guys on Hollywood Stereotypes

Some of you may have already seen this, but this video is a classic example of how humor can be used effectively to discuss cultural stereotypes (as we're hoping to do in our forthcoming YA anthology from Candlewick, tentatively titled OPEN MIC).

Reflections On My Virtual Retreat

I took time away from social media this summer, and here's what I discovered:

(1) I was able to write, finishing a full draft of TIGER BOY (forthcoming from Charlesbridge in 2014). Good news: editor Yolanda Roy likes it!

(2) I relished the silence, not missing the loud opinions of people who abuse social media as propaganda. Twitter and Facebook simply aren't appropriate containers for the big issues of life. They are best for small talk, a perfectly valid, relaxing, entertaining form of communication. Blogs are better at serving up political and religious opinions, but still not as good as well-edited articles or excellent oral presentations, which both take more time to prepare and demand the accountability of vetted research. For big, deep thoughts and arguments, at least in my opinion, there's nothing to match the spacious, thoughtfully crafted vessel of a book.

(3) I read more, prayed more, and deliberately spent more time with people face to face.

(4) After this brea…