Cynsational News & Links

Meet Mary Newell DePalma, author-illustrator of The Nutcracker Doll (Arthur A. Levine, 2007), from BookPage.

The charmed lives of Gilded Age teens: an interview with Anna Godbersen by Heidi Henneman from BookPage. Anna is the author of The Luxe (HarperTeen, 2007). Here’s a sneak peek: “‘I had a fondness for the Edith Wharton-type of novel,’ says Godbersen, a Berkeley, California, native and Barnard graduate. She also expected the glamor and excesses of the time to appeal to her teenage readers. Because she lives in New York City herself, it was easy to choose Manhattan as the setting for the book.”

Read Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller, and plan to join the Readergirlz online chat with the author Dec. 11. Also note the chat with Deb Caletti on Dec. 18.

GregLSBlog recommends When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm: a Cartoon Prehistory of Life Long Before Dinosaurs by Hannah Bonner (National Geographic, 2007) and Whale Port by Mark Foster, illustrated by Gerald Foster (Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books, 2007).

Gretchen Laskas: official author site. Gretchen is the author of The Miner’s Daughter (Simon & Schuster, 2007). From the backstory: “This is the story of the Lowell family, told through the eyes of Willa, who is 16 in 1932 and remembers little of that world before the grinding poverty sets in. While her brother Ves is eager to see what the new Roosevelt administration brings, Willa is more cautious; sometimes it is harder to have to stay and wait, as she does when her father and brother mine, or when they go away to find work. When a missionary comes to Riley Mines with a library of books, Willa’s eagerness to find words to express her own growing sense of self are coupled with the awareness that the world of literature seems as far removed from her life as the moon and the stars.”

Hunger Mountain’s Holiday Fundraising Auction begins Dec. 1 at Ebay. From between Dec. 1 to Dec. 8, bid on manuscript critiques with notable authors, custom signed new books, and limited edition letterpress broadsides. Find out more about Hunger Mountain, The Vermont College Journal of Arts and Letters. Youth literature authors offering manuscript critiques include Martine Leavitt and Julie Larios. Martine was a 2006 National Book Award Finalist in Young People’s Literature for Keturah and Lord Death (Front Street). Julie’s Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Harcourt) was a 2006 Boston Globe-Hornbook Award Honor Book in fiction and poetry. Read a Cynsations interview with Julie.

Sea Princess Azuri: official site in celebration of the books by Erica Reis (TOKYOPOP, 2006 and 2007). Erica is originally from Austin and now lives in Illinois.

Illustrator Survey from Lee & Low. Six house illustrators–Christy Hale, Patricia Keeler, Betsy Lewin, Ted Lewin, Don Tate, and Jesse Joshua Watson–offer advice on breaking into the world of children’s publishing. Note: this link also is recommended to picture-book writers. You need to know what’s happening on the other side of the book-creation process.

Are you a YA reader? Don’t miss the December giveaway books at TeensReadToo! Good luck with your entries.

More Personally

Congratulations to Rebecca Van Slyke for winning the Candlewick Press (picture-book writing) Scholarship at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

The winner of the November giveaway for a signed copy of Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001) and signed poster of Commander John Herrington (Chickasaw)(NASA Astronaut and flew on the space shuttle in 2002) is Kati Nolfi, a children’s librarian at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library at DC Public Library. Congratulations, Kati, and thanks for all you do for young readers! Thanks to all who participated and especially to Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children’s Literature for helping to spread the word!

At the papertigers blog, Majorie says of Santa Knows (Dutton, 2006): “Let Alfie F. Snorklepuss’ experiences (what a glorious name!) be a warning to all those doubters out there!” Visit!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2007 Scariest Story Contest, sponsored by the Valley Morning Star of Harlingen, Texas! Thanks too Loreen at the Star for all of her efforts and cheers to my co-sponsors, children’s authors Alexis O’Neil, Janet Wong, April Halprin Wayland, Julie Lake, Jeri C. Ferris, Joan Bransfield Graham, Merrily Kutner, Barbara Bietz, and publishing company Lee & Low.