The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (Delacorte, Dec. 26, 2007). From the promotional copy: “It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.
“The Order–the mysterious group her mother was once part of–is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence’s burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.”
Visit Libba’s LJ.
Part Two: Can You Hear Us Now? from Blogging In Black. A round-table discussion hosted by Paula Chase-Hyman and featuring Varian Johnson, Carla Sarratt, Don Tate, and Kelly Starling Lyons. Here’s a sneak peek from Don Tate: “100 African American authors published in 2006, out of 5,000? That’s sad. On the flip-side, it’s very exciting. 100 African American children’s book authors were published in 2006! Wow!–that’s something to shout about. “
Wrath by Gail Giles from The Seven Sins of YA Literature: Presented at ALA PreConference June 2007, Washington, D.C. Here’s a sneak peek: “Anger rules the teen years. It’s normal and in my opinion it’s important. Some teens can climb the steep hill from childhood to adulthood with grace, dignity and poise. My best friend did. I certainly did not. I chewed and stomped and clawed and knuckled my way through every single minute.” Gail offers the texts of several additional speeches of interest, including: The Key to Unlocking Mystery and Suspense; Keeping You on the Edge of Your Seat; Reaching Reluctant Readers; Stereotypes in YA Fiction; Getting Out of Your Own Way; Taking Risks; and Why Teens Need Edgy Fiction.
Esme’s Writing Magic: click on the video in the top corner. Highlights Esme’s Diary of a Fairy Godmother (Hyperion, 2005), which is intrinsically cool but also serves as an example of a new way authors are connecting books to readers online. Don’t miss the Planet Esme Book-a-Day Blog. Read a Cynsations interview with Esme.
Mystery Writing Lessons from Kristi Holl.
Visit Rorex Bridges Studio, online home of Jeanne Rorex Bridges, the illustrator of Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle (Cinco Puntos, 2006). Don’t miss the catalog; many of the prints and tiles are quite reasonably priced and absolutely gorgeous.
The Texas Institute of Letters has issued a call for entries for best books published in 2007. Categories include the Friends of the Austin Public Library Award for best children’s book ($500) and best young adult book ($500). See additional information. Note: Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Jim Madsen (HarperCollins, 2002) is a past finalist for this award.
Picture Books: Plan, Polish, and Publish: One Writer’s Plan by Dori Chaconas. See also Dori on Writing in Rhythm and Rhyme.
Interview with author Kerry Madden from Debbi Michiko Florence. Here’s a sneak peek: “I was missing the Smoky Mountains, and I knew I wanted to open a book with a little girl hiding in a red maple tree, watching her mama put the newest baby to sleep in a drawer while the daddy picked the banjo on the porch.”
Horn Book Fanfare: Best Books of 2007. Highlights include Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems) by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Istvan Banyai (Clarion, 2007). Read a Cynsations interview with Roger Sutton, editor of The Horn Book.
Children’s and Young Adult Author Debbie Levy: official author website features biography, reader’s guide, poetry, and links. Levy’s most recent books include the novel Underwater (Darby Creek, 2007); Richard Wright: A Biography (Twenty-First Century Books, 2007), and The Signing of the Magna Carta (Twenty-First Century Books, 2007). Forthcoming: Maybe I’ll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight and Other Funny Bedtime Poems (Sterling, 2009).
Multicultural Review is now available online.
Cheers to Ms. Dorsey’s English 9 class in Oxford, NY! I hope you’re enjoying the read-aloud of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) and that you like the autographed bookmarks! Keep reading!
Attention, JacketFlap subscribers! Oddly, my last news-and-links post doesn’t seem to have been snagged by the system. But highlights include the opportunity to bid for manuscript critiques by such luminaries as Julie Larios and Martine Leavitt.