New Voices: Meredith Davis & Nicole Valentine On Being An Author

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m thrilled to introduce two debut authors to the Cynsations audience today. I met both at Vermont College of Fine Arts several years ago while we were all working on MFAs in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Both write middle grade, but their books are very different, illustrating the depth and diversity that exists in children’s literature.

Meredith Davis is the co-author of Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight To Walk (Scholastic,

Continue Reading New Voices: Meredith Davis & Nicole Valentine On Being An Author »

SCBWI’s Third Annual Literacy Initiative Gives Books, Builds Dreams, and Offers Hope to Readers In Need

The members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators join forces once again as part of the organization’s third Annual SCBWI Books For Readers book drive and literacy event to collect, curate, and donate new books created by its members to one of its two 2019 recipients: the Madison Reading Project in Madison, Wisconsin. (The other is REACH in Portsmouth, Virginia.)

The SCBWI Books for Readers literacy initiative grew from the organization’s desire to create an opportunity for its members to make an important impact in the lives of readers,

Continue Reading SCBWI’s Third Annual Literacy Initiative Gives Books, Builds Dreams, and Offers Hope to Readers In Need »

Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gayleen Rabukukk, Stephani Eaton and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Nikki Grimes Explains Why Mental Illness Is Not A Weakness by Vanessa Willoughby from School Library Journal. Peek: “[W]eakness is precisely the way we view mental illness. It becomes something to hide, rather than something to talk about, or even acknowledge. However,

Continue Reading Cynsational News »

New Cynsations Reporter Linda Joy Singleton

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Linda Joy Singlton joins the Cynsations team as an at-large reporter covering children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news from the world of children’s literature.

Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for your coverage here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?

Cynsations has been so supportive of my books over many years,

Continue Reading New Cynsations Reporter Linda Joy Singleton »

Native Voice: Traci Sorell on At the Mountain’s Base & Indian No More

By Kim Rogers

For my first interview with Cynsations, I welcome author Traci Sorell! First off, so:ti:c?a to you and Cynthia Leitich Smith for this opportunity. I am thrilled and honored to join Cynsations as a reporter covering Native books for children and teens.

Traci, your debut picture book, We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge,

Continue Reading Native Voice: Traci Sorell on At the Mountain’s Base & Indian No More »

Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gayleen Rabukukk, Stephani Eaton and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

A Sailor Meets A Fisherman In 1534: It’s An ‘Encounter,’ Not A Discovery by Samantha Balaban from NPR. Peek: “[Brittany] Luby says. ‘I really just wanted to showcase that Indigenous presence and cultural vitality.’ The book is illustrated by Michaela Goade,

Continue Reading Cynsational News »

Author & Editor Interview: Caroline Starr Rose & Wendy McClure

 

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Books have power. They can make us laugh, cry or keep us up late into the night when we just have to find out what happens. Books can also inspire action or influence other authors, even many years later. In 1873, when Jules Verne published Around the World in 80 Days, it’s unlikely he had even an inkling of the chain reaction his novel would ignite.

Continue Reading Author & Editor Interview: Caroline Starr Rose & Wendy McClure »

New Voices: Katia Raina & Sofiya Pasternack on the Challenges of Using Personal or Family History in Your Novel

By Robin Galbraith

I had the pleasure of interviewing Katia Raina and Sofiya Pasternack, two authors who each have a 2019 debut novel that takes place in Russia and deals with anti-Semitism. Although Katia wrote a realistic young adult novel and Sofiya wrote a middle grade fantasy, these two debut authors each chose this very specific setting because of their own personal or family history.

Their discussion on how they were each drawn to such a specific setting,

Continue Reading New Voices: Katia Raina & Sofiya Pasternack on the Challenges of Using Personal or Family History in Your Novel »

New Cynsations Reporter Kim Rogers

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kim Rogers joins the Cynsations team as a reporter covering children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news from Indigenous authors and illustrators.

Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for Native voices coverage here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?

First off I’d like to say that I am so excited and honored to join Cynsations.

Continue Reading New Cynsations Reporter Kim Rogers »