Cynsational Summer Hiatus

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Thank you to everyone who joined us over the 2019-2020 academic year!

We dearly appreciate the authors, illustrators, gatekeepers and industry pros who shared their insights and inspirations. We’re so grateful to our readers, signal boosters, and of course our wonderful reporters⁠—Angela Cerrito

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

How Safe Spaces Save Lives with Tobly McSmith from YouTube. Peek: “[In the library] I felt safe enough that I could be myself, and that allowed me the space to dream….[P]eople can also be a great safe space…Books are the ultimate safe space…especially fiction.

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Guest Chat: Authors Liz Garton Scanlon & Tricia Springstubb on Seeds & Stories

By Liz Garton Scanlon and Tricia Springstubb

Liz: I like to imagine we’re together in an actual garden – dirt underneath our fingernails and a bunch of seed packets newly emptied into the ground.

Tricia: Oh, yes! Is anything more hopeful than planting a seed? When I was seven or eight, I grew two straight lines of zinnias. The magic of watching a small, shrivel-y pod send up a green shoot,

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Ashley Bryan Revisits His World War II Letters and Sketches to Create Infinite Hope by Mark Athitakis from Kirkus Reviews. Peek: “Drawing was a way of surviving because war was so dreadful….[O]ptimism is conveyed in the colorful paintings…Bryan produced using his sketchbooks as inspiration.

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Author Interview: Jennifer Li Shotz Talks About her New Rescue Dog Series

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I’m thrilled to welcome Jennifer Li Shotz to Cynsations today to talk about her new series of books featuring rescue dogs. Don’t we all love a good dog story?

Congratulations on your new rescue dog series American Dog (HMH Books). What can you tell us about the inspiration behind these stories?

Thank you!

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Native Voices: Author & Illustrator Interview: Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade

By Kim Rogers

Today, we’re chatting with Carole Lindstrom (Anishinaabe/Métis) author of We are Water Protectors (Roaring Brook, 2020) and Michaela Goade (Tlingit), who is the book’s illustrator. I met Carole and Michaela at Kweli in New York City in 2018.

Carole is also the author of Girl’s Dance, Boys Fiddle, illustrated by Kimberly McKay,

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YA Book Giveaways! Tantalize & Feral Series

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

It’s time for summer reading!

For over a decade, I had the pleasure of creating the award-winning Tantalize series and spin-off Feral trilogy for YA lit fans of horror, humor and romance.

This month, I’m pleased to host a book giveaway, sponsored by Candlewick Press, of two complete sets of each of these prose novels in paperback.

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Author Interview: Up Close and Personal with Tonya Bolden by Mrs. G from Here Wee Read. Peek: “[M]y first love is writing for children. History is my passion…[I]f we hook our young people on history—if we make history come alive for them—we really put them on the path of lifelong learning,

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Author Interview: Supriya Kelkar on Writing Personal Stories

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m excited to welcome author Supriya Kelkar to Cynsations.

Her debut middle grade historical novel, Ahimsa (Tu Books, 2017) received starred reviews and made the Amelia Bloomer Top Ten list from the American Library Association.

Her picture book, The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, illustrated by Alea Marley (Sterling, 2019), was named to the ALA’s Notable List for 2020 and her newest title,

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Away From the Wall: Ashima Shiraishi by Owen Clark from Rock and Ice. Peek: “[T]he process of climbing and failure, challenging a climb that’s at your limit…sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t, but when you push through and give 110% effort and see that success…it’s the best feeling in the world.

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