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New Voices and Visions: Larissa & Keith Marantz on Succeeding as an Author & Illustrator Team

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am so pleased to welcome the illustrator/author debut duo Larissa and Keith Marantz. From being inspired by their own children to working as a team, they’ll share their unique path to publication.

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

Keith: Well, we had young readers at home.  Our kids were our inspiration and first audience (and first critics).

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Interview: Elisa Boxer on Writing, Voting & the Importance of Each Voice

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am so pleased to welcome Elisa Boxer, author of The Voice That Won The Vote: How One Woman’s Words Made History, illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger (Sleeping Bear, 2020). Today Elisa shares her thoughts on writing for children and the importance of each voice.

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

As a journalist,

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Author Interview: Lisa Krok on Novels In Verse for Teens: A Guidebook with Activities for Teachers and Librarians

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Congratulations, Lisa on the release of Novels in Verse for Teens: A Guidebook with Activities for Teachers and Librarians (ABC-CLIO, 2020)! What is it about novels in verse that fascinates you?

Thank you so much, Cynthia! I think novels in verse first grabbed my attention when I attended an event a few years ago where author Kwame Alexander performed live rap-like performances for his poems from The Crossover (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,

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In Memory: Joanna Cole

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Joanna Cole, the popular and beloved creator of The Magic School Bus Series, died from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis on July 12 in Sioux City, Iowa. She was 75.

Joanna Cole, Who Imagined Fantastical Bus Rides, Dies at 75 from The New York Times. Peek: “Her ‘Magic School Bus’ children’s books were wild, and wildly popular. They were also educational.”

Obituary: Joanna Cole from Publishers Weekly by Shannon Maughan.

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Updating & Re-Envisioning: Jingle Dancer, Indian Shoes, and Rain Is Not My Indian Name

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

What an honor it’s been to revisit my first few books and to re-envision them for today’s young readers:

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Native Voice: David A. Robertson on Worldbuilding & The Barren Grounds

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

David A. Roberton‘s latest release for young readers is The Barren Grounds (The Misewa Saga, #1)(Puffin, 2020). From the promotional copy:

Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.

Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities,

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Author-Illustrators Flavia Z. Drago & Nicola Killen on Cultivating Lots of Ideas

 

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we welcome author-illustrators Flavia Z. Drago (whose sketchbook is pictured above) and Nicola Killen, who highlight the importance of having lots of ideas as creators of children’s books. They’ll share the inspirations behind their recent works, Gustavo the Shy Ghost (Candlewick, 2020) and The Little Kitten (Simon & Schuster, 2020), just in time for Day of the Dead and Halloween!

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In Memory: Rudolfo Anaya

By Stephani Martinell Eaton, above photo by Peter Norby

Rudolfo Anaya, groundbreaking and much-celebrated author, died after a long illness on June 28 at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was 82.

Rudolfo Anaya, a Father of Chicano Literature, Dies at 82 from The New York Times. Peek: “His coming-of-age novel ‘Bless Me, Ultima’ reframed the way many in New Mexico viewed their own history,

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