Author Interview & Giveaway: Angela Cerrito on The Safest Lie

“The Power of Poetry,” an award-winning play!

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Welcome back, Cynsations reporter Angela Cerrito, and congratulations on the release of The Safest Lie (Holiday House, 2015). Could you tell us a little about the novel and what inspired you to write it? 

The Safest Lie follows the fictional Anna Bauman attempting to hide her Jewish identity and pass herself off as Anna Karwolska in Warsaw Poland during WWII.

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Meg Wiviott on Telling the Toughest Stories & Paper Hearts

Interview with Meg Wiviott.

By Meg Wiviott

History is filled with horrible, frightening events. Still, history needs to be taught. Finding a gentle way to tell a tragic, truthful story is something for which I seem to have a knack.

Kristallnacht, Auschwitz, and death marches are not the usual stuff of books for young readers. Finding an age appropriate manner to tell the story is a trick.

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Cover Reveal & Interview: Author Ashley Hope Pérez & Editor Andrew Karre on Out of Darkness

By Ashley Pérez and Andrew Karre

From the promotional copy of Out of Darkness (Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner, Sept. 2015):

New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them.


“No Negroes, Mexicans, or dogs.”


They know the people who enforce them.

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Guest Post: Amy & David Axelrod on The History of Magic & The Bullet Catch: Murder by Misadventure

See facebook page, excerpt  & educator guide.

By Amy Axelrod & David Axelrod

When we began, we knew that we wanted to write a novel about a down-and-out magician during World War I.

We knew the setting would be New York City and that this washed-up magician, who we named Barzini, would be involved with a roster of famous illusionists of the time.

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Guest Interview: Dana Walrath on Like Water on Stone

By Lyn Miller-Lachmann

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. In 1984, Dana Walrath journeyed to Palu, in Western Armenia (now part of Turkey), where she saw the mill and farmlands that once belonged to her maternal ancestors, who were forced to flee the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Her family story became the basis of her acclaimed novel in verse Like Water on Stone (Delacorte,

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Anne Bustard on Musicality: Composing with Repetitions

By Anne Bustard

Every writer wants her work to sing.

Writing that sings is exquisitely crafted. It lifts its voice in praise of language. Its story is pitch perfect. It invites readers to sing along and has the power to linger in a reader’s consciousness long after the last note.

Like a composer creating a musical score, a writer must consider every note, every sound,

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New Voice: Stacey Lee on Under a Painted Sky

Stacey Lee

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Stacey Lee is the first-time author of Under a Painted Sky (Putnam, 2015)(author blog). From the promotional copy:

An unforgettable story of friendship and sacrifice.


Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a
professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl,

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Guest Post: Darlene Beck Jacobson on Wheels of Change

Original White House Invitation Emily Received in Wheels of Change.

By Darlene Beck Jacobson

The idea for Wheels of Change (Creston, 2014) came about through the discovery of two things while researching my family tree.

One was the fact that my paternal great-grandfather was a carriage maker in Washington D.C. in the late 1800s through the early 1900s.

The second was an invitation my grandmother received to a reception hosted by then President Theodore Roosevelt.

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Dana Walrath on Writing from the Marrow

By Dana Walrath

My first novel, Like Water on Stone, just came out (Delacorte, Nov. 2014). Of course, I’m smiling. The cover and interior of the book are beautifully produced. I’ve poured my soul into it.

“What’s it about?” people ask me.

When I tell them, “It’s the story of three siblings who survive the Armenian genocide of 1915 with the help of the guardian spirit of an eagle,” I’ve learned that I better get my smile under control.

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Shirley Parenteau on Ship of Dolls

By Shirley Parenteau

This picture of my then three-year-old granddaughter Michelle inadvertently sparked the idea for Ship of Dolls (Candlewick, 2014) and a forthcoming sequel, Dolls of Hope.

My son and daughter-in-law had taken Michelle to visit her maternal grandparents in Japan in time for the traditional girl’s day festival of Hintamatsuri.

I’d just begun writing a series of picture books for Candlewick Press.

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