Guest Post: N.H. Senzai on Writing About War for Middle Grade & Escape From Aleppo

By N.H. Senzai

The reason I love writing for the middle grade audience is because at this age kids can still suspend belief and journey with you through a story as long as you create believable plots, authentic characters and dialogue that rings true.

However, you need to hook them in quickly, so my first goal is to create a story that “reels them in.”

Once they’ve signed on to follow your protagonist,

Continue Reading Guest Post: N.H. Senzai on Writing About War for Middle Grade & Escape From Aleppo »

New Voice: Ruth Freeman on One Good Thing About America

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Although Ruth Freeman has authored several picture books, she made her debut as a novelist earlier this year with One Good Thing About America (Holiday House, 2017). From the promotional copy:

Is it ever easy being new?

Anaïs was the best English student in her class in Africa. Now in Crazy America she feels she doesn’t know English at all.

Continue Reading New Voice: Ruth Freeman on One Good Thing About America »

New Voice: LaTisha Redding on Calling the Water Drum

By Gayleen Rabakukk

LaTisha Redding is the debut author of Calling the Water Drum, illustrated by Aaron Boyd (Lee & Low, 2016) From the promotional copy:



Henri and his parents leave their homeland, Haiti, after they receive an invitation from an uncle to come to New York City. 


Only able to afford a small,

Continue Reading New Voice: LaTisha Redding on Calling the Water Drum »

Author Interview: Uma Krishnaswami on the Creative Life, Teaching Writing & Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome author Uma Krishnaswami to discuss her new MG historical novel, Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh (Lee & Low, May 2017). From the promotional copy:

Nine-year-old Maria Singh longs to play softball in the first-ever girls’ team forming in Yuba City, California. It’s the spring of 1945, and World War II is dragging on.

Continue Reading Author Interview: Uma Krishnaswami on the Creative Life, Teaching Writing & Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh »

New Voice: Hena Khan on Amina’s Voice

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Hena Khan, a well-published picture book author makes her novelist debut with Amina’s Voice (Salaam Reads, March 2017). From the promotional copy:

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community.


Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight.

Continue Reading New Voice: Hena Khan on Amina’s Voice »