New Voices: Remy Lai & Cory Leonardo Reflect on their Middle Grade Debuts

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Remy Lai, author and illustrator of Pie in the Sky (Henry Holt, 2019) and Cory Leonardo, author of The Simple Art of Flying (Aladdin, 2019) reflect on the debuts of their middle-grade novels. For both, finding fellow writers as mentors or critique partners along the journey proved invaluable.

Remy Lai

What first inspired you to illustrate for young readers?

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Guest Post: Janet Wong: Happy New Year! (It’s Time for a Vacation)

By Janet Wong

It’s the start of a new year—the school year—the real new year to many of us.

Are you ready for a vacation already?

If you are a writer, consider this: Sign up this month for a conference, something—anything—having to do with books. Why?

Blogs like this one can be incredibly inspiring and easy to read in the comfort of your kitchen or office,

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New Voices: Swati Teerdhala & Kip Wilson on Funneling Inspiration Into a Book

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Ideas for stories have to come from somewhere.

Today, Swati Teerdhala and Kip Wilson, two YA debut authors, share what inspired them to write their stories as well as advice they have for beginners.

Swati Teerdhala

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

Books were such a huge part of my childhood and truly shaped the way I viewed the world.

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New Voice: Liara Tamani on Calling My Name

By Robin Galbraith

Liara Tamani is the debut author of Calling My Name (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2017). From the promotional copy:

This unforgettable novel tells a universal coming-of-age story about Taja Brown, a young African American girl growing up in Houston, Texas, and it deftly and beautifully explores the universal struggles of growing up, battling family expectations, discovering a sense of self, and finding a unique voice and purpose. Continue Reading New Voice: Liara Tamani on Calling My Name »

In Memory: Patricia C. McKissack

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Patricia C. McKissack, honored children’s author from Chesterfield, dies at 72 by Jane Henderson
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Peek: “…’I think my mother died of a broken heart.’ Fredrick McKissack Jr. said his mother and father were ‘best friends and partners.’”

Before becoming an author, Patricia earned a master’s degree from Webster’s University and taught English at a junior high school in Kirkwood,

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