Native Voice: Brian Young on Writing Healer of the Water Monster

By Kim Rogers

Today, we’re chatting with Navajo author Brian Young. Brian is a film maker and personal trainer. His debut middle grade novel is Healer of the Water Monster (Heartdrum, 2021). From the promotional copy:

“When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation,

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Guest Interview: Kathi Appelt & Cynthia Leitich Smith on Rebirth in the Neversea

By Kathi Appelt

This interview includes plot spoilers for Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Heartdrum, June 1, 2021). You may want to bookmark and return to it after reading the story.

Cover art by Floyd Cooper (Muscogee); from the promotional copy:

Lily and Wendy have been best friends since they became stepsisters.

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Author Interview: Joy Jones Jumps in to Share Stories

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m always inspired by authors who balance writing with running organizations that promote literacy, and I’m thrilled to introduce Cynsations readers to Joy Jones, author, non-profit director and double Dutch jumper!

Congratulations on Jayla Jumps in! The story has a lot of interesting layers. What was your initial inspiration for writing it?

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Native Voice: Andrea L. Rogers on Writing about the Trail of Tears

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to debut author Andrea L. Rogers.

I met Andrea at Kweli’s Color of Children’s Literature Conference in New York City in 2018. Andrea is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Her debut middle grade book is Mary and the Trail of Tears: A Cherokee Survival Story (Capstone,

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Guest Post: Michele Weber Hurwitz: Taking a Risk with Narration: Trust Your Instincts

By Michele Weber Hurwitz

When I first read Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins, 2012), I remember being completely amazed.

A brown bear or a pigeon narrating a picture book are one thing, but a gorilla narrating a meaningful middle grade novel? This was something else entirely.

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Guest Interview: Adrianna Cuevas on Spooky Stories Inspired by Folklore

By Cory Putman Oakes

Welcome to Day 3 of my Cynsations Spooky Middle Grade Takeover!

Today’s post is an author interview with fellow spooky middle grade writer, Adrianna Cuevas. Adrianna’s debut novel, The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez (FSG), comes out May 12. It’s now available for preorder.

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