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: Corey Ann Haydu on Finding the Joy in Writing

By Bree Bender

Today, I am excited to welcome the critically-acclaimed middle grade and young adult author Corey Ann Haydu to Cynsations. Corey Ann is the author of many books for middle grade and young adult readers including her Edgar Award nominated young adult novel Eventown (Katherine Tegen Books, 2019).  Corey Ann’s latest middle grade novel, One Jar of Magic (Katherine Tegen Books,

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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?

Jayla Jumps In (Albert Whitman,

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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: Author P.J. Hoover on Adapting Mythology for Today’s Young Readers

 

By P.J. Hoover

Hello, and a huge shout out to my mythology fans out there! I’ve loved mythology for ages, so when I started spinning stories of my own, there was only one path to take. Of course I was going to create stories with mythology.

My newest book, Homer’s Excellent Adventure (CBAY, 2020), just came out, and if you can’t tell from the title,

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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. Applegate’s brilliance took my breath away. The spare yet powerful writing as well as the non-human voice was absolutely perfect.

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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. I’m so happy she agreed to geek out with me over our mutual love of spooky stories.

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Guest Interview: Illustrator Jane Pica on Drawing Spooky Stories

By Cory Putman Oakes

It’s Day 2 of my Cynsations spooky middle grade takeover!

Today’s post is an interview with Jane Pica, the illustrator for The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street (Amulet, Aug. 18, 2020). She is responsible for the gorgeous cover and the interior illustrations.

This is the first book I’ve ever done that was partially illustrated–having an illustrator on the team was an amazing experience.

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Guest Post: Cory Putman Oakes on Writing Spooky Middle Grade Books

By Cory Putman Oakes

My next book, The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street, is coming out from Abrams/Amulet on Aug. 18 and is now available for preorder. To celebrate, I’m taking over Cynsations this week to talk about spooky middle grade!

Today’s post is on craft. I reflect on where I got the initial idea for the The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street and the long road to actually writing it.

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Heart and Spirit: An Interview with Lisa Jenn Bigelow

By Carol Coven Grannick

As an author, poet, and chronicler—and clinical social worker—my writing tends to explore social-emotional learning (SEL). While I deeply value the STEM and STEAM frameworks (and poetry and stories!) my own commitment and abilities lean toward creating work that handles issues that promote and build on SEL, without which STEM and STEAM learning cannot thrive.

I love exploring writers’ and illustrators’ inner lives—what builds and maintains emotional resilience?

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