Guest Post: Yona Zeldis McDonough on Staying True to Yourself

Yona Zeldis McDonough

by Yona Zeldis McDonough

I hate weapons, especially firearms. Always have, and always will. Even the sight of a legally sanctioned gun—police office, hunter—makes me recoil and I literally take a step back.

Along with hating weapons, I hate war and though I concede that some wars have been necessary, I fail to see warfare as heroic or noble.

So when Scholastic tapped me to write a book about the evacuation at Dunkirk [of World War II.],

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Interview: Joseph Bruchac on Telling Stories and Two Roads

By Traci Sorell

I’m delighted to feature the prolific, award-winning poet and author Joseph Bruchac and his latest middle grade novel, Two Roads (Dial, 2018) on Cynsations.

From the promotional copy:

It’s 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression. 


Cal likes being a “knight of the road” with Pop,

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Guest Post: Barbara Dee on Keeping it Middle Grade: Handling Tough Topics in Fiction

Learn more about Barbara Dee.

By Barbara Dee
for Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Cynsations

About a year ago, on a NerdCamp panel called “Tough Topics in Middle Grade Fiction,” we were talking about how middle grade was evolving, growing up, tackling subjects that used to be considered taboo—for example, sexuality, terrorism, refugeeism, and drug use.

I asked the educators in the room which underrepresented topics they’d like to see on their bookshelves.

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Interview: Author Christine Marciniak & Editor Madeline Smoot on Once Upon a Princess

By Gayleen Rabakukk

The popularity of the recent royal wedding illustrates society’s continued fascination with monarchies. 

A new middle grade novel, Once Upon A Princess by Christine Marciniak (CBAY, 2018) offers a twist on familiar tropes. From the promotional copy:

After a coup in her country, Her Royal Highness, Fredericka Elisabetta Teresa von Boden don Morh (or Fritzi to her friends),

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New Voices: Inside Scoop on Debut Author Groups with J.H. Diehl, Lauren Abbey Greenberg, Jonathan Roth & Deborah Schaumberg

By Robin Galbraith

After years of writing you finally have your very first book deal! Now what? How do you promote your debut novel? I talked to four Maryland debut authors from the Electric Eighteens to get the inside scoop on how debut groups for young adult and middle grade authors work.

Deborah Schaumberg, J.H. Diehl, Lauren Abbey Greenberg, Continue Reading New Voices: Inside Scoop on Debut Author Groups with J.H. Diehl, Lauren Abbey Greenberg, Jonathan Roth & Deborah Schaumberg »

Cover Reveal & Author Snapshot: Journey of the Pale Bear by Susan Fletcher

By Cynthia Leitich Smith 

Check out the cover of Journey of the Pale Bear by Susan Fletcher (McElderry, Oct. 2018). From the promotional copy:

A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family.

The polar bear is a royal bear,

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Guest Post: Author Deborah Lytton & Agent Stacey Glick on Middle Grade Series Proposals

By Deborah Lytton

Thanks to Gayleen and Cyn for having us on Cynsations. It’s always such a pleasure to be here!

Today, I have asked my agent and friend, Stacey Glick to join me to discuss the Middle Grade series proposal.

Stacey is Vice President at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret Literary Management and has been my agent for over 12 years. Continue Reading Guest Post: Author Deborah Lytton & Agent Stacey Glick on Middle Grade Series Proposals »

New Voice: Jonathan Rosen on Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Jonathan Rosen is the debut author of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies (Sky Pony Press, 2017). From the promotional copy:

Twelve-year-old Devin Dexter has a problem. 


Well, actually, many of them. His cousin, Tommy, sees conspiracies behind every corner. And Tommy thinks Devin’s new neighbor, Herb, is a warlock .

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Book Trailer: Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Check out the book trailer for Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley (Dial, 2017). From the promotional copy:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Circus Mirandus comes the magic-infused story of a golden gator, two cursed kids, and how they take their destinies into their own hands.



When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp,

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Book Video: An Evening of Ectoplasm

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

From the acknowledgements: “Icky paranormal history with award-winning authors William Alexander, M.T. Anderson, and Kekla Magoon. Special thanks to Alice Dodge for her spirit photography, Kelly Murphy for the gorgeous illustrations, and The Parlour Trick for graciously granting us permission to use ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and ‘Pandora’ from their album ‘A Blessed Unrest.’”

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