Author Interview: Annie Boochever on Alaska Native Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich

By Traci Sorell

Rarely do we see biographies of Native people post-1900, so the biography of Elizabeth Peratrovich, Fighter in Velvet Gloves (University of Alaska Press, 2019), by Annie Boochever with Roy Peratrovich, Jr. (Tlingit) is a welcome addition in children’s literature.

The book recently represented the state of Alaska at the National Book Festival in Washington,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Annie Boochever on Alaska Native Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich »

New Voices: Meredith Davis & Nicole Valentine On Being An Author

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m thrilled to introduce two debut authors to the Cynsations audience today. I met both at Vermont College of Fine Arts several years ago while we were all working on MFAs in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Both write middle grade, but their books are very different, illustrating the depth and diversity that exists in children’s literature.

Meredith Davis is the co-author of Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight To Walk (Scholastic,

Continue Reading New Voices: Meredith Davis & Nicole Valentine On Being An Author »

New Cynsations Reporter Linda Joy Singleton

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Linda Joy Singlton joins the Cynsations team as an at-large reporter covering children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news from the world of children’s literature.

Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for your coverage here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?

Cynsations has been so supportive of my books over many years,

Continue Reading New Cynsations Reporter Linda Joy Singleton »

Native Voice: Traci Sorell on At the Mountain’s Base & Indian No More

By Kim Rogers

For my first interview with Cynsations, I welcome author Traci Sorell! First off, so:ti:c?a to you and Cynthia Leitich Smith for this opportunity. I am thrilled and honored to join Cynsations as a reporter covering Native books for children and teens.

Traci, your debut picture book, We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge,

Continue Reading Native Voice: Traci Sorell on At the Mountain’s Base & Indian No More »

Guest Post: Carla Killough McClafferty on Evoking Feelings in Nonfiction

By Carla Killough McClafferty

I love true stories about people, which is why I write biographies. While I include names, places, events, dates, and accomplishments, I want them to be a natural part of the story.

Equally important to me is that I craft the text so that readers will feel something about the person I’m writing about. I don’t tell them what to feel. I trust that readers will supply their own emotions.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Carla Killough McClafferty on Evoking Feelings in Nonfiction »

Guest Post: Barbara Dee on #MeToo Moments for Every Kid in the Room & Maybe He Just Likes You

 

By Barbara Dee

These days educators agree that there’s no such thing as a “boy book” or a “girl book.” All kids, whatever their gender identity—male, female or nonbinary—should have access to every book on the shelf, no matter the color scheme of the cover or where the main character falls on the gender spectrum.

But here’s something I passionately believe: We still need middle grade books about what it means to be a girl in our culture.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Barbara Dee on #MeToo Moments for Every Kid in the Room & Maybe He Just Likes You »

Heart and Spirit: Interview with Author K.A. Holt

By Carol Coven Grannick

As a poet and children’s author as well as clinical social worker, I’m particularly interested in the emotional resilience that I believe is foundational to a writing life. I’m interested in what I consider the many facets of emotional resilience, the behaviors that fuel and flow from it—positive emotions such as hope and joy, persistence, and productivity.

I don’t like the phrase I see sometimes describing emotional resilience as having a “thick skin.”

Continue Reading Heart and Spirit: Interview with Author K.A. Holt »

New Voices: Gail Shepherd & Karen Strong on Writing Southern Settings

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Gail Shepherd and Karen Strong, debut middle grade authors, both found inspiration for their books in southern settings. Today they share insights about their journeys to publication.

Gail Shepherd

I grew up with the Vietnam war in the background—it was always on TV. That war influenced my sensibility and my world view.

Continue Reading New Voices: Gail Shepherd & Karen Strong on Writing Southern Settings »

New Voices: Joshua S. Levy & Karla Manternach on Reactions to Their Manuscripts Selling

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am excited to introduce you to Joshua S. Levy and Karla Manternach, two middle grade authors whose debut novels surprised some of their friends. Joshua is the author of Seventh Grade Vs. The Galaxy (Carolrhoda, 2019) and Karla is the author of Meena Meets her Match illustrated by Rayner Alencar (Simon &

Continue Reading New Voices: Joshua S. Levy & Karla Manternach on Reactions to Their Manuscripts Selling »

Author Snapshot: Marie Cruz

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Marie Cruz is the debut author of Everlasting Nora (Tor/Forge, 2018).

From whom have you received creative feedback–critique groups/partners, writing teachers, expert/sensitivity readers, family and friends, editor and/or agent?

Over the last 15 years, I’ve received feedback from pretty much all of the above! But I must say that critique partners are the best.

Continue Reading Author Snapshot: Marie Cruz »