Heart and Spirit: Lisa Fipps Discusses Her Debut Middle-Grade Novel in Verse

By Carol Coven Grannick

Starfish by Lisa Fipps (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2021) unfolds as eleven-year-old Ellie, who has been fat-shamed and bullied since childhood, begins to break away from “Fat Girl Rules” she’s been told are foundational to her life. Ellie’s loving friendships, close relationship with her father, and a growing positive connection with a fabulous therapist, accompany her on her painful journey. Ellie is perceptive about herself and others,

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Author Interview: Lauren Wolk on Staying True to Yourself

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we extend a warm welcome to Lauren Wolk. She is the author of the Newbery Honor book Wolf Hollow (Dutton, 2016), Beyond the Bright Sea (Dutton, 2017), which won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and her latest book, Echo Mountain (Dutton, 2020). She shares with us her thoughts on being an author,

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Sally J. Pla Discusses the Importance of Honest Depictions of Autism & Mental Health

By Rebecca Kirshenbaum

As the parent of children on the autism spectrum and who also struggle with anxiety, I am a big fan of Sally J. Pla‘s books and their representations of neurodiversity. Her most recent middle grade novel Stanley Will Probably Be Fine illustrated by Steve Wolfhard (HarperCollins, 2018), and her debut The Someday Birds, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin (HarperCollins,

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Heart and Spirit: An Interview with Ami Polonsky

By Carol Coven Grannick

My chronicles explore the heart and spirit of writers, the emotional and psychological issues and strengths that stir our creativity and are stirred by our work and the obstacles that impact our processes.

What strengths does each writer have that create and maintain emotional resilience?

How does an author’s or illustrator’s own internal process and state of mind intertwine with the narrative arc of her work?

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Author Interview: Christopher Paul Curtis on Writing & the 25th Anniversary of The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963!

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am thrilled to welcome Christopher Paul Curtis to Cynsations. Christopher is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his debut novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963! (Delacorte, 1995), which was named both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor book in 1996.

Other notable titles by Christopher include Newbery Award and Coretta Scott King Award winning Elijah of Buxton (Scholastic,

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New Voices: Stacy Hackney & Lily LaMotte Discuss “Measuring Up” to Publishing Standards

 

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

One thing writers struggle with is getting their work to measure up to publishing standards. I am pleased to introduce our Cynsations readers the debut authors Stacy Hackney, author of Forever Glimmer Creek (Simon & Schuster, 2020), and Lily LaMotte, author of Measuring Up, illustrated by Ann Xu (HarperAlley,

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Carrie Firestone on Youth Activism & Dress Coded, Her Debut Middle Grade Novel

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am excited to introduce our readers to Carrie Firestone. Carrie is the author of two YA novels, The Loose Ends List (Little, Brown, 2016) and The Unlikelies (Little, Brown, 2017). Recently, her middle-grade novel Dress Coded (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2020) debuted to four starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal,

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Native Voices: Tashia Hart on Gidjie and the Wolves

By Kim Rogers

Tashia Hart is an award-winning Anishinaabe author and illustrator. Her debut middle grade novel, Gidjie and the Wolves (Not Too Far Removed Press, 2020) is a 2020 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Gold Medal Winner. Congrats, Tashia and welcome to Cynsations!

From the promotional copy: “Gidjie, an Anishinaabe girl who lives near the shore of Lake Superior.

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Author Interview: Kristin L. Gray on the Uniqueness of Your Story

By Stephani Martinell Eaton 

I’m excited to welcome author Kristin L. Gray to Cynsations today. Her latest middle-grade novel The Amelia Six (Paula Wiseman, 2020) has been hailed by Kirkus Reviews as “A cozy whodunit that cheerfully affirms girls’ and women’s contributions to aerospace.” In the above photo, Kristin is in Amelia Earhart’s childhood bedroom.

Congratulations on The Amelia Six!

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Author Interview: Supriya Kelkar on Writing Personal Stories

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m excited to welcome author Supriya Kelkar to Cynsations.

Her debut middle grade historical novel, Ahimsa (Tu Books, 2017) received starred reviews and made the Amelia Bloomer Top Ten list from the American Library Association.

Her picture book, The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, illustrated by Alea Marley (Sterling, 2019), was named to the ALA’s Notable List for 2020 and her newest title,

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