By Cory Putman Oakes
Today is the last day of my Cynsations Spooky Middle Grade Takeover! I thought I’d go out with a bang and give you a double-librarian interview.
Since a lot of spooky middle grade books tread that fine line between upper elementary and lower middle school age, let’s hear from professionals for both age groups.
Welcome, Kealing Middle School librarian Kerensa Williams and Menchaca Elementary School librarian Rita Painter.
Continue Reading Guest Interview: Librarians Kerensa Williams & Rita Painter Discuss Spooky Stories »
By Kate Messner
I’ll start this post with a confession. I don’t really have any secrets.
The truth is, when my first novel came out in 2009, I made all of the same overeager mistakes other debut writers make when that first book is released–over-promoting and dragging my wonderfully supportive family to book event after book event for an entire season.
(My daughter was nine then.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Kate Messner on The Secrets to Writing Lots of Books, Promoting Them, and Still Having a Life »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »