New Voice: Bridget Hodder on The Rat Prince

Excerpt & Curriculum Guide

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Bridget Hodder
is the first-time author of The Rat Prince (FSG/Margaret Ferguson, 2016). From the promotional copy: 


The dashing Prince of the Rats–who’s in love with Cinderella–is changed into her coachman by the Fairy Godmother on the night of the big ball. 

And he’s about to turn the legend (and the evening) upside down on his way to a most unexpected happy ending!

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New Voice: Christian McKay Heidicker on Cure for the Common Universe

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Christian McKay Heidicker is the first-time author of Cure for the Common Universe (Simon & Schuster, 2016). From the promotional copy:

Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab…ten minutes after he met a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.

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New Voice & Giveaway: Maria Gianferrari on Penny & Jelly

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Maria Gianferrari writes both fiction and nonfiction picture books from her
sunny, book-lined study in northern Virginia, with her dog Becca as her
muse.

Maria’s debut picture book, Penny & Jelly: The School Show, illustrated by Thyra Heder (2015) led to Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars (2016)(both HMH Books). 

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New Voice: Hannah West on Kingdom of Ash and Briars

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Hannah West is the first-time author of Kingdom of Ash and Briars (Holiday House, 2016). From the promotional copy:

Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular and wholly original debut.


Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid,

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New Voice: Sonya Mukherjee on Gemini

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Sonya Mukherjee
is the first-time author of Gemini (Simon & Schuster, 2016). From the promotional copy:

In a powerful and daring debut novel, Sonya Mukherjee shares the story of sisters Clara and Hailey, conjoined twins who are learning what it means to be truly extraordinary.

Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins, Clara and Hailey, have lived in the same small town their entire lives—no one stares at them anymore.

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Guest Post: Amy Bearce on World-Building Woes (& Wows)

By Amy Bearce

Confession: I have a terrible time with world-building. So, naturally, I consistently write fantasy, where world-building is critical.

You gotta be kidding me! Credit: Pixabay, mintchipdesigns, CC0

In real life, I’m not very observant about the space around me. I notice people’s emotions, but not what they are eating or what they are wearing. But in writing, all those little details make a place come alive.

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New Voice: Kurt Dinan on Don’t Get Caught

Educator’s Guide

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kurt Dinan is the first-time author of Don’t Get Caught (Sourcebooks Fire, 2016). From the promotional copy:

10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him?


After all,

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Interview: Author Carole Boston Weatherford & Illustrator Jeffery Boston Weatherford

By Carole Boston Weatherford
& Jeffrey Boston Weatherford

From Carole

Set during World War II, You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen (Atheneum, 2016) follows the training, trials and triumphs of the U.S. military’s first African American pilots.

The book pairs my poems with scratchboard illustrations by my son, Jeffrey Boston Weatherford.

The title is our first collaboration and Jeffery’s publication debut.

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New Voice: Kathryn Tanquary on The Night Parade

Discussion Guide & Common Core Teacher Guide

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kathryn Tanquary is the first-time author of The Night Parade (Sourcebooks Fire, 2016). From the promotional copy:

“I thought you might sleep through it.” The creature smiled.


Saki’s voice was little more than a whisper. “Sleep through what?”


It leaned over.

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New Voice: Shari Schwarz on Treasure at Lure Lake

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Shari Schwarz is the first-time author of Treasure at Lure Lake
(Cedar Fort, 2016). From the promotional copy:

An epic adventure—that’s all Bryce wants this summer. 

So when he stumbles upon a treasure map connected to an old family secret, Bryce is determined to follow the map, even if it means risking his life and lying to his grandpa while they’re on their wilderness backpacking trip. 

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