In Memory: Arnold Adoff

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Arnold Adoff—noted anthologist, poet, and author—died on May 7 at home in Yellow Springs, Ohio surrounded by family after a brief illness. He was 85.

Obituary: Arnold Adoff from Publishers Weekly by Shannon Maughan. Peek: “Children’s poet, author, and anthologist Arnold Adoff, widely noted for his inventive poetry style and for depicting African American experiences in his work, died on May 7 at his home in Yellow Springs,

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Guest Interview: Nikki Grimes on Writing Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice

By Kekla Magoon

As many people did, I followed the recent presidential election cycle fairly closely. During the early months of the primary season, I was hard at work on my picture book biography of Thurgood Marshall, The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership and Legacy, illustrated by Laura Freeman (Quill Tree Books, 2021).

Given my creative focus on this legendary,

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Cynsational Return: Happy New Year 2021!

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Happy New Year and welcome back to Cynsations!

We love bringing you upbeat and useful information and inspiration about the children’s-YA literature community, writing, illustration, and publishing. And we are particularly excited about what we have lined up for you in the coming months.

As always, we will highlight new voices in picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA,

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Author Interview: Lisa Krok on Novels In Verse for Teens: A Guidebook with Activities for Teachers and Librarians

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Congratulations, Lisa on the release of Novels in Verse for Teens: A Guidebook with Activities for Teachers and Librarians (ABC-CLIO, 2020)! What is it about novels in verse that fascinates you?

Thank you so much, Cynthia! I think novels in verse first grabbed my attention when I attended an event a few years ago where author Kwame Alexander performed live rap-like performances for his poems from The Crossover (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,

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Author Interview: Nikki Grimes on The Power of Words

By Traci Sorell

Memoir is one of my favorite genres to read. When Nikki Grimes shared some poems from hers last summer, I knew I must read Ordinary Hazards (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2019), the entire book.

Written in verse, her words captivated me much as the act of writing did her at an early age. The acclaim she’s already received in starred reviews and from fellow powerhouse creators speaks to the truth telling found within its pages.

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In Memory: Lee Bennett Hopkins

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Lee Bennett Hopkins, celebrated and renowned poet, educator, and anthologist, died Aug. 8 in Cape Coral, Florida. He was 81.

Obituary: Lee Bennett Hopkins from The New York Times. Peek:

Mr. Hopkins was famed in the children’s book world for championing poetry as well as for the sheer volume of his output.

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