New Voice: Andrea Page on Sioux Code Talkers of World War II

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Andrea M. Page is the first-time author of Sioux Code Talkers of World War II (Pelican Publishing, 2017). From the promotional copy:

In World War II, code-making and code-breaking reached a feverish peak. The fabled Enigma Cipher had been broken, and all sides were looking for a secure, reliable means of communication.


Many have heard of the role of the Navajo Code Talkers,

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Interview: Lee & Low New Voices Award Winners

Roberto Penas

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Lee & Low Books recently announced Roberto Penas of Olathe, Kansas won the 17th annual New Voices Award.


His manuscript, “Pedro Flores: The Toymaker,” is a biography of the inventor of the modern yo-yo.


In the early 1900s, Flores emigrated from the Philippines to the United States,

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Guest Post: Susanna Reich & Gary Golio on Social Justice, Music & Picture Book Biographies

Susanna Reich and Gary Golio, photo by Laura Golio

By Susanna Reich and Gary Golio

From intern Gayleen Rabakukk

The power of music to inspire action is explored in two non-fiction picture books out this month: Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seger, Folk Music and the Path to Justice by Susanna Reich, illustrated by Adam Gustavson (Bloomsbury, March 2017) and Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song by Gary Golio,

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Authors, Editor & Illustrator Interview: Fred Korematsu Speaks Up (Fighting for Justice)

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi are the co-authors of Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, illustrated by Yukata Houlette (Heyday, 2017). From the promotional copy:

Fred Korematsu liked listening to music on the radio, playing tennis, and hanging around with his friends—just like lots of other Americans. 


But everything changed when the United States went to war with Japan in 1941 and the government forced all people of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes on the West Coast and move to distant prison camps. 

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Guest Post: Crossing the Bar: Or a YA Fiction Writer Tries Out Adult Non-Fiction

By Marianne Monson


Up until the publication of my most recent book, Frontier Grit: The Untold True Stories of Pioneer Women (Shadow Mountain, 2016), I’ve primarily considered myself a young adult fiction writer.

When my editor asked me to take on this project, I protested that I wasn’t a historian, but she insisted that she wanted the book to have a strong narrative voice.

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Author Interview & Giveaway: Sebastian Robertson on Writing His Father’s Rock and Roll Biography

By Traci Sorell

My love of music outweighs my love of the written word. So, I am delighted when I find children’s
book biographies written about any of my favorite musicians. I rush to devour them and learn more about the creative geniuses whose beautiful lyrics and magical melodies have lifted my spirit or given me comfort throughout my life.

I am honored to shine Cynsations’ spotlight today on Sebastian Robertson (Mohawk/Cayuga),

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Author Interview: Ann Bausum on Our Country’s First Ladies

Ann Bausum writes about U.S. history for young people from her home in Beloit, Wisconsin. Her books often examine social justice themes, including the voting rights of women (With Courage and Cloth (National Geographic, 2004)), the struggle to integrate interstate buses during 1961 (Freedom Riders (National Geographic, 2006)), and the power of free speech (Muckrakers (National Geographic, 2007)).

Her books consistently earn awards and recognition,

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