Guest Post: Sarah Albee on Brain Training: How Writers Must Learn to Shift Gears

By Sarah Albee

If you write for kids, chances are you are working on several things at the same time.

 Most writers of books for kids don’t have the luxury of working on one project for years and years. We are short-order cooks, juggling multiple tasks at multiple stages.

So how do we shift gears between projects?

To answer this question, I thought I’d start by giving you a tour of what’s on my own highly-organized and tidy desk today:

My laptop,

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Author Interview: Cynthia Levinson on Fault Lines in the Constitution

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Cynthia Levinson is co-author of Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, And the Flaws That Affect Us Today, also by Sanford Levinson (Peachtree, 2017). From the promotional copy: 

Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the US Constitution.


Husband-and-wife team Cynthia and Sanford Levinson take readers back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced—then they offer possible solutions.  Continue Reading Author Interview: Cynthia Levinson on Fault Lines in the Constitution »

Event Report & Videos: Don Tate Launches Strong as Sandow: How Eugene Sandow Became The Strongest Man on Earth

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Author-illustrator Don Tate hosted a tremendous, successful book launch for Strong as Sandow: How Eugene Sandow Became The Strongest Man on Earth (Charlesbridge, 2017) Sept. 9 at BookPeople in Austin. From the promotional copy:

Friedrich Müller was born sickly and weak, yet he longed to be athletic and strong, like ancient Greek and Roman gladiators. Little Friedrich Müller exercised and exercised but to no avail.

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Author Interview: Laurie Wallmark on Clarifying Complex Topics & Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome Laurie Wallmark to discuss her new picture book, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, illustrated by Katy Wu (Sterling Books, May 16, 2017). From the promotional copy:

Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—and rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. 

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In Memory: Patricia C. McKissack

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Patricia C. McKissack, honored children’s author from Chesterfield, dies at 72 by Jane Henderson
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Peek: “…’I think my mother died of a broken heart.’ Fredrick McKissack Jr. said his mother and father were ‘best friends and partners.’”

Before becoming an author, Patricia earned a master’s degree from Webster’s University and taught English at a junior high school in Kirkwood,

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Author Interview: Michelle Markel Explores the Birth of Children’s Literature

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Each January the kidlit community celebrates the Newbery Medal and Honor Books awarded by the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Some even have gatherings to watch the webcast of the awards presentation, but do we know about the man the award was named for?

Michelle Markel offers insight in her new picture book: Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books,

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Guest Post: Brian Anderson Collaborating with His Daughter Amy on Space Dictionary for Kids

By Brian Anderson

Have you ever wondered why the spacecraft that carried the first U.S. astronaut into space in 1961 was named the Freedom 7? Was George Lucas already planning six prequels, or what?

When my daughter Amy turned 21 years old in July 2014, she was doing summer research in astrophysics at Baylor University. Her birthday coincided with a stargazing party at Meyer Observatory,

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Three Authors Receive Top Honors from NCTE

By NCTE

ATLANTA– Authors Jason Reynolds, Melissa Sweet, and Marilyn Nelson were just announced winners of prestigious literacy awards from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Jason Reynolds won the 2017 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children for his book Ghost (Atheneum). The Charlotte Huck award is given to books that promote and recognize fiction that has the potential to transform children’s lives.

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Author Interview: Debbie Levy on I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Happy Election Day! Go vote!

We welcome author Debbie Levy to talk about her new picture book biography. 

From the promotional copy of I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon & Schuster, 2016):

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent her lifetime disagreeing . . . with creaky old ideas.

Continue Reading Author Interview: Debbie Levy on I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark »

New Voice & Giveaway: Donna Janell Bowman on Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Donna Janell Bowman is the first-time author of Step Right Up:  How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness, illustrated by Daniel Minter (Lee & Low, 2016). From the promotional copy:

A Horse that can read, write, and do math?

Ridiculous! 

That’s what people thought until former slave and self-taught veterinarian Dr.

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