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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Survivors: Magarita Engle on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Margarita Engle is a successful children’s-YA author with a long, distinguished career.

In children’s-YA writing, maintaining an active publishing career is arguably an even bigger challenge than breaking into the field.

Reflecting on your personal journey (creatively, career-wise, and your writer’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success? 

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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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Poetry Anthology Editor & Illustrator Interview: Miranda Paul & Marlena Myles

By Traci Sorell

I adore picture book poetry anthologies. The variety of poems and artwork inspire me every time. Thanku: Poems of Gratitude (Millbrook Press, Sept. 3, 2019) marks the debut of artist Marlena Myles as a picture book illustrator. Edited by the award-winning author Miranda Paul, the anthology features many well-known poets and a portion of the book’s sales support the We Need Diverse Books nonprofit organization.

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Survivors: Marilyn Singer on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Marilyn Singer is a successful children’s-YA author with a long, distinguished career.

In children’s-YA writing, maintaining an active publishing career is arguably an even bigger challenge than breaking into the field.

Reflecting on your personal journey (creatively, career-wise, and your writer-artist’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success? 

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In Memory: Paul B. Janeczko

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Paul B. Janeczko, celebrated poet and dedicated teacher, died Feb. 19. He was 73.

Obituary: Paul B. Janeczko by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek:

“Liz Bicknell, executive v-p and editorial director at Candlewick…paid tribute to the author: ‘Paul Janeczko—or PBJ, as we affectionately call him in-house—is really synonymous with Candlewick’s poetry list.

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L is for Legacy: Penny Candy Books & The Posthumous Publication of Sydell Rosenberg’s H is for Haiku

Sydell Rosenberg and Amy Losak

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we’re chatting with Amy Losak, Chad Reynolds and Alexis Orgera about Penny Candy Books and the posthumous publication of Amy’s mother’s poetry as a picture book, H is for Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z by Sydell Rosenberg, illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi (Penny Candy Books, 2018).

From the jacket copy:

Inspired by her experiences living in New York City,

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Author Interview: Eric Gansworth on Give Me Some Truth

Eric Gansworth signing Give Me Some Truth
at 2018 Texas Library Association conference.

By Traci Sorell

Eric Gansworth is the YA author of Give Me Some Truth (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, May 29, 2018). From the promotional copy:

Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. 

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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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Cynsational Summer Awards Roundup

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Boston Globe-Hornbook Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature: “Winners are selected in three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction. Two Honor Books may be named in each category.”

The National Book Awards Longlist: Young People’s Literature from The New Yorker. Peek: “…a novel in verse about a twelve-year-old soccer nut, an illustrated adventure story that draws on Chinese folklore,

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