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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Author Interview: Louise Hawes on The Language of Stars

By Louise  Hawes

From the promotional copy of The Language of Stars by Louise Hawes (McElderry, 2016):


Sarah is forced to take a summer poetry class as penance for trashing the home of a famous poet in this fresh novel about finding your own voice.


Sarah’s had her happy ending: she’s at the party of the year with the most popular boy in school.

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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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Guest Post: Skila Brown on Having Fun With Writing

By Skila Brown

Skila Brown is the author of verse novels Caminar and To Stay Alive, as well as the picture book Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks, all with Candlewick Press. 

She received an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee and now lives in Indiana where she writes books for readers of all ages.

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Guest Post: E. Kristin Anderson on Teens Need Verse

By E. Kristin Anderson

Young people love poetry.

At least they love writing it. When I ask teens whether they read much poetry, though, the answer is usually no.

I think I know why. Outside of my bona fide freaky obsession with Emily Dickinson from the age of six, this was pretty much my exposure to poetry outside of Shel Silverstein:

  1. That time I found a super old and moldy copy of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and read it cover to cover in 24 hours.

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Author Interview: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer on Reaching for Sun

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer on Tracie Vaughn Zimmer: “Let’s see, I’m an identical twin. I’ve got two fabulous kids. Chocolate is a major food group for me. I collect refrigerator magnets and I write books for kids–mostly poetry. Since poetry barely buys shoes, I also use my teaching credentials to write discussion guides, book-club guides, and other school-related materials for all the major publishers. It is one sweet gig to be paid to read books I would be devouring anyway.

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Author Interview: Janet Wong on The Dumpster Diver

Janet S. Wong is the author of eighteen books, including three titles published this year: Before It Wriggles Away, part of the Meet the Author Series (Richard C. Owen, 2007), Twist: Yoga Poems, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Margaret K. McElderry, 2007)(excerpt), and The Dumpster Diver, illustrated by David Roberts (Candlewick, 2007).

Janet S.

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Jingle Dancer Named to Montessori Life’s Best Mulitcultural Books List

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000) has been named among best Multicultural Books for Early Childhood Educators in the most current issue of Montessori Life, Volume 19, Number 1, 2007. See page 97. Thanks to Debbie Gonzales for letting me know about this honor.

In other news, Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog discusses my revision process as mentioned in my recent interview on Tantalize (Candlewick,

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