Author Interview: Corey Ann Haydu on Finding the Joy in Writing

By Bree Bender

Today, I am excited to welcome the critically-acclaimed middle grade and young adult author Corey Ann Haydu to Cynsations. Corey Ann is the author of many books for middle grade and young adult readers including her Edgar Award nominated young adult novel Eventown (Katherine Tegen Books, 2019).  Corey Ann’s latest middle grade novel, One Jar of Magic (Katherine Tegen Books,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Corey Ann Haydu on Finding the Joy in Writing »

Author Interview: Sue Ganz-Schmitt on Vulnerability in Picture Books

By Gail Vannelli

Picture book author Sue Ganz-Schmitt had two new picture book releases last fall, and both contained storylines that embrace differences and fostered inclusion.

In That Monster on the Block, illustrated by Luke Flowers (Two Lions, 2020), which won the 2020 Northern Book Lights Award for Humor, Monster learns that his new neighbor is not a greedy goblin,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Sue Ganz-Schmitt on Vulnerability in Picture Books »

Guest Post: Erik Talkin on Finding the Book You Are Uniquely Qualified to Write

By Erik Talkin

I had been the talented “nearly” man for a while, with a middle-grade that was purchased by a mid-level publisher that promptly decided to get out of the MG market before the book was published.

This was followed by a novel that went to the final stages of acquisition with a major publisher, before the marketing department decided that series were out that week.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Erik Talkin on Finding the Book You Are Uniquely Qualified to Write »

Guest Post: Nora Shalaway Carpenter & Challenging the Rural Stereotype

By Nora Shalaway Carpenter

Recently I chatted with Nasugraq Rainey Hopson, Tirzah Price, Rob Costello, and Monica Roe, four of Rural Voices’ (Candlewick, 2020) talented contributors. Here’s what they said about rural stories, stereotypes, and the representation of rural life in literature.

What do you hope readers take away from Rural Voices?

Continue Reading Guest Post: Nora Shalaway Carpenter & Challenging the Rural Stereotype »

New Cynsations Reporter Bree Bender

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today, I am so excited to welcome Bree Bender to the Cynsations Team! Bree joins us as a reporter-at-large covering the many facets of the children’s-YA community.

Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for your coverage here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?

First,

Continue Reading New Cynsations Reporter Bree Bender »

Author Interview: Martha Brockenbrough on Real-Life Inspirations for Stories

By Gail Vannelli

If you love old dogs and small kids, Martha Brockenbrough’s newly published picture book This Old Dog, illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo (Levine Querido, 2020) will capture your attention and your heart as you experience a friendship blooming between “old dog” and “his girl.” The story is remarkably well written, using one-syllable words that children—and dogs—can understand.

A nominee of the 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Awards,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Martha Brockenbrough on Real-Life Inspirations for Stories »

New Voices: Kelly J. Baptist & Jess Rinker on the People Who’ve Influenced Their Writing

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

A big welcome to middle-grade debut authors, Kelly J. Baptist and Jess Rinker. Both authors share with us how the people around them influence their writing as well as moments along their journeys to publication.

Kelly Baptist 

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I think it was when I was reading Laura Numeroff’s If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,

Continue Reading New Voices: Kelly J. Baptist & Jess Rinker on the People Who’ve Influenced Their Writing »

New Cynsations Reporter Rebecca Kirshenbaum

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am pleased to introduce Cynsations readers to our newest reporter, Rebecca Kirshenbaum, pictured above with one of her sons. She will cover books by neurodiverse authors reflecting neurodiverse characters as well as their work more globally.

Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for covering books written by neurodiverse authors here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?

Continue Reading New Cynsations Reporter Rebecca Kirshenbaum »

Guest Post: Emma Kress on Hope

By Emma Kress

2020. What. A. Year. And, um, as you may have noticed, it ain’t over yet.

So what is it that drags us from our beds each day? Sure, for many of us it’s our insistent children. But besides them? Hope.

This year, we’ve seen the footprints of hope everywhere: billboards thanking medical workers, corporations promoting #BlackLivesMatter, Italian citizens stepping to their balconies to sing,

Continue Reading Guest Post: Emma Kress on Hope »

New Voices: Tziporah Cohen & Donna Barba Higuera on Writing Their Own Experiences

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I’m so excited to welcome debut middle-grade authors Tziporah Cohen and Donna Barba Higuera to Cynsations today. Both authors share with us the joys and challenges of writing to their own experiences.

Congratulations on your debuts!

Tziporah Cohen

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I sort of fell into it,

Continue Reading New Voices: Tziporah Cohen & Donna Barba Higuera on Writing Their Own Experiences »