Category Archives: Author Posts

morning-star-horse-cover-bi_lingual January 20

When Bilingual Book Dreams Come True by Margarita Engle

For many years, I have quietly hoped for bilingual or Spanish editions of my books for young readers.  Fifty million people in the U.S. speak Spanish, but translations of books by Latino authors are as rare as any endangered species.  It’s much more common to find Spanish editions of bestsellers by non-Latinos. Latino family literacy […]

undefeated-cover-image-hi-ris January 18

It Doesn’t All Make It In The Book: Deleted Scenes from UNDEFEATED by Steve Sheinkin

We wound up cutting both of these school prank scenes from the final draft of Undefeated. The first is set at the Carlisle Indian School, in the very early days of the school. It’s a well-documented story, but the playful tone just doesn’t fit with the way students described life under Pratt’s rule. The second […]

radius-of-us-jacket January 17

Our Stories Connect Us by Marie Marquardt

I spend a lot of time in prison.   Well, technically, it’s not a prison, it’s an immigration detention center. But try telling that to the almost two thousand guys who wander through the place in prison jumpsuits, sleep in rooms with sixty beds where they also have to shower and do their business out […]

img_6288 January 11

Cover Reveal: wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Five years ago, I fell in love. The object of my affection was handsome in a weathered sort of way, if a bit beaten down by the vagaries of life. Folks, you haven’t really lived until you’ve loved a tree. It was in a too-small container in a too-dry climate in a too-shady courtyard. Abandoned […]

crushing-it January 10

Writing Not-So-Serious Books by Joanne Levy

“Do your friends tell you you’re funny?” I still cringe when I think of the time when a very big deal New York editor asked me that question when we were discussing one of my manuscripts. Because really, how does a polite Canadian respond without sounding obnoxiously braggy (I’m cringing even as I type this, […]

the-matchstick-castle January 08

Top 10 Homes in Middle-Grade Fiction by Keir Graff

Homes are important in kids’ books, probably because visiting other people’s houses awakens our first wonderings about how other people live—and, by inference, how we might live once we get to make decisions about such things. (Imagining others’ circumstances also has a lot to do with the development of empathy, too.) I’ve spent a lot […]

one-last-word January 04

My Favorite Word by Nikki Grimes

At a recent school visit, a student posed a wonderful question during Q & A.  “What is your favorite word?” he asked me.  Caught off guard, I said the first thing that popped into my head.  “Dream,” I told him, “because it opens up endless possibilities.”  It wasn’t a bad answer, but it wasn’t the […]

gracie-lou December 19

Honey, what did you read at school today? by Larissa Juliano

“The idea of the extraordinary happening in the context of the ordinary is what’s fascinating to me.” -Chris Van Allsburg   When I share stories with my children and students, I pay attention to what makes their eyes sparkle…I want to know what makes them feel intrigued and which literature will imprint on their minds […]

tundra-trials-high-res December 13

Meeting Meg Murry by Monica Tesler

I will always remember meeting Meg Murry. Even though I’d lived in Tennessee for a few years by then, I still felt like an outsider. My whole family felt like outsiders. My parents’ midwestern accents sounded like record scratches breaking the fluid melody of southern drawl. My voice had adjusted quickly. By then I sounded […]

the-wardens-daughter-cover December 06

Heroes and Yes by Jerry Spinelli

I was speaking to a busload of students from the stage of the band shell at Elmwood Park in Norristown, PA. This was, maybe, fifteen years ago. The students, knowing that Norristown is the model for Two Mills in my novel Maniac Magee, were visiting points of interest from that story.   After my remarks, […]