Sunday, May 30, 2021

Some Virtual Opportunities For June

I love virtual author appearances. Here are some I've stumbled upon. This post will be updated throughout the month as I stumble upon more.

June 1 Alicia D. Williams and April Harrison, Brave & Kind Books, Decatur, Georgia 12:00 PM ET 

June 2 Nick Bruel, Turning the Page, Monroe, Connecticut 6:30 PM ET

June 2 Ann Hood, Bank Square Books, Mystic, Connecticut 7:00 PM ET

June 4 Sara Farizan, Charlie Jane Anders, A.S. King, Rebecca Kim Wells, Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, Massachusetts. 7:00 PM ET 

June 5 Debbi Michiko Florence and Josephine Cameron, Print A Bookstore, Portland, Maine 6:00 PM ET

June 5 Stephanie Sorkin, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Connecticut 10:30 AM ET

June 10, J.C. Phillips, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Connecticut 6:30 PM ET

June 10 Jamie Pacton and Becky Albertalli, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Texas  7:00 PM CT

June 14 Mary Alice Monroe, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Connecticut 7:00 PM ET

June 15 Sarah Beth Durst and Jessica Day George, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Texas 5:00 PM CT 

June 15 Shelli R. Johannes and Mike Moran, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT 4:00 PM

June 17 A.C. Wise, Space Cowboy Books, Joshua Tree, California 9:00 PM ET

June 22 Maddie Frost, Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Action, Massachusetts 7:00 PM ET 

June 23 Daniel Aleman and L.C. Rosen, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT 7:00 PM ET

June 27 Jacqueline Woodson, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Texas 4:00 PM CT

June 29 Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, Brigid Kemmerer, R.J. Julia Booksellers,  Madison, CT 7:00 PM ET

June 30 Jennifer L. Holm, Savanna Ganucheau, Stephanie Cooke, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Texas 5:00 PM CT

Saturday, May 29, 2021

So Now The Publishing World Is Interested In Children's SciFi

Thirteen+ years ago, my blogging buddies and I bemoaned the fact that there was so little science fiction for children. Fantasy had control of children's publishing. Thirteen years ago, when I was shopping around a middle grade science fiction manuscript, I often saw children's agents who wouldn't represent science fiction.

Last month Book Riot had an entire column of middle grade science fiction. Well, thirteen years is a long time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

May Childlit Book Releases

Promoting new children's books during the pandemic hit a number of happy buttons for me. 

  • I love a sense of mission
  • I love a little obsession
  • I love that my blog stats have gone up over the period that I've been doing this

This is hugely time consuming, though. So next month, to try to carry on while making a little more time, I'm going to drop the publisher names from the book listings. Getting the book title and author names out will help the publishers, anyway.

Hmm. Maybe this situation could become a Time Management Tuesday post. 

May 1 Whole Whale, Karen Yin, Nelleke Verhoeff illustrations, Barefoot Books  (Announced date. Author on Twitter says release has been delayed, but it sounds imminent.)





May 4 Princesses Can Fix It, Tracy Marchini, Julia Christians illustrations, Page Street Kids






May 4 The Last Shadow Warrior, Sam Subity, Scholastic






May 4 Glitter Gets Everywhere, Yvette Clark, HarperCollins 







May 4 Flight of the Puffin, Ann Braden, Nancy Paulsen Books/PenguinRandomHouse






May 4 Fearless, Kenny Porter, Zach Wilcox illustrations, Graphix/Scholastic 






May 4 Thrive, Kenneth Oppel, Knopf/PenguinRandomHouse







May 4 Freaky Funky Fish, Debra Kempf Shumaker, Claire Powell illustrations, Running Press/Hachette





May 4 The Adventure is Now, Jess Redman, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux/Macmillan






May 11 The Road to Wherever, John Ed Bradley, Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan






May 11 Lucky Girl, Jamie Pacton,  Page Street Kids






May 11 Thanks a Lot, Universe, Chad Lucas, Abrams  







May 11 Unsettled, Reem Faruqi, Harper Collins  






May 11 Mission Multiverse, Rebecca Caprara, Abrams







May 11 Bear Bottom, Stuart Gibbs, Simon & Schuster 






May 11 Jo Jo Makoons: The Used To Be Best Friend, Dawn Quigley, Tara Audibert illustrations, Heartdrum/HarperCollins 







May 11 Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe, Sarah Mlynowski, HarperCollins 






May 11 Pawcasso, Remy Lai, Henry Holt/Macmillan






May 15 The Science and Technology of Leonardo da Vinci, Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan, Micah Rauch illustrations, Nomad Press






May 18 The Little Spacecraft That Could, Joyce Lapin, Simona Ceccarelli illustrations, Sterling






May 18 Gwendolyn's Pet Garden, Anne Renaud, Rashin Kheiriyeh illustrations, Nancy Paulsen Books/PenguinRandomHouse






May 18 Saint Ivy: Kind at All Costs, Laurie Morrison, Amulet/Abrams Books 







May 18 Taking Up Space, Alyson Gerber, Scholastic






May 18 Jude Banks, Superhero, Ann Hood, PenguinRandomHouse







May 18 I'm Getting a Shark, Brady Smith, Nancy Paulsen Books/PenguinRandomHouse







May 25 What Are Your Words?, Katherine Locke, Anne Passchier illustrations, Little Brown

Friday, May 21, 2021

The 2021 Tassy Walden Award Ceremony Is Coming Up Next Week--You Can Be There!

Every year since 2001, the Shoreline Arts Alliance in Connecticut has sponsored the Tassy Walden Award, a competition for unpublished children's authors and illustrators in this state. This year's winners and finalists have been announced, and the awards ceremony is next Wednesday, May 26, at 7:00 PM ET.!!!!

This Year's Winners And Finalists

Picture Book Text

Winner: Sabrina Petersen--Postcards from Papi

Finalists: Patricia Finnegan--We are the Vel-Crows
                Bethany Jensen--Ballerhino
                Jodi Kelly--The Allergic Alligator
                Stephanie Yu Lim--The One and Only Carnegie Hall
Illustrated Picture Book Writer/Illustrator
Finalists: Thomas Drew--The Night of the Jangler 
                 Pamela Hanks--Paige and Webb: Ski Adventure 
Middle Grade Novel
Winner: Rudy Vener--Iceteroid 

Finalists: Miriam Giskin--You Bet
                 Kimberly Mach--Beneath the Straw
                 Dawn Michelle Mancarella--Orchard of Sorrows 
                 Jackie Mead--The Missing Mask
                 Cynthia Sygrove--Kate of Fayerweather Island 
Young Adult Novel 

Winner: William Ollayos--Lightening Born
Honorable Mention: Paige Classey Przybylski--Heavy Lightness
The Tassy Walden Award is important in this state because a number of winners and finalists have gone on to publication. This is not a one-and-done award. It's often a stepping stone to other things.

This Year's Ceremony


This year's ceremony features a speaker, author Nancy Tandon, whose first two books will be published next year. One of them, The Ghost of Spruce Point, was a finalist for the Tassy Award in the middle grade category. She also happens to be a member of my writers' group, which, yes, is a way of making this about me, but also an attempt at some professional transparency.
You can register to hear Nancy and, you know, attend an awards ceremony

I'm going to have to fix myself up a bit for this, in case it's a Zoom event where you may be seen by others (versus a webinar where you're not ), because I'll actually know some of the other audience members.


Monday, May 17, 2021

The Young Readers Edition Of A "Scary but True Story of the Poison that Made People Glow in the Dark"

Years ago, The Horn Book did a special issue on history books for children, describing how in days of old, such books were often children's versions of adult books while these days original historical
research and writing is being done for the children's audience. I can find neither my blog post on the subject nor links to The Horn Book articles I recall. Hey, but it happened.

My recollection of that Horn Book material lead me to pick up The Radium Girls: Young Readers' Edition, The Scary But True Story of the Poison that Made People Glow in the Dark by Kate Moore. It's the 'young readers' edition of her book, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women. Both books might be described as horror history about the horrendous illnesses and early deaths among women painting clock faces with radium so their numbers would glow in the dark. They died or lived, some of them, seriously compromised lives so people could read a clock without turning on a light.

This is an important story not just because of the misery endured, but because of the impact these women's experience had on labor law. And because many of these women were, indeed, adolescent girls when they began working in the factory that's practices killed them, you can definitely see why this story would be of interest to younger readers.

I read the YA version and skimmed sections of the adult version, trying to determine how the two books are different. 

  • I had trouble keeping the different women covered in this work apart. The things that happened to them were terrible, but they tended to be a blur of terribleness for this reader. In skimming the adult version, I think there was more detail, something that would have helped with my reading problem.
  • Some of these women had children over the course of the period covered. A couple of times I did briefly wonder when that happened or how, given their illnesses. While skimming the adult version I came upon a woman suffering severe gynecological problems. It came up in another area, as well. I don't believe any of that made it into the young readers' version. So could we say sex was cut for the young?
  • In the adult version, a major player's wake and funeral are covered quite extensively, including a painful scene involving her young children. That doesn't appear in the young readers' version. Death certainly isn't left out of this book, as one woman after another dies. But what might be described as the survivors' experience of death was.
  • The young readers' version had photographs. I didn't see any in the adult version. 
  • The title change is interesting. The adult book is called  The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women, suggesting the women involved will be the focus of the story. The young readers' version is called The Radium Girls: Young Readers' Edition, The Scary But True Story of the Poison that Made People Glow in the Dark, suggesting the radium will be the focus of the story. I didn't notice the subtitle until after I read the book. I definitely didn't feel it had been about radium, and my skimming of the adult book suggests that the major difference between the two is material that was dropped, not a shift in subject matter. What was the purpose of the title switch? To try to make the book less threatening by trying to put the burden of the story on the radium rather than the women whose lives it destroyed?

The writing style isn't difficult, so if I were a teacher, I'd recommend teenagers just go ahead and read the adult book. I don't know at what point even younger readers start reading material like this, though I saw a couple of reviews at Amazon that said children as young as 8 and 9 have read the young readers' version.

While reading The Radium Girls, I began to wonder if it was history or a journalistic treatment of an event that occurred in the past. Sadly, I am not knowledgeable enough to answer the question.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Some Virtual Opportunities

Here are some opportunities to see a number of children's literature authors--sometimes more than one at a time--from the comfort of your home. Choose appropriate snacks for the time of day. NOTE: I will add additional May dates to this post, as I come upon them.

The Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton, Massachusetts is featuring the following events. All can be accessed at the store's event page. Scroll down to look for them. 

  • Wed., May 12 Virtual Paperback Launch for Debbi Michiko Florence and Jo Knowles 7:00 to 8:00 PM ET
  • Thurs., May 13 Math-Joy Picture Book Spectacular. Rajani LaRocca, Sara Levine, and Carrie Finison 7:00 to 8:00 PM ET
  • Wed., May 19 Adventures in Middle-Grade Three-Author Event. Rebecca Caprara with Kaela Rivera and Sam Subity 7:00 to 8:00 PM ET
  • Sat., May 22 Saturday Morning Story Time. Phaea Crede and Terry Runyan 10:00 to 11:00 AM ET
  • Thurs., May 27 Middle-Grade Author Event: Jenn Bishop, Laurie Morrison, and Tanya Guerrero 7:00 to 8:00 PM ET

John Green Tour, various bookstore sponsors, ticketed event. Tour supports his new book of essays.

May 19 Alyson Gerber and Jarrett Lerner, Best of Books, Edmond, OK 7:00 PM CT

May 20 Stuart Gibbs, Children's Book World, Los Angeles, Calif., 10:00 AM presumably Pacific Time  Pre-purchase required for individual registration

May 22 The Peter Panel, Aiden Thomas, Kayla Ancrum, A.C. Wise, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Martha Brokenbrough 7:05 PM ET

May 24 The Renegades of Middle Grade: James Ponti, Janae Marks, Stuart Gibbs, Sarah Mlynowski, Karina Yan Glaser, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT  7:00 PM

May 26 Abdul-Razak Zachariah, Norfolk Library, Norfolk, CT 4 to 5 PM ET