Thirteen-year-old Zoey and her mom and three younger siblings live with a man named Lenny. He owns a nice trailer. He's bought her mom a new set of teeth. And he's bent on undermining any self-confidence that Zoey's mother ever had. From the first few pages, the reader is pulled into Zoey's world, an impoverished … Continue reading The Benefits of Being an Octopus – Review
I'm sure you have an opinion. What is the most ominous wintry scene in children's literature? CricketMuse argues that Edmund's encounter with the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia takes the prize, —while I argue that Jacob Marley's visitation of Scrooge has put the fear of miserliness into children for over 170 years. What … Continue reading The White Witch vs. Jacob Marley’s Ghost – Debatables
Litquake San Francisco, an annual literary festival comprising 850+ authors and hundreds of events in the span of 10 days, can be exhausting and daunting, but it can also be exhilarating and inspirational. I'm a co-producer of Kidquake, an event that draws 1,000 elementary school kids, their teachers, and chaperones to four assemblies and 10 … Continue reading Kidquake – Dream Big!
See that lighthouse? That was me at the Rutgers One-on-One Conference last year, a juried one-day event that pairs writers/illustrators with editors, agents and published authors. Fellow #kidlit author, Jennifer Prevost, just posted my rundown and tips about the conference. If you're wondering what it was like, or if you're thinking about applying, take a … Continue reading Guest Post – Rutgers One-on-One Conference
First, a confession. This post is not solely about picture books. For, while I am smitten by I am truly smitten by all the works of this writer, Michelle Cuevas. She tackles deep topics beautifully with a feather touch. On her website, she says that she mostly writes about people (and animals, shadows, space creatures...) … Continue reading The Town of Turtle – Perfect Picture Book Friday
Are you drooling yet? Go ahead, wipe your chin. I'll wait. Just in time for Halloween! A treatise on that treat of treats!!! To research this book about chocolate, Newquist suffered through chocolate tasting after tasting, from "Venice to Vietnam." I'm sure it was a horrible slog. Who isn't interested in chocolate? But, arguably, a … Continue reading The Book of Chocolate by H.P. Newquist
I've just spent some time reliving the first ten years of my childhood with the help of Deborah Wiles and the first two books of her stellar (and I mean STELLAR) 1960s trilogy. Although they feature middle grade age protagonists, I'd also say that these books would be instructive and interesting for high school and … Continue reading Countdown