ADA'S VIOLIN just won a Flora Steiglitz Straus Award from the Bank Street Center for Children's Literature, alongside Congressman John Lewis's MARCH and Caren Stelson's SACHIKO. The award is given annually to "a distinguished work of nonfiction which serves as an inspiration to young people." As a long-time fan of Bank Street, this recognition means the world to me. Heartfelt thanks to the Children's Book Committee!
Mock Caldecotts and Siebert Smackdowns
Every year teachers around the country get their kids buzzing about books and the ALA Youth Media Awards (held at the end of January) by holding their own mock competitions. Author Melissa Stewart explains how it works in this blog post and teacher Michele Knott talks about how these projects enourage young readers to look through a critical lens. Thanks for sharing these photos with me and congrats to all the winners!
Happy Holidays to All!
Best Books of Year Lists
Love this time of year when everyone looks back at the books published in the past 12 months and remembers the ones that wowed us; the ones that made us giggle, shed a tear, or mull over a big idea; the ones we couldn't wait to share with kids. So many riches in 2016! I have more favorites than I could possibly name, but here are two picture books I thought broke the mould:
And when one of your own books makes a Best Book of the Year list? What a gift! Thanks to these sites for including ADA'S VIOLIN on your lists:
International Reading Association: Notable Books for a Global Society 2017
NCTE Orbis Pictus Award: Recommended Book for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children
New York Public Library: 100 Best Books for Kids 2016
Center for the Study of Multicultural Studies: Best Books of 2016
California Reading Association: Eureka Excellence in Nonfiction Gold Medal
SLJ and Fuse 8's 2016 Nonfiction Picture Books selected by Betsy Bird
The 2016 Nerdies: Nonfiction Picture Books
All the Wonders: Best of 2016 Nonfiction Picture Books
So You Want to Write a Children's Book
Another highlight of the month was this sold-out, full-day workshop hosted by the Fairfield Public Library in Fairfield, CT. Kudos to Town Librarian Karen Ronald and her staff and especially to event organizer (and children's book illustrator) MaryJo Scott for a fabulous day!
Jennifer Thermes, Deborah Freedman, me, Karlin Gray, Tracy Newman.
Not pictured: Ann Rockwell, Lizzy Rockwell
Michaela MacColl, Ann Haywood Leal, Christine Pakkala,
Susan Ross, Elise Broach, Tony Abbott, Nora Raleigh Baskin,
and Moderator Susannah Richards
THE FIX-IT MAN DEBUTS NOVEMBER 8
Illustrator Arree Chung and I had a great time collaborating on this book about Joshua James and his sister Sophie—two pint-sized builders who use creative problem-solving to rid the house of a stinky problem. School Library Journal says, "VERDICT: Pair with Andrea Beaty’s Ada Twist, Scientist for a terrific session on the trial and error of tinkering and problem-solving. A recommended general purchase." Perfect for tiny tinkerers who love MakerSpaces, THE FIX-IT MAN has been chosen as the book of the month at My Book Box.
I went to my first NerdCamp in Long Island and what a great day it was!
HOORAY FOR READ-ALOUD DAY!
Anyone reading the New York Times lately knows that Bridgeport, CT, schools are sadly neglected. One organization that has been trying to change that for the past 30 years is the School Volunteer Association, which hosts a city-wide Read-Aloud Day each October.
More than 650 volunteers go into the classrooms to share a love of reading and donate copies of the selected books. I'm humbled to have ADA'S VIOLIN selected as the fifth grade book, among fantastic reads by Sophie Blackhall, Beth Ferry, Doug Florian, Heather Lang, Nicola O'Bryne, and Patricia Polacco.
ADA AND THE RECYCLED ORCHESTRA COME TO NEW YORK!
Thrilled to finally meet Ada Ríos, Favio Chávez, and the kids of the Recycled Orchestra in person when they came to New York City for the premiere of the Landfill Harmonic documentary film. After playing for the United Nations and being interviewed by CBS and NPR, the orchestra joined me for a school visit in the Bronx.
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Warwick Children's Book Festival
West Harrison, NY
Details to come!
Chappaqua Children's Book Festival
West Harrison, NY
Details to come!