May, 2017

The Christopher Award! 

Blown away to have Ada's Violin awarded the 2017 Christopher Award for books, ages 8 and up. The medal is inscribed with the words "Better to Light One Candle Than to Curse the Darkness" and is given annually to books, movies and television shows "that affirm the highest values of the human spirit." Congratulations to all the other winners, including the children's book authors and illustrators of Baby Wren and the Great Gift; What Do You Do With a Problem; Ida, Always; Soar; and Unbound.

 



April, 2017

A Day to Remember

On April 6, ADA'S VIOLIN was awarded Bank Street's 2017 Flora Steiglitz Straus Award for children's literature, alongside Congressman John Lewis's MARCH and Caren Stelson's SACHIKO. The award is given anually to a "distinguished work of nonfiction which serves as an inspiration to young people." And I got to meet illustrator Sally Wern Comport for the first time!

 

As a long-time devotee of Bank Street, this recognition means the world to me. Heartfelt thanks to the Children's Book Committee and congratulations to all the other winners. Find out more here

 

P.S. It wasn't until I got home that I discovered that LEAPS AND BOUNCE and MISSION: BACK TO SCHOOL were also listed in Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year

 

 



March, 2017

Diving into a New Book

Working 24/7 on a thrilling new project. More news when I come up for air! 



February, 2017

Bluebonnet Books

ADA is nominated for the 2017-2018 Texas Bluebonnet Award. Thank you, Texas librarians and kids, and congrats to all. I've read a bunch of these and can't wait to check out the rest!

 



January, 2017

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! 



December, 2016

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

 



November 2016

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

 

NerdCamp!

I went to my first NerdCamp in Long Island and what a great day it was! 

 

 

 

 

 

 



October 2016

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.

 



September 2016

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. 

 

 

 

 



August 2016

SCBWI SUMMER MEETUP

Thanks, Michaela MacColl, for organizing this end of summer SCBWI meetup—a pot-luck supper on the beach. With authors Laura Toffler-CorrieSari BodiSarah AlbeeChristine PakkalaMaryJo ScottSusan Ross and new friends. 



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