Thanks so much for being a Cynsational reader!
I appreciate your enthusiasm for and interest in the world of books for kids and teens.
Breaking news: Effective immediately, Cynsations is going on summer hiatus until September.
In the meantime, you can keep up with children's-YA books news on my author facebook page and @CynLeitichSmith on Twitter.
See y'all in the fall!
|Recommended on the We are the People List|
Romanticizing Mental Illness by L. Lee Butler, S. Jae-Jones and Alex Townsend from Disability in Kidlit. Peek: "Ideally there would be plenty of stories within and outside of the perspectives of mental illness. Because lots of outsiders don’t really relate until they hear a story from the outside perspective."
Mary E. Cronin's Workshop on Gay (LGBT) & Questioning Characters in Middle Grade from Lee Wind at I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? Peek: "There may be GLBT people in the character’s family, or they may have no role models or reference points at all. These factors will have a huge impact on a character’s trajectory."
The Mystery of the Hardy Boys and the Invisible Authors by Daniel A. Gross from The Atlantic. Peek: "If writing seems like a lonely profession, try ghostwriting children's books."
How to Secure a Traditional Book Deal by Self-Publishing by Jane Friedman from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "By far, the No. 1 consulting request I receive is the author who has self-published and wants to switch to traditional publishing. Usually it’s because they’re disappointed with their sales or exposure; other times, that was their plan all along."
What Makes a Picture Book a Mega Hit? by Elizabeth Bird from School Library Journal. Peek: "With that in mind, today I’m going to talk about some of the top picture book blockbusters to come out in the last ten years. Please note that I’m avoiding picture books with TV or other media tie-ins. These are the folks who got where they are on their own merits."
Interview: Jackie Morse Kessler on the Riders of the Apocalypse Series by Katherine Locke and Alex Townsend from Disability in Kid Lit. Peek: "I’m a former bulimic, and I still have self-image issues. The protagonist Lisabeth is inspired by someone I knew when I was younger; she’d been a very close friend, and she was the one who introduced me to bulimia." Note: This series is highly recommended.
The Connection Between Emotional Wounds and Basic Needs by Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: "...she still feels the pain associated with the loss of her esteem and will subconsciously take steps to meet that need or make sure that it isn’t threatened again. Maybe she’ll throw herself into education, sports, or the arts as a means of gaining recognition for herself, since she feels unable to compete physically."
Emotional Wounds Thesaurus: A Parent's Abandonment by Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: "This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge."
One Tweet Reminds Us Why Judy Blume Was the Sexual Revolutionary We Needed by Kate Hakala from Connections.Mic. Peek: "The children and teens of Blume's books didn't only normalize sexuality for so many young kids, they illuminated the more embarrassing, secret parts of sex — the blood, the touching — that many readers were too afraid to bring up in school or to their parents."
Industry Q&A with Charlesbridge Editor Alyssa Mito Pusey from CBC Diversity. Peek: "When I was recently looking up Asian and Asian American biographies, I was shocked all over again at how little there is out there—Lee & Low seems to be the only publisher consistently putting out these books."
Children's Book Council to Receive BookExpo America's Industry Ambassador Award by Yolanda Scott from CBC Diversity. Peek: "While this is the first year that the award is being bestowed on an organization in place of an individual, BEA show organizers note that the Children’s Book Council’s work is both personal and special for its dedication to fostering literacy, diversity and education, making it eminently qualified to receive the award."
Case Cracked: The Process of Editing Mystery Novels by Stacy Whitman from Lee & Low. Peek: "...we discussed how the inciting incident—the moment that gets Claire to veer her course to investigating whether her father and her stepdad ever knew each other—might be complicated and how those complications would have a ripple effect that would improve multiple other plot points, and increase the pacing." See also: Wouldn’t You Like to Know . . . Valynne E. Maetani by Stacey Hayman from VOYA.
The Godzilla Effect: How Climaxes, Twists, and Turning Points Work (and How They Don’t) by Harrison Demchick from Project Mayhem. Peek: "The climax, then, is the inevitable result—eventually, the effect—of that incident two hundred or three hundred or however many pages ago. It needs to be an organic development of the story."
Six Tips from Six Years of School Visits by Chris Barton from Bartography. Peek: "If you’ve got multiple books, don’t assume that your host wants you to focus on your newest one. Your host might not know much about it, and in fact may have led their students to expect something else."
Breaking Barriers: Alvina Ling, Editor-in-Chief of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers from TaiwaneseAmerican.org. Peek: "...ideally we have a nice balance between books that may have award potential, and books that are more commercial and have bestseller potential (although books that are both are even more ideal!). We also don’t want to have all fantasy books or all historical fiction, for example, so I help guide our acquisitions process and identify needs and gaps to our editors to keep in mind as they are reading submissions and acquiring."
2015 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winners from School Library Journal. Peek:
"The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee (Simon & Schuster) has won the 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for best picture book, while Katherine Rundell’s Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms (Simon & Schuster) took best fiction title and Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Russia (Schwartz & Wade) was named best nonfiction book." See honor books and more information.
2015 South Asian Book Awards:
- Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Jamel Akib (Lee & Low, 2014).
- Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier (PUSH/Scholastic, 2014).
- signed copy of The Neptune Challenge by Polly Holyoke (Hyperion, 2015), plus glass dolphin pendant and earrings
- signed copy of The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2015)
- signed copy of Dress Me! by Sarah Frances Hardy (Sky Pony, 2015)
- Kissing in America by Margo Rabb (HarperTeen, 2015)
See also a giveaway of an author- and illustrator-signed copy of The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate (Eerdmans, 2015) from Fat Girl Reading.
This Week at Cynsations
- Author Ashley Pérez and Editor Andrew Karre on Book Covers, Challenging YA Boundaries & Out of Darkness
- New Voice Stephanie Lyons on Writing Edgy YA Lit, VCFA & Dating Down
- Helen Wang on Children's Book Translation
- New Voice: Laura Woollett on Big Top Burning: The True Story of an Arsonist, a Missing Girl, and The Greatest Show On Earth
|My Memorial Day view of Highway One; hang in there, Texas & Oklahoma!|
|At "Pretty in Pink" with authors Cory Putnam Oakes, P.J. Hoover & Mari Mancusi at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz.|
As all y'all can tell from my events listed below, I'm going to be coming and going for the next few months. I hope to see many of you on the road or here in Austin, and online you can catch up with me at my author facebook page and @CynLeitichSmith on Twitter.
Thanks again for being Cynsational readers!
Link of the Week: How Insane Amount of Rain in Texas Could Turn Rhode Island Into a Lake by Christopher Ingraham from The Washington Post.
Central Texans! Summer Road Trip Release Party: Join Margo Rabb (Kissing in America) and Liz Garton Scanlon (Great Good Summer) at 2 p.m. May 30 at BookPeople in Austin.
- Bad with Names
- "Supernatural" Parody
- "Scream Queens"
- New Alzheimer's Treatment
- 500 Fairy Tales Discovered in Germany
- Michael B. Jordan on Torching the Color Line
- Ann Meara: Way More Than Bill Stillers' Mother
- David Duchovny on the new "X-Files" script
- We Trust Children to Know Their Gender Until They Go Against the Norm
- A Coming Out Video You Should See
- Dolls Representing Kids with Disabilities
- Children's Books Turned into TV Shows
- The Missing Comma in "Yes Sir"
- Why Childhood Cancer Research Gets Shortchanged
- Oregon State Board of Education Rules Against Indian Mascots
- Why You Should Go to Movies (& Do Other Stuff) Alone
Join Cynthia at 11 a.m. May 30 in conjunction with the YA Book Club at Cedar Park Public Library in Cedar Park, Texas.
Cynthia will serve as the master class faculty member from June 19 to June 21 at the VCFA Alumni Mini-Residency in Montpelier, Vermont.
Cynthia will speak from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. June 28 on an Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) program--"We Need Diverse Books: How to Move from Talk to Action Panel"--at the 2015 Annual Conference of the American Library Association in San Francisco.
Join Cynthia from July 30 to Aug. 2 at GeekyCon in Orlando, Florida. See more information.
Cynthia Leitich Smith will lead a YA Writing Retreat for A Room of Her Own Foundation from Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
Cynthia will lead a breakout session on "Diversity in Children's and YA Literature" Aug. 22 at East Texas Book Fest at the Harvey Hall Convention Center in Tyler, Texas.
Cynthia will speak Sept. 19 at the Mansfield, Texas Book Festival.
Cynthia will speak Sept. 29 at Richardson Public Library in Richardson, Texas.