Monthly Archives: November 2009

Novels in verse, discovery drafts, writing music, & Skype

A few weeks ago in the advanced creative writing class that and I co-teach, one of our 7th grade girls had a question about writing novels in verse that stumped us. "Is it better for me to just write these poems as they come to me, do you think? Or should I have an outline […]

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GIANNA Z. Event at Books of Wonder in NY Sunday Dec. 6th!

This coming Sunday, December 6th, I’ll be in New York City signing copies of THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. with a whole group of 2009 debut authors from 1-3 at Books of Wonder. Here’s the official Facebook invitation in case you’d like to RSVP there…and by all means, feel free to pass along the […]

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Thankful for Books, Kids, and a pumpkin named Gianna Z.

Since I got home from NCTE Saturday night, I’ve been devouring books. This happens to me when I’ve just finished a big project (I turned in the final revision for SUGAR ON SNOW after an afternoon of work in a Philly coffee shop!) – I have a sudden need to go on a reading binge […]

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Holiday Book Recommendation: The Espressologist

I am a writer who is mighty attached to my mocha lattes…so when I heard about Kristina Springer’s YA debut, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST (FSG, 2009), I couldn’t wait to read it. The premise? A teenaged barista does some match-making with her customers, based on their favorite coffee drinks and ultimately, finds love of her own. This […]

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Stories and Standards: Pairing Fiction & Nonfiction (from NCTE)

On Friday afternoon, I was part of an author panel at NCTE on the topic "Stories and Standards: Pairing Fiction & Nonfiction" along with Loree Griffin Burns, Jenny Moss, and Tanya Lee Stone. We spoke about curriculum connections for our books and suggested other titles that would pair well with them in the classroom. Here’s […]

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A Post-NCTE Photo Wrap-Up

Saturday was my busy day at NCTE, starting with a morning book signing, then an interview about THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. for the ReadWriteThink podcast, lunch, and the Middle Level Mosaic, a highlight of the trip for me because I got to hear presentations from English teacher rock stars like Jeff Wilhelm, Nancie […]

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Blogging from NCTE: Day One 1/2

Our NCTE publisher dinner at Philadelphia’s Le Castagne was one of those nights a starry-eyed author never forgets. Friendly, book-loving people from NCTE, the International Reading Association, and Anderson’s Bookshop joined us at a big table behind a curtain, so we had our own little dining room. Since Jenny Moss and I were the guest […]

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Blogging from NCTE: Day One

This morning started with a walk to the Philadelphia Convention Center under sunny blue skies (Finally – yay!) to see the panel discussion called "Fractured Classics" about using well-known archetypes to create stories for middle grade and young adult readers. It included fellow Bloomsbury/Walker authors Shannon Hale and Suzanne Selfors as well as Malinda Lo […]

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Thursday at NCTE

Somehow, I managed to avoid all of today’s flight delay issues and arrive in Philadelphia safe, sound, and on time for NCTE. I spent the afternoon holed up in a coffee shop finishing up some last-minute revisions for SUGAR ON SNOW, which has officially gone to copy editing now. Woo-hoo! Just got back from a […]

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Packing for Philadelphia: My Schedule for NCTE

On Thursday, I’m flying to Philadelphia for NCTE. For my mom and other people who won’t immediately recognize the acronym, that’s the annual conference for the National Council of Teachers of English. It’s hard for me to even type this without bouncing just a little, because even though I’m an English teacher, I’ve never been […]

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