Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hugs, Flags, and Award-Winning Sandwiches: A Visit to Birmingham Schools

This has been a whirlwind of a week for me so far in all of the best ways.  I spent three days as a visiting author in the Birmingham, Michigan School District, hanging out with amazing readers at Pierce, West Maple, and Quarton Elementary Schools. On Monday morning, the Pierce kids and their librarian DaNita […]

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Diversity in KidLit: Update to THE GREAT GREENE HEIST challenge!

I’ve spent the past two days at school visits just outside Detroit, talking with kids about books & writing, and talking with their teachers and librarians, too. One thing I’m hearing over and over?  We need more diverse books for our students. CAPTURE THE FLAG, the first book in my Silver Jaguar Society mysteries with […]

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More Than Words: A challenge for everyone who’s been asking for more diversity in kids’ books

There’s been a lot of talk lately on social media about diversity in the children’s literature community, and it is wonderful to see so many people asking for more of it. Authors, illustrators, readers, teachers, and librarians have had a lot to say about events like ReedPOP’s homogenous all-star panel of children’s literature “luminaries” proposed […]

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The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

I am really excited for this book to come out next month. THE GREAT GREENE HEIST by Varian Johnson is an Ocean’s-Eleven-esque middle school heist novel, with a cast of characters that I love more than any I’ve met in a long, long time. There’s Jackson Greene, the smart, charming eighth grade athlete and con […]

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Extraordinary Warren by Sarah Dillard

I still remember when my daughter and I read our first graphic novel in Jennifer and Matthew Holmes’ BABYMOUSE series six or seven years ago. We read all of them together, passed them back and forth, and laughed like crazy. There are just a handful of other graphic novels for this age group that share […]

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Shark Valley: An Everglades Bike Ride

When I was researching my science thriller WAKE UP MISSING, I spent a lot of time exploring the Florida Everglades, where the story is set. With my notebook, camera, and usually at least one of my kids, I went kayaking with alligators and hiking in some of Florida’s most gorgeous, remote (and also snake-filled) wilderness. […]

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Thank you, Texas Librarians!

I enjoyed a whirlwind trip to Texas this week for the annual Texas Library Association Convention in San Antonio. I was ion the ground in the Lone Star State for all of 16 hours and made every one count. View from my hotel window – Good morning, San Antonio! My writing buddy on the hotel […]

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Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt

I read some great books on my airplanes to and from the Texas Library Association Convention in San Antonio this week. On the way to Texas, I finished UPSIDE DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, a heartbreakingly wonderful Hurricane Katrina story from Julie Lamana. I loved this book & reviewed it here. On the return […]

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Owning Our Words: Gatekeepers and Gender in Children’s Books

When I was teaching seventh grade English, one of the most important things I ever taught my students was this: Words are powerful. We own the words that come out of our mouths, and we own the impact those words have upon the world and the people around us. So use your words well.  Use […]

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Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere

I finished Julie Lamana’s UPSIDE DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE on the plane to the Texas Library Association Convention this week, and  I have two things to say about this book up front. 1. I loved it. 2. But the ending killed me. Here’s why…on both counts. I’ve always had a fascination with natural […]

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