Posted tagged ‘Young Adult Books’

African American History Month

February 21, 2019

The month of February is dedicated to African American History.

There are many wonderful fiction and nonfiction books available at your library and/or bookstore to help you celebrate this month.

Check out the website below for a list of books that includes picture books to young adult books.

100 Best Children’s Books for African American History Month

And don’t forget to check out the Coretta Scott King Award books for 2019.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award

A Few Red Drops

Coretta Scott King (Author) Honor Book Awards

Finding Langston

The Parker Inheritance

The Season of Styx Malone

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award

The Stuff of Stars

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Honor Book Awards

Hidden Figures

Let the Children March

Memphis, Martin, And The Mountaintop

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

Monday’s Not Coming

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award

Thank You, Omu!

Summer Reading

July 2, 2015

I’m beginning to compile a list of books for summer reading. They’re a combination of fiction/nonfiction from picture books to young adult. Then I’ll be off to the library.

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

The Magician of Auschwitz by Kathy Kacer

Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage by Alan Schroeder

A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Wishing you all a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Celebrate America!


“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

Newbery Hopefuls

January 29, 2015

Crunch time is here. Next Monday, February second, the long-awaited Newbery and Caldecott Awards will be announced by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. I love this time of year. My anticipation is high as I await the results.

I have to admit that although I’m familiar with many of the titles that are contenders for the 2015 Newbery Award, I haven’t read as many as I would have liked. You may have noticed the January fifteenth post, addresses Caldecott hopefuls. Those are the books I’ve concentrated on in the past few months because picture books are my great love.

Below is my list of intriguing  books. Anyone of these could receive the 2015 Newbery Medal or a Newbery Honor Medal. Do you have a favorite?

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Boys of Blur by N. D. Wilson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Caminar by Skila Brown

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Curiosity by Gary Blackwood

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

GreenGlass House by Kate Milford, illustrated by Jaime Zollars

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin

Nest by Esther Ehrlich

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights Steve Sheinkin

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Saving Lucas Briggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague

The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina by Rodman Philbrick

Do you have any other suggestions?

Tips from a Writing Conference

April 18, 2013

Once again, SCBWI-Iowa hosted another fantastic conference. The members of the Iowa chapter are not only extremely talented, but they are some of the nicest people I’ve met. This year’s theme was “The Sky’s the Limit,” and I’m still flying high from an overload of valuable information from a very knowledgeable group of speakers.

Take a look at this lineup!

Bonnie Bader- Editor-in-Chief, Warne & Early Readers Grosset & Dunlap, a Division of Penguin Young Reader

Patti Ann Harris- Senior Art Director, Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Stephanie Pitts- Assistant Editor, Schwartz & Wade, Random House

Jennifer Mattson- Literary Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Rebecca Janni- Author from Iowa

Alice McGinty- Author from Illinois

Pat Zietlow Miller- Author from Wisconsin

Here are a few tips from the speakers at the conference.

Picture books are back! Yes, after a few slow years, editors are looking to acquire picture book manuscripts once again. Here’s what editors want in the picture book genre:  Short books 250-500 words, clever concepts, humor, unique voice, and character-driven books. Think visually. Now get to work on a new manuscript or dust off a manuscript you filed away and write something amazing!

There is a need for leveled readers to go along with the Core Curriculum Standards. If you are thinking in terms of writing a series, there must be a hook and you must have at least three story ideas. Each book should have a catchy title and must stand alone. Nonfiction is also being considered for the leveled readers.

Oral pitches should be no longer than thirty seconds. Take a look at Jill Esbaum’s (Iowa author) post from for crafting a one sentence synopsis or “elevator pitch.”

In the YA category, contemporary realistic fiction is the trend. Zombies and paranormal are out for now.

When writing, word choice, language, style, voice, and pacing are key.

A note on cover letters:  They should be short and concise – no frills! If you’ve been published and are an SCBWI member, include that information.

Writing conferences are beneficial. If you have the opportunity to attend one – go! You come away with new friends and worthwhile information.

Happy writing!

Banned Books Week – 30 Years of Liberating Literature

October 4, 2012

We’re nearing the end of Banned Books Week, but it’s never too late to speak up for the freedom and right to read. So get on the “banned” wagon while there’s still time.

I’ve included a few websites I found to be useful and informative.

Timeline: 30 Years of Liberating Literature

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out!

Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century

Frequently challenged Books of the 21st Century

A Family that Reads and Reviews Together

Judith Krug Fought Ban on Books

Banned Books Boards on Pinterest

Reading for Sanity:  A Book Review Blog:  Banned Books Week 2012

17 Banned Books You Read As A Child (or may have)

Pictured are some children’s books that stand proudly in our library that have been banned or challenged. The reasons run the gamut, including nudity, profanity, sexual situations, inappropriate, frightening, animals that use human language, racially offensive, unruly behavior, magic and witchcraft, lewd and twisted, violent, and sexually explicit language.

Celebrate Banned Books Week and the freedom and right to read. Read a banned/challenged book today!

%d bloggers like this: