the category of "Young Adult Books"
I love stumbling on little-known stories that grab my imagination and sense of history. Those are the stories I turn into books, the tales of courage and achievement against the odds that deserve to be widely known.
When I started researching the Civil War, I wanted to find someone who had made a real difference. I read widely, about both the North and the South, and I learned that more than 400 women had disguised themselves as men and fought as soldiers for one side or the other. Women disguised as men? Definitely a promising story there!
To celebrate today’s release of Darth Paper Strikes Back, author Tom Angleberger talks about the perks being an author who inspires readers to get creative with origami.”
One of the best parts of being an author is hearing from kid readers. And, as School Library Journal Blogger Betsy Bird has noted, the Internet has really changed that since the days of Dear Mr. Henshaw.
See, I don’t just get letters from readers, I get origami! And with the Internet, a kid can email a photo of his or her origami and I can post it on origamiyoda.com for everybody to see.
We decided that we needed to celebrate the cover art of one of our amazing Amulet titles that’s just released. It’s called Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, and our in-house designer (and creative director) Chad Beckerman shared the various iterations of the cover on his blog. We’re excerpting a bit of his post here but feel free to jump to his blog to see more. I also highly suggest taking a look at author Jonathan Auxier’s blog, where he also discusses the cover evolution.
I began working with Bill as a young editor, after his editors Ann Durrell and Karen Lotz left Dutton. In our first conversation, I made the mistake of telling him I had read his books as a child. He was horrified. He hated to be reminded of his age, and brought up this gaffe for years after. He could be merciless and sharp-witted in this way, but also brilliant, hilarious, and much warmer and kinder than he let on to most. His work ethic was extraordinary, as his output of novels shows. He lived to write and wrote to the end. Though he hated getting old, to me he died much too young.
Summer is my favorite season. No doubt about it. I went to sleep-away camp for a million years and it’s still my favorite place on earth. I’d go back to camp now but it would probably be a little creepy for the other girls.
For me summer means sunshine, flip-flops, hot dogs on the grill, swimming pools and the beach. But it also means reading. I know kids usually grumble about summer reading but that’s because they don’t realize the beauty of it! One of my favorite things to do is go to bookstores in late May or early June and peruse their summer reading displays. They’re full of beach reads—stories about beach houses and summer loves and all that good stuff. I can’t get enough of it!
This past weekend, The Wall Street Journal published an article, titled “Darkness Too Visible,” criticizing contemporary young adult literature and what the author, Meghan Cox Gurdon, perceives as its dangerous and distorted depiction of life.
Within a few hours, the Internet was alight with infuriated responses from young adult authors, readers, librarians, and booksellers, many commenting via Twitter to the hashtag #YASaves about the life-saving importance of YA novels that look honestly and unflinchingly at real problems.
One of the books that Mrs. Gurdon calls out for its profanity and “pathologies depicted in gut-wrenching detail” is Shine by Lauren Myracle (Spring 2011), a novel about a hate crime in an impoverished Southern community…
Our childrens books division is abuzz with some exciting new young adult fiction this summer. We asked members of the childrens editorial team (Brett Wright, Jenna Pocius and Maggie Lerhman) to give us a list of their favorite YA summer reads from ABRAMS as well as a selection of titles from other publishers. Read on for our summer reading guide!
One of the best perks of my job is the chance to attend the librarian and teacher conferences that occur throughout the year. The list of reasons why is long; I could easily make a top ten list, but I’m going to narrow it down for this particular post:
1) I have the opportunity to visit new cities—and when I plan ahead—the chance to tack on a vacation day or two so I can do a little exploring.
2) I get the chance to meet the people who are actually reading our books!
Last week was one such opportunity. We traveled to sunny Orlando, FL for the International Reading Association (IRA) conference. We had a great show that included a featured speaker presentation by Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney, a mystery panel with authors Tom Angleberger, Michael Buckley, and Jack Ferraiolo, an inspiring presentation by Lauren Myracle and multiple author signings at our booth including Henry Cole, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Marissa Moss, Eric Velasquez and David Ward.
This is a small story that tiptoes up to a big subject.
In 2009, I went to Japan to visit the birth place of Manjiro, the protagonist of my historical fiction novel, Heart of a Samurai. I thought I was finished writing, but it turned out, and I knew it as soon as I got there, I was wrong.
So, sitting on the tatami floor at a friend’s home, which also happened to be a Buddhist temple, I spent some time rewriting, or, more often, staring out the window. I was supposed to be writing about this small boy who accomplished the impossible. It felt, however, that I had set myself an impossible task. “Spin straw into gold!” said the ugly little man in my head. It was all so messy and disorganized, a tangle of conflicting stories, a bunch of weedy chapters, some growing mossy from neglect—kind of like the garden in the back of the temple. Somewhere in that tangle of weeds back there, you knew there were the elegant bones of a traditional Japanese garden. Likewise, I knew that in my mess of notes and scribbles there was a good story, but it was all so. . .well, I felt like I needed a machete, not a pen.