Newbery award winner and New York Times bestselling author

Posts tagged ‘Lucinda Whitehurst’

ALA Midwinter in Philly

Just a quick hello from ALA Midwinter in Philly, where I have re-learned how to walk for miles in six-degree weather. Ice, slush, cold toes, runny nose…I’d almost forgotten what it feels like to live in a place that keeps moving regardless of the weather.

As I ride home on the Amtrak, I’m feeling so grateful for some of these favorite moments:

Gigi, Meg, and ABSetting out on the train with two of my dearest writing friends, A.B. Westrick and Gigi Amateau. The whole train was filled with librarians. (I’m looking at you Lucinda Whitehurst, among others!) It had a Hogwarts sort of feel to it.

We decided to stay in a Bed and Breakfast instead of a standard hotel. Cheaper and cooler, in my book. We were at Casa Buono in the Italian section of Philly.  The view from my window.View from Casa Buona on 10th St in Philly

Kat, Dana, and Laura- the goddesses of The Virginia Shop hauled all their quirky literary wares to the Convention Center, fought for parking spots, and kept us all laughing. Here they are during our wonderful Asian dinner at Sampan on S. 13th Street. I also enjoyed a great meal at the Candlewick Press Family Ho-down at Supper (South Street) on Friday night. (Thanks again, Andie!)Laura, Dana, and Kat The Virginia Shop

Jen Delgado of DelawareNo kidding: I met Jen Delgado from Delaware. (No relation, THANK GOD to Yaqui!)

Babe Conquers the WorldAlways cool to see books by friends. Here are the galleys for Sandra and Rich Wallace’s new novel, BABE CONQUERS THE WORLD (Cawkins Creek/Highlights). Fans of strong girls and sports should look for it in March 2014.

Had a chance to meet with so many young people, bloggers, and librarians who had stories to tell me about YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS. A big thanks to the hong people reading and to the librarians who are courageously dealing with “adults with raised eyebrows.”  Here I am with Kim McCallister, Liberty Middle School in Mechanicsville, VA.Kim McCallister Liberty MS

Italian cookies as IsgroAnd what would a trip to Philly be without Italian cookies?  Isgro on Christian Street and 10th, was just a 7

Beloved Little Blogs

I had stopped by his roadside stand in Florida to admire the potted bougainvilleas. Their color caught my eye. Mine at home were skimpy on blooms despite fertilizers.“What’s the secret?” I asked the guy, dazzled.

“Plants are like beautiful women,” he explained in Spanish. “You have to neglect them a little to make them want to show themselves to you.”

Don’t worry. I didn’t buy a single plant from that imbecile.

Still, all these years later, I realize his silly theory might work just fine for blogs.

That’s because Marci Rich, blogger at Midlife Second Wife, selected my very often-neglected blog as one of her nominees for the Liebster Award. As far as I can tell, the Liebster is a love note-meets-chain-letter  for blogs. In getting this award, my blog was cheered on by Marci as one of her small time favorites (fewer than 200 followers) – and (best part) I get to pay it forward and pick 3 – 5 of my own favorite small blogs to announce. Like a lot of us, I read the larger blogs. A friend recently pointed me to Jane Friedman’s Being Human at Electric Speed, which is wonderful for writers. I also love Being Latino and Bicultural Mom, mostly for all the inside jokes and experiences that are shared. But this award is for the bitty blogs.

So, first and foremost, a big thanks to Marci Rich, for reading my blog and nominating it. And now….¡Atención señores! My favorites:

Gail Shepherd; Paradoxy 

Gail Shepherd and I worked briefly together as journalists in Florida, before either of us had turned to writing for children. Imagine our mutual surprise when we found each other making work for young people. Her blog is charming and full of great advice for writers in the trenches. If you’re in South Florida, especially, log in.

Gigi Amateau: If You Enjoyed Your Ride, Kiss Your Horse

I know nothing about horses, except that someone I admire loves them deeply. Still, that’s not why I am nominating Gigi Amateau’s blog. What I love about this blog is the expert way that Gig goes about building a community. Especially interesting are her interviews with people who are turning horse love into love for other people in the community.

Lucinda Whitehurst and Wilma Snyder: The Open Book Blog

Lucinda Whitehurst is a librarian extraordinaire, and she puts together this sweet quarterly newsletter and blog about children’s books with her mom, Wilma Snyder. It’s a mix of book reviews, author interviews, and cool updates on what a rock star librarian is doing. Lucinda would know. She is based in Richmond, VA, at St. Christopher’s School, and has served on the Caldecott Committee, among other nifty assignments.

Stacey Loscalzo:  Stacey Loscalzo’s Blog

Stacey is a one-woman encyclopedia of reading strategies — and a former teacher to my oldest daughter, who struggled terribly with learning. She is completely dedicated to unlocking even the most padlocked door to reading. She’s also a huge fan of children’s lit.  If you’re looking for ideas to spark your kid’s reading (backed up by experience and research), Stacey’s blog is a great place to start.

 Dawn McMullan:  Bring Back Dinner

Everyone should have a friend like Dawn McMullan. She travels to Africa to help victims of genocide, writes freelance for magazines and NPR, cheerfully accepts her children’s strange pet requests — and is devoted to food. For one year, she promised to have dinner with her family every night — all while educating her readers about Africa. Her blog is so readable and funny — what else could it be with a husband and two teenage sons in Dallas? She’s about to readjust the focus a bit, but I’d stay tuned. She never disappoints.

Congrats to my winners! Now it’s your turn to acknowledge the award and make your own selections. Please don’t forget to grab the Leibster button and feature it on your site.



A love letter to librarians

Tomorrow is National Library Worker’s Day. How are you celebrating?

By happy coincidence, I’ll be speaking at the spring conference of the Richmond Area Reading Council. RARC is a group of Virginia book lovers banded together across sixteen counties to celebrate books and get people reading. Naturally, librarians and teachers will make up most of the mix. Nice!

Hands down, there’s no edgier group than librarians. For a relatively new author like me, they’re my lifeline in a sea of splashy commercial titles. When they’re not battling censorship from the foolish, they’re figuring out how to stretch their measly budgets to bring living, breathing authors – big time and small — into the lives of kids.

To Lucinda Whitehurst and Shelly Dean. To Janet Craft and Cindy Ford. To Sue Van Tassell and all the rockin’ librarians who love books, writers and readers. To all of you who have so generously helped me get started, gracias.

So, how to celebrate? Let’s laugh. Here’s Betty White’s interpretation of the stereotype from The Middle. (If only BW made friends with a librarian, all her techno woes might be over!)