Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What a Girl Wants: Detective Stories

The next installment of Colleen Mondor's "What a Girl Wants" panel interview series is up at Chasing Ray. It's an awesome discussion! Today we're talking about the role of the girl detective in YA literature. Nancy Drew? Agatha Christie? Hermione Granger?

Pop over to the forum and weigh in with your own thoughts.

Missed our introductions? Meet the panelists, and our favorite books, here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Spicy Reads Review

An awesome new review of The Rock and the River is up at My Road Trip ( The reviewer, Ed Spicer, put in some great reflections about how the book affected him and sparked memories of his own experiences in 1968. Excellent commentary! And it's not just about the book, so even if you already read The Rock and the River, it's totally worth checking out.

Sneak Peek:

"In the late sixties and early seventies the United States saw the rise of the Black Panther Party in Chicago. In my neighborhood, the Black Panther Party was imbued with a certain amount of awe mixed with terror. We saw Blacks on the street and we locked our car doors. We took an exceptionally long time to really look at a Black like Huey Newton and really try to understand what he is saying and why he is saying it."

Sneak Peek 2:

"Magoon’s book is an excellent fictional depiction that captures the fierce debate within the black community about how to end the systematic degradation and humiliation of black people in America. What I like about this book is that it gives readers, even old white readers like me, an insight into the human cost of protesting."

Wanna read the rest? (Yeah, you know you do.) CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What A Girl Wants, What A Girl Reads

The "What a Girl Wants" interview series has launched over at Chasing Ray.

Today we're talking about what we read as tweens/teens that most impacted us.

Check it out!

And then join the discussion in the comments section. This is really fun. I'm thrilled to be a part of this fabulous group of writer women!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

CCBC Book Discussion - June 24

For anyone in the Madison, Wisconsin area:

The Rock and the River will be discussed as part of the Cooperative Children's Book Center's June Book Discussion at UW-Madison.

Follow this link for more details. If you're in the area, it sounds like it could be interesting!

Monday, June 8, 2009

What A Girl Wants

Colleen Mondor, of Chasing Ray , is hosting a brand new, exciting round table of women authors talking about "What a Girl Wants."

It launches later this week, and I'll be participating!

Here's a sneak peek at Colleen's introduction to the conversation:

"I've been a bit bothered for awhile now about the kind of books being published for teen girls. As anyone who reads YA titles knows, there are a lot more books for girls out there than boys.... But for girls, I can't help but think that while there are a lot of books with female protagonists, there are not a lot of books with diverse female protags.... For every Dewey (courtesy Ellen Klages) or Rose (courtesy Hilary McKay) you have to wade through a lot of mean girls. And don't even get me started on how difficult it is to find minority characters or GBLTQ characters in teen girl fiction. I've written about all of this before but what I'd really like to hear now is what other people think about the current status of books for teen girls and what it says about both what they want to read and what publishers think they want to read."

Curious? Intrigued? Check out the full post on Chasing Ray.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Interview on The Chocolate Pages Show

Thursday evening I was interviewed on Blog Talk Radio, for Pam Perry's The Chocolate Pages Show.

You can listen to the podcast here. The show's a hour long, and I'm not the only guest, so my part doesn't start until around 28:00, if you care to fast forward. I'm on for about half an hour. The other guest is Larry Jemison, and the topic is how to inspire youth, so if you have the full hour at your disposal, listen to it all!

Someday, if and when my latent technological savvy kicks in, I'll try to post a briefer version that is just the highlights.......

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

As If BEA Wasn't Enough...

Last night I got to give a copy of The Rock and the River to Ms. Phylicia Rashad.

I handed her a signed copy, and she looked at it, then asked me to personalize it.

I was over the moon.

Enough said.

Monday, June 1, 2009

More on BEA

Ok, you've been waiting for the juicy details of my weekend at Book Expo America.....

It was AWESOME! I met tons of cool and interesting people: authors, teachers, librarians, publicists -- lots of industry folk. I told them all about The Rock and the River, and I collected bunches of books and information in exchange. At BEA, publishers give out books and galleys (advanced copies) like candy.

Check out my haul: a whopping 74 books!

Lugging all that home was not a pretty picture. Luckily it was a three-day conference. Luckily, too, it was in my town, so I didn't have to pay for any shipping.

I even got my hands on the highly anticipated, highly coveted galley of Catching Fire, the sequel to Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. Yum. Cannot wait to dive into that one!

I'll post later to highlight more of the books I managed to snag. The concept of receiving advance galleys may have spoiled me for ever again waiting until the books I want to read actually hit shelves. Sigh.
I met a few writers who I've been reading since I was a teen myself, and picked up copies of their latest books -- Sharon Draper (Sassy), Walter Dean Myers (RIOT), and Katherine Paterson (The Day of the Pelican). I also met some favorites who I've discovered as an adult -- Sara Zarr (Once Was Lost), Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan - a fellow Aladdin author!), Elizabeth Scott, Michelle Knudsen (The Dragon of Trelian) and Elizabeth Bluemle (Dogs on the Bed).
S&S didn't have The Rock and the River on display (so I brought my own promotion materials!), but as I was wandering around the expo, I noticed that the publisher of my non-fiction books had a display up that included some of my titles. Very cool!

My close friend and colleague Bethany Hegedus was signing copies of Between Us Baxters. She looked awesome at the tall signing table where they seated her. Every last book got snagged up. She was in demand!

I blog at CHICKS ROCK! on Mondays, so take a look over there to read about my dazzling encounter with Olivia, star of the picture book OLIVIA, by Ian Falconer. I won't deny it -- it was a highlight of the whole weekend.
All in all, the Book Expo was a wonderful and dynamic event. I was thrilled to be a part of all that book-walking, book-talking action!