ROLLING STONE’S 40 BEST YA NOVEL


Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian – Sherman Alexie

Speak – Laurie Halse Andersen

Naughts and Crosses = Malorie Blackman

Forever – Judy Blume

Shipbreaker – Paolo Bacigalupi

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Ann Brashares

Beauty Queens – Libba Bray

The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Gingerbread – Rachel Cohn

The Hunger Games Series – Susan Collins

Vivian vs. the Apocalypse – Katie Coyle

(Vivian Apple at the End of the World)

Romiette and Julio – Sharon M. Draper

If You Could Be Mine – Sara Farizan

Monster – Walter Dean Myers

The House of the Scorpion- Nancy Farmer

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Born Confused – Tanuja Desai Hidier

The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton

Firecracker – David Iserson

The Summer Prince – Alaya Dawn Johnson

Alice, I Think – Susan Juby

Boy Meets Boy – David Levithan

Adaptation – Malinda Lo

Legend – Marie Lu

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen – Susin Nielsen

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix– J.K. Rowling

How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

Grasshopper Jungle – Andrew Smith

The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater

(You) Set Me on Fire – Mariko Tamaki

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

Uglies – Scott Westerfield

Miracle’s Boys – Jacqueline Woodson

I am the Messenger – Marcus Zusak

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Submit Your Manuscript to our New Voices Award Writing Contest


I will be the next NEW VOICES AWARD WINNER. I am speaking it into existence 😀

the open book

New Voices Award seal Summer is rapidly approaching and that means our New Voices Award Writing Contest is now open for submissions! Now in its fourteenth year, the New Voices Award was one of the first (and remains one of the only) writing contests specifically designed to help authors of color break into publishing, an industry in which they are still dramatically underrepresented.

Change requires more than just goodwill; it requires concrete action. We were heartened by First Book’s recent commitment to purchasing 10,000 copies of select books from “new and underrepresented voices.” Likewise, the New Voices Award is a concrete step towards evening the playing field by seeking out talented new authors of color who might otherwise remain under the radar of mainstream publishing.

Past New Voices titles include the award-winning picture books It Jes’ HappenedSixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story, and BirdMany winners of the New Voices Award have gone on to…

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In the Classroom: Rush Limbaugh’s Rush Revere and Other Books About the Pilgrims


Very interesting thoughts and perspectives.

educating alice

My 4th graders culminate a year of immigration studies with a close look at the story of the Mayflower passengers, aka the Pilgrims. I began teaching the unit years ago and  have enjoyed finding new material for the children every year. We have a great time reading primary sources like Mourt’s Relation  and end with a visit to the wonderful recreation of both the ship and settlement, Plimoth Plantation.  So I was curious when one of my students brought in Rush Limbaugh’s Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims for me to see. After all, I had heard that the author was a finalist for the Children’s Book Week Author of the Year Award due to the book’s high status on the best seller list (and this week was dubbed the winner).  And so I wondered — was the book any good?

Sadly, I have to concur with both the…

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Nonfiction Picture Book: Your Outline, The End


Did you get a satisfying ending? Check out these books and look at the suggestions by Nancy I. Sanders over at blogzone.

Blogzone

Now let’s spend time discussing the ending of your manuscript.

We’re going to take a closer look at each of our 3 picture book samples and focus on their endings.

For your own current project, just concentrate on the picture book you’ve chosen to follow for your format. But listen in on the other 2 books, too, so you can use this info in a future potential picture book project.

The Camping Trip That Changed America (slice of life)
On pages 26-27, Roosevelt asks how he can help. That’s the third change that signifies the close of the middle part of the story. It’s time for the ending of the story.
Pages 29-29 both men imagine a future where everyone owns the wilderness in America.
Page 30 Roosevelt passed laws to save the wilderness and created national parks.
Page 31 Both men lie underneath trees and their spirit protects our…

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Nonfiction Picture Book: Your Outline, The Middle


Mentor Text in the Middle of the Book. This is interesting. 😀

Blogzone

Now let’s spend time discussing the middle of your manuscript.

We’re going to take a closer look at each of our 3 picture book samples and focus on their middles.

For your own current project, just concentrate on the picture book you’ve chosen to follow for your format. But listen in on the other 2 books, too, so you can use this info in a future potential picture book project.

The Camping Trip That Changed America (Slice of Life)
From page 7 to 13, they are getting ready to visit the forest
In other words, they are moving through the first half of the middle toward the second change that happens at the middle of the story.
Page 8 Roosevelt takes a train trip.
Page 10 The two men meet.
Pages 11-12 They ride off together on their horses.

Then on pages 14 and 15, there is the second change…

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Nonfiction Picture Book: Your Outline, The Beginning


I am on this one week journey. I am in the research phase and found this post helpful. Thanks, Nancy :D. I am reblogging for others who want to take this journey with me.

Blogzone

Now let’s spend time discussing the beginning of your manuscript.

We’re going to take a closer look at each of our 3 picture book samples and focus on their beginnings.

For your own current project, just concentrate on the picture book you’ve chosen to follow for your format. But read the information on the other 2 books, too, so you can use this info in a future potential picture book project. And if you have your own sample picture book that you’re following for the format, hopefully you can adapt this to your unique project!

The Camping Trip That Changed America (Slice of Life)
Page 3: An introduction/overview of the 2 main characters, how they were different and had one thing in common and that’s what changed America (strong tie in to the theme).
Page 4: Introduces Roosevelt’s boyhood and family and his main accomplishment as an adult
Page 5:…

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Picture Book Writing Exercise


I am joining the Picture Book Celebration. Better late than never 😀

Blogzone

From time to time here on my blog this summer, I’ll be posting various suggestions for writing exercises you can do on your own or with your critique group to help improve your picture book writing skills. If you really want to dive into the world of picture books, you can even form your own mentoring group this summer like I did this past year.

Meet together or online in cyberspace 4 or 5 times to discuss favorite picture books you’re reading, evaluate picture books with the same picture book rubric we used in our group, and offer feedback on brand new picture book manuscripts you’re writing. Your picture book writing will never be the same!

PICTURE BOOK WRITING EXERCISE: POETIC DEVICES
Want to learn how to improve your picture book manuscripts by incorporating poetic devises into your writing so that your words spring to life? Try this exercise out…

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