News

New Year, New Books, New Events

With 2018 underway, our clients are releasing new books and speaking at new events. Here’s their latest news:

BOOK RELEASES

Harper Lee's typewriter by Curious City
Harper Lee’s typewriter, created by Curious City for ALABAMA SPITFIRE

Bethany Hegedus‘ highly acclaimed picture book biography ALABAMA SPITFIRE: THE STORY OF HARPER LEE AND TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Balzer & Bray, Jan 23, 2018) is available for pre-order. When ordered through BookPeople in Austin, you’ll receive a signed copy by Bethany and illustrator Erin McGuire along with a beautiful handprinted serigraph of Harper Lee’s typewriter, handmade by Curious City. Order by Feb 10, 2018 to guarantee a signed copy.

Erica S. Perl’s middle grade novel All Three Stooges was released on Jan. 9, called “An unforgettable coming-of-age story about comedy, loss, and friendship for fans of Jennifer L. Holm and Gary D. Schmidt” by publisher Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. “Spoiler alert: This book is not about the Three Stooges. It’s about Noah and Dash, two seventh graders who are best friends and comedy junkies. That is, they were best friends, until Dash’s father died suddenly and Dash shut Noah out. Which Noah deserved, according to Noa, the girl who, annoyingly, shares both his name and his bar mitzvah day.”

Illustrator Larry Day‘s newest picture book with Kay Winters, VOICES FROM THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, released Jan. 10. From the creators of VOICES FROM THE OREGON TRAIL and COLONIAL VOICES comes an unflinching story of two young runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad, told in their voices and those who helped and hindered them

AWARDS AND HONORS

What Girls Are Made OfElana K. Arnold’s YA novel WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Fiction.

The sequel to Elana’s A BOY CALLED BAT also has been selected as a Junior Library Guild book! BAT AND THE WAITING GAME will be on shelves on March 27 and is available for pre-order.

Mitali Perkins has received a 2018 Walter Honor from We Need Diverse Books for her YA novel YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR.

APPEARANCES

Melanie Crowder spoke of the story behind her recent YA novel AN UNINTERRUPTED VIEW OF THE SKY on Colorado Public Radio on Jan. 12.

Our clients will be at Denver’s first Children’s Festival of Stories! The event, which was designed and organized by The Booking Biz Associate Agent Sarah Azibo, will bring more than 30 authors and illustrators to the city center to engage with young readers, parents, librarians and educators March 16-18. Activities include storytimes, readings, illustration demonstrations and unique creation stations for attendees. An Evening of Story will be held for librarians and educators, and a World of Workshops offered for aspiring artists and writers of all ages. Among the speakers are Melanie Crowder, Pablo Cartaya, Elaine VickersMiriam Busch, Sarah AronsonAmmi-Joan Paquette and Emily Arrow, who will be offering special rate school visits in the area March 12th-16. Visit www.denvercfos.com for more festival information and contact The Booking Biz to arrange a school visit with these presenters.

 

 

2018 Bookish Resolutions

The new year has started, and at The Booking Biz, we hope 2018 is bringing you all good things–including lots of wonderful books!

A new year is also a good time for changes, resolutions, and making the world better. Books can help.

Inspired by their own books, our clients are sharing their own resolutions. What are yours?

Maybe a FoxKathi Appelt, author of MAYBE A FOX

My New Year resolution is to consider more fully the angels in my life and to focus on them. In fact, focus is going to be my “word of the year.” In writing and in life.

Sarah Aronson, author of THE WISH LIST

The problem with resolutions is that I can never choose just one! Just like the fairy godmothers of THE WISH LIST, I am going to have a year filled with kindness, determination, and gusto. I want to share the sparkle–with readers and writers. I hope that 2018 will be a year filled with lots of happy beginnings, middles, and of course ever afters!

 

Molly B. Burnham, author of the TEDDY MARS series

My resolution is to open myself up to my full purpose, potential, and possibility, just like the dog in my upcoming book, who learns that she is capable of so much more than she thinks a dog can do.

Miriam Busch, author of RAISIN, THE LITTLEST COW

My New Year’s resolution? Perspective, perseverance, and play!

Voices From the UndergroundLarry Day, illustrator of VOICES FROM THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

My New Year Resolution is to support teachers and librarians for their hard work and empowering children with the courage and freedom to explore new subjects.

Janet Fox, author of THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE

My New Year resolution is to help all children believe that love will win.

Liz Garton Scanlon, author of ANOTHER WAY TO CLIMB A TREE and the upcoming KATE, WHO TAMED THE WIND

I resolve to get outside and love the Earth like she loves me!

Bethany Hegedus, author of the upcoming ALABAMA SPITFIRE: THE STORY OF HARPER LEE AND TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

My 2018 resolution is to #beaspitfire, sharing with kids and adults how we can all live lives of our own design. How we can all tell the stories we were born to tell. And that, most of all, childhood matters.

Dianna Hutts Aston, author of A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT

My resolution today and every day is to inspire children to seek their dreams with courage and perseverance…and along the way, stop often to smell the wildflowers, listen to the trees, and grow strong on the fruits of the earth.

Uma Krishnaswami, author of THE GRAND PLAN TO FIX EVERYTHING

Two-fold New Year resolution: 1) to read my draft as if I were a stranger to it, and 2) revise like a sculptor looking for the story’s hidden shape.

Lindsey Lane, author of EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN

My New Year Resolution is to live into the mystery where anything can happen. Anything.

Feral NightsCynthia Leitich Smith, author of the FERAL series

My New Year’s resolution is to lift up and empower new and underrepresented voices.

Carmen Oliver, author of BEARS MAKE THE BEST READING BUDDIES

This January, my husband and I jetted away for a couple days to explore the beauty of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and while exploring its wonder, I was reminded how important it is to take time to move and as Georgia O’Keefe said, “take time to look.” In 2018, I plan to make more time to do both and I invite you to do the same. My mom reminds me from time to time to stop and smell the roses, and this year, I’m going to do lots of moving, looking, and smelling. Thanks, Georgia and Mom.

Ammi-Joan Paquette, author of TRAIN OF LOST THINGS

My New Year’s Hope is that all the lost be found and that all the found be cherished–this year and beyond.

Penny Parker Klostermann, author of A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE

My New Year Resolution is to do all I can to encourage children to read happily ever after.

Mitali Perkins, author of YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR

My resolution is to cross borders of race, class, education, gender, politics, religion, and age to try and bring the distant near.

Another Kind of HurricaneTamara Ellis Smith, author of ANOTHER KIND OF HURRICANE and her upcoming ROSIE’S SHOES

My two New Year Resolutions are to make friends with people who seem to be different from me [like the characters in ANOTHER KIND OF HURRICANE] and to find the light inside myself so I can really know who I am, and to help other people find their own light too [like the characters ROSIE’S SHOES].

Caroline Starr Rose, author of RIDE ON, WILL CODY!

My resolution for this year is “Ride On!” When things are great, keep on trucking. When things are challenging, know they can’t last.

Javaka Steptoe, author/illustrator of RADIANT CHILD: THE STORY OF YOUNG ARTIST JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT

My New Year Resolution is to find more ways to be party of positive social change.

Paper Chains by Elaine VickersElaine Vickers, author of PAPER CHAINS

My New Year Resolution is to always remember that family, friendship, and stories are what link us all together.

Dianne White, author of GOODBYE BRINGS HELLO, which comes out on June 26

My wish for the New Year is to be brave and grateful, to “open the door” to new adventures and to encourage others to do the same.

Meg Wiviott, author of PAPER HEARTS

My New Year’s resolution is to strive to be brave and kind.

Interview: Uma Krishnaswami on Treadmills, Knitting, and P.G. Wodehouse

Uma Krishnaswami
Uma Krishnaswami

Uma Krishnaswami grew up in India with writing a distant thought. Now, she’s a writer of novels, picture books, short stories, poems and articles. Her books have been published in 11 languages and won numerous awards. She’s also a teacher, guiding future writers in sharing their own stories.

What’s Uma’s life like now? She told us…

Booking Biz: What does your average day look like?

Uma: I’m usually up early. Coffee. An hour of exercise, breakfast, and my day begins. No more than an hour to get correspondence and other business related tasks out of the way. Then I settle in to work. That means some combination of writing or revision, depending on what the current project needs. I work at a treadmill desk—sometimes standing, sometimes walking. The pace varies. I read at 1 mph, type at 0.5 and revise with the treadmill off. Longhand writing is all in the armchair with a notebook and a fountain pen. After about three hours with a couple of small breaks, I stop for lunch, then put in another four hours or so in the afternoon. Then it’s teatime, followed by an hour’s walk, whatever the weather. Rain? I just throw on the raincoat and head on out. That’s a working day, more or less. I try to keep weekends free. I find it helps to give my writing a chance to simmer on its own without my thinking directly about it. But when I’m working on a book, it’s always in the back of my mind, so in a way I’m always working.

Book Uncle and Me

Booking Biz: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do best?

Uma: I love to hike. We have a regional park close to the house and I walk a lot in there. I’m a knitter. I knit scarves and hats and socks and give a lot of them away. Knitting helps me revise, actually. I like to potter in the garden although I’m better at planting than maintaining, so everything always looks a little wild, which is okay. Finally, I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to be able to visit some amazing places in my life.

Booking Biz: Where do you get the inspiration for your books?

Uma: Everywhere. That sounds clichéd, but I don’t think that inspiration is necessarily a sparkling gold-tipped wand. For me, it comes more slowly, seeps into the mind and refuses to leave me alone. I try to keep myself open to ideas. When one shows up, I test it out by writing around it and asking questions about it. I do this in a notebook, in longhand, sometimes in different colored inks. When those thoughts begin to coalesce, that’s when I know that the idea has come to stay with me and I need to write through it to find a possible story.

Booking Biz: Did you always want to write books for children, or was there another career you wished for as a child?

Bright Sky Starry CityUma: Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself becoming a writer. I thought I wanted to be a doctor, then a lawyer, then a teacher, then an actor, then an artist. For a while the goal changed just about every day. But the thing is, I was a writer even then, without knowing it. I wrote constantly in response to things that happened to me. I made up stories. I wrote letters to authors. One of them, British comic writer P.G. Wodehouse, sent me a reply which I still have. I was every bit a writer, from the age of 6 when I wrote my first piece of fiction in green crayon on a wall. I just didn’t know that people like me (brown kids, in India) could imagine themselves as writers.

Booking Biz: If you ruled the world, what would it look like?

Uma: Oh I would be busy! Well, okay, first of all, I’m assuming that world-ruling comes with magical powers. So…here goes. I’d clean up the planet for starters. Mount Everest and the plastic in the ocean. I’d get rid of fossil fuels and adopt clean energy. And I’d clean up the halls of power. You couldn’t be a criminal and rule a country in my world. I’d see that children’s bodies and minds were nourished as they deserve. I’d honor the pursuit of knowledge. By that I mean knowledge across the arts and sciences, including the lifeways of indigenous people, keepers of the planet’s aboriginal cultures. I’d honor the abilities and accomplishments of women. I’d outlaw war and the kind of nationalism that comes at the expense of other people’s humanity. That’s the short list.

Booking Biz: A world of love and respect is a world we would love.

Read more about Uma Krishnaswami on her speaker page.

End of Year Good News

It has been a tremendous year of awards and recognition for all of our clients. But 2017 isn’t over yet! Here’s some more good news…

HONORS & AWARDS

Uninterrupted View of the SkyMelanie Crowder’s YA novel AN UNINTERRUPTED VIEW OF THE SKY and Elana K. Arnold’s WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF have been named Kirkus Best Teen Book of 2017.

Young adult novel YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR by Mitali Perkins is a Horn Book Best Book of 2017.

MUDDY: THE STORY OF BLUES LEGEND MUDDY WATERS, written by Michael Mahin and illustrated by Evan Turk, was named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2017.

BOOK DEALS

Larry Day
Larry Day

Larry Day will illustrate Bob Raczka’s picture book BEWARE!, about a bear and a bee who meet on uncertain terms but ultimately become friends. The story is told in words made up of only the five letters in the title. Publication is set for fall 2019 from editor Karen Boss at Charlesbridge.

Congratulations to all our speakers on their amazing work in 2017. We look forward to continuing to represent them next year.

Winter Recommended Reads 2017

Happy Holidays from The Booking Biz!

No time of the year is bad for reading, but with winter weather outside and time off from work, the holidays are a great time to read new books and give books to others. Here are some of our best recommendations for wonderful holiday reading:

PICTURE BOOKS

It’s great to introduce kids to the wonder of reading early. This winter, spend time with your youngest family with these amazing books.

Penguin's Christmas WishAuthor/illustrator Salina Yoon‘s holiday board book with PENGUIN’S CHRISTMAS WISH, in which the beloved character Penguin finds Christmas magic in unlikely places.

Tis the season for kindness, and BE THE CHANGE written by Bethany Hegedus and Arun Gandhi, illustrated by Evan Turkshares the kind wisdom of the Mahatma Gandhi. Such a great thing to be thinking about this time of year. You can reflect and be the change you wish to see in the new year.

MUDDY: THE STORY OF BLUES LEGEND MUDDY WATERS written by Michael Mahin and illustrated by Evan Turk celebrates the music that would inspire rock and roll.

Elf in the House

The excitement of Christmas Eve is the subject of the GHOST IN THE HOUSE follow-up ELF IN THE HOUSE, written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Adam Record.

Story is at the heart of how we learn, grow and entertain, and in Adam Lehrhaupt‘s THIS IS A GOOD STORY, illustrated by Magali Le Huche, story is broken down so readers can build it back up.

Emily Arrow offers up kidlit tunes celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and winter in her new WINTERTIME SINGALONG CD (and kazoo!), with songs inspired by CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, THE POLAR EXPRESS and others.

CHAPTER BOOKS AND MIDDLE GRADE

Here are some of our winter favorites for kids of every age … including adults.

The WIsh List Book TwoEveryone wants wishes to come true, and Sarah Aronson‘s THE WISH LIST series from Scholastic is just that.

For an inspirational story encouraging girl empowerment, we love STEP UP TO THE PLATE, MARIA SINGH by Uma Krishnaswami.

Reading is fun during dark, spooky nights, and Janet Fox‘s THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE is an historical fiction adventure with ghosts and creepy characters.

Written by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee, MAYBE A FOX tells a beautiful, heart-warming tale that’s a great read by a roaring fire.

The Epic Fail of Arturo ZamoraPablo Cartaya‘s THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA is filled with familia, comida y amor!

Family and friendship come in all different configurations in Elaine Vickers‘ PAPER CHAINS and Melanie Crowder‘s THREE PENNIES.

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: IT’S ALIVE! by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson will keep budding scientists and nature lovers learning over the holiday.

Pet lovers will want to read Elana K. Arnold‘s A BOY CALLED BAT to review all that is involved with making a new friend.

If you’re hoping for good fortune in the new year, JASPER AND THE RIDDLE OF RILEY’S MINE by Caroline Starr Rose is a golden pick!

And for help keeping your New Year’s resolution, Molly B. Burnham‘s TEDDY MARS ALMOST A WORLD RECORD BREAKER gives readers the never-give-up attitude.

YOUNG ADULT 

Winter is always a good time to reflect on the world and our place in it, and how better than to read amazing YA books…

OverturnedThere’s nothing like a good thriller to keep your mind off the cold weather outside, and Lamar Giles‘ new book OVERTURNED is just that.

National Book Award finalist WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF by Elana K. Arnold is especially poignant right now as women speak up.

The highly acclaimed YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR by Miltali Perkins is on many best-of lists for a reason. It’s is currently on agent Sarah Ahzibo’s TBR list for the holidays.

Plus, a treat for the ears, the audiobook version of Kwame Alexander‘s SOLO includes the music created for the book by Randy Preston! What’s not to love?

Check out more books by our speakers.

Best Books & Cover Reveals

With end-of-year book celebrations being announced, our clients are getting lots of love for their books. And we’re got new books to look forward to.

LISTS AND AWARDS

Chicken In MittensFour books by our clients are on the Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2017 list! Congratulations to CHICKEN IN MITTENS written by Adam Lehrhaupt, BOB, NOT BOB written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA by Pablo Cartaya, and WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF by Elana K. Arnold. The Best of the Best lists represent their choices for the year’s most outstanding titles, books of exceptional quality for a diverse, city-wide readership.

Elana K. Arnold’s WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF and Mitali Perkins’ YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR are on the New York Public Library “Best Books for Teens” list!

Melanie Crowder’s THREE PENNIES and Pablo Cartaya’s THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA are on New York Public Library’s “Best Books for Kids” list!

MUDDY: THE STORY OF BLUES LEGEND MUDDY WATERS, written by Michael Mahin and illustrated by Evan Turk is on the Best Books of 2017 Lists for the New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. It also received a Parents’ Choice Gold Award for 2017.

Teddy Mars Almost a World Record BreakerMolly B. Burnham’s TEDDY MARS: ALMOST A WORLD RECORD BREAKER and Elana K. Arnold’s A BOY CALLED BAT have been nominated for the 2019 Grand Canyon Reader Award through the Arizona Library Association!

COVER REVEALS

The popular blog Mr. Schu Reads has showcased the covers of a number of new books coming from our clients.

Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick wrote a guest post for the cover reveal of their new picture book DEAR SUBSTITUTE, which honors “the unsung of the unsung.”

For the cover reveal of TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: HISTORIES AND MYSTERIESAmmi-Joan Paquette, who  co-authored book with Laurie Ann Thompson, finished Mr. Schu’s sentences, like:

The cover for Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries took my breath away! The whole Walden team have outdone themselves, and I love the perfect mix of factual, mysterious, and just plain silly…”

 

Interview: Kimberly Willis Holt on Words, Gardens & Libraries

Kimberly Willis Holt
Kimberly Willis Holt

Since her first novel, MY LOUISIANA SKY, Kimberly Willis Holt has won numerous awards for her children books. She writes stories about kids trying to find their place in life when they’re faced with difficult circumstances. Among her books are WHEN ZACHARY BEAVER CAME TO TOWN, which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, and PART OF ME, which won the Louisiana Library Association The Literary Merit Award.

We asked her some questions to find out more about this amazing author.

Booking Biz: What does your average day look like?

Blooming At the Texas Sunrise Motel

Kimberly: I’m an early riser, so the mornings are reserved for coffee and reading, usually nonfiction, short stories, or my book club’s novel selection. Right before dawn, I go into the garden and water and do other garden tasks. It isn’t work to me. I love it as much as writing. When I pull away at the grass invading flower beds, my thoughts always wander back to my stories. After I’m through there, I exercise, shower, eat and get to return to my writing. One exception with this schedule is when I’m writing a first draft. Then the writing comes first thing in the morning. That way I don’t try to revise as I write.

Later I usually cook dinner. After my husband washes the dishes, we watch a show, movie or read. My days begin and end with words.

Booking Biz: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do best?

Kimberly: Garden.

Booking Biz: Where do you get the inspiration for your books?

When Zachary Beaver Came to TownKimberly: Most of my ideas come from my well of life. When I visit schools I tell kids about how they will never run out of anything to write about if they go to their wells. They never run dry. My first book, MY LOUISIANA SKY, came from a moment in fourth grade when my mom and I passed a lady on the way to my grandmother’s house. My mom explained that the lady was mentally challenged and that she had children. That moment stayed with me because I’d never known any kids with parents like that. I wondered about those kids. When I started writing, I thought about that small moment and the voice of a character came to me. It was an idea I cared about. That too, is important. Writers have to care about what they write about. Is it any wonder that my latest book, BLOOMING AT THE TEXAS SUNRISE MOTEL, was inspired by my garden?

Booking Biz: Did you always want to write books for children, or was there another career you wished for as a child?

Kimberly: Ever since I was in fifth grade, I wanted to be a writer. I struggled in school because I was a slow reader. Back then I didn’t think I could be a writer because I wasn’t a perfect student, but in seventh grade three people made me feel like it was possible–two teachers and a friend.  I never made a conscious decision to write for children. The genre chose me.  Funny thing though, a few years back I was reading my journal that I kept in college. In it, I stated that I’d like to write for children. So maybe my subconscious led me here.

Booking Biz: If you ruled the world, what would it look like?

Kimberly: I think reading and being surrounded by beauty changes hearts and lifts our spirits. If I ruled the world everyone would have access to books and gardens.  And while I’m at it, how about a library surrounding a huge garden that could be seen from every window?

Booking Biz: That sounds like an amazing library.

Read more about Kimberly Willis Holt on her speaker page.

5 Fundraising Ideas Kids Can Do

Last year, we wrote 21 Ways to Fund Author Visits, focusing on ideas librarians and teachers can do to raise money for equipment, special projects, and author visits. As I bought some lemonade from a neighborhood stand the other day, I realized we’d left a big part out of our list: the kids! Continue reading “5 Fundraising Ideas Kids Can Do”

Kudos to Our Clients

What Girls Are Made OfWe’re honored to represent TWO authors recognized in the National Book AwardsElana K. Arnold‘s WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF was a finalist for Young People’s Literature and Mitali Perkins‘ YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR was on the longlist. They’ve both been busy getting lots of other awards attention—along with our other clients. Continue reading “Kudos to Our Clients”