Monday, June 30, 2014

Last Post!




Today is our last post on I.N.K. I am so relieved!  I’ve spent a lot of time working on this blog since I first had the idea in the Fall of 2007. Now I’m ready to move on to new things and perhaps give some neglected things another go (blows thick dust off of pile of unpublished manuscripts).

I’ve got to take this last opportunity to thank a few people who’ve been involved for quite a while, even though I’m likely to forget more people than I should.  Thanks to Loreen for all of her technical help with the blog and to Gretchen for organizing the News feature these last few months. Thanks to Vicki for finding the blog inspirational and to Roz for always being the voice unafraid to address the big issues. Thanks to Barbara for so much valuable information on the process of writing picture book biographies, Deborah for sharing so many links and insights into her creative thought process, and Steve for being willing to think things out about the bigger meaning of the smallest things in all of his posts.  Thanks to Sue for going so in depth about the work she does and to Jim for such thought-provoking posts that it got us mentioned in the New York Times.  Thanks to Jan for asking for tech help when she needed it and ultimately mastering the art of posting photos on blogger. Thanks to Susan G., Ann B., and Susan K. for the quality of their posts and their continuous and much valued supportive emails. Thanks to David for caring about getting his posts in on time no matter what continent he was on. Thanks to Cheryl for being every history nerds dream with her historical tidbits and witty repartee.  And thanks to Anna for sticking with me from the very beginning and setting a great example by achieving her publishing dream.

Thanks to all of our guest bloggers, our monthly bloggers, and our former regulars who all helped shape and maintain the quality of the blog. I think we’re all proud of the end result.


The blog ( and the Facebook page) will remain up and you can easily access all of the old posts. So take a look, it’s quite a compilation. I should know; I’ve read every single post and learned a tremendous amount along the way. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Writing Inspiring Nonfiction for Kids and Common Core

Two weeks ago when I read the latest article about the Common Core in the New York Times titled Common Core, in 9-Year-Old Eyes, I knew this would be the topic of my last post. Things have sure changed in the last six years. When Linda Salzman first started this nonfiction blog and invited nonfiction writers from all areas to write a monthly post, I was all about speaking out about art and creativity books for kids. Now, the popular nonfiction buzzwords are Common Core, STEM, digital publishing, marketing, and graphic novels. These were main topics discussed at last weekend’s Second Annual 21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference --- as pointed out in this Publisher’s Weekly article about the conference.

In the aforementioned New York Times article, 9-year-old Chrispin Alcindor had been a star student but was struggling with math under the new Common Core teaching and was worrying about not passing to the next grade. I was drawn into his story by “his dream of becoming an engineer or an architect, to one day have a house with a pool and a laboratory where he would turn wild ideas about winged cars and jet packs into reality.” Chrispin’s excitement towards learning changed, as he grew frustrated by the new Common Core math. His enthusiasm was crushed. His dream of "walking across the stage at graduation in sunglasses and white sneakers, claiming his award and basking in the applause of the entire school" banished from his mind.

Trish Matthew, Chrispin’s teacher at Public School 397 in Brooklyn, saw the frustration in her classroom. The article continued, “Many struggled with basic math skills. Ms. Matthew, concerned about morale, called each student to her desk at the beginning of the year. “Please don’t think you are a failure,” she told them, one by one.”
I was so touched and moved by Ms. Matthew’s actions, which prompted writing this post and fueled my final comments. 

Last week, Arne Duncan went on CBS This Morning to talk about the Common Core. If you missed it, I’ll post it here.
And, if you're interested in reading a few pros and cons on the Common Core, check out the 505 comments on the New York Times article. Warning: it gets a little heated.

Recently, I've noticed while sitting down with editors to discuss new book projects, the Common Core is often mentioned. They highlight new book projects that have sold because they support the Common Core---fodder for reader discussions on why they thought the author wrote the book, compare and contrast aspects within the story, etc.
As I set off to work on the next chapters in my writing career, while the Common Core and their writing strategies will be in the back of my mind, inspiring young readers will be my main focus. Inspiring them to think. Inspiring them to achieve whatever they want to be. Inspiring them to be creative. Inspiring them to dream.
I will be continuing my blog posts on my website: AnnaMLewis.  Please check there for my next posts and the latest book news.
Here’s to Interesting (and Inspiring) Nonfiction for Kids!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Till We Meet Again

In April I reminisced about six + years of blogging with this wondrous group of authors. I've so appreciated the opportunity to come up with something every month at least vaguely related to this quirky profession we’ve chosen.

For my last go-round, I’ve decided give a glimpse of one writer's life day-to-day. It’s not all creating deathless prose. So here's as much as I can remember of my to-do and have-done lists in the last two weeks.  

Revise my next book. It’s a middle grade group biography due out in 2016.  I’ve been working on this book since 2009 and so last week I decided to google one of my subjects once again. I found a 2011 book I hadn’t seen before, with a chapter on my subject. I couldn’t find the book in the Los Angeles system, so I consulted WorldCat: The World’s Largest Library Catalog and found that six miles away, Mt. St. Mary’s College had an ebook copy.

• So up up up into the Santa Monica Mountains I drove, to a beautiful Spanish-style library. Well, I drove to the parking garage and then hiked up some more steep hills to the library. I had the complete attention of three librarians, it being summer break. They all worked to figure out how to print a few pages from the e-book, but in the end, job done. This research yielded details and quotes I hadn’t found elsewhere.


• Reviewing my original research, I found a tidbit I’d not included in the manuscript.  My subject inspired a minor character in an 1828 adventure-romance novel.  Being a lover of tidbits, I ordered an interlibrary loan of the book on microfilm through my public library. This last week I spent part of two afternoons skimming through this forgettable tale of a beautiful and virtuous heroine whose romance with a worthy suitor is thwarted by a dastardly villain. My ‘subject’ helped to save said heroine from said villain, as well as perform some brave deeds in American Revolution. The hours spent skimming added three sentences to my manuscript.

• Chapter completed, I emailed it to my critique group who will meet this week and tell me how to make it better.

• I’ll critique their work as well.



• I’m meeting my editor at ALA in Las Vegas this weekend. She wants to read my revised chapters on the plane flying west, so I emailed her to ask about the last moment I can send her those chapters.

• Speaking of ALA, where I’ll be signing at two booths on Saturday (see below,) I must remember to call my trusty auto mechanic (named Toolsie!) to fix my failing a/c. Will need all I can get for the drive to LV.

• Made arrangements to meet with Starwalk Kids Media at ALA about signing up an out-of-print book for their e-book list.

• Confirm ALA meeting for coffee with INK Author Jan Greenberg.

• I’ve been a member of the Authors Guild for decades. They offer so many benefits to their members, one of which is a free legal critique of contracts. I finally got around to integrating their suggested changes to my contract for the above book and sending it back to the publisher. The Authors Guild also hosts my website for pennies, but perhaps their most important mission is their lobbying on our behalf to Goliaths like Google and Amazon.  Support yourself – and them – and join!

• I’ve nudged an editor who has had a ms. of mine for months and promised to give me an answer last week. Still waiting. I need to nudge a couple more editors who are sitting on my middle grade novel.

  Last month I reported on the excellent BIO conference (Biographers International Organization) in Boston.  There I met Dorothy Dahm, creator of Kids Biographer's Blog, a first-rate collection of reviews and interviews.  She reviewed Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence, and asked for an interview.  I wrote that last week and it’s here

• I’m returning to London again in the autumn for another three-month home exchange. I’ve got some fans in Yorkshire, so I emailed four schools about return author visits. Have confirmation for two already.

• I wrote this INK blog.

The World Cup: I’m trying to limit myself to one game a day, or two halfs of different games.  It’s hard though. Drama is building every day!


Traveling to libraries, reading, marketing, contracts, nudging, emailing, critiquing, blogging, and, yes, writing.  On and on it goes.


Finally, to quote my favorite English major: “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”

My ALA Signings: Saturday June 28 
• 10-11am: Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek
• 2-3 pm: Lerner/Carolrhoda

Friday, June 20, 2014

INK STEM

No, this is not some type of plant that produces ink. This is the last of the INK Recommends lists, focused on STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Because we have previously compiled lists that focused on math and science, I have tilted this list toward the technology and engineering side of things.

This list is also a bit different from other STEM lists you might find in two ways:  While animals show up on this list, they do not dominate it the way they do many science lists (unless they have something to teach us about engineering). And while there are some hands-on activities found in some of these books, many are what I would call storytelling STEM in the sense that they delve deeply into a STEM topic by telling gripping stories of people who have done something compelling in a STEM field.  The books on this list that don’t take this approach have found other clever ways to bring science, technology, engineering and math to life.

Happy reading. Thanks for reading. Linda, thanks for everything.

Elizabeth Rusch

PreK-5 STEM

Animals in Flight by Steve Jenkins

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman

Building our House by Jonathan Bean

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World by Allan Drummond

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World by Elizabeth Rusch

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola Schaefer

Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Things that Float and Things that Don’t by David Adler

Toilet: How It Works by David Macaulay with Sheila Keenan

The Shocking Truth about Energy by Loreen Leedy

Middle Grade STEM

A Black Hole is NOT a Hole by Carolyn DeCristofano

Birds: Nature’s Magnificent Flying Machines by Caroline Arnold

Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont by Etta Kaner

How Do You Burp in Space? And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs to Know by Susan E. Goodman

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The incredible adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch

Team Moon:  How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh

Technology by Clive Gifford

Try This!  by Karen Romano Young

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a few flat tires along the way) by Sue Macy

Young Adult STEM

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone

Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

The Boy who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (also available in a young readers edition)

The Boy who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull

Junkyard Science  by Karen Romano Young

The Longitude Prize by Joan Dash

Something out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium by Carla Killough McClafferty

Steve Jobs: The Man who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay and Neil Ardley

Women of Steel and Stone: 22 Inspirational Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Designers by
Anna M. Lewis  

Not enough STEM titles here for you? Check out Bank Street College of Education’s STEM list at:

Or the annual lists of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 put together by the National Science Teachers Association and the Children’s Book Council:



Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Writing Life


I came late to the family of I.N.K. bloggers, and the fatigue of posting hasn’t quite caught up to me yet. Even so I’ve marveled at the creativity and fortitude of the old-timers. You’ve made it look easy to create fresh, thought-provoking material. Well done, everyone!

One frequent question children ask me during school visits is, “Do you get writer’s block?” Even young scribes have heard of this affliction.

“No,” I tell them. “I’ve got deadlines to meet. I don’t have time for writer’s block,” and I’m not just cracking a joke.

So here I sit, writing later than I’d like because I spent the day working on a deadline. Now, with the windows open and darkness newly upon us, I’m thinking about all the places where I’ve created books. Tonight I write from my fourth office space, a second-floor chamber with a wall of wooden window portals that became my creative home last year. It and my life today are miles away from the country home where I started writing when my children entered school.

I remember feeling slightly superstitious when our family moved out of this home a dozen years ago. Would I be able to write as well, or even ever again, away from the nature-inspired views of my original office? Maybe the two books I’d written from that site would become my entire body of work. When Book Number Three took forever to take form at our new city dwelling, all my anxieties seemed about to come to pass. And yet, after settling in to that 2nd-floor tree house of an office, I managed to birth not just a third book but five more.

Then came another move and another office, this one located without countryside panoramas or a tree house perch. Yet even from there, with my sons off in college and beyond, the books continued to flow. Others have followed since from my latest roost. May it always be so.

Wherever I land next, I’ll maintain a home on the Internet. These days you can find me post-I.N.K. through my website, www.AnnBausum.com, and at my Facebook author page. Plus you can watch for my upcoming title about gay rights history and the Stonewall riots of 1969, to be published next year by Viking. A 50th anniversary look at James Meredith and the 1966 March Against Fear will follow from National Geographic.

And so the writing life continues. For me. For other I.N.K.ers. For the rest of those folks who feel most at home when they ignite paper or pixels with words.

Thanks Sue Macy, Marfé Ferguson Delano, and Linda Salzman for encouraging me to join the I.N.K. family, and thanks to everyone for creating such a valuable body of work.

May the words just flow and flow for all.

Submitted by Ann Bausum

Monday, June 16, 2014

A New Constellation



Despite George Washington's shivering Victory or Death brinksmanship in New Jersey at the beginning of the year, 1777 was wicked tough for the Americans' rebellion. Still, the gents at the embattled Continental Congress found time 237 years ago this week to take care of a particular bit of business. For one thing, they appointed John Paul Jones to captain the USS Ranger and use her eighteen guns to hassle the hell out of England. For another, the Congressmen, in a stripey and stellar bit of acting 'as if ye had faith,' came up with happily worded resolution. On Saturday, June 14, they "resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, which in a blue field, representing a new constellation."  

I bring this up for a couple of reasons, maybe more. 
                                                              As they occur to me. 
(1.) "A new constellation" is such a beautiful, artful phrase, written at such a God-almighty high stakes harrowing time. 

(2.)  My post is due in the morning. What could I write about? As it has more than once, the calendar came in handy. At his writing, Flag Day was yesterday. And Flag Day was a bit of a big deal in our house because it was on another Saturday, June 14, 1947, that my folks met, on a blind date. (Got married two months later.) And did you know that it was on June 16, 1858 that Abraham Lincoln gave his House Divided speech? And the 17th will be another anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill and the 18th will mark ten years since my one novel got accepted? Or that next September will make 200 years since Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the
 the Star-Spangled Banner? Well, there you go. The calendar is absolutely stiff with junk worth remembering. A veritable parade full of floats, history-wise.] 
And there's going to be a book of mine [about the history of flags, as a matter of fact].

(3.) Do I write about what's really on my mind? Don't think you want to hear about the diet I need to be on or any of my get-rich-slow schemes, including my half-written murder mystery. You don't need to know my thoughts on Amazon's megalomaniacal practices [except, well, if you've got a local bookstore, by God support it!] This isn't the place to discuss the sickening, scary situations in Iraq and Syria or the toxic, constipated condition of the present-day Congress or our country's plague of guns, and most of its treasure going to the wealthy, who've managed - guess what - to hijack our secular/sacred, hard-won system of government. The Game of Thrones? (Thank God for artful escapism. Never followed the series until here lately when I've seen almost every available episode.) The I've been picture book I'm trying to design? Speaking of which, you knew, right? That James and Dolley Madison gave Wednesday evening "Drawing Rooms" at the White House? All sorts of people showed up - Washington Irving, for instance. 
Dolley Madison


(4.) I could write about the end of this particular collective. That would be timely. It was at the U. of Central MO's annual children's literature festival where clever, stylish Jan Greenberg asked if I'd be willing to contribute to a group blog. Bless her and I was so pleased. Had I not said yes, you all would have missed some this and that. But what would I have lost? These chances to really think about what my various subjects. To get to know some of my fellow writers a little better. To have a better sense of who all's out there: Readers and toilers in the messy gardens of teaching and learning to the constant geek chorus yammer  beyond the garden walls, bless your sturdy hearts and minds. And so we bumble onward.

Long live books. 
Long live the republic.
May our constellation shine as long as the stars. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fearless Women

I am not a fearless woman. I’m actually quite timid. I like order and predictability and rules. When I was a magazine editor, I started each editing task by making sure the fonts and margins and other formatting issues were right. Only then could I tackle the content.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because in the author bio of my most recent book, Roller Derby Rivals, my editor at Holiday House wrote, “Sue Macy loves to write about sports and fearless women.” And it’s true. Nellie Bly got herself committed to an insane asylum so she could write an expose. Cyclist Dora Rinehart rode more than 17,000 miles in 1896 through the muddy, rocky, mountain roads around Denver. Midge “Toughie” Brasuhn (right) regularly careened around Roller Derby rinks with no concern about injuries—and ended up with eight broken noses during her career. To me, these accomplishments are alternately inspiring and terrifying.

As someone who was trained as a journalist, I find it perfectly acceptable observing and writing about fearless women while remaining out of the fray myself. I am moved by women who have the drive and determination to overcome society’s taboos or their own fears in order to follow their dreams. I’ve listened to scores of women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League talk about their motivation, and the common thread among all of them is the passion they had for the game. Over and over again, they’ve said, “They were paying me, but I would have played for free.”

When people are really passionate about what they’re doing, they grab my attention. At the start of my research on Roller Derby history, I went to a contemporary bout between the Garden State Rollergirls and a visiting team from Maryland. I barely knew the rules of the game at that point. What’s more, the announcer was muffled by an inadequate sound system and the action was so fast and furious that it was hard to follow. But one woman stood out. She was a New Jersey skater, covered with tattoos on just about every visible patch of skin, and she was magnificent. She wove in and out of the opposing skaters, lapping the field and then passing her opponents to score points. Her Derby name was Jenna Von Fury and her skill convinced me that Roller Derby was indeed a sport worth writing about.

Late last year, the computer search engine Bing produced an awesome TV commercial highlighting some of the female heroes of 2013. To the tune of Sara Bareilles’s song, “Brave,” Bing celebrated several fearless girls and women, among them the young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai; marathon swimmer Diana Nyad; and Edie Windsor, who brought the Supreme Court case that that struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act. It was an impressive example of the never-ending parade of fearless women whose achievements have made an impact on the world, and a virtual shopping list of topics for a writer seeking to be inspired.

So as I finish my final post for I.N.K., I promise to continue producing books about women who made their mark as they challenged the status quo. I'll also occasionally blog on my Web site, suemacy.com. Check it out when you get the chance. Or follow me on Twitter @suemacy1. And thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Old Friends

   On May 10, 2014, Larry McMurtry wrote a bittersweet but not sentimental New York Times, Sunday Review article about a visit he made to New York City back in 1965.  He had traveled from Houston to buy books for a bookstore he worked at and visited many of the famous bookstores that then existed, but, sadly, now don't.  It was fun to remember some of those overstuffed bookstores, books piled on books, signs pointing to narrow dark stairways to the basement where thousands of additional books waited to be visited.  But I smiled at the black and white photograph that took up most of the page on the print version of the paper I was reading.
   It was a beautiful photo of Scribners Bookstore from 1984 that was taken from across the street, the sidewalk bustling with people, the streets busy with cars.  It made me recall the very first time I saw Scribners.
   It was back in 1959 or 1960 when I was around thirteen.  My friends and I gathered at around 7 AM one day to talk over what we would do that day.  Baseball over in the Meadowlands?  Penny poker on Philip's porch?  Then one kid (I think it was Bobby who was quiet with a wild streak) suggested we take the train to New York City.  So we did.
   No one asked their parents for permission (it really was a different time) and we all had enough money (according to Bobby) to get to the City, take the subway uptown, then wander around before heading home.
   I don't recall all of the travel details.  We caught the train, got onto a subway, maybe two, and ended up somewhere between 120th and 130th Street on the West Side.  All fifteen of us.  Yes, we traveled in a pack, a bit noisy and goofy.  No one, not even Bobby, really knew where we were.  But we were on an adventure, so location wasn't a priority.
   Someone, probably Bobby, suggested that we find 5th Avenue and stroll downtown.  We asked some kind folks for directions and eventually found it.  First, were the people who crowded the sidewalk -- all colors, all sorts of fashions, some very exotic hairstyles.  I noticed after a few blocks that people would see our group and move to get out of our way.  Fifteen annoyingly active boys can take up a lot of space.  And some people looked nervous.  This made me chuckle.  Here's what an intimidating bunch we were.  At one point a very elegant woman was coming toward us wearing a long, mink coat.  One kid at the front of our group pointed at her, jumped up into another kid's arms (I'm not kidding) and said, "Eeek, a bear!"  The woman was nice enough to laugh, while the rest of us apologized with "Don't mind him.  He's a jerk" or "He hit his head last week and hasn't been the same since."
   Next came the smells, of food (delicious and changing from block to block.  Though we didn't stop to eat since we hand limited resources and were saving our dimes for a big, salted pretzal) and the less savory odor of the streets. 
   Down we came, past giant churches, apartment buildings with doormen who we said hello to one after another, Central Park, St. Patrick's Cathedral (where a wedding was going on) and stores of all kinds.  The highlight for some of my friends was going round and round in the revolving door of a department store.  But for me it was Scribners.
   The moment I saw it, took in the beautiful pillors, the intricate grillwork, the neatly displayed books lined up like soldiers, the golden glow coming from the other side of the giant windows, I wanted to stop and visit.  No such luck.
   The rest of the guys were marching on and I didn't have a clue on how to get home.  I started to follow, stopped to look back, and saw something I remember to this day very clearly.  An elderly man in an impeccable seersucker suit was leaning over studying the books in the window.  Behind his back he held a spiffy straw hat with the fingers of both hands.  Norman Rockwell could not have painted anything so enchanting.  Yes, I said enchanting.  I was just beginning to love reading at this time and I was amazed at how carefully that man was looking at the books and how refined he seemed.  I wanted to know what he saw in them and only later realized the only way I'd find out was by reading them.
   On we went, buying our pretzals and catching a bus back to dear old Kearny.  We were back by around 6 PM and as far as I know none of our parents ever found out about our day's journey.  But my Mom knew something had happened that day that was unusual.  I told her that I'd seen this book in a bookstorre window and wondered if she could get it for me.  She looked at me, said "a bookstore?" and I said yes.  You see, there were no bookstores in Kearny.  The nearest ones were in Newark.  But since getting me to read was a mission of hers, she didn't question me at all.  And I still have my illustrated copy of The Old Man and The Sea she managed to get me the following week.  And the price is old-time and somehow comforting: $5.00.  And I can still she that elderly gentleman leaning in to study the illustration on the cover.          
             

Monday, June 9, 2014

Girl Geek Chic: --Let's Change What's Cool



Last month on National Astronomy Day, I was at the Clay Center Observatory signing copies of How Do You Burp in Space? And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs to Know.  After inscribing a copy for a young boy, I looked up at his older sister.  
“Do you want to go to space, too?” I asked.

“I did once,” she said.

“What happened?”

She gave me a small smile, a Mona Lisa smile—that is, if Mona L. were a just-budding adolescent proud of her newly acquired sense of condescension. 

“Oh…other things took over,” she said in a tone that implied I couldn’t possibly know what she meant.

Oh…but I do. Having been there and done that, I was actually thinking about something else.  Do these other things that "take over" really have to edge out wanting to go into space or a daily check on favorite animal cams?  Is this really an either/or situation? Do the hormones make us want to pack away those childish things?  Or, despite so many strides, do we still think there’s only one type of girl that does those hormones justice?

This last question still on my mind, I later googled “nerds becoming popular” and immediately clicked on the images page.  I already knew that Sheldon’s chic and Zuckerberg’s billions have brought those three words in close company.  What I wanted to know was how many pictures of girls I would see sprinkled in among the guys wearing pocket protectors and suspenders.

Discounting “popular” girls torturing geeks, here’s the first “nerd girl” picture I came upon.  I was hopeful.  What a fool I was.  Once I clicked through to its home site, here are the words I found:  Who would have thought that being a nerd would be cool?  Well the time has finally come. There is nothing more fashionable that an over-sized pair of geeky glasses.  PS-When I saved the picture to my computer to easily transfer to this post, I noticed it was labeled, "pretty nerd."

Little Mona Lisa Girl at the Clay Center, the deck has been stacked against you.  Come on, STEM books, cool geek girl role models, Neil Degrasse Tyson.  Help girls aspire to go to space and wear cool nail polish in orbit, if that’s what they want.  Help everybody feel as if science and smart is back in fashion and sexy.

I spoke to astronaut Sunita Williams when writing Burp in Space, but never asked her if she felt she had to choose between lipstick and her dreams.  I wish I had. Maybe I would have been primed to say something to this young girl.  Even if she couldn’t hear me now, perhaps it would plant a seed. I know lots of girls get reacquainted with previous interests as women, but I hate to think of what has been lost in the meantime because their intellectual passions couldn’t coexist with the teenage definition of femininity.


On June 20, Liz Rusch is publishing I.N.K.’s last recommended booklist.  This time it focuses on STEM-related topics.  Let’s all take a second look.

 * * * * *



Thank you, Linda.  Thank you, I.N.K. Thanks to all of our readers. It’s been a pleasure.

Friday, June 6, 2014

NEWS FOR JUNE (and beyond)




NEW BOOKS FOR 2014




 David Schwartz has entered the world of e-publishing with
The Hidden World of the Forest
•The Hidden World of the Pond
The Hidden World of the Meadow
These are close adaptations of print books with way cool interactive features including audio, slide shows, zoom, etc., Galloping Turtle Books.

Marfé Ferguson Delano, Explore My World: Butterflies, National Geographic, June

Marfé Ferguson Delano, Explore My World: Frogs, National Geographic, June


Sue Macy, Roller Derby Rivals, Holiday House, July

April Pulley Sayre, Rah Rah, Radishes board book, Little Simon, July 15

Karen Romano Young, TRY THIS!, National Geographic Kids, August

Cheryl Harness, Flags Over America, A Star-Spangled Story, Albert Whitman, September

Sue Macy, Sally Ride: Life on a Mission, Aladdin, September

Steve Sheinkin and Jim Murphy have stories in Guys Read: True Stories
Walden Pond Press, September



Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, Super Sniffers: 
Dog Detectives on the Job
Bloomsbury, September

Steve Jenkins, Creature Features
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October

Elizabeth Rusch, Scientists in the Field: The Next Wave: 
The Quest to Harness the Power of the Oceans
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October
             • Junior Library Guild selection

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, Decorated Houses, Charlesbridge, January 2015

April Pulley Sayre and Steve Jenkins, Woodpecker Wham, Holt, Spring 2015

April Pulley Sayre, Raindrops Roll, Beach Lane Books, Spring 2015


AWARDS

Steve Jenkins: 2014 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor book for Nonfiction for The Animal Book

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent: The 2014 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award For Exemplary Advocation of Biodiversity Through the Authorship of Children's Science Literature from the American Computer Museum

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent: Dogs on Duty: Soldiers’ Best Friend on the Battlefield and Beyond
            • ALA Notable Children’s Book
            • 2013 Best Children’s Books, Children’s Book Committee
            • 2013 IRA Teachers’ Choices Reading List
            • 2013-2014 Great Lakes Great Books (Michigan Reading Assoc.)
            • NYSRA 2014 Charlotte Award
            • Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award 2015 list (IL)
            • 2015 Bluestem Award list, Illinois School Library Media Association


APPEARANCES

June 14 Sue Macy, Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, Adams, Massachusetts, 3 p.m.

June 20-22 Vicki Cobb and Dorothy Hinshaw Patent are presenting at the Children's Nonfiction Conference, New Paltz, NY. 

June 22 Susan E. Goodman, Picture Book Project Seminar, The Narrative Arc of the Nonfiction Picture Book, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, 12:00-1:30

June 24-25 Deborah Heiligman: 2014 Children's Literature Conference, Shenandoah University

June 24 Steve Jenkins: 2014 Children's Literature Conference, Shenandoah University

June 28 Gretchen Woelfle: ALA Conference, Las Vegas, NV: signing Write on, Mercy! The Secret Life of Mercy Otis Warren at Boyds Mills booth, 11-12; Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence at Lerner booth, 2-3

June 30: Jan Greenberg: ALA Conference, Las Vegas, NV, ALSC Book and Media Awards Program, including Sibert Awards 8:30-10; signing The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius at Macmillan Booth 10:30-11:30.