Publishers Weekly recently featured Wendy McClure and Wanderville with both a review and an author Q&A, and we couldn't be more delighted. From the review:
First in a historical-fiction series, McClure's book is inspired by the orphan trains of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Eleven-year-old Frances and her seven-year-old brother, Harold, meet up with 11-year-old Jack on a train bound from New York City to Kansas; fearing the worst for what lies ahead, they decide to jump off the train. Lost in the Kansas wilderness, they meet another young New Yorker, Alexander, himself escaped from the cruel conditions of a working ranch, and they become the first citizens of Wanderville, a "town" in the woods that he is creating for runaways. Author/editor McClure (The Wilder Life) celebrates bravery, ingenuity, and the bonds of family and friendship in this old-fashioned story of children fending for themselves, building a community, and eluding the adults who seek them.
Wendy speaks more about the history of orphan trains and her love of history in this video.
If you're attending a reading or library conference this spring, chances are we will be there too! †Stop by our booths to pick up some common core resource materials, advanced reader copies of 2014 titles and say hello!
Colorado Council International Reading Association (CCIRA)
Public Library Association Conference (PLA)
Illinois Reading Conference (IRC)
North Carolina Reading Association Conference (NCRA)
Texas Library Association Conference (TLA)
San Antonio, TX
International Reading Association Conference (IRA)
New Orleans, LA
American Library Association Annual Conference (ALA)
June 26-July 1
Las Vegas, NV
IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY
Laurie Halse Anderson essentially reinvented the problem novel from cheesy cautionary tales to honest portrayals with very realistic characters. Her protagonists don't just seem to be real people, they come to feel like friends. In her latest, The Impossible Knife of Memory, Hayley has a hard time with friends, which just made me want to befriend her even more. Hayley's problems hit particularly close to the heart for Anderson—dealing with a father struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Of course, things are never as simple as one issue, just like in real life. The book also tackles addiction, divorce, abuse, and the trauma of being in high school. Read this book, but make sure you have some tissues nearby—if you are anything like me you will be crying before you reach the end. Hayley makes you keep rooting for her, though, and even at its darkest points Anderson allows some hope in for both Hayley and the reader. To hear Anderson talk about addiction, please watch this video.
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing
Written by Sheila Turnage
Ages 10 up | Grades 5 Up
3 starred reviews!
"The perspicacious Mo LoBeau is at it again!" — School Library Journal
"Just as its predecessor did, this sequel shines thanks to Turnage's deft, lyrical language and engaging characters...This delightful sequel demonstrates that Tupelo Landing may be even better on a second visit." — Kirkus
"Turnage's ability to create convincing characters and her colorful use of language combine to make this a fresh, droll, rewarding trip to Tupelo Landing." — Booklist
The Impossible Knife of Memory
Written by Laurie Halse Anderson
Ages 12 up | Grades 9 Up
4 starred reviews
"[an] absorbing story of the effects of combat on soldiers and the people who love them" — Publishers Weekly
"The book offers an eloquent portrait of the effects of both war and family legacies, and many readers will find reflections of their own struggle to keep family connections while obtaining their independence." — BCCB
"With powerful themes of loyalty and forgiveness, this tightly woven story is a forthright examination of the realities of war and its aftermath on soldiers and their families. One of Anderson's strongest and most relevant works to date." — School Library Journal
Little Poems for Tiny Ears
Written by Lin Oliver;
Illustrated by Tomie dePaola - Illustrator
Ages 0-3 | Grades to PreK
3 starred reviews
"An ethnically diverse cast of children and the ubiquity of delights that range from beloved pets to a father's scratchy beard give this warmhearted collection broad appeal." — Publishers Weekly
"A tenderly crafted collection that captures the joyous individual moments of infant discoveries." — Kirkus
"Everything about this book is child friendly..." — Booklist
Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything
Written by Maira Kalman
Ages 5 to 8 | Grades 1-4
3 starred reviews
"Playful but informative, as quick witted as Jefferson himself, this will inspire young readers to learn more." — Booklist
"The inimitable Kalman brings her wit, wisdom, and beautifully unique artwork to one of America's most complex founding fathers..." — School Library Journal
The Day the Crayons Quit
Written by Drew Daywalt;
Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Ages 3-7 | Grades PreK-3
3 starred reviews!
"…we've got a new contender for most successful picture book strike." — BCCB, starred review
"…laugh-out-loud text… an uproarious story time…" — SLJ, starred review
"…a noteworthy debut… These memorable personalities will leave readers glancing apprehensively at their own crayon boxes.…" — PW, starred review
Counting by 7s
By Holly Goldberg Sloan
Ages 10 up | Grades 5 up
4 starred reviews!
"Sloan has masterfully created a graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded character…" — Booklist, starred review
"…readers will rejoice." — BCCB, starred review
"…the ending readers will be hoping for with all their hearts." — Horn Book, starred review
"Willow's story is one of renewal, and her journey of rebuilding the ties that unite people as a family will stay in readers' hearts long after the last page." — SLJ, starred review
GREGORY GALLOWAY has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He lives in New Jersey.
You can learn more about THE 39 DEATHS OF ADAM STRAND here.
Learn more about Gregory Galloway here.
If you are interested in hosting an appearance by Gregory Galloway at your school, library, or conference, please use the online request form, send an email to email@example.com with possible dates, your school name, location, details about the day, and your contact information.
What can a school, library, or conference expect when you are making an appearance? What do you do differently with audiences of varying sizes, ages, and interests?
I have 2 different types of appearances that I do: 1) Q&A discussion about my books and writing in general and 2) creative writing exercises.
Every Q&A discussion I've had has been unique. I believe this has to do with the subject of my books and the way in which they're written, with some ambiguity (some would say a lot), which allows the audience to share theories and explanations, as well as the allusions and references to things outside the books (movies, music, history, other books).
I am a graduate from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and share some of the exercises from my experience in the sessions, which not only gives the students a taste of the workshop experience, but an exercise they can utilize in their own writing.
I prefer to keep group sizes fewer than 30 people, and smaller for the writing exercises. For Q&A sessions, I want students to be familiar with my books and be prepared to ask questions (and they can ask me anything).
What makes your author appearances unique?
I enjoy talking with high school students and have been told frequently that I connect with them. Teachers tell me that they are surprised by which students are engaged during my appearances, and I'm constantly surprised by their questions and insight. A teacher from Georgia wrote to me afterward, "This is an experience my students will take with them forever."
What can schools and libraries do to ensure a successful appearance?
Make sure the students are familiar with my books and ready to talk. This isn't necessary for the writing sessions, which the only preparation is a desire to write for an extended period (usually about 30 minutes per session) and to share the writing with me and others in the session.
Do you enjoy traveling to other parts of the country for appearances?
Do you ever make appearances at more than one school in an area? Could schools and libraries from one area join together to bring you to their institution?
Yes. I've spent multiple days in some areas, visiting numerous schools in a specific district.
What do you hope your audience will come away with from your presentation?
A greater passion and appreciation for writing and reading, and the fact that while I'm the author, I may not be the best authority on my own books, that they, the readers, probably know as much, if not more, about my books than I do.
What was your favorite/most interesting/most memorable appearance experience?
During a writing session I had students collaborate on a piece, with one student adding to the work of another. Unbeknownst to be me, I had paired two students who didn't get along. They worked together, however, and produced a truly amazing, seamless piece of writing, which they both read aloud to the rest of us.
What is the best thing anyone has ever said to you at or after an author appearance?
"Everyone is still talking about your visit," - a week after I'd been to the school.
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