Book worship is inherent in all of the posts here at Creative Chaos. The art and craft of the book as object is certainly part of this but more– it is about the unlimited possibilities and pleasure of reading. As many of my blog readers know, I’ve posted before about the many children and adults around the world who struggle with illiteracy. However, we need not travel far from home to find people who are learning to read.
Very close to my heart and home, at my own Shepherd Elementary school in Northwest Washington, DC, my Mom and a group of volunteers are working with ESL and other early reading students three times a week to bring them one on one and small group read aloud experiences.
Because of ubiquitous budget cuts the Shepherd School library is no longer staffed and the books are outdated. Today I’m calling on all authors and readers out there for book donations. Students in the program are African-American, Asian, Latino, and African and the organizers are especially interested in books that mirror this diversity.
If you have written a picture book or early reader and you are wondering what to do with your author copies, consider donating them to the Early Readers Program. If you are an MFA student at VCFA, Hamlin, Lesley, Simmons, or any other Children’s and Young Adult Writing/Literature programs, I know you have a shelves of books. Yes, some of them you will love and cherish forever, but some you could pass along to others. If you are just a reader. Just a reader? A wonderful, amazing reader… Please consider donating a book to:
Early Readers Program
1220 East West Highway, Apt 504
Silver Spring, MD 20910
The summer 2012 Olympics in London are only weeks away. After the opening ceremonies, with its choreography and flames, the athletes will get down to doing what they do best– playing their sport. For most of them, it has been a lifetime of preparation and training. Before my son completed school this year, their class read an article about the olympic athletes and the teacher asked, “Do you think that the training the olympic athletes go through is worth it?”
Maria Padian’s Young Adult novel JERSEY TOMATOES ARE THE BEST gives readers an inside look at the training of two high-level female, best-friend, teen athletes. Henry (Henriette) is a tennis champ and Eva is a ballerina.
The book is told in alternating first person chapters with spot-on dialogue and voice unique to each character. Padian keeps the story moving forward, a difficult task with two narrators. She also captures the nuances of each sport beautifully with details that reveal a well-researched story.
The book is emotionally honest and at times, heart wrenching as Eva struggles with anorexia, Henry struggles to rediscover her love of the game, and both girls try to define themselves as separate from their “obnoxious parents.” The book, with themes of body image, family, sacrifice, secrets, and first love, is a thought provoking, page turner.
I’m on a final push with my WIP so I’m keeping today short, and informative with links to other important stuff.
1. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming call for proposals for the 2013 NESCBWI Annual Conference and gave some tips here. The actual CFP document is now released and can be found here.
2. If you are a PAL member and have a book launch or release coming up, take a look at the SCBWI Book Launch Award Winners. With the award, fellow SCBWI members Hilary Graham and Sherry Shahan were free to explore creative marketing ideas to help their new books succeed. Need money to help with your launch, take a look at the requirements here.
3. Nominations are now being accepted for the SCBWI/ Jane Yolen Mid-list Author Awards. Any current SCBWI member can nominate another current member who has published at least two PAL books but has not sold anything for at least two years.
4. Are you going to SCBWI LA this year? (I’m not because I’ll be in Florence, Italy researching a book seeing my husband!) I LOVED when I went in the past though. It is laid back in a California way that New York is not. It is warm. There is a pool. There is dancing. And there are great and helpful workshops. FMI here.
Stumble on a bush
all abuzz with busy bees,
Gathering pink pollen
just as slowly as they please.
Their striped bodies tumble
into fragrant blossom cups,
Then drunk with pollen powder
they can hardly bumble up.