I’m so excited to share my new story in Highlights for Children! (March 2020)
I joined Nonfiction Fest this month, and I’m already learning a lot.
Nonfiction Fest is organized by a great group of nonfiction writers that call themselves the Nonfiction Chicks.
Basically, I read a post a day to learn something incredible. There’s also an activity grid with helpful tasks to keep us nonfiction writers working.
Here’s a post from author Beth Anderson about how she organizes her research before she writes. I’m excited to say I do a lot of the same thing – only I use Scrivener.
If you’re into Nonfiction, get int Nonfiction Fest!
Does your young reader love non-fiction? Are they an inventor? A doctor? A kid with big ideas? Looking for books that encourage a growth mindset? The “Learning from Bad Ideas” series is for anyone who wants to know what worked, what didn’t, and why.
Medical Mishaps: Learning from Bad Ideas.
See some of the world’s most messed-up medical mishaps at a microscopic level. Find out how each procedure, tool, or surgery failed, the basic science that was missed, and what doctors learned from their mistakes.
Please consider buying from your local bookstore first!
Gadget Disasters: Learning from Bad Ideas.
See some of the world’s greatest gadget disasters from the palm of your hand. Find out how each gadget failed, what went wrong with its design or manufacture, and what programmers learned from their mistakes.
Please consider buying from your local bookstore first!
I’m so excited to share that I’ve joined STEAM Team 2020! This is a group of writers who have STEAM books for kids coming out in 2020. STEAM is science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
Also, use the hashtag #steamteam2020 to find out about all of the books and events.
Many authors will be sharing reviews of books and announcing book birthdays on their blogs. I will add more blogs soon! Check out:
I have two STEAM books for kids out right now. They are Medical Mishaps and Gadget Disasters. Both of these books are published by Captsone. Medical Mishaps covers old and incorrect ideas about medicine and medical treatments. Gadget Disasters is perfect for young inventors who want to hear about failed inventions.
Later this year, my book The Science and Technology of Leonardo da Vinci will be released. I worked with Nomad Press to publish this book. I can’t wait to celebrate!
What are some of your favorite STEAM books for kids?
This past summer, I had a great time hosting a Pittsburgh creative writing camp for kids ages 5-12. I didn’t plan to have such a wide age range, but lots of things in life happen different than we plan!
Before the class started, I had a pretty decent curriculum planned for kids ages 9-12. I was prepared for this age group, because I also host an after school writing club at our elementary school. But when I saw I had young kids in this camp, I had to REVISE the entire thing that first afternoon.
Luckily writers are familiar with revision.
I feel pretty proud of the new version of the camp. It’s perfect for pre-literate kids who want to write books. We review mentor texts – many books with little or no words! – then create our own. It’s a little bit of STEM, a little bit ELA, a little bit ART, and a lot of fun.
I’m planning to host a camp at a local bookstore this summer, so stay tuned!
In a previous post on submissions, rejections, and acceptances, I discovered I had a yearly average just above 10% as an acceptance rate. Also, I noticed my submissions aren’t consistent throughout the year. I’m OK with that! Everything ebbs and flows. I’m really happy with the past year (2017) in terms of WHAT I submitted and how much I earned, especially for fiction writing. One acceptance isn’t quite the same as every other. In 2017, for instance I had my first fiction story appear in Highlights!
But I still love tracking this data. I’m eager to see what I can accomplish in 2018.
February is Black History Month.
But wait. It’s November. Why am I writing about reading books about black history?
Because black history is American history. And I love reading and writing about American history. I especially love learning the stories in history.
Have you read Lift Every Voice? This beautiful book is by Pittsburgh author Kelly Starling Lyons. She’s a contribute to The Brown Bookshelf, a blog where you can find even more information about black voices, especially those creating for young readers.
ALL young readers.
I first learned about Kelly’s books thanks to my local bookstore, Riverstone Books. Local bookstores are the heart and soul of the story-telling world.
No online book seller hosts meet the author events.
No online book seller brings authors and illustrators to your town to meet children.
Only local bookstores help children see someone who looks like them, telling stories about them.
Support your local bookstore. Visit The Brown Bookshelf and find a new book to love.
This post is an interview with my middle son, about the first book he ever checked out. He’s now in seventh grade at the middle school.
Bat Loves the Night
“I was in English class, and we were in the library, and we all had our iPads out and were logged in and the librarian said, ‘Here’s your check out history. If you want to view all, here it is.’ We had all already clicked on it and were scrolling down to the first books we ever checked out in kindergarten. Mine was Bat Loves the Night. When I saw it, I remembered the moment I checked it out in kindergarten. I was upset that I couldn’t find a book that I liked. We had to check out a book and I couldn’t find one that I liked or wanted to check out. My teacher found it and said ‘what about this book?’ and then I remember really loving this book.
When I saw that book on my check-out history I felt choked up. What did I feel? I felt nostalgic. Maybe I even felt as happy remembering the book as I was reading the book. I also felt sad because I missed my elementary school. Then I remember the major moments in that school. I haven’t thought about my elementary school in awhile, but that book brought back a lot of memories. They came back in a fast pace. My kindergarten teacher was always really kind to me. I feel like if I had a different teacher I would have a different experience in the rest of my years at the elementary school.
Yes, I was able to read the book. I remember we also read Stellaluna in class. I think a lot of people had to have their books read to them, but I was able to read mine. Seeing that book title kickstarted my memory.”
What was the first book you ever checked out? What books do you remember from childhood?
You can find Bat Loves the Night at your local library, or at your local bookstore, like Riverstone.
I’m so proud to share these two books that I wrote for KPS Storybook Development in South Korea!
I had a lot of fun writing about the main characters, Janine Sardine and Picky Penny. Each character faces a problem that children in grades PK-2 often face. I love the final illustrations.