I am lucky to get another interview with a non-fiction writer, Brandon Marie Miller, from the Southwest Ohio Chapter of SCBWI I attend, who has a newly released book for those interested in American history. When I first joined the group, Brandy was especially helpful to me by critiquing a few chapters of a YA historical fiction book I am revising. I think she felt pity on me when she learned I was getting through only three pages a month with a critique group I attended. Recently, she has been providing advice on writing book proposals and query letters as I struggle through that process.
I met Mary Kay Carson in the Southwest Ohio chapter of SCBWI where we are members. The group meets monthly to discuss writing topics, host guest speakers, critique each other's work, and help each other out in general by providing support and answering questions. Mary Kay is a great resource within the group as a non-fiction science writer, especially to me, who is trying to get my own science non-fiction books published. I read her latest book, Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science Under Glass, last year while serving on the Sibert committee.
Since returning from not-s0-chilly Boston in January, I've had just a couple of things to finish up before feeling like I've actually finished up with the Sibert Committee. My house was still cluttered with hundreds of books that needed to be dealt with, for one thing. And I had a request from the Cincinnati chapter of SCBWI to talk at one of their meetings about the award.
The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is awarded to the most distinguished informational book for children. The 2016 winner is:
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh.
The book is published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calvaras is about José Guadalupe Posada, the Mexican artist whose iconic Dia de Muertos illustrations are well known to children celebrating or learning about the holiday. Juxtaposing his own artwork with Posada’s art and life, Tonatiuh tells the story of a remarkable man and time in Mexican history.
“Dancing calaveras (skeletons) cavort through this playful biography about the Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada. In lively art and text, Tonatiuh describes Posada's techniques and the social impact of his vibrant art," said Sibert Medal Committee Chair Elizabeth C. Overmyer.
As a member of the 2016 Robert F. Sibert Award committee, I am honored to receive many non-fiction books for children from publishers all year. It's always exciting when another package arrives on my doorstep full of the newest and best books being published. Now, at the halfway point through the year, as I am preparing to attend the American Library Association conference, I wanted to reflect on the trends I have noticed so far. Sorry to disappoint any readers hoping to read a review or two, since that is normally what I do. This blog is dedicated only to my observances about trends. You'll get to read plenty of reviews later! So, in no particular order:
As I head to San Francisco next week to discuss non-fiction books with my committee, I will be anxious to hear their opinions on our selection of non-fiction books and listen for other trends I may have missed. I will have an update on this topic at the end of my term, I'm sure, and will be able, at that time, to write reviews about them.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a very large Russian Blue mix cat named Bosley from the shelter, and a rescue dog named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
You can find more detailed information about me by clicking the link below: