Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Julie Kraut

Young adult author Julie Kraut graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and after living in New York and working in publishing for several years she recently returned to Maryland, where she was raised. Julie speaks to middle and high school students in many different ways—teen book clubs, campers, and even high school students in Africa—her presentations are always lively and engaging. In addition to her two YA novels, Hot Mess and Slept Away, she is a humor writer and her pieces have appeared in the Washington PostDallas Morning News, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Visits: Julie's presentations are geared towards eleven through seventeen year olds and last 45 minutes, including a reading and time for questions. Fee and number of presentations are negotiable.

To have Julie visit your school or organization email marilyn@childrenslit.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Children's Literature provides support for book sales at numerous author events, school book fairs and the like. Often we have one or two copies of a book left that we do not bother to return to the publisher. Our stock has grown and we would like to make some very good, never used books available on a first come first serve basis at a very attractive price: 50% off list plus free shipping. We will not order books as part of this special program. 

How to Place Your Order:
Print a copy of the order form and mark it up with your choices. Then fax the completed order form to (301) 469-2071 or put it in an envelope and send it to Children's Literature at the following address:

Children's Literature
7513 Shadywood Rd
Bethesda MD 20817

Orders will be filled as they are received. For credit card purchases, we will confirm your total before processing your card. If you want to use a personal or business check for a purchase, circle check as as the payment option and we will get back to you with the amount due. We will ship the books when your check arrives. If you are an institution using a purchase order, we will fill your order and send an invoice with the books.

Marilyn Courtot, Proprietor
Children's Literature

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Horses and History by Alison Hart

I’ll admit it: I have been horse crazy since my first Steiff pony and Billy and Blaze picture book by C.W. Anderson. Decades later, my passion is still with me: I ride my Quarter Horse, Relish, read horse books (try Chosen by a Horse a memoir by Susan Richardson), and write about horses.

Under my real name Alice Leonhardt and my pen name Alison Hart, I have written over fifty books about horses. Many are contemporary including books in the Nancy Drew and Thoroughbred series, my own Riding Academy series, Shadow Horse, an Edgar nominated mystery, and its sequel Whirlwind (Random House). I also have combined horses and history to create suspense-filled historical fiction. The two meld perfectly because humans and horses have been intertwined as early as 3500 BC when horses were raised for milk and meat in Kazakhstan. (See the fascinating March 2009 article in National Geographic)

Horses have been used (and exploited) by humans in all parts of the world. In America, horses became extinct about 10,000 years ago and were then reintroduced by 16th century Spanish Explorers. That gives me centuries of history to write about. My Racing to Freedom trilogy (Gabriel’s Horses, Gabriel’s Triumph and Gabriel’s Journey) focus on the 1800’s when horses were necessary for transportation, farming, commerce—and war.

            During the Civil War, both the Confederate and Union armies depended heavily     upon horses. The animals were needed to pull wagons, cannons, and ambulances         to and from battlegrounds. The horses also carried cavalry soldiers and officers    into battle. About 1.5 million horses and mules died during the Civil War.
            From “The History behind Gabriel’s Journey” by Alison Hart.

Bell’s Star is set in 1800’s Vermont and my newest book, Risky Chance (both from the Horse Diaries series from Random House) is set during the Great Depression. Writing historical fiction means I have to know the facts. The Racing to Freedom trilogy took over two years to research. I have notebooks and file folders of notes and photos from visits to Lexington and Camp Nelson, Kentucky, and Saratoga, New York; magazine articles, old maps, and scrawled notes from over two hundred books and online sources. My job as a writer is to use the facts to write a compelling story for young readers. Take for example, a scene from Gabriel’s Journey—which is about an African American cavalry unit that fought at the Battle of Saltville, Virginia—that I created around the statistics on the number of dead horses:

            I lead Sassy and Hero up onto the road. In front of us, a bulky mound lies in the center of the lane. The horse that was shot is dead. Blood oozes from its neck and shoulder. Already someone has stripped it of bridle, saddle, and gear. Soldiers lead their mounts around it or step over it. No one but me pays it any mind.
            I remember Jackson’s words when we first visited Camp Nelson and saw the broken-down remounts: Horses don’t choose to fight, and they sure don’t get no enlistment fee.
            And no glory neither, I see now. The body will be left for vultures and varmints.
            My eyes blur. I lead Sassy and Hero around the fallen horse and say a silent prayer.

Whether it’s a pony on the prairie during the Blizzard of 1888 (Anna’s Blizzard) or a Morgan horse helping a runaway slave in 1850 (Bell’s Star), each novel I write must be filled with vivid scenes that not only convey our history, but bring it to life for readers.

Contributor: Alison Hart

To have Alison visit your school or organization email marilyn@childrenslit.com

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thomas Yezerski

Author and illustrator Thomas Yezerski was raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was passionate about writing, art, music, and the outdoors from a young age. He earned his B.F.A in illustration from Syracuse University and now loves to talk to students about how one’s interests and passions can translate into a career. His most recent work, which he wrote and illustrated, is Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story. This picture book received starred reviews fromPublishers Weekly and School Library Journal. Next year he has two books coming out with author Michael J. Daley, Pinch and Dash Make Soup and Pinch and Dash and the Terrible Couch.

Tom visits schools to engage children and to help them realize and become the sort of person they want to be. By discussing his passion for writing and illustrating, he builds in the children an understanding of what it is to be passionate about a life goal, and to be succesful at reaching it. Tom can work with all different sizes of group, ages and expected attention spans of the children. The ranges of his program are 10 to 300 students, grades K to 6, from 40-60 minutes.
Fee: $1200 for a full-day visit, including 4 presentations and $1500 for a full-day visit over 80 miles from Rutherford, NJ.

To have Thomas visit your school or organization email marilyn@childrenslit.com