Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Children’s Literature Author & Illustrator Booking Service

The Children’s Literature Author & Illustrator Booking Service

Let our Booking Service connect you with enthusiastic audiences, promote your book sales and build your readership base. Author and illustrator events should be fun for everyone involved and our flexible and hassle-free service is committed to making sure your events run smoothly and are beneficial to all.

You can find us on Twitter (@CLCDreviews), Facebook ( and here on our blog. We encourage all members of our booking service to participate by sending us your news or by contributing items to post.

We actively promote our authors and illustrators through our free monthly e-newsletter—which runs features about our authors and illustrators—as well as via Twitter, Facebook, this blog, and our presence at conferences and trade shows.

Visit our booking service website to see our extensive list of authors/illustrators that includes: Susan Roth, Lindsay Barrett George, Sneed Collard, Kevin O’Malley, Valerie Patterson, J. Patrick Lewis, Henry Cole, Vicki Cobb, Roxie Munro, Lulu Delacre, Erica Perl and many more.

7513 Shadywood Road • Bethesda MD 20817 • 301 469 2070

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Black History Month

I delight in learning history. Perhaps it was growing up in an historic city or the family stories my grandmother told me, or the way Sister Margaret made American History come alive in her high school class each day. It is most likely a combination of all three and much more. I now live in Rochester, NY. It, too, is rich in history. The Erie Canal made it the first American Boom town. Queen Victoria requested bread made of flour from Rochester. Susan B. Anthony lived here and her home was the national headquarters for the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association.

I became a docent at the Susan B. Anthony House a couple years ago, and find her story fascinating. How exciting it was to discover that she and another Rochesterian, Frederick Douglass, were good friends. Mr. Douglass and his family attended abolitionist meetings on Sunday afternoons at the Anthony farm. In her writings, Miss Anthony mentions that she worked with Harriet Tubman in getting a slave to Canada on the Underground Railroad. Rochester and the surrounding communities with their proximity to Canada were an integral part of the Underground Railroad. The more I read about the 1850s, the more I am fascinated by how the lives of so many famous people intersected.

I recently interviewed Rona Arato, author of Mrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium. (The interview will be in the CLCD March Newsletter.) As we talked, Rona told me about another book she had written entitled Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson. Like Harriet Tubman, he was born in Maryland and escaped slavery, and returned to the South to free his family and over 100 other slaves. He met Harriet Beecher Stowe who read Henson’s life story and wrote her own book based on what she had learned, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which became the best-selling novel of the 19th Century and a catalyst for the Civil War.

Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson by Rona Arato is a compelling story and just perfect to share during Black History Month. The slaves who chose to escape on the Underground Railroad were all courageous. I am always pleased to discover another biography. Certainly one way to interest students in history is to give them some “edge of their seats” stories. Start with the most exciting story. Make history come alive. Then fill in with dates and details. It will be an unforgettable experience for you and for your students.

Here are some titles to help you present the Underground Railroad:

American Archaeology Uncovers the Underground Railroad
By Lois Miner Huey
Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2010

Eliza's Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary
By Jerdine Nolen
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011

Follow the Drinking Gourd
Story and pictures by Jeanette Winter
Random House, 1992

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
By Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Hyperion Books for Children, 2006

Maritcha: A Nineteenth-century American Girl
By Tonya Bolden
Harry N. Abrams, 2005

Night Running: How James Escaped with the Help of His Faithful Dog
By Elisa Carbone; illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Random House, 2008

Traveling the Freedom Road: From Slavery and the Civil War through Reconstruction
By Linda Barrett Osborne; in association with the Library of Congress
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2009

Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson
By Rona Arato
Napoleon Publishing, 2008

Sharon Salluzzo

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tech Savvy Advice

Parents, teachers, librarians, and students—we all use modern technology on a daily basis. There are so many options for its uses, such as homework, research, social media, and games. The classroom and library have become hubs for technology geared to kids and teens.
In March, YALSA is celebrating their 5th Teen Tech Week. According to their site, "Teen Tech Week is a national initiative aimed at teens, librarians, educators, parents, and other concerned adults that highlights nonprint resources at the library." The 2011 theme is Mix and Mash @ your library, which will focus on "encouraging teens to use library resources to express their creativity by developing their own unique online content and safely sharing it by using online collaborative tools."

The books in this month's tech feature focus books focus on technology—its history, its "rules," and its many uses.

The Internet and the World Wide Web
Sean Connolly
Use of the internet and the web are so prevalent in present day society that it is hard to remember that as recently as twenty years ago hardly anyone was familiar with terms such as download, web site, or e-mail. The technology has advanced so quickly that, in many cases, young people use the internet and web with more ease than the adults who are interacting with them. The possibilities and promises in this technology are great, but there can be risks involved in their use. Beginning with the development of computers and continuing through the extensive and sophisticated uses of the internet and web sites, the book presents an overview of this modern media phenomenon. Some of the risks discussed include the possibility of accessing incorrect or misleading information on web sites, the dangers of revealing personal information to strangers, and identify theft. Lists of suggestions for Netiquette and Safe Use of the Internet are included. Predictions for the future of these media are left open. Appropriate full-color photographs aid in understanding. Questions and activities designed to engage the reader appear in boxes throughout the text. Includes a glossary, bibliography, list of websites, and an index. A good choice for middle grade research. Part of the "Getting the Message" series. 2010, Smart Apple Media, $34.25. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781599203478

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


by Jacqueline Jules

Any questions? This portion of my school visits is my favorite part—and NOT because it usually comes at the end. I like to answer questions because they provide the answer to the question authors are most frequently asked. Where do you get your ideas?

My stories all grow out of questions. For example, when I sat down to write my picture book No English, I began with the question, “Can two people who don’t speak the same language become friends?” From there I continued with other questions. “Can you imagine what it’s like to be surrounded by people you don’t understand?” By posing and answering one question after another, I crafted a story about two second grade girls who found a creative way to overcome a language barrier.

For my chapter book series, Zapato Power, I began with a question I love discussing with students. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Would you want super strength? Would you like to be invisible? How about super hearing or super eyesight? The possibilities were endless, and the more I considered the question, the more fun I had.

After much thought, I decided that my character of Freddie Ramos in Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off, would receive a mysterious box filled with super-powered purple sneakers. These shoes would give him the ability to run faster than a metro train. But my questions did not stop there. Who gave Freddie the shoes? How would Freddie use his special sneakers? Would it be easy for him to become a superhero? Where would he find superhero jobs at elementary school?

To write the sequels, Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Springs into Action and Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue, I also asked myself questions. What other mysteries could Freddie solve? What problems should he overcome? I have discussed these questions with students at schools, and their intriguing answers often ignite my imagination.

Questions are the fuel for my stories. Not only do they help me create, they help me revise. When I look over my first drafts, I have to ask myself questions, too. Did I make this scene clear enough for the reader? Should I give the reader more clues before the mystery is solved? Did I say anything that might confuse my reader?

I hope that after my school visits, my audiences will be ready to go back to their own writing notebooks and pose question after question until their imaginations are racing as fast as Freddie Ramos in his magic purple shoes.