Congratulations to all of the winners of the American Library Awards announced yesterday!

Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool won the Newbery









A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead won the Caldecott







The Dreamer, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, won the Pura Belpré Author Award. (Yay Pam!)








Grandma’s Gift, written and illustrated by Eric Velasquez, won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award.







One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia won the Coretta Scott King Author Award. (Yay Rita!)









Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Laban Carrick Hill won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.





The Printz Award went to Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi.









Jonathan Hunt has posted a list of all of the award winners (including Honor books!) at his SLJ blog. Go forth, enjoy, and read.


Batting Monday Clean-up

You know the sound a car engine makes at the RPMs are climbing and you are preparing to shift into the next gear?

Make that sound in your mind right now.

I’m getting ready to shift gears and go full throttle on a number of projects.

Before I can do that, though, I have to clean off a couple of desks and check off the last items on a few to-do lists. And close a bunch of tabs that have been open for weeks while I wait for the right moment to blog about them.

Here’s a short article about a recent Skype visit I did with 6th graders who had read CHAINS.

CHAINS also made the "A More Perfect Union" Bookself, a program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The chosen books will be distributed to 4,000 school (K-12) and public libraries. Why? The NEH says "As the American people begin observing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, NEH seeks to promote reflection among young people on the idea of the United States as a “union.”" I was excited to see that my friend Pam Muñoz Ryan’s book, When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, is also on the list. I was honored that W.E.B. Dubois’s, The Souls of Black Folk, is on the list, too. Be sure to check out the whole list!

Over at YA BookSelf, they’ve posted an article comparing rejection letters to SPEAK. What do you think of it?

At last, but certainly not least, Wendy at SimpleThrift (a terrific blog about living a frugal and creative life while raising kids) has been naming her chickens after her favorite authors. She just posted a short and fun Good Egg Interview with me because….

  (photo credit Wendy Thomas)

she named this little girl "Laurie Halse Anderson."

Can You Stand Even More Excitement?!

::cues drummers::

Are you ready for my BIG NEWS?

This is officially a Big Freaking Deal. As in, I hyperventilated when I heard. The Carnegie is the equivalent of the Newbery Award in the UK. Take a look at the other authors on the list. Neil Gaiman! Terry Pratchett! Julie Hearn!! I am agog to be in their company.

I am agogging still in New York City. Yesterday was Penguin Day, which included meetings and lunch with my Viking editor, Joy,

who wins the Most Organized Editor in New York Award, hands-down.

I also spent a big part of the day with my daughter, Stef,

who will be running in the half-marathon with me tomorrow.

We got shirts!

And now I will scurry about and try to get more work done before the giant pre-race pasta fest with Deb Sloan and her running crew.

P.S. Yes, that is the British paperback cover of CHAINS, above.

P.P.S. Congratulations to one of my favorite bookstores, Wild Rumpus Books, for being named the best children’s bookstore in Minneapolis!

Tabs like seeds growing & a poem to make you sing

I’m in cleaning frenzy mode before the NYC trip.  This morning’s task is to clean up all the open tabs. I hope you are feeling in a clickety-linkety mood this morning.

A day this beautiful should begin on a note of poetry perfectly balanced between joy and melancholy. Read "Some Me of Beauty" by Carolyn M. Rodgers.

My favorite lines are:

"I saw a woman. Human and
I felt a spiritual
A root revival of
And I knew that many
Were Over
And some me of
About to begin."

That line: "some me of beauty was about to begin" makes my heart race and my palms sweat. THAT, my friends, is the mark of a good poem. What do you think about it?

Sadly, Ms. Rodgers died last week at age 69.

Recently I was privileged to send some love and best wishes to one of my childhood heroes (seen below)  Beverly Cleary on the occasion of her 94th birthday!! Judy Blume sent greetings too, and Lauren Myracle, and other truly splendiferous authors. Read the whole thing and bask in the goodness that is the World Of Cleary.

(photo from the SLJ website, photo credit to Kate Ward)

In preparation of the kick-butt Teen Book Festival near Rochester, NY (5/15/10 – you don’t want to miss it), I participated in a quick "This or That" interview. Other authors who will be at the TBF include Coe Booth, Holly Black, Ellen Hopkins, AND MORE!

<=== That is the United Kingdom paperback version of CHAINS, published by Bloomsbury. I adore this cover. CHAINS has been named nominated for SPELLBINDING, the Cumbrian Primary School Book Award, in England.

And, drum roll please, for in addition to winning the 2010 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award, WINTERGIRLS has been nominated for the YALSA Teens’ Top Ten of 2010!!!!! Voting takes place in August and September. Get ready!!!

Crazy Love

(Announcement: I am preparing another vlog. What questions do you want answered? End of announcement)

(And now we return to our regularly scheduled blog)

Seriously? Sarah Hale is the answer to your Women’s History month needs.

Ask Bonnie Jacobs.

What else do we have in here,….. ::rummages:: ah, yes! A lovely WINTERGIRLS review from Norway.

And much appreciated nods from state award lists:

Wintergirls is on the Rhode Island Teen Book Award and the Georgia Peach Book Award lists and the New York Public LIbrary Stuff for the Teen Age list.


CHAINS is ALSO on the Rhode Island Teen Book Award list, as well as the Beehive Young Adult list from Utah, and the Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Choice Award, in the intermediate category.


And if that weren’t enough, THE HAIR OF ZOE FLEEFENBACHER GOES TO SCHOOL is a 2010 National Horace Mann Upstanders Children’s Literature Award Honor Book. Wow!