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Posts Tagged ‘Junior Library Guild’

 

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From 2003 to 2007 I attended the ALAN Workshop, which is a two-day affair where up to 80 Young Adult Literature Authors give talks, sign books and make themselves available to converse with the 500 teachers and librarians who attend. I looked forward to the ALAN Workshop every year for two reasons.

1. The participants bring home a large quantity of some of the best of the year’s Young Adult Literature provided by publishers. As a teacher, I added these books to my Classroom Library.ALAN Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That’s me on my treadmill desk where I’ve done a lot of writing over the years.

 

 

2. As a writer, it provided inspiration for me to keep plugging away at my own young adult novel manuscripts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash forward eight years and countless rewrites of several manuscripts, and the publication of Surviving Bear Island, and I got an invitation to speak at the conference that provided endless books for my students and ongoing inspiration for me as a writer.

 

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DSCN7094 I was on the Debut Author Panel at the 2015 ALAN Workshop. I was both nervous and excited in the days leading up to the Conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But arriving at the Conference and being among all these people who love Young Adult Literature, some new acquaintances and some old friends, I really felt like I had come full-circle, that I had come home as a writer and a teacher after an eight year journey.

 

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Meeting Christine Taylor Butler, author of The Lost Tribes, and another Move Books Author.

Reuniting with Daria Plumb, an amazing Alternative Education Teacher and ALAN President.

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Reuniting with Kelly Sassi, former Fairbanks Teacher who is now a Professor of English and Education in North Dakota. Meeting her son, Max, for the first time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, thanks ALAN for providing a supportive home for writers, teachers, and librarians to return to year after year. We may not all make it there every year, but just knowing that its there, carrying the torch of keeping relevant books in the hands of teens, is reassuring.

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I was totally surprised this week when I got this letter in the mail regarding Surviving Bear Island. I feel fortunate to have a Representative who supports education and the arts.

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The people at Barnes and Noble in Mishawaka, Indiana were kind enough to send me this photo. It’s my first official Bookstore sighting of Surviving Bear Island. And, it’s in a bookstore just a few miles from where I grew up. I’ve had a flurry of activity the last couple of days setting up three events: A school visit in Fairbanks on April 29th, a reading in Fairbanks on May 2nd, and a book signing in Indiana on June 27th. Details can be found here.

If you spot Surviving Bear Island in a bookstore or library I’d love to see photos. Or, if you have a copy I’d love to see a photo of you with the book in your hands.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

10887107_593638450768945_837515248378900968_o   Purchase at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

 

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Below are a few brief things about Surviving Bear Island. A little history and a look toward the future. (A version of this post was also published on Project Mayhem.)

 

  1. Surviving Bear Island, my debut novel, a survival story set in the wilds of Prince William Sound, Alaska comes out March 25th (Move Books). Having completed the first draft of this novel 10 years ago, and then countless drafts since then, I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a home for this book. As my agent was trying to sell a different manuscript we started working on getting Surviving Bear Island ready for submission.
  1. When I wrote Surviving Bear Island I didn’t envision it being illustrated. In fact, I first wrote it as a young adult novel and then six years into the revision process, it morphed into both first person and middle grade. One thing the illustrator James Madsen said about Surviving Bear Island is: “This book in particular has been one of my favorites because I grew up an avid outdoorsman and there’s no where I’d rather be than in the mountains or around wildlife.”

I feel fortunate to have my book matched with an artist who has spent a lot of time in the outdoors. In the past fifteen years James has illustrated more than 75 books. Below is one illustration from the book. James also did the cover.

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  1. Surviving Bear Island is a 2015 Junior Library Guild selection. Again, I feel incredibly fortunate that the Junior Library Guild is putting their energy into getting my book into school and public libraries.

 

 

 

  1. As of a couple days ago you can now pre-order Surviving Bear Island on Amazon.

 

As Surviving Bear Island nears publication I’m working on two books. One is an MG adventure set in Interior Alaska. The other is a contemporary YA novel.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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It’s been a week of good news for me with Surviving Bear Island. First, a great review from Kirkus, and now Surviving Bear Island has been chosen as a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection in the High Interest Middle Category for grades 5 to 8.

From Junior Library Guild: These exciting, age-appropriate titles will appeal to even the most reluctant middle-school readers. Perfect for: Middle schoolers who have difficulty finding books that interest them.

I’m honored that my book has been chosen.

You can order Surviving Bear Island from Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my good news.

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