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Posts Tagged ‘young adult literature’

flat iron

The Flat Iron building, home of Macmillan.

My first young adult novel, The Wild Lands, is going to be published by Imprint (2019), which is part of Macmillan, with another YA survival story to follow. I’m totally thrilled to be working with Imprint. I got to meet the whole Imprint team on a recent trip to NYC.

From Publishers Marketplace:

July 12, 2017: Children’s: Young Adult:

JLG winner Paul Greci’s THE WILD LANDS, set in a future where the United States officially abandons Alaska and a brother and sister decide to leave—facing an epic, several hundred-mile journey across a harsh and surprising landscape while defending themselves from people as desperate as they are, to John Morgan at Imprint, in a two-book deal, by Amy Tipton at Signature Literary Agency (world).

 

10887107_593638450768945_837515248378900968_oPaul Greci is the author of Surviving Bear Island, a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection.

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Surviving Bear Island has been listed in the Alaska Dispatch News as one of their Favorite Alaska Books of the Year.

I’m thrilled to be on this list along with Alaskan authors Alexis Bunten, Kim Heacox, Catherine Holder Spude, Rosemary McGuire, Camille Seaman, Margaret Thomas, Chad and Darin Carpenter, Lee Goodman, Stuart Archer Cohen, Seth Kantner, Linda Martin, Jeremy Pataky, Eva Saulitis, and Dan O’Neill.

Below is a quote from the article regarding Surviving Bear Island:

Fairbanks author Paul Greci has received widespread and deserved national attention for his young-adult novel “Surviving Bear Island.” The book’s teenage narrator, Tom Parker, becomes stranded on an uninhabited island far out in Prince William Sound after a sea kayaking accident separates him from his father. With winter closing in, Tom has to survive off the island’s minimal bounty while encountering bears, enduring mishaps and coming to terms with the death of his mother and the unknown fate of his father. Greci gets inside his protagonist’s head, offering a fully believable character who gets put through hell. This is no happy romp in the forest. Like all the best young-adult fiction, “Bear Island” is a book for adults, too.–David James

Thanks for stopping by.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

treadmill desk

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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After a sea kayaking trip with his father takes a dangerous turn, Tom Parker is stranded on the remote, outer coast of unpopulated Bear Island in the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska with only a survival kit in his pocket. Desperate to find his father, Tom doesn’t know how long he can survive and must put his survival skills to the test as he fights to reach safety.

“The tension is well-crafted and realistic. Bear Island is a challenging environment to survive but a terrific thrill on the page.”–Kirkus

 

 

 

 

The E-book of Surviving Bear Island is now available for $8.99 at Amazon. It will also be available through Barnes & Noble as a Nook Book soon. And, the hard cover is going to press for a Second Printing.

Thanks, Move Books​  and Eileen Robinson​ for putting Surviving Bear Island out in the world, and to all the readers thus far.

Thanks also to the Junior Library Guild​ for all the work they do to get books into reader’s hands.

Thanks also to  Amy Tipton​ for her expertise in all things books/editing/publishing related.

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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.

Kawasaki letter SBI copy

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I just learned that my YA novel, Sacrifice Area, took second place in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Annual contest in the young adult/middle grade category.

Last year my MG novel, Stranded, took second place.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Okay, the semester is almost over. In my seven-student class (two girls and five boys, all sophomores and juniors) here’s what they chose to read for independent reading time.

My class is an ELL (English Language Learners) class comprised of students with roots in Micronesia, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and a few villages in rural Alaska. Some have been in this country their entire lives and some have just arrived a few months ago.

Anyone who reads books in a second language is a reading superhero.

We had 15 to 20 minutes of in-class reading time two or three times a week, and students had the option of taking their books home to read as well. The girls often took their books home; the boys did not.

This is pretty much the OPPOSITE of what I do in my classroom where kids can sit or lay on the floor during reading time if they please.

I did not require them to do any writing assignments in relation to their independent reading, or read a certain number of pages. I allowed them to stop reading a book if they wanted to just like us adults do. It was a no-strings-attached approach. For more details about my ideas regarding fostering reading in the classroom see this post.

I had a wide selection of young adult fiction and other books for my students to choose from. They were also allowed to bring books from home or the library.

In no particular order, these are books my students enjoyed and finished, or are about to finish.

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

Last Chance Texaco by Brent Hartinger

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cut by Patricia McCormick

Trapped by Michael Northrop

Pinned by Alfred Martino

Wrestling Sturbridge by Rich Wallace

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Raiders Night by Robert Lipstyte

Right Behind You by Gail Giles

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Popular by Alissa Grosso

Cheating Death: Amazing Survival stories from Alaska by Larry Kaniut

Someone to Love Me by Anne E. Schraff and Paul Langan

As you can see from the list above, my students tended to gravitate toward contemporary, realistic stories.

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