Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘young adult literature’

10887107_593638450768945_837515248378900968_o

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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Become, a young adult novel by Ali Cross  officially comes out tomorrow but it is available now in both digital and print form.

Cover copy for Become:

Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

And, a little bit about Ali before we start our interview:

Ali Cross is the sensei of the Writer's Dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, two sumo dogs and four zen turtles.

Ali. Thanks for joining us today. Where did the idea for Become originate?

Sometimes I like to play the “what if” game and see what stories I can come up with from random ideas. I’ve written a few books that way and BECOME was the first!

As a writer myself, I’m always curious about this: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I first started writing in the fall of 2002—a story born from my Dungeons & Dragon days.  My husband started his first book the same day as me, and we both finished  those books on New Year’s Eve 2003. Best New Year’s Eve ever!

Okay, so you’ve been at this for a while now. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. Do you outline, or just write, or do you use a combination of both?

I wrote most of my books off the cuff. I’d have a concept, title, character names and a general idea of where to go … and yeah, I think that’s why it took me so long to finish.  Now I work a little differently. I’m a huge fan of the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet—I’ll “beat” out a story, but from there, I’ll pants it. I like to have a good feel for where the story’s going, but I give myself the freedom to go where I need to go, too. So I’m a combo writer, I think. Anything to get ‘er done!

Blake Snyder was a talented person. I feel fortunate to have taken a workshop with him. You decided to self-publish Become. Can you tell us a little about your experience with self-publishing and what made you decide to go that route with Become?

I would have loved to find an agent to represent BECOME, and let me tell you, I sure did try! I was rejected 103 times, 32 times in the full, three times from one agent, and I got one agent offer. Plus, BECOME was contracted with a small publisher for a while, too. I believed there was something of value in my story, but I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to make it in the traditional route.

The choices were, shelve it and maybe someday query it again, or self-publish. When I had the chance to release with the other awesome girls in my “tour”, it seemed like maybe BECOME’s time had finally come!

Very cool, Ali. I’m looking forward to reading Become!! 🙂 My copy is already on my I-Pad.  Thanks for joining us today.

Ali is giving away a copy of Become, a signed bookmark, a key chain and a hand-knotted heart bracelet–all to one lucky winner.

Leave a comment before midnight (East Coast time) November 16th for a chance to win.

Read Full Post »

“They’re barefoot, moving silently along the carpeted hallway, searching for some clue to which hotel room might be Jenna McNulty’s.”

That’s the first line of Perpetual Check (Random House, 2009, 112 pages), by Rich Wallace. He’s the author of several realistic YA novels. Three of his books have been chosen as ALA Best Books for Your Adults.

From the Jacket Flap:

Randy is a chubby ninth grader with a Cub Scout hair cut who guesses M&M colors with his eyes closed and makes up words. He’s also a chess whiz who has defeated his older brother Zeke in nine of their last ten matches. Zeke is a high school senior, a soccer champ, and a chess natural who can beat just about anyone if he decides to really concentrate. So why is his loser little brother the better athlete, the better chess player, and the first to have a girlfriend?

Told in alternating points of view between brothers, Rich Wallace’s new novel brings to life one of America’s favorite pastimes in a suspenseful story about competition and family loyalty.

Perpetual Check is the fourth Rich Wallace book I’ve read. He does a really good job of writing from a male POV. 

I first heard Rich speak at the ALAN Conference several years ago and now I try to read everything he writes. He uses sports as a framework for his stories, but the stories themselves are about relationships.

In Perpetual Check, you don’t need to know anything about Chess in order to become swept up in the story.

Thanks for coming by.

Read Full Post »

I first heard Paul Volponi speak at the 2006 ALAN Conference as one of the New Voices in Young Adult Literature.

I remember him being passionate about writing realistic books that would connect with reluctant readers. At the time, I was teaching English in a school for kids who had exhausted all their other public school options. Consistently throughout my fifteen year tenure in that school, over ninety per cent of my students were male struggling and reluctant readers. Many of them had been in detention. Most had intense home lives either living with their families, in foster care, or group homes. I was always on the lookout for books that would speak to them.

Paul Volponi’s books did not disappoint me. For six years Paul taught incarcerated teens on Rikers Island to read and write. He’s the real deal and has won a slew of awards for his YA novels.

Here’s a quote from his 2006 presentation: “Books for reluctant readers have to grab you around the throat in the first couple of pages and not let go.”

Paul has authored eight Young Adult novels. I’m giving away three of them. And yeah, they all grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go!

Black and White

Marcus and Eddie are best friends who found the strength to break through the racial barrier. Marcus is black; Eddie is white. Stars of their school basketball team, they are true leaders who look past the stereotypes and come out on top. They are inseparable, watching each other’s backs, both on and off the basketball court. But one decision—one mistake—will change their lives forever.

Rooftop

Cousins Clay and Addison were like brothers, growing up together in the projects, until they were ripped apart by a family argument. When they are reunited in a drug-treatment program, they try to work out their issues like a family. But one night, one wrong decision, leaves Clay shaken and Addison dead. And in the rash of events that follow, the truth of what actually happened on the rooftop of the apartment building is caught up in a clash of politics and racial issues. Will Clay be able to rise above the lies and face the truth?

Rucker Park Setup

Rucker Park—a place where some of basketball’s greatest pro players go up against street legends. Best friends Mackey and J.R. have waited their whole lives to win the basketball tournament here. But when the day of an important game arrives, J.R. is fatally stabbed. And while Mackey didn’t wield the knife, he feels responsible. Now he has a score to settle, but the killer is watching his every move. Caught between two opposing forces, Mackey is determined to finish the final game of the Rucker Park Tournament on his own terms. The question is, can he do it?

Three winners will be chosen randomly.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment by midnight EST June 25th, telling me which book you’d like to win (if you have a preference), and I’ll try to accommodate your choice. 

2. If you can think of one, please leave a title to a book you’ve read that you think would engage a reluctant or struggling reader. You can still enter the contest either way:-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: