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Category: Author Essays

Syed M. Masood on More Than Just a Pretty Face and building empathy through reading

There are two kinds of people in the world. People who read and people who don’t. If I were to tell you that people who read are better than They…

The Past is a Foreign Country

My first poem, which apparently I composed aloud at the age of two or three, goes like this:   There used to be a farm, There used to be a…

Jerry Pinkney on The Little Mermaid

It was half buried in the sand, a bright seashell. Who could help retrieving this lovely  gift of nature? I pressed the shell to my ear and listened. Instantly a…

Monica Hesse on writing historical fiction for young readers

If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of the past two months daydreaming of “After.” After covid-19, after quarantine, after stay-at-home orders, after exhausted-looking nurses begging for more personal…

UN-LADYLIKE

Being a teenage girl was hard: school, parents, just generally having a head on top of a body. I’ve had a little distance from those years, but I haven’t forgotten…

On the Importance of Happy Books About Mental Illness

In the years since my debut novel None of the Above was released, I’ve been asked by countless teachers and librarians what I was working on next. My stock answer…

We Are Still Here: Thoughts on Indigenous Representation

For Indigenous people in our country, accurate and respectful representation is a rarity. I am very grateful to be involved in a community of Indigenous creators and educators who are…

Author Essay: Jennifer Latham on writing Dreamland Burning

Before the gunfire and flames, there was a hand-stitched dress—fitted and fine—that made Veneice Dunn feel beautiful. On May 31, 1921, she wasn’t thinking about how attacks on black communities…

Love Is Love

Nandini Bajpai on writing A Match Made in Mehendi   Love takes many forms and the presence and quality of love in teens’ lives impacts their social and emotional health.…

Author Essay: Julissa Arce on writing Someone Like Me

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas most of classmates in middle school looked like me; they had brown skin and black hair. I heard Spanish being spoken almost every day…

The Ultimate 1980s Throwback Playlist by Steve Rushin

THE EIGHTIES. Van Halen. Dire Straits. Three’s Company. Knight Rider. Nights in White Castle captures a bygone era, and the thrills of new adulthood during the decade of big hair…

Love Really Is Forever

Love.   What is it? This essential question is what has propelled my book, The Invisible String, into a bestselling phenomenon.   No one could be more surprised than I…

Surprise Me!

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