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Brian Weisfeld

The Startup Squad

In which we interview Brian Weisfeld, one of the authors of The Startup Squad series, featuring a reluctant team of four girls who start their own business. I found them to be charming … and I mean that in both senses of the word: being appealing and casting a spell.
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Gennifer Choldenko

Gennifer Choldenko

I’m so pleased to have Gen­nifer Chold­enko grant Bookol­o­gy an inter­view about all the ques­tions I’ve bot­tled up since read­ing Orphan Eleven, her newest nov­el. Each one of her nov­els is a page-turn­er from first to last, often intro­duc­ing his­to­ry we didn’t know but can’t wait to learn more about. Those are my favorite sorts of books.… more
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When Sue Found Sue

Is there any muse­um exhib­it more fas­ci­nat­ing than Sue, the T. rex, at The Field Muse­um in  Chica­go, Illinois?  Now there’s a curios­i­ty-rais­ing, shy­ness-rec­og­niz­ing, dis­cus­sion-wor­thy book about the oth­er Sue, the woman who dis­cov­ered the T. rex dur­ing a dig in South Dako­ta. For ele­men­tary school stu­dents and your dinosaur-inspired kids in the library and at home, you can see from the cov­er that this book is irresistible.… more
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The Lost Forest

The Lost Forest

How many books can you name that are about sur­vey­ing … and a mys­tery? I know. Right? And yet we see sur­vey­ors every day in fields, on busy street cor­ners, and in our neigh­bor­hoods. What are they doing? Would it sur­prise you to know that near­ly every acre of your state has been sur­veyed? That knowl­edge about those acres is record­ed on plat books and maps that peo­ple in gov­ern­ment and com­merce con­sult all the time?… more
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Eliza Wheeler

Eliza Wheeler

Eliza Wheel­er is the fas­ci­nat­ing illus­tra­tor of many books, includ­ing John Ronald’s Drag­ons: The Sto­ry of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Pome­gran­ate Witch, and Tell Me a Tat­too Sto­ry. You can read about her work on her Wheel­er Stu­dio blog. For this inter­view, we are focus­ing on a series she has illus­trat­ed for Can­dlewick Press, the Cody books by Tri­cia Springstubb.… more
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Linda Sue Park

Melanie Heuis­er Hill recent­ly inter­viewed Lin­da Sue Park, curi­ous about her dai­ly work habits as a writer, and how Lin­da Sue bal­ances life and work. Do you have specific writing goals that you formulate and work toward—a certain number of words/pages a day, a draft finished by a certain date, revision done in x number of weeks etc.?more
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North Woods Girl

Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Committee

We’re in the midst of award sea­son, when best of the year lists and spec­u­la­tion about award win­ners pro­lif­er­ate on the social media plat­forms swirling around chil­dren’s and teen books. In Novem­ber, we attend­ed the award cer­e­mo­ny at the Sig­urd Olson Envi­ron­men­tal Insti­tute’s Chil­dren and Young Adult Lit­er­a­ture Con­fer­ence, which takes place at North­land Col­lege in Ash­land, Wis­con­sin (on the awe-inspir­ing south shore of Lake Supe­ri­or).… more
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Marion Dane Bauer

Marion Dane Bauer

Mar­i­on Dane Bauer and her books are respect­ed and loved by chil­dren, par­ents, edu­ca­tors, librar­i­ans, edi­tors, and writ­ers. She began her career as a nov­el­ist, turn­ing to pic­ture books lat­er in her career. Cel­e­brat­ing the release of her newest pic­ture book, the charm­ing Win­ter Dance, we were curi­ous about how she writes these short books so we asked!… more
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Richard Jackson

We are hon­ored to inter­view the high­ly respect­ed Richard Jack­son, who is on to his next career as a writer. His most recent­ly pub­lished book is all ears, all eyes, a lush and irre­sistible read-aloud book, illus­trat­ed by Kather­ine Tillit­son (Simon & Schus­ter). We thought we’d take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk with him about the pro­gres­sion from his edi­to­r­i­al career to his writ­ing career and the four books he has written.… more
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Katherine Tillotson

Katherine Tillotson

For this inter­view, we turn to the illus­tra­tor of a new book, all ears, all eyes, whose work I’ve long admired. This is a very spe­cial book. Open it and you’ll be cap­ti­vat­ed by the for­est at night. Such unusu­al art! But, then, her pri­or books have also been dis­tinc­tive, each in their own way. I hope you enjoy this vis­it with Kather­ine as much as I did.… more
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Creekfinding with author Jacqueline Briggs Martin

A stew­ard­ship for our one and only Earth are an abid­ing con­cern for many of our plan­et’s inhab­i­tants. When an author finds an oppor­tu­ni­ty to share with the world of read­ers her own pas­sion for con­serv­ing our ecosys­tems, the book Creek­find­ing: A True Sto­ry is cre­at­ed. We hope you’ll find inspi­ra­tion for your own explo­ration and con­ser­va­tion in this inter­view with Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin.… more
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Claudia McGehee

Creekfinding with illustrator Claudia McGehee

While tak­ing a clos­er look at Creek­find­ing: A True Sto­ry, it is impos­si­ble to sep­a­rate the nar­ra­tive and the illus­tra­tions because togeth­er they make the book whole. And yet two dif­fer­ent artists cre­at­ed the words and the illus­tra­tions that guide the read­er toward an under­stand­ing of the Brook Creek restora­tion project. Clau­dia McGe­hee notices the details, the encom­pass­ing emo­tions and the nuances of the land­scape that encour­age to walk along­side Team Brook Creek while they explore this restored ecosys­tem.… more
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Merna Ann Hecht

Merna Ann Hecht and Our Table of Memories

When one poet, Mer­na Ann Hecht, and one edu­ca­tor, Car­rie Stradley, observed their com­mu­ni­ty, their schools, their stu­dents, and real­ized that a pletho­ra of life expe­ri­ences sur­round­ed them, they put their teach­ing and their hearts togeth­er to cre­ate The Sto­ries of Arrival: Refugee and Immi­grant Youth Voic­es Poet­ry Project at Fos­ter High School, in Tuk­wila, Washington.… more
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Jinx

Fantasy Gems

The Christ­mas present that stands out most in my mem­o­ry was giv­en to me when I was 16. We opened our presents on Christ­mas Eve. At that age, I expect­ed clothes and prac­ti­cal gifts. Some­how, my moth­er knew to give me the boxed set of The Lord of the Rings. I hadn’t read any fan­ta­sy before this. So I was curi­ous.… more
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Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman, the Girl in Men’s Underwear

We wel­come the oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk with Karen Cush­man, New­bery Medal and Hon­or recip­i­ent for The Mid­wife’s Appren­tice and Cather­ine, Called Birdy, as well as his­tor­i­cal fic­tion set in the west­ern Unit­ed States. Her most recent nov­el is the fan­ta­sy Grayling’s Song. We look for­ward to talk­ing with Karen because her sense of humor is always in play, some­thing you’d expect from read­ing her books.… more
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Charles Ghigna

Charles Ghigna, Champion of Poetry

Our thanks to author and poet Charles Ghigna (GEEN-yuh) for tak­ing time out from his writ­ing, school vis­its, and con­fer­ence tours to answer these ques­tions which have been knock-knock-knockin’ on my brain since I first began read­ing his many books of poet­ry and, now, a non­fic­tion book about fas­ci­nat­ing animals!  Do you remember when you first read a poem and it caught your attention?more
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Candace Fleming Tames the Wild West

Our thanks to author Can­dace Flem­ing for sit­ting still long enough to answer in-depth ques­tions about her con­cep­tion for, research into, and writ­ing deci­sions for Pre­sent­ing Buf­fa­lo Bill: the Man Who Invent­ed the Wild West, our Book­storm™ this month. Flem­ing’s answers will inform edu­ca­tors, pro­vid­ing direct quotes from an oft-pub­lished biog­ra­ph­er of beloved books that will be use­ful for teach­ing writ­ing and research skills in the classroom. … more
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One North Star

One North Star, Three Creative Artists

Bet­sy Bowen’s book, Antler Bear Canoe: a North­woods Alpha­bet, has been a favorite alpha­bet book for the last 25 years, remind­ing every read­er about the things they love in their unique environment. Now, a count­ing book will sit allur­ing­ly on the book­shelf next to that title. One North Star: a Count­ing Book (Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Press) has been writ­ten by Phyl­lis Root, and illus­trat­ed with wood­cuts by Bet­sy Bowen and Beck­ie Prange.… more
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Anita Silvey

We are so pleased to have author and edu­ca­tor Ani­ta Sil­vey talk with us about her book Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, our Book­storm this month. Do you remember when you were first aware of Pete Seeger as a child or teenager? In my sophomore year in college, I came down with mono and had to be sequestered from other students.… more
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Melissa Stewart

Melissa Stewart

We are so pleased to have author and sci­ence speak­er Melis­sa Stew­art take time away from her very busy book-writ­ing sched­ule to share her answers to burn­ing ques­tions we had after read­ing No Mon­keys, No Choco­late, our Book­storm this month. Melissa, when do book ideas usually come knocking on your brain? Ideas can come anytime, anywhere—so I always have to be ready.… more
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Roxane Orgill

Roxane Orgill

I’d like to know a thou­sand things about this book because you’ve opened so many doors for my imag­i­na­tion. I’ll restrict myself to only a few of those ques­tions, pri­mar­i­ly to help stu­dents who are drawn in by all the sto­ries with­in this pho­to­graph and the poems you’ve writ­ten about it. You have been a journalist and a music critic.… more
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The Secret Life of Figgy Mustardo

Marsha Wilson Chall and Jill Davis

I recent­ly had the hon­or of inter­view­ing Mar­sha Wil­son Chall, the author of the new pic­ture book, The Secret Life of Fig­gy Mus­tar­do, and her edi­tor, Jill Davis. Mar­sha Wil­son Chall grew up an only child in Min­neso­ta, where her father told her the best sto­ries. The author of many pic­ture books, includ­ing Up North at the Cab­in, One Pup’s Up, and Pick a Pup, Mar­sha teach­es writ­ing at Ham­line Uni­ver­si­ty’s MFAC pro­gram in St.… more
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Francis Vallejo

Francis Vallejo

We are pleased to share with you our inter­view with Fran­cis Valle­jo, the illus­tra­tor of Jazz Day: the Mak­ing of a Famous Pho­to­graph, our Book­storm™ this month. This book is so rich with visu­al images that stir read­ers’ imag­i­na­tions. You’ll feel like you’re stand­ing on the street with the oth­er onlookers! The title page says that you used acrylics and pastels to create this art.more
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Miss Colfax's Light

Eileen Ryan Ewen

Miss Colfax's Light is a perfect example of the text and illustrations enhancing each other to make a picture book biography that is more than the sum of its parts. With our interview, we hope to help you look more deeply at Eileen Ryan Ewen's illustrations.
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Aimée Bissonette

Aimée Bissonette

In this inter­view with Aimée Bis­sonette, author of Miss Col­fax’s Light, our Book­storm™ this monthwe asked about writ­ing and research­ing this non­fic­tion pic­ture book biography. 
Aimée, thank you for shar­ing your expe­ri­ences and dis­cov­er­ies with our read­ers. We’re excit­ed about this book that show­cas­es an Every­day Hero, one of Amer­i­ca’s female light­house keepers.… more
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Lisa Bullard

Lisa Bullard

In this inter­view with Lisa Bullard, author of Turn Left at the Cow, our Book­storm™ this monthwe asked nine ques­tions to which she gave heart­felt answers. 
Lisa, thank you for your will­ing­ness to share your writ­ing process and your thoughts about mys­ter­ies with us. Mys­ter­ies have rabid fans and you’ve writ­ten a book that’s not only smart and fun­ny and sassy, but it’s a taut thriller.… more
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Melissa Sweet

Melissa Sweet

In this inter­view with Melis­sa Sweet, illus­tra­tor of A Riv­er of Words: The Sto­ry of William Car­los Williams, our Book­storm™ this monthwe asked six ques­tions and Melis­sa kind­ly took time from her busy days of vis­it­ing schools and cre­at­ing art.
Do you recall the first time you encountered a William Carlos Williams poem? My first introduction to William Carlos Williams was when I was seven years old and went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.… more
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Jen Bryant

Jen Bryant

In this inter­view with Jen Bryant, author of A Riv­er of Words: The Sto­ry of William Car­los Williams, our Book­storm™ this month. Do you recall the first time you encountered a William Carlos Williams poem? I was in high school—and it was part of an anthology reading that we did for English class. I had disliked/not understood/ been unmoved by all of the other poems in this assigned reading (I recall that the language in those poems was archaic and flowery, and the forms very, VERY traditional)—and then—whooosh—like a breath of fresh air, here were a few selected W.… more
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Jennifer A. Bell

Jennifer A. Bell

In this inter­view with Jen­nifer A. Bell, illus­tra­tor of many endear­ing books, we’ve asked about the process of illus­trat­ing Lit­tle Cat’s Luck, our Book­storm™ this month, writ­ten for sec­ond, third, and fourth graders as a read-aloud or indi­vid­ual read­ing books.Jennifer was also the illus­tra­tor for Mar­i­on Dane Bauer’s ear­li­er nov­el-in-verse, Lit­tle Dog, Lost. What media and tools did you use to create the soft illustrations in Little Cat’s Luck?more
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Marion Dane Bauer

Marion Dane Bauer

In this inter­view with Mar­i­on Dane Bauer, we’re ask­ing about her nov­el-in-verse, Lit­tle Cat’s Luck, our Book­storm™ this month, writ­ten for sec­ond, third, and fourth graders as a read-aloud or indi­vid­ual read­ing books. It’s a good com­pan­ion to her ear­li­er nov­el-in-verse, Lit­tle Dog, Lost.  When the idea for this story came to you, was it a seed or a full-grown set of characters and a storyline?more
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Gennifer Choldenko

Gennifer Choldenko

Bookol­o­gy is proud to fea­ture Gen­nifer Chold­enko’s Chas­ing Secrets as its Book­storm™ this month, shar­ing themes, ideas, and com­ple­men­tary book rec­om­men­da­tions for your class­room, lit­er­a­ture cir­cle, or book group discussions. Were you a curious child? How did this manifest itself? I was an eccentric child. I was curious to the extent that I could find out new facts to feed my imaginary world.… more
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Stephanie Roth Sisson

Stephanie Roth Sisson

The first Princess Posey book was published in 2010. How long before that were you asked to illustrate the book? And were the plans to have it be a single book at that time or were there already intentions to publish more than one book about Posey? Susan Kochan and Cecilia Yung at Penguin contacted me in November of 2008 about the Princess Posey series.… more
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Stephanie Greene

Stephanie Greene

Is the “impossible game” something you ran across or is it something you invented? I read about it on a blog or the Internet, I can’t remember. I try to keep abreast of what six-year-olds are doing by talking to my nieces, who have little girls, or friends who do, or the children on the street where we live – anywhere I can find information.… more
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Interview with Julie Downing: Illustrating The Firekeeper’s Son

inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist and Mar­sha Qualey The illustrations in The Firekeeper's Son are all double-page spreads. How did that design decision affect your choices and work? I decided on the format because the landscape is an important part of the story. The original dummy I made had fewer pages so I split many spreads into smaller images.… more
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Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Beautiful Books: an interview with designer Marty Ittner

For young writ­ers who aspire to write infor­ma­tion books of their own, or read­ers who will enjoy the expe­ri­ence of read­ing more, we’d like to help them under­stand how a book design­er works. Mar­ty Ittner designed Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane Goodall and gra­cious­ly agreed to answer bookol­o­gist Vic­ki Palmquist’s questions. When you start the process of designing a book, what provides your inspiration?… more
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Interview with Anita Silvey: Writing about Dr. Jane Goodall

For young writ­ers who aspire to write infor­ma­tion books of their own, we’d like to help them under­stand how a writer works.   When do you remember becoming aware of Dr. Jane Goodall? I worked at Houghton Mifflin when many of her books were being published and knew her editor well. The first time I heard her give one of her brilliant lectures, I became a total convert.     … more
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Interview: Candace Fleming

Bulldozer’s Big Day is a perfect read-aloud, with wonderful sound and action opportunities on most pages. Did those moments affect your decision about what verbs to use? How lovely you think it’s a perfect read aloud. I worked hard at the story’s readability. Not only did I strive for a pace and cadence, but I wanted the story to sound as active as the plot’s setting with lots of bumping and clanging and vrooming.… more
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Interview: Eric Rohmann

Bull­doz­er’s Big Day
writ­ten by Can­dace Flem­ing
illus­trat­ed by Eric Rohmann
Atheneum, 2015
inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist What’s the illustration tool you turn to more than any other? Graphite pencil. Simple, efficient, erasable, feels good in the hand, makes a lovely line with infinite possibilities for line variation. Did I mention that it’s erasable? Always forgiving!… more
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Interview: Ann Bausum

With Courage and Cloth: Win­ning the Fight for a Woman’s Right to Vote
Ann Bausum
Nation­al Geo­graph­ic, 2004
inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist You state that you weren’t taught women’s history in school. (Neither was I. I remember reading and re-reading the few biographies in the library about Molly Pitcher, Clara Barton, and Florence Nightingale.) When you went looking for information for With Courage and Cloth, how did you start?… more
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Interview: Rita Williams-Garcia

Inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist When you wrote One Crazy Summer, did you already know you had a longer story to tell? And if you didn’t know then, when did you know? I was so focused on telling the one story of children’s involvement in the Black Panther Movement. As I dug into my characters’ backstories and projected their actions into the future, I knew I had another book to write.… more
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Chasing Freedom

Nikki Grimes: Researching and Writing Chasing Freedom

Inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist Chas­ing Free­dom
writ­ten by Nik­ki Grimes
illus­trat­ed by Michelle Wood
Orchard Books, 2014 Did you know more about one of your two characters when you conceived of the book?  Yes. I knew a fair amount about Harriet Tubman. Hers was one of the few stories about African Americans brought out every year during what, in my youth, was called Negro History Month.… more
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cover image

Kekla Magoon: Writing Historical Fiction

inter­view by Ric­ki Thompson RICKI: Kekla, thanks so much for join­ing me and your oth­er fans (old and new) on Bookol­o­gy! Your nov­els have been described as “well-paced,” “deeply-lay­ered,” and “ele­gant­ly craft­ed.”  I espe­cial­ly admire the uncom­fort­able issues you con­front and the risks you take in your sto­ries. You’ve authored a num­ber of engag­ing books, but today let’s talk about your com­pan­ion YA his­tor­i­cal nov­els, The Rock and the Riv­er and Fire in the Streets, and the research involved in writ­ing them.… more
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Avi and Gary D. Schmidt

A Conversation Between Avi and Gary D. Schmidt

When Avi pub­lished his 1950s’ era nov­el, Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor, he ded­i­cat­ed the book to Gary D. Schmidt, fel­low author, fel­low read­er, fel­low con­nois­seur of noir detec­tive nov­els and his­to­ry. The Bookol­o­gist is priv­i­leged to lis­ten in on this con­ver­sa­tion between two authors who are so great­ly admired for the depth and tex­ture with­in their books.… more
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Shadow Hero

Interview with Sonny Liew

The Shad­ow Hero
writ­ten by Gene Luen Yang
illus­trat­ed by Son­ny Liew
First Sec­ond, 2014 Growing up in Malaysia and Singapore, what were the popular comic books? Well in terms of what you’d see at the newsstands , there was Old Master Q or Lao Fu Zhi from Hong Kong. In schools, there’d always be someone reading Tin Tin, Asterix or Archie.… more
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Shadow Hero

Interview with Gene Luen Yang

The Shad­ow Hero
writ­ten by Gene Luen Yang
illus­trat­ed by Son­ny Liew
First Sec­ond, 2014 What qualifies a comics character as a superhero? You’ve asked a question that lies at the very heart of geekdom.  I don’t know if there’s a solid answer.  Most superheroes have superhuman abilities, but not all.  Most superheroes wear colorful costumes, but not all. … more
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Catherine Thimmesh, photo by Lori Dozier

Catherine Thimmesh: Researching Paleoartistry

 How did you learn about paleoartists?  While I was working on my book Lucy Long Ago, part of that research revealed the work of a paleoartist who reconstructed living creatures from paleo times based on fossil evidence, including the hominid, Lucy.  How did you decide which paleoartists to contact? I researched the world's top paleoartists—as defined by the paleontologists and paleoartists themselves.… more
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Oh_Prophecy Trilogy

Ellen Oh: Researching and Writing the Prophecy Trilogy

  Bookol­o­gist’s note: Last month we fea­tured Cather­ine, Called Birdy and an inter­view with the author, Karen Cush­man. In that inter­view, non­fic­tion writer Claire Rudolf Mur­phy asked Cush­man about her research and incor­po­ra­tion of his­tor­i­cal fact into her fic­tion. Con­tin­u­ing that explo­ration, this month Bookol­o­gy vis­its with nov­el­ist Ellen Oh. King, the final vol­ume of her Prophe­cy tril­o­gy, was released in March (vol­umes 1 and 2 are Prophe­cy, Harp­er Teen 2013 and War­rior, Harp­er Teen 2014). A blend… more
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Lowriders cover

Cathy Camper: Writing Lowriders in Space

Lowrid­ers in Space
writ­ten by Cathy Camper
illus­trat­ed by Raul the Third
Chron­i­cle Books, 2014 When did you first become aware of (or involved in) lowrider culture? Probably in the early 1980’s, when I visited a friend of mine who lived in the Mission District of San Francisco. There were a lot of lowriders in the neighborhood, and since we were young women at the time, we’d get flirtatious attention from guys showing off their cars when we walked down the street.… more
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Lowriders cover

Raul the Third: Illustrating Lowriders in Space

   Lowrid­ers in Space writ­ten by Cathy Camper
illus­trat­ed by Raul the Third
Chron­i­cle Books, 2014 When did you first become aware of (or involved in) lowrider culture? I feel like I’ve been aware of lowrider culture for my entire life. When I was in high school I would draw the type of imagery you might see used as décor on a lowrider.… more
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