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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.… 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.… 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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Interview with Linda Sue Park: Writing The Firekeeper’s Son

How do you begin the research for a sto­ry set long ago? I go to the library. I live in New York state, which has a won­der­ful inter­li­brary loan sys­tem. My local library can get me books from any­where in the state. Many of my sources have come from the East Asian col­lec­tions of uni­ver­si­ty libraries. The Firekeeper’s Son is set, accord­ing to the Library of Con­gress data on the copy­right page, in the ear­ly 19th cen­tu­ry.… 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! What illus­tra­tion tech­nique haven’t you tried that keeps call­ing out to you?… 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… 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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Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman: Researching and Writing

inter­view by Claire Rudolf Murphy Con­grat­u­la­tions, Karen. Your first nov­el and New­bery Hon­or book Cather­ine Called Birdy is 20 years old and still going strong. The sto­ry still res­onates with teen read­ers, espe­cial­ly girls, and is remem­bered fond­ly and reread by many read­ers who are grown up now. One such fan is actress Lena Dun­ham, who announced last fall that she is adapt­ing the nov­el into a movie with plans to direct it.… more
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