Books, News

THE FIRE OF STARS strikes gold

This is a graphic showing that THE FIRE OF STARS is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection

Big news…THE FIRE OF STARS, illustrated by the amazing Katherine Roy, is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. I am so grateful to the JLG editorial team for this honor. Each year, the JLG editorial team reads thousands of books before they are published, and selects only the best for their member librarians. 95% of the books they select go on to get starred reviews, win awards, and appear on “best of” lists. Hooray!

THE FIRE OF STARS is now being released three weeks earlier on 2/7/23. You can preorder now wherever books are sold. All the buy links are on my book page here. For signed copies and preorder goodies, order via Once Upon a Time.

Books, Education, Homeschool

Dear Olivia Sage: Writing a Persuasive Essay

Each month, I’ll spotlight a book-based educational activity teachers and homeschooling parents can use with their students. These activities are pulled from the educators’ guides developed for my books by author and former educator Marcie Colleen. You can download the complete WOOD, WIRE, WINGS educator’s guide here.

Dear Olivia Sage: Writing a Persuasive Essay

As her dream outgrew her apartment and her wallet, Lilian needed to turn to others for help. One such person she turned to was Olivia Sage, one of the richest women in the world. But often people don’t just hand money to anyone who asks. Lilian needed to ask Olivia Sage while providing enough details to inform Olivia what her money would be used for. She needed to persuade Olivia Sage to help her.

Ask your students if they know what “persuade” means. If not, can they make any guesses?

Discuss:

  • What it means to persuade
  • Times you might want to persuade someone (e.g., persuade your parents to letyou stay up late, persuade your teacher to not give a test)Writing to persuade tells the reader what you believe, gives the reader at least three reasons why you believe it, and has a good ending sentence. You want to try and convince the reader to agree with you.
  • Pretending to be Lilian Todd, have students write a persuasive essay to Olivia Sage stating why they need money and why she should give it to you.

Use the following TREE structure:

T = Topic sentences

R = Reasons

E = Ending

E = Examine
Share your essays with the class. Which is the most persuasive? Why do you think so?

Speaking and Listening Extension: Create a TV commercial or PowerPoint presentation to encourage people to read Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane. Be sure to incorporate the TREE structure!

Books, Holidays

2022 Gift Guide for Kids Who Soar

Looking for some great gifts for that airplane-loving kids in your life? Here’s an update to the 2020 list I created for our Soaring ’20s group guide.

This is a graphic showing holiday gift ideas for airplane loving kids.
Books

The Fire of Stars is a Star

This is a quote care of THE FIRE OF STARS review. Kirkus called it a "luminous thematic pairing."

Waiting for reviews is always the hardest part of being an author, in my opinion. It’s the first indication of how everyday readers might receive your book. Well, today I can breathe a sigh of relief since our first review for THE FIRE OF STARS is in — and it’s a 🌟! 

Kirkus called the book “a luminous thematic pairing” in their starred review. 

Don’t miss the double read-aloud of a star’s formation told alongside the formation of astronomer Cecilia Payne as a scientist. The book is written by me, illus. by the uber-talented Katherine Roy. Coming 2/28/23 from Chronicle Books.

Preorder now wherever books are sold. Order through Once Upon a Time Bookshop, for an autographed copy and a lovely art postcard from Katherine Roy.

Books, News

Sign up for my newsletter by 9/13 for a cover reveal plus 2-book giveaway

Next week I’ll be unveiling the cover for THE FIRE OF STARS: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of, illustrated by Sibert-honoree Katherine Roy (Chronicle Books, 2/28/23). Be the first to see the cover AND be entered to win signed copies of both WOOD, WIRE, WINGS and A TRUE WONDER, but only if you sign up for my monthly newsletter. (NOTE: If you are getting this by email, it’s because you’ve signed up to follow my blog via email. You may not be on my newsletter list.)

You can scan the QR code above or click here to sign up.

What do you get when you sign up? A promise that I’ll send you an email newsletter (only once a month) with a roundup of writing tips and educational activities, plus bookish news and events, giveaway opportunities, and more. I hope you’ll join me! My newsletter is truly the best way to stay in touch.

Books

Sneak Peek Into a Glittery New Title

Illustrator Katherine Roy and I can’t yet share the cover for our February 2023 book together, THE FIRE OF STARS, but look at these jacket proofs with glittery gold foil. This parallel story of star formation told alongside the formation of astrophysicist Cecilia Payne is really going to SHINE. Chronicle Kids Books is going all out. 🤩💫
–Coming 2/28/23
#STEMforKids #nonfiction #picturebooks
Books

A TRUE WONDER is a Booklist 2021 Editors’ Choice Book

It’s always a joy to have your book appear on an end of year best books list alongside books you admire. Thanks to BOOKLIST for including A TRUE WONDER on its 2021 Editor’s Choice list.

And I love the review: “This story about Wonder Woman — in comics, television, and movies — splendidly parallels the history of women in America over the past 80 years. The text stresses how women creators, especially of the 1940s and ’60s, defied expectations, vanquishing misogynistic villains at every turn.”

Thank you, Booklist! And congrats to all the creators on this list.

Books, Holidays, Reading, Toys

Picture Books Make Magical Gifts!

Give a picture book this holiday season!

Share the joy of reading this holiday season. Whether it’s a package of picture books or a toy/book pairing, books make magical gifts. Find a slew of books and related gifts in this Soaring ’20s Holiday Gift Guide, which features the A TRUE WONDER gifts below.

Order your gifts now for best selection and availability.

Books, History, News

Big Book News: My first graphic novel

I’m so excited to share that my first-ever graphic novel is currently in the works with the incredible Barbara McClintock, who illustrated my all-time favorite version of THE MITTEN. The book is actually a graphic novel/verse novel mash-up, of the completely true (and incredible story) of museum curator Rose Valland.