|Despite my serious look in the above photo, I adored playing Wonder Woman as a little girl with my sister Stephanie (left). I mean, just look at our ultra-hip Underoos plus homemade tiaras, bracelets, and lassos. We meant business.
When I read historian Jill Lepore’s SECRET HISTORY WONDER WOMAN a couple of years ago, I was intrigued to learn the origin story of my favorite childhood superhero. First, Wonder Woman was developed as an antidote to parental and teacher complaints about comic books (something we still hear today). For a time, Joye Hummel, a woman!, co-wrote scripts with Wonder Woman’s creator (and I got to speak with her on the phone). Plus the character was a powerful influence on Gloria Steinem and appeared on the cover of Ms. Magazine. And there’s so much more!
Though I typically write biographies of people, I knew I could write a biography of a superhero and the evolution of what she’s meant to people over eight decades.
I am so delighted my editor, Jennifer Greene (a true fan!), has paired me with illustrator Katy Wu, who will be illustrating in comic book style. Stay tuned for more early next year.
(And shout out to my mom for this awesome photo circa 1981, which will appear in my author’s note.)
Here’s the book announcement:
Taking action in the time of COVID-19
Was it just over a month ago that WOOD, WIRE, WINGS finally took flight? It seems like an eternity after four weeks at home. With many of my book events postponed or canceled over the coming months, I’m focused on what I can do right now, both physically and emotionally.
- Continuing to create – I’m revising a graphic novel and researching a new STEM picture book. For me, creating is an anchor in turbulent times.
- Reading books for inspiration (and reviewing them) – I was lucky enough to pick up a stack of print books two hours before my library closed its doors. I’ve read and reviewed most of them already, so I’m also reading ebooks/audiobooks via Amazon Prime Reading and Libby/Overdrive linked to my library account. (I love listening to audiobooks on Libby while working jigsaw puzzles or baking). Audible is another source for free children’s audiobooks, and countless creators are offering readings and book clubs online. I review as many books as I can on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads. Since book creators can no longer host in-person events, book reviews are more important than ever for helping readers discover new books. If you’ve read WOOD, WIRE, WINGS, I would be deeply grateful if you would leave an honest review on the book platform of your choice.
- Boosting booksellers – Local bookstores are suffering terribly right now, though many remain open for online and phone orders, often with curbside pickup or inexpensive delivery. You can contact your bookseller directly or shop your local indie at Bookshop.org. Don’t need books for yourself? Consider placing an order to stock a local Little Free Library or buying a gift certificate for later use. Audiobook-lovers can support indies by buying through Libro.fm. Finally, if you are an Amazon fan, the good news is physical books have been reclassified as “essential” with faster ship times and deep discounts (WOOD, WIRE, WINGS is currently discounted to $14.34).
- Connecting with readers online – I’ve created a YouTube version of my engineering design workshop, and have done a few Zoom/Skypes with classes who have read my book. It’s always a delight to connect with young readers, especially when the opportunities are scarce. If you are trying to keep kids busy at home, the number of resources available is overwhelming, but you can find many wonderful ideas from my debut picture book group, The Soaring 20s, on our website.
Here’s hoping you are able to stay safe at home, while your dreams soar in books.
Oh, the places I’ve been (virtually)
It’s been a busy couple of months with lots of podcasts, guest blog posts, and media appearances. Here are a few of the places I’ve been.
- I discussed my Top 5 Tips for (un)Writing Narrative Nonfiction as the April featured author on the 12×12 blog.
- I shared an engineering design activity for kids on Patricia Newman’s LitLinks blog.
- Several Soaring ’20s pals and I revealed little-known facts about our protagonists on KidLit.tv.
- I was featured on the University of Maryland’s Maryland Today, where I recounted my journey from NASA to business school to writing children’s books.
- For Women’s History Month, fellow authors Elisa Boxer, Lindsay Metcalf, and I discussed “Filling in the Gaps” when it comes to writing women’s history.
Coming soon: appearances on Jedlie’s Reading With Your Kids podcast (4/21), Matthew Winner’s Children’s Book Podcast (week of 4/27), Chris Wood’s STEM Everday Podcast (TBD), and much more. Follow me on Twitter @kirstenwlarson or follow my Facebook page so you don’t miss my upcoming appearances.
Books I’m Over the Moon About
|I’m thrilled to announce my true picture book, WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane, will take off Monday, March 2nd at Barnes & Noble in Palmdale, CA. Join me at 6 p.m. for a storytime, a STEM activity, and book signing. A percentage of purchases (of any books, plus, music, games, and toys) will support the school library at Valley View Elementary School. Just mention the Valley View Bookfair and/or bring a copy of the flyer above. You also can donate books from teacher wishlists for their classroom libraries.
Not local? You can still help me celebrate by ordering merchandise online (gift cards and ebooks excluded) and using Bookfair ID 12584280 at checkout between March 2 and March 7. Let’s celebrate literacy together by raising money for our school libraries! Learn more about Bookfairs at B&N.
Books I’m Over the Moon About
Teachers and librarians, I’m now booking free 15-minute Skype visits for World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 5, 2020! My schedule, along with those of 50+ other creators, is available on author Kate Messner’s website.
To book, just send me an email at creatingcuriouskids [at] gmail [dot] com with the following information:
1. What’s your name and where do you teach? Please include your school, city, and time zone.
2. What are ALL the time slots that would work for you, based upon my availability on Kate’s site? I will certainly try to meet your first choice, but the more flexible you are, the more likely it is that I’ll be able to accommodate your request. Please note that once your visit is scheduled, I may not be able to reschedule.
3. How many students will I be Skyping with, and what grade(s) will be included?
4. What book(s) will the students have read before our Skype visit? This is not required for WRAD (which involves reading my books aloud, of course) but students tend to have a better experience if they are familiar with my books in advance and brainstorm questions. You can find a full list of my books on my website.
5. What is your username on Skype? If you do not have a username yet please go to the Skype website, sign up for an account, and get a username before you email me.
6. Please provide a classroom or cell phone number where you can be reached on the day of our scheduled visit in case of technical difficulties.
If Feb. 5 doesn’t work for you, remember I’m offering free,15-minute Skype visits for classrooms and libraries who have read WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: EMMA LILIAN TODD INVENTS AN AIRPLANE with their students after its release on Feb. 25 (through May 31).
Want to make sure you don’t miss release day? Mark the book “to read” on Goodreads, and you’ll get an email when it releases. Or preorder at your store of choice. Need one more nudge? Below is a picture of a recent Skype I did with fourth-graders in Tulare, California.
ICYMI: Blog Roundup
How do authors leave “fingerprints” all over their work? Check out my discussion of author voice and point of view in this #STEMTuesday post.
Books I’m Over the Moon About
Coming soon: Free Skype Visits for
WOOD, WIRE, WINGS
In just four months, WOOD, WIRE, WINGS will be out in the world. I’m celebrating the final countdown by offering four months of free, 15-minute Skype visits to teachers and librarians who read my book with their students.
Here’s the fine print: Once the book releases February 25, 2020, read and discuss the book with your kids. Then reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website to schedule a virtual, 15-minute visit with your classroom or library. I can FaceTime and Google Hangout too. Virtual visits must take place between February and May 2020.
I’ll have an educator’s guide available in February chock full of ideas for using my book in your classroom or storytime.
ICYMI: Oh, the places I’ve been
- Looking for more ideas to connect kids with real-life authors and illustrators? Check out my blog post on the Soaring 20’s blog for suggestions.
- Meanwhile, Kathy Temean graciously hosted a cover reveal for WOOD, WIRE, WINGS on her Writing and Illustrating blog (scroll down), though all you lovelies saw the cover ages ago.
Books I’m Over the Moon About
Mega Soaring 20s Critique Giveaway
Gif by Isabella Kung
Authors and Illustrators! The Soaring 20s (including yours truly) are giving away 20 (plus six more) critiques of picture book text or illustration/book dummies. Full details on how to enter on our newly launched website. There are many more giveaways and a lot of great content to come, so follow our blog, check us out on Twitter, and sign up for our newsletter.
In case you missed it…
TEACHERS: What do good writing and our pets’ senses have in common? Find out in my first #STEMTuesday post with an exercise for writers of all ages. Click here to read.
WRITERS: Get creativity tips! Recently I discussed my creative process on NFReads.com. For me assembling facts and shaping them into a story is much like solving jigsaw puzzles.
COVER REVEAL: While, YOU very special people saw the cover of WOOD, WIRE, WINGS ages ago, industry insider Kathy Temean just featured the cover on her blog. Also, she’ll be hosting a giveaway of the book in February.
This month I launched a yearlong partnership with Ms. Nolan’s fourth-grade class at Roosevelt School in Tulare, California. I’ll be sharing books, writing tips, and so much more with these students throughout the school year. Learn more about #KidsNeedMentors here.
New book trailer: A big thank you!
Thanks to YOU, my amazing newsletter subscribers, I was able to finalize my book trailer for WOOD, WIRE, WINGS. Want to preview the book? Click on the image above to view the trailer. And THANK YOU for providing such helpful input and feedback.