I grew up in Salado, Texas, population 900(ish). My family had no television, so I spent all my time either inside reading about magical worlds or outside pretending I lived in one (which of course I did). To this day, the “super powers” I developed growing up in this small town are what I rely on as a writer—a love of books, an attention span in keeping with the pace of life, and a sense of wonder in the natural world.
I’ll be returning to Salado to give a talk about how my life as a writer was inspired and informed by growing up there. I’ll be at Barrow Brewing on August 26, from 4:00-5:00. Come by, say hi, grab a beer and a book. I’d love to see you there!
I’m thrilled to be a guest teacher for a weekend intensive at The Writing Barn in Austin, Aug 2-5. I’ll be offering a class called “Breathe Deep. Write Deep. Meditation for Writers with Busy Minds.”
Meditation isn’t about quieting the mind. It’s about changing our relationship with the noise we find there—the nagging doubts, constant comparisons, and never-ending to-do list. It’s about noticing the distractions and letting them go, only to discover the silence underneath them all. That’s where our stories come from . . . Join me as I teach you how to connect with your own creativity and allow your ideas to emerge and gently shine both on paper and in life!
Other faculty include the fabulous Bethany Hegedus, Cecily Sailer, and Claire Campbell.
Sign up by July 1 for early-bird pricing!
WHY AM I ME?
I’m so pleased to announce that WHY AM I ME? was selected by the International Literacy Association (ILA) as a 2018 Notable Book for a Global Society. Every year, the ILA selects twenty-five books that help promote understanding across lines of culture, race, sexual orientation, values, and ethnicity. This outstanding list of books was developed “to help students, teachers, and families identify books that promote understanding of and appreciation for the world’s full range of diverse cultures and ethnic and racial groups.” Books like these make the world a better place!
One of the most exciting things for me as a writer is having my work translated into other languages. It’s a thrill to imagine children from other countries reading my work in their native tongue. I’m thrilled to say that WHY AM I ME? has been translated into Spanish and will soon be available in both Japanese and Arabic!
I’m so pleased that WHY AM I ME? is included on four Best Books lists for the year: Publishers Weekly, Chicago Public Library, Shelf Awareness, and Kirkus Reviews. Check them out yourself and learn about all the wonderful children’s books published in 2017!
I’m going home! Next Thursday, November 16, I’ll be signing copies of WHY AM I ME? at Fletcher’s Books & Antiques in my hometown of Salado, Texas. There will be light refreshments, games, giveaways, and of course books. Come by, pick up a signed copy (they make great Christmas presents!), and say hi. Here are the details:
What: Book signing
Where: Fletcher’s Books & Antiques / 945 N. Main Street, Salado
When: Thursday, November 16 from 4:00 – 6:30 / With readings at 4:30 and 5:30
The Texas Book Festival is my favorite time of the year! It’s an all-out celebration of books and the people who love them. I’m thrilled to be on the schedule this year, along with many other fabulous authors. Here’s where you’ll find me:
Day: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Location: Capitol Extension 1.012
Authors: Leslea Newman, Paige Britt
Moderator: Arturo Agüero
Educator Focus: Identity and Growth
There are so many labels out there. How can educators ensure that every child feels welcome in their classroom? How can we ensure that children begin to understand and celebrate each other’s differences? Hear from authors Leslea Newman and Paige Britt about constructing identity for kids and ways to incorporate texts and activities that promote acceptance and understanding.
BOOK READING & SIGNING
Day: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Location: Children’s Read Me A Story Tent, 10th & Congress Ave.
Description: Join me in a read-aloud of WHY AM I ME? then stick around to say hi and get your book signed at the Children’s Book Sales & Signing Tent!!
There are so many amazing authors and special events at this festival (not to mention great food). Hope y’all can make it!
Join me in celebrating the official release of WHY AM I ME?! There will be a party at BookPeople in Austin on Saturday, September 23 at 2:00pm. All are welcome! There will be a read-aloud and chances to ask your own BIG questions. I can’t promise any answers, but there will be cookies!
You Can’t Teach Kids Empathy, but These Picture Books Inspire It
WHY AM I ME? is in the NY Times! It’s included in a lovely review written by R.J. Palacio featuring five picture books that “not only embolden children to think, but inspire them to feel.” I’m absolutely thrilled to be on the list! And considering everything going on in the world, it’s wonderful that empathy is making news.
I’m pleased and proud to say that my debut picture book WHY AM I ME? has received four starred reviews! One each from Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, and Publishers Weekly. This book for all ages, celebrates the big questions in life. It doesn’t have answers, but there are lots of opportunities for dialogue and discovery. Sean Qualls and Selina Alko’s exquisite illustrations are intimate, yet expansive, and altogether wonderful!
⭐️Universal questions combine with richly layered, captivating compositions, presenting opportunities for careful examination and stimulating conversations. Perfect for classroom or one-on-one sharing.
—School Library Journal
WHY AM I ME? will officially be released on August 29, but is ready for pre-order right now!