My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC and two great books

It's an All-Star line-up, folks, from R.L.Stine to Lois Lowry to Sara Zarr to Patty Gauch... Apparently so many people tried to register yesterday that they had to reset registration. Glad to see so many people are supporting the noble cause of children's literature. As Martha would say, "It's a good thing." (Smiling into the camera)

I received my new SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) bulletin yesterday (which is why I'm so 'in the know'). It is always a good read, full of happy news and helpful insight. There is usually a little section set in somewhere entitled "Needed Subjects". In this case it was written by Libby Nelson. She lists subjects where there's a need in the book market. I always read it because, honestly, on the list of requested biographies, there are ALWAYS names I don't recognize, so I enjoy looking them up, etc. Well, under the category of picture books, there were several scenarios that are frequently requested. One of the topics has haunted me since I first read it yesterday. Apparently there are a lot of requests for picture books that address "Mom or dad having to be away from home for long periods of time due to their work." It just breaks my heart to picture child after child requesting this kind of book! However, I am a big believer in bibliotherapy, and I hope someone writes that book (and writes it well!).

I just finished this amazing YA book called LIPS TOUCH. It is actually two distinct stories within one cover about humans who mix with the underworld. The first story is so well-written that before it is over, you are actually pulling for the main character to hook up with the goblin!!! (I was longing for a graveyard picnic with such a goblin myself..) It sounds ridiculous, I know, but you should really check it out. The writing is breath-takingly beautiful. BTW, please do not judge this book by its cover. The cover is hideous, imho, and I have never, ever said anything bad about a book on this blog. I only said it now because I think the cover is a very poor representation of the remarkable quality of the writing in the book.

I also just read HAPPY HAUNTING, AMELIA BEDELIA by Herman Parish. I LOVED Amelia Bedelia as a kid, and it did not disappoint. I hadn't read one in years, but my agent recently compared one of my manuscripts to Amelia Bedelia in a pitch, and I thought, exactly! But I hadn't read one in a while, so I picked this one up. My sons LOVED it, and it is truly a hilarious story of misunderstanding. It begins with poor AB coming to work as a housekeeper at a family's house recently decorated for Halloween. Well, she is horrified by the tombstones in the yard (who died?), the cobwebs on the porch (it will take her all day to clean up!), and when she is asked to put a leaf in the table to allow for more guests, well, you KNOW what happens. A delightful story, perfect for the season. CHECK it out!

Have a wonderful day, all. Fall takes my breath away every year.

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Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman