News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Archive for September, 2010

Don’t Look! We’re Celebrating Banned Books Today

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 Posted in Current Events, Readings, bullying | No Comments »


"I believe that censorship grows out of fear, and because fear is contagious, some parents are easily swayed. Book banning satisfies their need to feel in control of their children's lives. This fear is often disguised as moral outrage. They ...

Boys Meets Youtube, Answers Back, Naturally

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 Posted in Family, Music | 3 Comments »


I've talked about my son Gavin's interest in music before. Recently turned eleven, he's played piano since age four, and then picked up guitar about three years ago. An extremely self-motivated kid, he often goes to Youtube for guitar lessons. ...

An Appreciation: SKELLIG by David Almond

Monday, September 27th, 2010 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations, Readings | 2 Comments »


I enjoyed a remarkable school visit to Sudbury, MA, last Friday. It was for a "One School, One Book" program, where approximately 1,000 students, grades 6-8, all read my book, Bystander, over the summer. I gave three presentations in a ...

“One Book, One School”

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 Posted in Bystander, School Visits | 1 Comment »


I don't know where to begin, what to say. Let's start with a couple of photos that were recently sent me from Hastings Middle School in Fairhaven, MA. On Thursday, 9/16, all the students, staff and faculty at Hastings participated in a ...

“How Kids Can Handle a Bully”: Um, Thanks, I Think, But Not Exactly . . .

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 Posted in Bystander | 1 Comment »


I recently came across this mention in The Washington Post, under the title, "Two books about how kids can handle a bully": To learn more about bullies, read "10 Days to a Bully-Proof Child" by Sherryll Kraizer (DaCapo, $15) and give ...

Children’s Book Day: Marker Misery

Monday, September 20th, 2010 Posted in Current Events, the writing process | 2 Comments »


Living where I do, in the hole of the donut (read: Albany area), I don't get to meet many children's book authors and illustrators. So Children's Book Day at Sunnyside presented a rare opportunity to eyeball the competition. I mean ...

Overheard: “I can taste things without eating them. That’s my power!”

Friday, September 17th, 2010 Posted in A Pirates Guide (Series), Family | 1 Comment »


Okay, a few things: * My daughter is an enthusiastic girl, prone to exclamations and grand pronouncements. Especially when it comes to food. Maggie loves to eat, and does so with the zeal of a rhinoceros. Last night I told her ...

A Week in a Life of 4th Grade Girl: Stop the Bus!

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 Posted in Family | No Comments »


It's been some week for my daughter -- not that she's noticed. But as her parents, Lisa and I have been shaking our heads, renewing our vigilance, and wondering what's to come. Over the course of five days, three different events ...

Slow Reading, Close Reading, Quality Reading

Monday, September 13th, 2010 Posted in the writing process | 2 Comments »


"Teachers can enhance students' pleasure and success in reading by showing them how to slow down and savor what they read." -- Thomas Newkirk. I don't think any writer would disagree: Reading is the foundation for writing. It's how we learn. ...

A Day to Reflect

Friday, September 10th, 2010 Posted in Current Events | No Comments »