Like my mother, I’ve become a collector of objects, especially while I’m writing. As I begin a new project, I gather items that tell me about the subjects or reveal setting, plot, or most importantly, the characters.
Have you ever thought, “Whose perspectives am I missing, and how can I include them for all readers?” Diverse books help us fill those gaps.
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A customer in Charlotte, North Carolina recently let us know that award-winning author Kekla Magoon would be visiting with their middle school students this fall. To support this author visit, we created an original Meet-the-Author Book Reading with Kekla and co-author Ilyasah Shabazz talking about their book, X: A Novel (Candlewick 2016). In this recording, they explain why they wanted to write a novelization about Malcolm X's experiences as a teenager.
After creating three nonfiction books—Diego Rivera (2011), Separate Is Never Equal (2014), and Funny Bones (2015, all Abrams)—my editor and I both thought a fiction project might be interesting. We brainstormed and a suggestion that bubbled up was to take a well-known story, such as a fairy tale, and give it a twist.
I want my readers to see that they can be all kinds of people and that they aren’t limited to a version of themselves that someone else decided for them. They can be the popular girl, the smart girl, the mean girl, or the screw-up. “Asian American girl” doesn’t denote any one type of person.
My family listened to music in the morning as we prepared for the day, and at night as we cleaned the dinner dishes. I grew up on a steady diet of the R&B and soul music of the Jackson 5, Bobby Womack, and James Brown. Of Soul Train Saturday mornings and church service choir stands on Sundays. I sampled disco and devoured rap. But my roots were jazz and blues and the musical greatness of Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson, Bobby “Blue” Bland and John Lee Hooker. Music is the heart and soul of me.
Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways! We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net.
Win a free copy of Brick by Brick and …