NCTE schedule

Hi everyone,

Sandy Asher would like for you know about an event coming up that might be of interest to you. Here’s the scoop. https://epa.scbwi.org/events/poetry-day-in-lancaster-pa . I know Sandy (and who doesn’t) so we know this will be a great event or she wouldn’t be involved in it. If you have questions, contact Lindsay Bandy lkbandy84@yahoo.com

On other matters, my schedule is now in place for NCTE this fall in St. Louis. On Friday, November 17, Mary Jo Fresch and I will make a one hour fifteen minute presentation about how to prepare students to research their subject before writing about it. Immediately following, we’ll sign our new Scholastic book, which will be out just in time for the conference, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS. Here’s a look at the cover.
7 Keys_cov_tf-rev
On Saturday I’ll sign copies of NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T at the Charlesbridge booth from 11:00 – 12:00 then go to the Authors’ Luncheon from 12:30 – 2:15. I’m not speaking at that event but I’ll be at a sponsored table (Thanks Charlesbridge!) with free books for ticketed guests who join me for lunch. NOW YOU SEE THEM is one of NCTE’s picks this year for Notable Books of Poetry for Children. My next title with Charlesbridge, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, won’t be out yet but promotional pieces will be available. The pub date is January 6.

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Young praying mantis

Hi everyone,

Changing the subject from recent days, here’s a little character I took as it slowly made its way down the outside door facing when we were sitting on the patio last night. I’ve turned the picture sideways to show it off better. Here’s a poem to go with it. Not a perfect fit but maybe it will do.

Praying Mantis

If I could roar
Like a dinosaur,
I wouldn’t have to
Hang on plants,
Putting up
With pesky ants.

If I could run
Like a dinosaur,
I wouldn’t have to
Sit so still,
I’d lunge and leap
To get my fill.

But I can’t roar
Like a dinosaur,
Cannot gallop
After prey,
I have to wait
If it takes all day.

(c) David L. Harrison
Reprinted from Now You See Them,
Now You Don’t. From Charlesbridge.

First day back in the cage

Hi everyone,

First day home and back in the wheel went pretty well. I overslept by forty-minutes so I got a big fat black mark for that stunt, but the rest of the morning went okay and some of the afternoon was okay too. Not a lot to report otherwise.

For those of you who went to Laura and Evan Robb’s site to read my post on their blog, “Why Poetry?” thank you. I have an interview coming out, next month I think, in Colorado. Nothing much else for a while. Well, that’s wrong. In the mail was my July copy of “Language Arts” and the entire issue is about poetry.

An article by Sylvia Vardell and an interview of Rebecca Davis caught my eye right away. I haven’t had a chance to read it cover to cover yet but plan to. This one also lists the NCTE picks for 2016 Notable Children’s Poetry Books. I was happy to see NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T as one of the featured titles, along with books by Joyce Sidman, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Judith Viorst, Marilyn Singer, Carole Boston Weatherford, and others.

And I feel fine

Hi everyone,

Just got home a few minutes ago. Chicago was a great experience as usual. Robin and Jeff joined us and in the little time we had we managed to visit the Planetarium on Monday, the Field Natural History Museum on Tuesday, and the Art Museum today before heading to the airport.

The purpose of the trip of course was for me to accept an award from The Society of Midland Authors for the best nonfiction children’s book by a midland author in 2016. It was a swell party and I’ll report on it through a blog posted soon by my publisher for the book, Charlesbridge Press. As soon as they post it I’ll share it. For now, here’s the building from street level. And here is the view from the 22nd floor where the event took place. Here is a summary board of past recipients.
And here I am standing in front of a board showing this year’s winner. That’s me smiling. This year’s winners were recognized in six categories: Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Adult Biography and Memoir, Adult Poetry, Children’s Fiction, and Children’s Nonfiction. In each case there were two or three honorees. I’ll do better in the upcoming post for Charlesbridge. Right now I’m still pretty pumped.

Just won a blue ribbon

Hi everyone,

Once in a while a note comes in that makes me smile and want to whoop and holler. I never enter my work for awards (lazy? cheap?) so I’m especially grateful to Donna Spurlock and her staff at Charlesbridge for doing if for me. You may have seen the notice put up on Facebook yesterday by Karen Boss, my superlative editor at Charlesbridge. In case you didn’t, here it is.

NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T is the winner for the Society of Midland Authors Children’s Nonfiction Book award! http://ow.ly/rNFS30aB8a7

According to the press release from SMA, “The Society, founded in 1915 by a group of authors including Hamlin Garland, Harriet Monroe and Vachel Lindsay, has given out annual awards since 1957. The juried competition is open to authors who live in, were born in, or have strong ties to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin.

Notable winners have included Saul Bellow, Kurt Vonnegut, Studs Terkel, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mike Royko, Jane Smiley, Dempsey Travis, Leon Forrest, William Maxwell, Louise Erdrich, Scott Turow, Alex Kotlowitz, Aleksandar Hemon, Stuart Dybek and Roger Ebert.”

One reason I’m happy is that it’s a book of science-based poetry that won for nonfiction. It’s more evidence for teachers of how poetry can work in their classrooms and hold it’s own against books of prose. When PIRATES came out in 2008, it also was recognized (by VOYA Press) on its Nonfiction Honor List. Both of these titles were well researched so that they can be used in core subject studies.

I haven’t decided yet about flying to Chicago on May 9 to accept the plaque and check at the Awards Banquet. Years ago I didn’t go to NYC to accept my Christopher Award and on another award occasion I stayed home from Chicago. Sandy is encouraging me to go this time. She’ll even go with me. That certainly makes it more enticing.

Meanwhile, if you hear some guy whistling down the street, this might help you understand.