Dead Voices Blog Tour




One question to the author: Why spooky for middle grade readers? 

Kids really like scary books. Why? Who knows. I think it’s because scary stuff goes straight for the lizard brain, grabs it, and gives it a shake. People of all ages like having a shortcut to their most fundamental emotions. For a kid, a good scare is a safe way to get that. Emphasis on safe. Safe fear is fun. You get the thrill, you get your heart racing, your fight-or-flight instincts going. But when the story is over, you put it away, and snuggle up in the covers and all is well.

Why did decide to write kids’ horror? Well, I had an idea for a book (what eventually became Small Spaces), and I didn’t think it would work as an adult book. So I tried writing the story for kids, and it worked quite well. Writing middle grade horror was a fun exercise for me because of course, in middle grade horror, you don’t have as big of a “scary stuff toolkit” as you have when writing for adults. A middle grade author cannot employ some of adult horror’s stock in trade like gore, torture, explicit violence, etc. The scares have to be achieved solely through creating and sustaining an atmosphere of dread. That is a wonderful challenge for a writer and one I have really enjoyed.

Why middle grade horror more broadly? Well—why not? Always assuming the book is put in the right kid’s hands (and I am the first to say that not every kid is ready for scares and educators need to be cautious with sensitive kids) horror can be a lot of fun. And I am a big believer in books being fun. 

Dead Voices is the sequel to Small Spaces which was a huge hit in my classroom last year! I couldn't tell you how many of my 52 students read it, I know WAY more than half, but I CAN tell you they all LOVED it. It comes highly recommended to the incoming 5th graders that I have. The spooky story trend has definitely become a huge hit in my classroom over the last few years and I am so excited to share with them Dead Voices, because it did NOT disappoint. 

Dead Voices takes you on a journey with Coco, Ollie, and Brian as they go to the woods to a ski resort that Ollie's dad had won. As they are traveling to the resort they are managing their way slowly, but safely, through a horrific snow storm. During the drive to Mt. Hemlock Resort, Coco falls asleep and experiences a dream of which a young girl is telling her things that don't seem real. Not to listen to the voices. Determined to arrive, Ollie's dad makes it finally, but as he is pulling in Coco sees a young man standing in the entrance drive out in the snowy, cold weather. As Coco yells for Ollie's dad to stop, nobody else had seen this young man. This was just the start of the spookiness that follows them to the ski resort. 

As you read on, you start to learn that those who you think you can trust, can not be trusted, and that in the end friends who have been through the worst with you will do anything to protect you. During this story, it's Coco's turn to be the brave one, it's her turn to be the one to ensure everyone is safe. It's also her turn to fight for Ollie. I truly hope there is a next story and that it's Brian's turn and that all of the kids are returned back safely home....



Blog Tour Schedule

Week One
August 19 – The Midnight Society – Inspiration Collage
August 20 – Fangirl Fury – Review + Inspired by the Book: Baking Recipe
August 21 – Teachers Who Read – Reviews + Author Guest Post: Why spooky for middle grade readers?
August 22 – Bookishgals – Creative Instagram Picture
August 23 – Liezel and Angie’s Book Blog – Review

Week Two
August 26 – Word Spelunking – Inspired by the Book: Baking Project
August 27 – By Hook or By Book – Review
August 28 – Vicariously & Voraciously  
August 29 – The Book Deviant – Review

BOOK DESCRIPTIONS
    Having survived sinister scarecrows and the malevolent smiling man in Small Spaces, newly minted best friends Ollie, Coco, and Brian are ready to spend a relaxing winter break skiing together with their parents at Mount Hemlock Resort. But when a snowstorm sets in, causing the power to flicker out and the cold to creep closer and closer, the three are forced to settle for hot chocolate and board games by the fire.

     Ollie, Coco, and Brian are determined to make the best of being snowed in, but odd things keep happening. Coco is convinced she has seen a ghost, and Ollie is having nightmares about frostbitten girls pleading for help. Then Mr. Voland, a mysterious ghost hunter, arrives in the midst of the storm to investigate the hauntings at Hemlock Lodge. Ollie, Coco, and Brian want to trust him, but Ollie's watch, which once saved them from the smiling man, has a new cautionary message: BEWARE.

     With Mr. Voland's help, Ollie, Coco, and Brian reach out to the dead voices at Mount Hemlock. Maybe the ghosts need their help--or maybe not all ghosts can or should be trusted.

     Dead Voices is a terrifying follow-up to Small Spaces with thrills and chills galore and the captive foreboding of a classic ghost story.


AUTHOR BIO
Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent a year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature. After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crepes to guiding horse trips. Currently, she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.

PRE-ORDER LINK


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The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election Blog Tour


Welcome to our blog! I'm excited to review The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for a chance to win a copy!



SYNOPSIS

Brit Kitridge’s plan was just to get her high school diploma and head to college and med school, but nobody can escape from fate, or is it history? The Beginner’s Guide To Winning an Election reveals our main character’s love for history, and after a summer reading books that fuel her passion for politics, Brit decides to join TM (Team Mathew), a fourteen-member group that has helped Mathew Boltanski win every election he’s ever entered. Now he’s going for the big one—student body president. By orchestrating brilliant campaigns one after the other, TM has made Matthew a national young star and promising politician who could even run for higher office in Washington. When Brit is accused of sabotaging the team, she realizes that Hawthorn High has its secrets, and someone needs to shed some light on them. The story is set in a world six years ahead of our time. Security is a constant issue. Politics isn’t black-and-white, it’s not even gray anymore. Inflation is out of control and the educational system is in crisis. But what happens when you find out what’s really going on? What do you do with secrets no one but you wants to hold up to the light?

MY THOUGHTS

This book takes place in the near-future-2025. The U.S. is entrenched in wars, cyber attacks, and economic crises. And in a small Indiana town, a girl named Britain is hoping to win the student body president election at her high school. But her opponent Matt, plays dirty. In this fast-paced plot, Brit struggles until a mysterious person begins helping her with her campaign strategy.  

This is a true underdog story. Matt is the stereotypical popular kid, with a wealth of resources at his disposal. Brit wants transparency and learns that it will come at a cost. I loved Brit's platonic relationship with her history teacher, and the focus on a strong public school system. At it's core, this book is about using your political voice by voting-something our teenage population needs to read about.  Be sure to add this to your classroom libraries for grades 7-12!

About Michael R. French

National best selling author Michael French is a graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern University. He is a businessman and author who divides his time between Santa Barbara, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is an avid mountain trekker, likes to visit developing countries, and with his wife, Patricia, started a 501(c) 3, Dollars4Schools, to support public school teachers in Santa Fe.

He has published twenty four books, including fiction, young adult fiction, biographies, and art criticism. His novel, Abingdon’s, was a bestseller and a Literary Guild Alternate Selection. His young adult novel, Pursuit, was awarded the California Young Reader Medal.

Purchase Links

Amazon


Enter Giveaway for an ARC
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Upcoming Releases

I'm not typically one to pre-order books. Not since Harry Potter have I pre-ordered books this consistently, but I've had the chance to read a ton of phenomenal books this summer.  Some-like Count Me In-deserve a place in your read aloud list. Others are written by my students' favorite authors (looking at you Jason Reynolds and Kwame Alexander). 

Has anyone else already ordered any of these? ?








Summaries from Amazon





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Author Interview: Lindsay Currie








Author Interview


Q: Tell us about your book, specifically the story behind the title?
A:
Hello! Thanks for hosting me, Andrea! My upcoming release WHISPERS FROM THE DARK (Fall 2020)  follows the story of Claire Koster, a 7th grader in Chicago who adores science, but does not adore her father’s obsession with ghost stories. Thomas Koster is a historian and novelist with a budding ghost-tour bus profession on the side, which Claire wants nothing to do with. After all, scientists don’t believe in ghosts, right? Unfortunately, when her father’s regular driver becomes ill and there’s no one else to help out on the bus one evening, Claire is asked to ride along and assist the passengers.

*cue creepy happenings*

Unfortunately for Claire, surviving the tour bus is more complicated than pulling a baseball cap over her face and hoping no one from school recognizes her. The stories her father weaves at each location are darker. . . scarier than she anticipated.

When a mysterious boy shows up on the bus, then vanishes with nothing but a tattered piece of paper bearing the number 396 found lying on his empty seat, it sets off a chain of bone-chilling events in her house. Maybe Claire brought back more than chilled fingers and numb toes from the tour that night.

Maybe she brought back a ghost.
Q; What is your inspiration behind The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street storyline?
A;

Ahhh, PECULIAR INCIDENT is inspired by a specific ghost legend - a legend buried at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago! If you’re not familiar with Graceland, it’s over one-hundred acres in the middle of the city (about five minutes from Wrigley Field) and filled to the brim with history. While on a walk through the cemetery several years ago, I spotted an absolutely mesmerizing grave. While I don’t want to give anything away (authors hate spoilers!), I will say this: the grave is unusual, creepy, and most importantly - mysterious. The second I got home, I started researching and uncovered an equally mysterious legend! Voila! Tessa Woodward’s story ignited in my mind and the journey to writing PECULIAR INCIDENT began!

Q; What are some challenges unique to writing mystery fiction?
A; Great question! I love reading and writing mysteries, but there are some specific challenges associated with this genre. For one, I truly feel that setting is a critical element to my books. I want my readers to feel as though they are standing in that spooky house, or darkened graveyard. I want them to be in the moment, and I can’t do that unless I’ve set a properly eerie tone! Pacing is also important. Without good pacing, you’ll lose your reader before they even begin unraveling the mystery. Finally, knowing how many hints/clues to drop is important. Sometimes it’s a trial and error thing for me where I write a few scenes and then run them by my critique partners before moving on. I want my readers to be able to sort through the clues and get close to solving the mystery (with the help of some external research, too!), but I don’t want to give it away.

Q; What makes this book a perfect fit for middle grade classrooms?
A: I think both WHISPERS and PECULIAR INCIDENT are great fits for middle-grade classrooms because they’re a fun blend of mystery and history! I love to incorporate little bits of actual Chicago history in my books, and all the settings I represent are real places in my city. Plus, I think the pacing and mystery aspect makes them a good choice for reluctant readers.

Q: What made you want to become a writer and what’s the best thing about being a writer?
A:  I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. When I was young, I tried writing everything. Poems, short stories, songs, fake commercials . . . you name it and I wrote it. Not well, mind you. But that’s not the point. The point is that I knew I loved to write even before I knew I’d pursue publishing. It’s a part of me and I can’t imagine my life without that creative outlet.

Beyond childhood though, I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with friends and family who support me and my craft! Publishing is a challenging industry filled with a lot of ups and downs, so having a supportive inner circle is a must. And as for the question regarding what the best thing about being a writer is? SO HARD. I love pretty much everything about my job, but especially the opportunity to do what I love for a living, and connect with readers all over the world! Hearing from readers that my story or character resonated with them is so special. Magical, really. This year I’ve been lucky. PECULIAR INCIDENT is nominated for a Children’s Book Award in Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Rhode Island and China (!!!). The only thing I can say to that, is thank-you. Thank you for making this author heart very happy.

Q: What does your daily writing life look like? (Do you set a word count for yourself daily? Or a page goal? Where do you write? How often if not daily?)


A:
Ooh, tricky question! My schedule varies and rarely looks the same from one day to the nextI have three kids, so my home life is busy! I don’t set a word count for myself, or even a page goal because I actually find that a little stifling. Instead, I try to work for at least two hours. That two hours might not be writing, though. It might be pre-writing activities like brainstorming, researching, or plotting. It’s all part of the big picture, so it’s all productive.
Q: Future projects you are working on?
A: Currently, I’m finishing up the proposal for book two for Sourcebooks. That book should get a green light soon-ish, then I should be able to dive further into writing the actual book, which will release in Fall 2021! I’m SO excited about the concept, guys. I can’t wait to share! After that, I’ll begin working on a proposal for the option book - hopefully something that would be acquired for release in Fall 2022.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for more details about WHISPERS FROM THE DARK, including a cover in early 2020. I haven’t seen any mock-ups yet, but the team at Sourcebooks is extremely talented so I have high hopes that it will blow us all away!

Q: What else would you like us know?
A:
For one, I’m a huge fan of school visits (both in-person and Skype), so don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any interest in bringing me to your school! Also, I’m very approachable online. I’m happy to make connections with teachers, librarians, and readers on any platform you can find me on! Lastly, I’m so grateful to all of my readers, friends, colleagues and of course, my agent/editors for all their support. This is not a job you can do on your own. It truly takes a village and every one of you is part of mine! Thank you!



Looking forward to seeing more by Lindsay Currie!!!!!

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Books to Devour

It's one of my favorite weeks of summer- Shark Week. 

Last summer Cassie featured PBs about my favorite carnivore. This summer I chose 10 books for middle grade and teen readers. If you only read one of these books, make it The Line Tender! A beautifully written book about a girl struggling to move beyond her grief-have the tissues ready.

With the release of The Meg last year, my eighth graders gravitated towards nonfiction books about this ocean predator. The Devil's Teeth, Emperors of the Deep, and Fatal Voyage are technically written for adults, but they're compelling books that my students love. 

Happy reading!








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IMWAYR-July 22, 2019


I still have a long list of items to cross off of my summer to-do list...a whole lot of books in my TBR pile. Last week I knocked off some adult titles like On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous and The Unhoneymooners, and now I'm back to all MG and YA! 
-Haley









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Author Interview: Victoria J. Coe
















Q. Tell us about your book, specifically the story behind the titles.

A. FENWAY AND HATTIE (Putnam 2016)
A dog named Fenway and a girl named Hattie move from their apartment in the city to a home in the suburbs where everything is different. And while they both face problems, you only get Fenway’s side of the story because the whole book is told from his point of view. So readers have to figure out what’s happening from Hattie’s side of things, which I think/hope makes it super fun to read!

FENWAY AND HATTIE AND THE EVIL BUNNY GANG (Putnam 2017)
In this first sequel, both Fenway and Hattie struggle with friendship triangles. And even worse, a neighbor’s pet bunny – who may or may not be part of the evil gang who destroyed the garden - threatens to come between THEM!

FENWAY AND HATTIE UP TO NEW TRICKS (Putnam 2018)
Hattie’s magician Nana is coming to visit and Hattie wants to learn her own magic tricks to impress her. But when Fenway gets hurt, she starts playing tricks on HIM! Poor Fenway begins to wonder if he can still trust his beloved girl...

FENWAY AND HATTIE IN THE WILD (Putnam 2019)
Fenway and Hattie are excited to go on a group camping trip as part of a back-to-school tradition. But as they meet all the new kids and dogs, they find that some of them are not very nice. And when there’s trouble at their campsite, they realize that surviving the wild might be as tough as wanting to fit in.


Q. What is your inspiration behind the Fenway and Hattie series?

A. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that there are at least two sides to every story. From the time I was in elementary school, I LOVED reading books told from different perspectives or multiple perspectives. It’s so cool to realize our own perspective isn’t the only one out there and there’s no “one way” to make sense of the world.

Having said that, I didn’t think I could write a book like that because it would be too hard. But I decided to pursue the idea of writing from a dog’s POV when our own dog freaked out as we were moving, and I started to wonder what was going through his mind.
Turns out that my fear about its being too hard was very well-founded! But like my main character, I never give up. Happily, two years and four major rewrites later, the manuscript that became Fenway and Hattie finally emerged.


Q. What are some challenges unique to writing animal fiction?

A. How long is this blog?!  Really, I usually feel like I’m trying to write with both hands tied behind my back. There are SO many things about humans that animals – even those who live with people – don’t understand or that wouldn’t register with them.

So the challenge is to create scenes that most readers will be able to figure out from clues. It’s kind of “show, don’t tell” to the extreme.

And then, all the usual elements of writing fiction still apply – both the animals and humans need to have problems and story arcs along a relatable theme like love, jealousy, trust, or how to be a good friend, and the story needs to come to a satisfying conclusion. It’s a lot like making a really complicated puzzle!


Q. What makes your books a perfect fit for middle grade classrooms?

A. So many things! I’ve heard over and over that the Fenway and Hattie books strike a good balance.  The stories are so fun and funny and lively that they easily engage those on the younger end of the middle-grade range, while the inference aspect and of course the humor make them appeal to older readers, too.

Plus, kids love dogs. And Fenway’s a pretty loveable dog!


Q. What does your daily writing life look like?


A. From the time a story idea sparks to the time it’s completely finished, I never stop thinking about it. I do set daily goals for myself and I also like to mix them up. I find that variety stretches my creativity. So sometimes I’ll go for a certain number of pages each day; other times I’ll set a timer and write for a certain number of minutes.

I also like to bring my laptop on the subway or to places where I know I’ll have to wait like airports. It sure makes the time fly!


Q. What’s the best thing about being a writer?


A. My favorite part of writing is getting to the end. And yes, that’s a serious answer! Getting the whole story out of my head and onto the page is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. Plus, it’s so gratifying to see my characters end up where they need to end up. I’m like a proud mama!
My favorite part of being an author is visiting elementary schools. So much of writing is solitary – even if I’m writing on a crowded airplane. I just love getting out and connecting with readers, listening to them, feeling their energy – it’s always the best day ever. I might get even more out of school visits than the kids do.


Q. Future projects you are working on?

A. I have a couple of projects in the works right now. Too early to know if they will become books someday, but I’m working my tail off to make sure it happens!


Q. What else would you like us to know?

A. Fenway and Hattie was a Global Read Aloud book in 2017, and I’m always excited to hear that teachers are reading it aloud and having lots of great discussions about POV and inference.
Today, Fenway and Hattie is a popular One School, One Book, and a Read To Them “Sweet Spot” selection. You can find out more at ReadToThem.org, and if you do choose my little pup for a community read, please let me know!

Many teachers and librarians have asked me if Fenway and Hattie is coming out in Spanish, and now I can finally say YES! It will be published in paperback by Penguin on 12/31/19 and is available for preorder now. All the info is posted at victoriajcoe.com/news.

Almost everything you could ever want as well as many things you didn’t know you wanted can be found at www.victoriajcoe.com, and on the Fenway and Hattie resource padlet, padlet.com/victoriajcoe/FenwayAndHattieResources. Seriously! There’s 25-part series of writing videos for all ages, book trailers, activities and games including write about, breakout.edu, and buncee, interviews, podcasts, complete school visit info, a “how-to” for adapting #booksinthekitchen for your classroom using flipgrid, and of course, news and book ordering information.
If we’re not already connected, I hope teachers and school librarians will consider staying in touch by signing up for my periodic newsletter where I share news, special offers, secret info, and contests. Last year, two classrooms won the chance to name characters in my new book! Find the sign-up form at: https://bit.ly/2taKLsA

I love hearing from educators, parents, and readers! Aside from my mailing list and victoriajcoe.com, you can find me on twitter or instagram @victoriajcoe, and on my web series with Elly Swartz, #booksinthekitchen at youtube.com/booksinthekitchen. Let me know what you’re up to!

I’m so in awe of all the educators and librarians who nurture and inspire kids every day. You are changing lives and making the world a better place. Thank you for allowing me to be part of the great work you do. You are my heroes!

Your fan,

Victoria xox




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Jarod Rosello - Red Moon and Panda Bear Review







This will be a perfect addition to the graphic novels in my classroom. I found myself laughing out loud at many parts. I can see my students now loving the adventure, the monster fighting, and the relativeness of being kids going to save the world. I can't wait to put this book on my shelves! 

Two Latinx kids battle supernatural threats to their working-class neighborhood with the power of science, magic, and a pair of very special hoodies.

Red Panda and Moon Bear are the defenders of their community! Together, these brave siblings rescue lost cats, scold bullies, and solve mysteries, all before Mami and Papi get home. But lately... the mysteries have been EXTRA mysterious. All of RP and MB's powers may not be enough to handle spooks, supervillains, alien invaders, and time warps! It'll take all their imagination -- and some new friends -- to uncover the secret cause behind all these events before the whole world goes crazy.

In his first book for young readers, Cuban-American cartoonist Jarod Roselló presents a whimsical and tender-hearted adventure, packed with Saturday-morning action and glowing with Caribbean sunshine.


Q: Tell us about your book, specifically the story behind the title.
A: Red Panda & Moon Bear is a middle-grade graphic novel about two
Cuban American siblings who put on magic hoodies and protect their
neighborhood from evil. There’s no real good reason why the characters
have the names they have, except that when my son was born, we
inexplicably called him Moon Bear, and when my daughter was younger,
we thought she kind of resembled a red panda. Storytelling isn’t
always a logical endeavor, but one that’s often inspired by feelings that
don’t always make a lot of sense. 
Q; How would you describe the process of creating a graphic novel? 
A: It’s pretty messy and chaotic. There’s a kind of dialogic movement
between drawing and writing. I usually start with some character ideas,
things that just emerged in my sketchbook. If I stick around with a
character enough, a story begins to emerge from that character:
who they are, what they way, what they’re afraid of. And that’s how
a story begins. I try to sit down and write out a very brief synopsis,
just something to organize my thoughts on what kind of story I might tell.
Then I create thumbnail sketches, or a visual storyboard for how I
might tell this story. This is where the real writing in comics happens,
where the design of the panels and pages takes place. I’ll usually do a
couple revisions of these thumbnails, then I draw it all out in pencil on
large sheets of bristol board. Once I’ve drawn the entire book, I go back
and ink it. Each time I revisit a page, I revise it a little bit, tweaking the
images and the text. Then I scan it into the computer, and clean it up and
color it digitally, and prep the pages to be printed. It’s a long process, and
it requires rewriting or revisiting the book over and over again, in its various
stages. 
Q; How big of a part does your culture play in writing? 
A: Who we are as people is integral to our writing process. I was
born in Miami, raised by my Cuban family. I grew up on the border
between cultures, histories, and languages, and so I see and
understand the world in this way. Borderlands can be dangerous
and fraught places, but they’re also places with incredible potential:
where worldviews overlap, where knowledge and understanding is
expanded and tested. There’s a kind of magic to weaving between
and among cultures. And this setting is present in just about everything
I write. I’m really interested in what it means to live in places like these,
how to survive and how to flourish there. Red Panda & Moon Bear takes
place in a fictional town, Marti, that’s a lot like Miami, and the book draws
much of its magic and power from the setting. 
Q; What are some challenges unique to create graphic novels? 
A: I started my creative journey as a prose writer, and moved over into
making comics. Or, I guess, I came back to drawing as an adult. One
of the greatest challenges for me is I have to be able to physically draw
what I’m imagining. When I’m writing, as long as I’ve got the words and
the names for what I want to say, I can figure out how to tell that story.
But drawing requires my hands and body to participate in more involved
ways. Creating comics is a negotiation between the story I want to tell,
and the story I’m capable of telling. I don't’ just illustrate what I’m thinking,
but I let my hands and drawing tools show me the stories to tell. I think
that’s why my comics always start from the sketches in my sketchbook,
and grow out of that space. With every comic I make, my drawing abilities
get better, and I’m able to tell more stories in new ways. 
Q; What makes this book a perfect fit for middle grade classrooms?
A: Red Panda & Moon Bear is a Saturday morning cartoon in book form.
It’s about kids playing and having fun, about the bonds between siblings,
and about defeating monsters and solving crimes. I wasn’t a huge reader
when I was in middle school, but I really loved animation. I was drawn to
the silly and absurd and the charm of the cartoon character. I know a lot
of kids, especially in middle grade classrooms, feel this way. This book
emerges from that space and uses the visual language of childhood to
tell a story. 
Q; What is the biggest takeaway you want kids to get from your stories? 
A: My daughter is 8 years old, and she always says that in the books
and movies she watches, the adults never listen to the kids, and the kids
are always right. I think when it comes to stories about monsters and
cartoon characters and about impossible things happening, adults really
ought to listen to kids. This is their world, one we’ve conditioned ourselves
to try to explain away or resist. I hope kids read Red Panda & Moon Bear
and feel affirmed. This is a book where not only the kids are right, but the
adults go to them for help. I hope Latinx kids see themselves represented
in these pages, and not as disadvantaged or struggling, but as happy kids
who are strong and capable. I hope kids are inspired to use the visual
language of comics (that already belongs to them) to make their own stories,
however silly, strange, or sad they might be. 
Q: What’s the best thing about being a writer?
A: As a storyteller, I not only have the ability to reflect culture, but
to help make it.  Stories don’t just show us who we already are,
they contribute to our collective imagination about who we could be.
And this is what motivates me most to write. I believe very strongly
that if we want to make a better world to live in, we have to be able
to imagine what that world might look like first. And I think this is
one of the jobs of the storyteller:  to contribute to that imagination,
to help forge the path forward. It’s wonderful, but it also means
that writers have a responsibility, not just to their readers, but to
the rest of the world, too. If we want to put our stories out in the
world, then we have to be responsible to that world. 

Cuban-American cartoonist/writer. RED PANDA & MOON BEAR (), THE WELL-DRESSED BEAR () PhD. Literacies researcher.




















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