We Need Diverse Books

LIVING IN 2020.

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My family is tucked away in the woods on a rural hillside, riding out all that the world is experiencing and surviving right now. It’s a contemplative time. I have a lot of privilege at the moment – a day job that continues through work at home, a healthy family, supportive – if physically distant – friends, food on the table, safe places to be outside, and a roof over our heads. We wish for everyone to stay healthy and safe. Stay creative if you can. Plan to vote on November 3rd, and take three friends with you when you go.

I started this year with a nice nod from the 2020 We Need Diverse Books Mentorship Program when I was named a finalist. I also made the 2021 wait list for the Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices – YA category. I continue to explore my writing interests with picture books, a couple of middle grade manuscripts, and even YA speculative fiction and the occasional flash nonfiction. I meet most weeks online for a craft talk with the Lost River Writers’ Retreat which always surprises me.  I’ve attended  a whole bunch of amazing digital craft workshops through SCBWI. Keep going, you. Here’s to dreaming big, especially now.

 

Some 2017 Favorites

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THE BOOK OF DUST, by Philip Pullman,  is another amazing journey from one of my all-time favorite authors, this time with baby Lyra and new and old characters to  protect her. I love this series, forever and ever.

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THE RIVER, by Gary Paulsen, a fast-paced survival story that follows his amazing story, HATCHET. I read it in one sitting!

 

 

 

1973 Newbury winner JULIE OF THE WOLVES, by naturalist Jean Craighead George. “‘Change your ways when fear seizes,’ he said, ‘for it usually means you are doing something wrong.’” I now feel I can survive the tundra. I already know how to live with wolves.

22089715_10159363988995641_8577156223246128293_nI vividly recall my kindergarten teacher handing us a form to indicate what we wanted to be when we grow up. There were different careers listed in the boy column vs. the girl column. (It was 1970.) The closest thing I could find that matched me was in the boy column, so I nervously picked it: Cowboy. I have definitely been fighting stereotypes ever since. Because no child should feel uncomfortable being who they are, my Read #3 is FLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES, fullof diverse authors and protagonists, just as it should be. My favorite so far is Tim Federle’s Secret Samantha, with a protagonist I would have loved as a kid. #weneeddiversebooks #representationmatters

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