Did you know buttons used to be made from shells? Delia Ray didn’t, but when she found out, an idea sparked. Her seventh book, Finding Fortune, is set in a town inspired by Muscatine, Iowa, the former Pearl Button Capital of the World.
Some may think of New York City’s Upper West Side as “Seinfeld” stomping grounds, but fans of Rebecca Stead know better: These apartments, shops and streets are where Stead does her own stomping—and where the characters in her critically lauded middle grade novels live.
When we reach author Cassie Beasley at her family’s home in rural Georgia, it’s 50 days until the release of her debut, Circus Mirandus . . . not that she’s counting.
It’s been 20 years since Cynthia Rylant’s beloved middle grade novel Gooseberry Park introduced the world to Stumpy the squirrel and her quirky, clever, community-minded friends. Now, the furry and feathered bunch is back in Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan, and readers will delight in discovering that the Gooseberrians are as adorable, smart and resourceful as ever.
Thanks to a smart-alecky student who sat in the back row of her classroom, Sharon M. Draper went from teacher to award-winning writer. Of course, there were other factors: a lifelong love of reading, plus years of hard work and outstanding scholarship, for starters.
Martine Leavitt has a super-cool dad—a smart, rugged man named James Webster who, throughout his life, has gone on countless hikes into mountain ranges and national parks in his native Canada, where he immersed himself in and learned about nature. He also took pages and pages of notes, and countless photographs of the flora and fauna he encountered.
Before she became a Newbery Honor-winning author, Margi Preus spent 25 years as the artistic director of Duluth’s Colder by the Lake Comedy Theatre, where she wrote, produced and directed sketches, operas, plays and adaptations. So why the switch to children’s books? “I had kids!” she says with a laugh.
Fiction writers are often exasperated by questions from readers who want to know whether their books’ characters and events are based on real life. Not so with Kirkpatrick Hill.Instead, she told BookPage in an interview from her Fairbanks, Alaska, home, “Everything in the book is pretty much true. Think of me as a Grandma Moses type:...
Maile Meloy’s middle grade books mix adventure with historical fiction, scientific curiosity and a hefty dose of thrilling, mysterious magic. They also feature extensive artwork that helps to tell the story, so Meloy’s fans won’t be surprised to learn that she considers herself a visual thinker.In fact, Meloy says in a call...
In both of Clare Vanderpool’s artfully written novels, the young protagonists’ fathers yank them out of the lives they’ve known and deposit them in unfamiliar surroundings, where they must make sense of the past and find their way in a strange new present.But while Abilene (the main character in the 2011 Newbery Medal winner ...