Early Reviews and more

Hi friends,

I’m so thrilled to share this early review for Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge which appeared in Publisher’s Weekly yesterday:

Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge

Kristin L. Gray. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5842-9

In this sensitive and uplifting coming-of-age journey, nine-year-old Vilonia Beebe wants two things: a dog and for Mama to recover from the depression brought on by the death of Vilonia’s grandmother. When she learns that pets can help cure depression, she begins the Great Pet Campaign, combining the two goals. Because Vilonia’s parents are concerned that she isn’t responsible enough for a pet, she volunteers to care for her classroom goldfish over spring break. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anyone, she has also taken over her mother’s job writing obituaries for the local paper, and in so doing finds the perfect puppy: the runt of a litter whose owner has died. When Vilonia accidentally kills the class goldfish, she has to come up with a new plan before the puppy is adopted by someone else. Debut author Gray brings Vilonia’s small Mississippi town to vibrant life, creating a cast of warm, eccentric inhabitants and traditions, including the annual Catfish Festival. Vilonia’s amusing scrapes serve to counterbalance the seriousness of her mother’s condition. Ages 8–12. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)

March 7th will be here in a blink! Thanks for celebrating with me.

Xo,

Kristin

Mailing Vilonia postcards. The stamps match!

 

 

 

New books for the new year!

Looking for new novels for kids to kick-start your year? Here’s a great chart of new books and the dates they release. I love this crew and their books so much. I hope you’ll check them out. Happy Reading!

#mgDebuts

My Work Space

I had my kids move their stuff off my desk last night, so it is clean!

I have new project to draft, and I’m hoping, hoping, hoping I can make it as awesome and hilarious as it is living inside my head.

Coffee is brewing and the dogs are behaving, so off to work I go. Happy Monday, y’all.

Xo, Kristin

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Hey, It’s National Young Readers Day.

The great folks at Casper informed me that today is National Young Readers Day. To celebrate kid readers everywhere, I thought I’d share with you what my family is reading now. I’m always a sucker for seeing what books occupy friends’ shelves and nightstands, so here’s a little peek into what my crew (ranging in age from 8-14) is reading now before lights out.

MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE by Kate DiCamillo. Art by Chris Van Dusen.
SMILE by Raina Telgemeier
LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD by Tara Lazar. Art by Troy Cummings
FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

 

PRISONER B-3087 by Alan Gratz

 

 

THE LUMBERJANES by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis

 

 

 

ROAR! by Tammi Sauer. Art by Liz Starin

 

 

FEED by M.T. Anderson

 

And I’m currently reading . . .
THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brockenbrough
I’d love to hear what is on your nightstand. If you’re inclined, leave me a good book suggestion below. Happy reading!
Xo,
Kristin

We Need Diverse Books

If your holiday shopping includes giving books, and I hope it does, you may like these handy flowcharts created by Tracy Lopez.  (You can click on the images to enlarge them.) The We Need Diverse Books campaign celebrates stories of varying backgrounds and cultures, most different from my own. 

Picture Books:

Middle Grade:
Young Adult:

Happy Holidays and thanks for giving books. 
Kristin

PiBoIdMo 2014

It’s that time of year! Picture Book Idea Month. Generate 30 picture book ideas in the month of November. 
Participants who register for PiBoIdMo and complete the 30-idea challenge will be eligible for prizes, including signed picture books, original art, critiques, Skype sessions and feedback from one of ten picture book agents. 
This year’s agents are:
I’ve taken part of PiBoIdMo since the beginning. I love having a springboard of ideas (some great, others not so much) I can work from year round. (Thank you, Tara!) A helpful hint:  I actually use the Notesy app that syncs from my laptop to my phone, so I can jot down ideas wherever I may be. So, good luck!
Here’s to a creative month!
Xo
Kristin