Home > News > Month: September 2014

Month: September 2014


  • Bestselling Team of Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers Sign Major Global Deal With HarperCollins

    NEW YORK/LONDON – HarperCollins US and UK announced today the acquisition of IMAGINARY FRED, the first-ever picture book collaboration from the extraordinary team of Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers.  Scheduled …

  • New “Dark Arts” Section to Be Added to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour in London

    “Fans will see a plethora props, costumes, and sets that served to bring Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters to life in the Harry Potter film series. Some of the …

  • Kate DiCamillo on Reading Together and the Creative Process

    Reading drafts of her work aloud is also essential to DiCamillo’s creative process: You catch all kinds of stuff that way. On the page it looks okay, but then words will bump …

  • 2014 National Book Awards Longlist for Young People’s Literature is Revealed

    Finalists will be announced on October 15. The National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner will be held on November 19 in New York City, at which time the winners will …

  • ALA Committee to Focus 2014 Banned Books Week On Comics & Graphic Novels

    Educators agree that graphic novels are useful for teaching new vocabulary, visual literacy, and reading skills…Eric Kallenborn, who teaches English at Alan B. Shephard High School in Palos Heights, Illinois, …

  • Attention, Creative Teens: How to Become an Exhibited Artist or Published Author

    New York, NY – The annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest- running, most prestigious scholarship and recognition initiative for students in grades 7–12, is now open for …

  • Ursula K. Le Guin Wins the 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

    “Le Guin is the 27th recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, established in 1988. Previous recipients include John Ashbery, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Maxine Hong Kingston, …

  • ‘Vanity Fair’ Reveals Lost Chapter From ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’

    It turns out, another draft of the book contained a chapter called “The Warming-Candy Room” which features sweets that may cause an overzealous eater to erupt with heat. Vanity Fair …

  • Keith Richards & His Daughter Team Up For Picture Book Project

    Richards’ daughter, Theodora Richards, created the illustrations. Theodora and Keith poured over old family photographs to draw inspiration for the artwork. Little Brown Books For Young Readers released the finished …

  • Facebook Users Name Harry Potter Series As Most Beloved Books

    What were the findings? Not surprisingly, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series captured the number one spot. Other children’s books that made it into the Top 20 include The Lion, the Witch, …

  • ‘The Guardian’ Unveils An Unpublished Chapter From ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’

    The chapter, entitled “Fudge Mountain,” can be found in an early draft of Dahl’s beloved children’s book. Sir Quentin Blake, the famed artist, created new illustrations for this monumental unveiling. (The …

  • CBC Diversity: Everyone Wants to be the Hero Sometimes

    Contributed to CBC Diversity by Sara Farizan

    When I write a story, I often don’t think about diversity. I don’t think about how many characters I should have of a certain ethnic or cultural background, or about whether I meet a quota on how many different types of people I have on the page. I don’t think about if what I am doing is unique or perhaps not as mainstream. If I thought about all of those things, I probably wouldn’t have written the books that I have, or will hopefully, continue to write.

    When I do write a story, I think about people I know in real life. I think about issues I would like to explore or think need more attention. I think about books that I wish I had as a teenager and think about the books I appreciated from that period of my life. I think about how I still have so much to learn, not just about writing, but about the world, and people that make the world complex, interesting and beautiful.

    Now that I do have a platform and an audience, I worry about representation. I worry about the characters I do portray and if people in real life feel that I don’t speak for them or if I am appropriating a culture or groups of people. I think about this so much now that I find sometimes it prevents me from writing about people who are different from me.

    Perhaps this is why we don’t see as many diverse characters or diverse environments in children’s literature. There is a level of fear or discomfort about writing the wrong thing. Are we allowed to write from the perspective of a different race, culture, sexual orientation, religious belief or gender? Is this a privilege a writer is afforded? Will writing a character who is not like us feel false, cheap or so rife with stereotypes that what once started out as well-intentioned becomes part of the problem?

    Now the answer is of course writers can write whatever they so choose. If we only wrote characters like us, stories would feel stifling and boring. I don’t plan on writing Persian characters or queer characters forever, but that’s what has been important to me for a very long time: the idea of identity and what it means to be one’s self.

    That being said, when I do write characters that aren’t like me, they are reflections of people I have gotten to know in the real world. Friends I have grown up with. Friends I have met through travel or in school. Friends I have made at various jobs and in different stages of my life. The more people I come in contact with, the more connections I make with people who are not like me, allows my life to become richer and better.

    It is in these friendships and connections that people can discuss what is really on their minds and what is important to them. It allows one to listen to someone else and become more empathetic. It makes one realize that there are so many different issues, so many different identities, and yet many people have more things in common with one another than they think.

    We should see color. We should see religion. We should see homosexuality. We should see gender identity. We should see all the things that make people and the world different and not pretend that we are colorblind or that one story is enough to represent a whole group of people.

    But we should also remember that most people have the same kinds of feelings and wants. Everyone wants to be the hero sometimes. Everyone wants to get the love interest sometimes. Everyone feels anger, grief, joy, sadness, and these are feelings writers understand completely. The more characters that we write as human, no matter what they look like or where they are from, the more stories will resonate with readers who so want to see themselves in books. So let’s do more of that, yeah?

    Sara Farizan is the author of If You Could Be Mine. The daughter of Iranian immigrants, Farizan lives in San Francisco, but Boston will always be her home. She is an MFA graduate of Lesley University and holds a BA in film and media studies from American University. Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is her second novel.

  • 20th Century Fox to Adapt ‘The Scorch Trials’ By James Dashner

    “In the aftermath of The Hunger Games’ global success, many studios have turned to young adult books in the hopes of discovering the next great box office franchise, but that’s …

  • ‘Tactile Picture Books Project’ Goes Beyond Braille

    Illustrations from Goodnight Moon and Harold and the Purple Crayon have already been adapted into this exciting new form.The team hopes that one day the technology that makes 3-D picture …

  • Happy Birthday, Jon Scieszka!

    Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca) is also the founder of Guys Read, a literacy program that encourages boys to become lifelong readers. Above all, his mission has been to connect with …

  • How Does a Die-Hard Bibliophile React to a Person Who Doesn’t Enjoy Reading?

    I’ve heard those words, or similar variations (‘I haven’t read a book since high school,’ or, even more mind-blowing, ‘Reading is boring’) many times in my life, and without fail, …

  • Usher Joins Scholastic to Launch “Open a World of Possible” Initiative and Celebrate the Power & Joy of Reading

    New York, NY — Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, today announced that Usher is joining with the company to launch a new “Open a World …

  • CBC Diversity: Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist…

    As proud members of the CBC Diversity Committee, we—Wendy Lamb and Dan Ehrenhaft—volunteered back in March to write a blog post, scheduled for this week. It was to be about unacknowledged, unconscious racism in YA. Our idea at the time was to make the blog post funny. Well, maybe not funny, but lighthearted. Sort of in the vein of the song “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” from Avenue Q. We wanted to laugh at the truth as a conversation starter.

    That’s the future. Right now is no time for a joke.

    What’s going on in our country is deadly, and dead serious. 

    We love this song, but this is no time to relax.

  • Amy Ewing Has Written a Short Story Called ‘The Wishing Well’

    The Wishing Well’ is part of a collection of children’s stories (of the same name) that are very popular in the Lone City, particularly the Marsh. For Violet, it has …

  • Fox Star Studios May Create a Hindi Adaptation of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’

    A Mumbai-based company called Fox Star Studios may create a Hindi version of The Fault in Our Stars movie. Apparently, the English language edition directed by Josh Boone has enjoyed …


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