Thursday, November 21, 2013

November News and Updates!


P. J. Hoover is thrilled to announce that her school visit presentations are now aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). She would love the opportunity to partner with educators in supporting students' writing development. Her presentation meets academic standards and offers substantive follow-up projects and topics for discussion. 
 A Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Aligned Analysis and Post-Presentation Discussion & Writing Lesson Application Guide for P. J.'s author presentations that is appropriate for Grades 3-12 can be found and downloaded here.

Please contact P. J. directly for author visit inquiries. She would love to visit your school!

Says librarian Dorcas Hand of Annunciation Orthodox School,
"P.J. Hoover was a huge hit with our 4th-8th grades. She made the classic Hero's Journey a metaphor for life that allowed her to talk about changing career paths, writing & revision, and mythology all in a consistent narrative that engaged the kids. Teachers were thrilled at the motivational aspects of her talk..."
More information on P. J.'s author visits can be found on her website visit page.  



In October, Don was a featured author-illustrator in the Texas Book Festival. In addition, he participated in the Texas Book Festival's Reading Rock Star program and presented his works at two economically-disadvantaged public schools, where each student received a book.   

"It was so cool to see the happy expression on the children's faces when they received their very own book. For many students, it was the first book they'd ever owned," Tate says.

Last week, Don completed a full week of school visits in Fort Worth area schools. "The librarians were amazing!" Don says.
"They prepared the students by having them write and draw, and even create high tech presentations based upon my books."

Upon leaving Fort Worth, Don headed off to Savannah, Georgia where he was a featured author in the Savannah Children's Book Festival.
School Visits
Don loves to visit school libraries and share his book making experiences with students.

"Your presentations were outstanding!"said a Fort Worth librarian, "It was just what our students needed to hear."

Currently Don is booking school visits for January through May. Don will present at area schools in the Dallas area during the third week of January, in Richardson (Dallas) during the second week of February, and in Killeen the first week of March. Feel free to contact Don about visiting your school during those same weeks, or others. Don understands that library budgets have been challenged as of late.

Contact Don before determining that an author visit is out of the question. He will work with you to help make a visit happen.


If you are not able to drop by The Book Spot, you can order personalized books to be mailed to you by clicking here.

Jessica Lee Anderson had a wonderful time visiting the Girls' School of Austin! She will continue to offer discounted school visit rates to schools in the San Antonio and Austin area.  Please visit her website for more information:

The Writing Ninjas Attack Austin Comic Con!

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday November 22-24, 2013, four members of the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels will be part of the Writing Ninjas:

P. J. Hoover, Jessica Lee Anderson, K. A. Holt, and Jo Whittemore!

We'll be performing a stealthy but deadly assault on the Austin Comic Con.  We will be at booths #428/430 where we will be signing copies of our books.

Our postcards!

Come by our booth for candy, free books, and the chance to get your favorite Writing Ninja books signed.


Solstice Border Crossing The Sweet Dead Life The Veil Brains For Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! Scorched Dear Teen Me

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A SPOOKTACULAR MONTH with the Texas Sweethearts and Scoundrels!

Hello, boys and ghouls! Here's some news we've been dying to share. So many exciting things going on, it's frightening! (Are the puns killing you yet?) Read on to see what October's about.

We are all scheduling school and library visits, so give us a shout if your school is looking for a fun visit. Also, check out our news or the calendar sections on our websites to find out where we'll be this fall.  We'd love to be able to visit with you in person!

This Saturday is the Texas Book Festival here in Austin, Texas. Located down at the Capital, the Texas Book Festival has something for everyone!
If you're interested in young adult books or books about girls with special powers, P. J. will be on a panel on Saturday, October 26th, 2013 from 1:30-2:30 pm.
In addition to P.J., the panel will be made up of Jessica Khoury (author of Origin), Cynthia Leitich Smith (author of Feral Nights), and Kami Garcia (author of Unbreakable) and will be moderated by local Austin author Sean Petrie.
P. J. Hoover has had a busy month filled with school visits and regional librarian conferences. She enjoyed visiting Cathey Middle School and Mission High School in McAllen, Texas, prior to the Region 1 Librarian Conference in South Padre Island. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and nice to meet so many new friends.
In addition, P. J. just spent a week in Allen, Texas talking to 7th graders about the Hero's Journey and how it relates to writing and life in general. This Friday, P. J. will visit Annunciation Orthodox School in Houston where she will be talking with 4th-8th graders.
P. J. enjoys speaking to kids of all ages, and her favorite presentation is "My Quest for the Golden Fleece: 12 Things I've Learned on my Hero's Journey."
Structured around mythology and The Hero's Journey, she talks about the importance of goal setting (and sticking to those goals!), facing fears, and getting back up after failure to try again and again until success is achieved. She also talks about the writing process, from ideas to revisions, from rejections to publication. For kids who are interested in mythology or who are learning about The Hero's Journey, it is a great tie-in because they can relate.
Attention Region 2 (Corpus) and Region 12 (Waco) librarians! P. J. Hoover will be at the Regional Librarian Conferences in November. Please come by and say hello!
Upcoming Signings for P. J.:
P. J. will be talking with readers and signing Solstice at the Houston BOOKRAVE event on Saturday, November 2nd at the Zotz Education Center.  
P. J. will  be signing at the Round Rock, TX Barnes & Noble with author Cynthia Leitich Smith on Saturday, November 9th at 2:00.


Don Tate has written and sold a new nonfiction picture book! And Charlesbridge Publishing snatched up the story exactly a month after Don finished putting the final touches on it. It's still too early to discuss details, but Don says the book will publish in 2017, and is the story many have asked him to write. Don can't wait to share his writing and research process with students.
Don will present the book he illustrated, Hope's Gift, this Sunday at the Children's Read Me a Story Tent (13th and Colorado streets) at the Texas Book Festival.

The Cart That Carried Martin, Don's newest book with Eve Bunting, received a starred review from Booklist (American Library Association)! See the November issue of Booklist for the rave review.

School visits

(Students in Garland, Texas share drawings created from visual problem solving activity.)

Don't let budget cuts and bureaucrats keep your students away from the inspiration of an in-person author/illustrator from Don Tate. Librarians are facing challenging times due to cuts, and Don is fully aware. Don's presentations are competitively priced -- AND ALWAYS NEGOTIABLE. Some schools have found it helpful to partner with each other, splitting the morning and afternoon as well as the day fee. Contact Don to discuss your budget and needs for a school visit.


Jo is tickled to share the Polish cover of her well-reviewed novel Odd Girl In from Aladdin MIX. The title translates to
This Girl is a Little Strangebut no matter how you say it, we think it's a hilarious read!

Jessica Lee Anderson is continuing to offer discounted half-day school visit rates to schools in and around the San Antonio/Austin area.

Please visit for school visit and contact information.    

Monday, August 19, 2013

BACK TO SCHOOL with The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels

Back to school is the favorite time of year for some of the Sweethearts. New beginnings and ALL those school supplies!  Our reports on What We Did Over the Summer are in the News & Updates section. We were busy!
We are all scheduling school and library visits for the Fall and looking forward to cooler weather. Check out our news or the calendar sections on our websites to find out where we'll be this fall.  And think about inviting us to your community!  
Jeanette was the keynote speaker for the first South Texas Library Mini-conference, Down in the Valley, in McAllen. The Mini-Conference was attended by more than 100 school and public librarians. In addition to being the keynote speaker, Jeanette presented information on developing a multicultural collection during a break-out session.  
Both Jeanette and Don were honored to have their books, HUMMINGBIRDS: FACTS & FOLKORE FROM THE AMERICAS and IT JES' HAPPENED: WHEN BILL TRAYLOR STARTED TO DRAW, named to the list of four finalists for The 2013 Writers' League of Texas Book Awards.  The winner will be named in September.

The Westbank Library will host Jeanette on Wednesday, September 4 at 6:30 p.m. She'll be talking about birding and nature photography.

Later in September Jeanette will travel to Florida to present a workshop for librarians on behalf of the Northeast Florida Library Information Network on September 23. Librarian in-service presentations are a lot of fun!  
K. A. Holt is very excited to announce a new book deal! HOUSE ARREST is a middle-grade novel in verse which tells the story of a boy whose baby brother is perilously ill. Choosing to take matters into his own hands leads our protagonist into all sorts of trouble, which he must now make reparations for over the course of one very tumultuous year. This is a moving, transformative novel which you won't want to miss. HOUSE ARREST was acquired by Tamra Tuller at Chronicle and will be hitting shelves in Fall 2015.

Jessica Lee Anderson had a wonderful time at a writing retreat this summer with fellow Sweethearts Jo Whittemore, K.A. Holt, and P.J. Hoover, along with a fun group of other Texas authors. 

Check out the Featured Sweethearts section to see what else Jessica did this summer!  

P. J. Hoover is thrilled with the positive feedback being received for SOLSTICE. Booklist calls SOLSTICE "...a debut novel that consistently delivers...".

In addition, SOLSTICE has been named to the  2013 ABC Best Books for Children list by the American Booksellers Association
The release of P. J. Hoover's debut young adult novel, SOLSTICE has kept her busy this summer! P. J. kicked off the release with a party on the actual summer solstice at her house, celebrating not only the release of the book, but the fact that she finally got around to remodeling her kitchen! 

Continuing on in celebrating the release of SOLSTICE, P. J. signed books in Chicago at this year's ALA conference. After ALA, P. J. had bookstore readings/signings at Hooray 4 Books in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, Barnes & Noble in The Woodlands, Texas as well as Barnes & Noble in Tysons Corner, Virginia, Alamosa Books in New Mexico, and Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas.

P. J. is looking forward to a busy fall with school visits and appearances at the Cedar Park Teen Book Club, the Austin Teen Book Festival, the NASA Young Adult Book Club, bookstore signings in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, as well as panel presentations at the Texas Region 3 and Region 12 Librarian conferences. 

National Book Fest 2013 HOPE'S GIFT, a book illustrated by Don Tate, will be featured at the 2013 National Book Festival! The book will be on display with an exhibit that shows the history behind the story, at the Pavilion of the States, Discover Great Places Through Reading. Pretty cool!  
IT JES' HAPPENED: WHEN BILL TRAYLOR STARTED TO DRAW will be featured at the Folk Art Museum in NYC. On September 21, Don Tate will discuss his book and lead a Family Day activity at the museum. During the event, Don will also launch a new Bill Traylor arts curriculum to be used in museums and classrooms. The curriculum, created by award-winning educator Kelly McConnell, will feature a narrative lexicon, a pictograph diary, and an activity for story constructions. The guide will be available soon as a free download on Don's website.  
In July, Don was pleased to serve as an Author-Illustrator In Residence and lecturer at the Vermont College of Fine arts. 
Don's newest book publishes this month! THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN, written by Eve Bunting, is a unique retelling of Martin Luther King Jr.s funeral, focusing on the cart used to transport his coffin through the streets of Atlanta, Georgia, fromEbenezer Baptist Church to Morehouse College.  Described by Kirkus as, "[an] affecting snapshot of a tragic day."     
Don recently signed on to illustrate a second book written by Chris Barton', a picture book biography called WHOOSH! LONNIE JOHNSON'S SUPER STREAM OF IDEAS, about the Tuskegee-educated inventor, entrepreneur, and NASA engineer whose knowledge of fluid dynamics led to the invention of the Super Soaker. Look for the book in 2016!
Don is offering special pricing -- up to half off -- for school visits during  August and September 2013, for schools near Austin, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston.  Contact Don with inquiries. 
Don's first school visit of the 2013-'14 year will kick off in a two-day visit in Naples, Florida! Don still offers special reduced pricing for school visits during the month of August and September, to schools in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth areas. Contact Don directly for more details:  
"Don Tate approaches the content of his lively presentations from both an illustrator's and author's perspectives, his school visits offer a solid integration of the Common Core Curriculum Anchor Standards for reading, writing, and speaking & listening, all of which are annotated, aligned, and available for review." --- Debbie Gonzales, Educator

Our featured Sweetheart is a little different this time. Over summer vacation, Jessica Anderson and her husband, Mike, became the proud parents of Ava. Our youngest sweetheart was born on August 8, weighing 8 pounds and 5 ounces and measuring in at 22 inches long. Congratulations to Jessica and Mike. 


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer News!

with The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels

Before the school year winds down, The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels want to thank you for all the support you've given us throughout the year. You've read our newsletters, invited us to your schools, purchased our books. Our gratitude is endless - but our work is not!  We have a full summer of writing, reading, speaking ahead - not to mention preparing for the upcoming school year. Somewhere in there, we plan to visit the beach! We hope you do, too. Have a great summer.
Good times at TLA! 
Signing at TLA
(from left to right) Don Tate, Jessica Lee Anderson, P.J. Hoover sign books at The Texas Library Association Conference, one of our favorite events of the year. 
Jeanette at TLA
Jeanette (right) having a fun time at TLA!
Austin ISD Librarians: TxLA Book Cart Drill Team Champions 2013 
Austin ISD Librarians: TxLA Book Cart Drill Team Champions 2013
The Sweethearts & Scoundrels were recently mentioned in a Publisher's Weekly article that discussed social networking. At a glance: "Many authors find strength in numbers, promoting one another's launches and books. P.J. Hoover, author of Solstice (due out in July), set up a Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog with other local writers."

As for hot summer releases, P. J. Hoover can't wait for the release of her debut young adult novel, Solstice, on June 18, just before the actual summer solstice. Set in Austin in the future when global warming is destroying the earth, Solstice is a perfect choice for those hot summer days by the pool or the beach.

Solstice also got a nice shout out in the Kirkus blog as a Science Fiction & Fantasy June Highlight & Top Pick. "Solstice by P.J. Hoover is a clever blend of mythology and dystopia set against the backdrop of a dying world." 

Jessica looks forward to teaching a Found Treasure Writing Workshop at Westbank Library on June 10, 2013 from 4-5:30 p.m.
Jeanette enjoyed a fabulous visit at Purple Sage Elementary in Austin for Children's Book Week, visiting kindergarten through second grade students.

This summer she is teaching for Texas Woman's University and finishing writing a book for librarians this summer so public appearances are limited. On August 5, Jeanette will be a presenter at the youth services library conference at the McAllen Public Library and later that month will travel to Florida to speak to librarians and hopefully visit some bookstores in the Daytona Beach area. 

Don wound-down the school year by visiting school libraries in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston. 

Don poses with library clerk (Thing 1) and librarian (The Cat), Ms. Petrie at Eiland Elementary in Houston. 

Don is offering special pricing -- up to half off -- for school visits in August and September 2013, for schools near Austin, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston. Contact Don with inquiries. 

You can read about our latest Featured Sweethearts who are making a different in their communities! This month we featured
Barrett Dowell (husband of Bridget Zinn. (read his interview here) 
Poison cover

Monday, May 27, 2013


Hi, P. J. Hoover here, and today I am beyond excited to be able to feature a book that I fell in love with and a true sweetheart that helped make it happen.

POISON by Bridget Zinn (March 12, 2013, Hyperion)

I participated in a launch event for POISON at BookPeople here in Austin, TX, hosted by Bridget's family, and had the wonderful idea that even though I couldn't feature Bridget here on the blog, I could feature someone very close to her, Barrett Dowell, her husband.

At the BookPeople launch event
L to R: Me, Barrett Dowell (Bridget's husband), Nikki Loftin, Cory Putman Oakes, and Mary Zuniga Johnson (Bridget's cousin)

Members of the Austin writing community signed the book.
A stamp with Bridget's signature was also used. 
You can have one of the signed copies from the event mailed to you.
Contact BookPeople for more information

Barrett, thank you so much for being her with us today! And now, let's get on with the questions!


PJHoover: The release of POISON has been such an amazing thing! What do you think would have made Bridget the happiest about the whole release?

BarrettD: There is a lot happing with POISON's release that would have thrilled Bridget and made her extremely happy. I think seeing how the international community of book lovers has rallied to support and promote POISON would have put Bridget over the moon. I know she would have been extremely grateful.

I also think the letters from readers about how POISON and Bridget's own story of battling cancer has impacted them would be quite touching for her. One letter mentioned how Bridget's words have "taken away the scary" from their own battle against cancer. It is so amazing how Bridget continues to put happiness in the world through her words.

PJHoover: When we talked, you mentioned there were some things in POISON that were "special" to Bridget. Can you share some of these with us?

BarrettD: The character Fred in POISON was named in honor of Fred Weasley from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Bridget was a huge fan of warm pockets of life in books. She loved those real moments when a characters connect and you see their real friendships. The Weasley twins brought humor to some of the darker parts of Rowling's novels and that is what Bridget loved in the books. She like many fans felt a loss after reading The Deathly Hallows and when Bridget was writing POISON she thought the name Fred was the perfect homage to a missed character.

Rosie, the katzenheim piglet that joins Kyra on her quest, is a character inspired from Bridget's own childhood. The name Rosie was borrowed from a lifelong friend who grew up just through the woods from Bridget's childhood home in northern Wisconsin. There are also nice moments between Kyra and Rosie in POISON that remind me of Bridget's relationship with our bengal cat, Harpo.

PJHoover: What has been your biggest surprise since the release of POISON?

BarrettD: My biggest surprise since the release has been the amount of help and support I have received from friends and people from around the country who have helped promote POISON to ensure it reaches readers. I am so thankful.

Another awesome surprise was Disney Publishing Worldwide's announcement of its donation of 1,000 brand new, hardcover copies of Poison to FirstBook in dedication of Bridget. This meant so much to me and to Bridget's father, Dick Zinn. We are both grateful to Disney Publishing Worldwide and so proud of Bridget.

PJHoover: Can you share with us some memories from the time POISON was being written?

BarrettD: Writing a book is a huge undertaking and Bridget had lots of support. She had a fantastic writers' group which she met with regularly. Their encouragement and critiques kept her on track and helped her craft POISON along with many other novels Bridget has written, but not yet published.

Bridget's agent, Michael Stearns of Upstart Crow Literary, had tremendous impact on our lives. He came in at the right moment and was the perfect addition to our team. It meant the world to Bridget to have someone she respected in the industry understand and believe in her work. Bridget signed with him about a month before her diagnosis of having fourth stage colon cancer.

PJHoover: If you could let the world know one special thing about Bridget, what would it be?

BarrettD: Bridget taught me to appreciate the moment. I think she said it best in her last tweet, "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect."

PJHoover: Thank you so much for being here!



Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
Praise for Poison:
"A frothy confection of a fairy tale featuring poisoners, princesses, perfumers and pigs, none of whom are exactly what they appear (except maybe the pigs) …. Good silly fun—a refreshing antidote to a genre overflowing with grit and gloom."—Kirkus Reviews
Extraordinary." —Jennifer L. Holm, New York Times best-selling author

"Bridget Zinn's POISON is an absolute charmer of a book, full of adventure and romance and fun. I give it five stars—with an extra star for the cutest pig character you will ever meet." —Sarah Prineas, author of The Magic Thief series and the Winterling trilogy


If you know of someone who would make a great Featured Sweetheart, please let us know! The best part? If you nominate someone, we'll send you a $5 Starbucks gift card :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

April Showers from The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels


April is one of our favorite times of the year! April Showers, bluebonnets popping up all over the place, and the annual Texas Library Association Conference. We have so much great news to share with you guys, but first, we want to offer a sincere thank you for reading! You all put the sweet into sweetheart!

The Texas Library Association Conference is one of our most favorite events all year. The Sweethearts and Scoundrels are looking forward to seeing you there! Please take a moment to check out schedule and see if you can come by and say hi. Oh, and we love hearing that you read our newsletter!

1:00-1:50 pm - PJ Hoover will be on the Other Worlds: Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens Panel with Ilsa Bick, Joelle Charbonneau, Marissa Meyer, Kristen Simmons

2:00-3:00 pm - Don Tate will sign Hope's Gift, written by Kelly Starlling Lyons (Penguin, 2012) in the Author Signing Area, Aisle #11 

3:00-4:00 pm - Jessica Lee Anderson and P. J. Hoover will be signing at Booth 1601    

10:00-12:00 pm - Don Tate will be signing at Booth 1601 

12:00-1:50 pm - P. J. Hoover
will be a participating author at the YART Texas Tea

3:00-4:00 pm - P. J. Hoover will be signing ARCs of SOLSTICE in the author area
3:30-4:00 pm - Don Tate will be signing at Booth 1601
4:00-5:00 pm - Jeanette Larson will be signing at Booth 1601  

5:00-8:00 pm - P. J. Hoover will be a participating author in the TT4L Event 

8:30-9:20 am - Jeanette Larson will be moderating a panel: Freedom and Libraries: The Fate of a Library, about Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books 

Watch out, Fort Worth, here we come!
The Sweethearts & Scoundrels had a wonderful time presenting at the recent Region 13 Hill Country Library and Literacy Summit. We shared photos that help us inspire the love of reading and writing to kids.

From L to R: Don Tate, Jessica Lee Anderson, P. J. Hoover, Jeanette Larson, Kari Holt, and Jo Whittemore

Coming up on May 11 is the first annual YAB Fest at Round Rock High School in Round Rock, Texas. Both Jessica and P. J. will be participating authors, and a keynote will be given by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer.  Check here for more information.

Jo Whittemore is thrilled to announce she has sold another book to Simon & Schuster! Here is the official announcement:
Jo Whittemore's HOW TO MAKE A MILLION, about a zany mother and her sensible daughter who have the opportunity to claim a relative's fortune, but find there are just a few pesky strings attached, again to Alyson Heller at Aladdin, for publication in Spring 2015, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (World English).
Yay, Jo!


P. J. Hoover recently took part in celebrating the release of POISON by Bridget Zinn at BookPeople. Bridget passed away before the release of her debut novel, so Austin author gathered together to show their support. In attendance were Bridget's husband, Barrett, along with members of her family. P. J. read a passage from the book along with Austin authors Nikki Loftin and Cory Putman Oakes. In support of Bridget, please consider ordering POISON for your library. The book is appropriate for elementary, middle school, and high school. 

From L to R: P. J. Hoover, Barrett Dowell (Bridget's husband), Nikki Loftin (author), Cory Putman Oakes (author), and Mary Zuniga Johnson (Bridget's cousin)

P. J. also enjoyed participating in a recent panel at BookPeople sponsored by the Writers' League of Texas. Along with P. J., the panel featured author Rhiannon Frater and publicist Stephanie Barko, and was moderated by author Jennifer Ziegler.
P. J. had a wonderful time presenting to 6th and 7th graders at the recent St. Stephen's Literary Festival.
P. J. looks forward to a busy month ahead with school visits including Lee Elementary, Andrews Elementary, and Kealing Middle School in Austin, and Live Oak Elementary and Sommer Elementary in Round Rock.
P. J. is also looking forward to presenting at DFWCon on May 4th in Hurst, TX.


Kari is excited to be visiting schools in Spring ISD and Austin ISD in the next few weeks, and was recently thrilled to find out that her book, MIKE STELLAR: NERVES OF STEEL, has gone into its second printing.


Jessica Lee Anderson can't wait for the Pflugerville ISD Write Stuff Event on April 27th, 2013!


April has been a busy month for 'the Scoundrel' of the bunch. Earlier this month, Don gave away nearly 600 books to children in the Rio Grande Valley as a part of the Texas Book Festivals Reading Rock Stars program. Since then he's visited several schools. One highlight was at Groveton Elementary School in Groveton, Texas, where the students collected spare change as a way to help cover the author honorarium. Students raised nearly half the full-day fee. Yay! Don loves the ingenuity of the Texas Librarian. Last week, Don was honored at the Ezra Jack Keats Awards during the Kay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Read more about it on his blog. From Mississippi, Don traveled back to Texas to participate in the Texas Book Festivals first San Antonio edition.

Don Tate with librarian Julie Lake at Web Primary. What a cool welcoming banner.
Groveton students raised money to bring an author to their school  

Don also had a busy weekend at IRA signing books and speaking on a panel: Making a Difference: Texas Authors, Texas Teachers and Texas Literacy Organizations Focus on Critical Reading and Thinking Around Nonfiction Texts
Many thanks to the talented Emma Virj√°n for her beautiful graphic designs!  Don't miss the opportunity to check out her newest illustrations:
Milly Crocodilly Finds True Love

You can read about our latest Featured Sweethearts who are making a different in their communities! This month we featured
Debbie Carroll VanZandt (read her interview here) 

Jessica Lee Anderson with Debbie
Danny & Julie Woodfill (read their interview here) 
Julie and Danny sporting their Book Spot t-shirts!
Lesa Boutin (read her interview here) 
A book, a snake, and a tortoise, oh my!
Please stop by the blog and read about the amazing things they have to say about the world of kidlit!