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.