Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Winter from The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels!

The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels! 
It's been a cold, crazy winter here in the heart of Texas! We've had delayed school, snow days, and some record-breaking chilly temperatures. Snow days, while wreaking havoc on scheduling and activities, make for wonderful days to stay home and read a great book. We hope you have discovered some wonderful gems this season in your to-be-read pile!

With spring approaching, we Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels have so much to look forward to. TLA is right around the corner, and we are hoping to see many of you there! In the meantime, however, here are the latest going-ons with us.

P. J.'s School Visits

January and February have been filled with wonderful school visits for P. J. Hoover
. Since our last newsletter, P. J. visited Laurel Mountain Elementary where she presented to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. She also spent a few days in Irving, Texas speaking to eight different middle schools. This past week, P. J. stayed closer to home and visited O. Henry Middle School and Martin Middle School, both here in Austin. The kids had awesome questions, and it was so nice meeting some new librarians!

Now is a great time to think about treating your kids to an author visit in May after testing is complete! More information on P. J.'s author visits can be found on her website visit page.  

Montgomery County Book Festival 

This past weekend, P. J.
P. J. with Jessica Brody. We dubbed our panel the "Purple Panel." 
traveled to Houston to participate in the Montgomery Country Book Festival Literary Love-Fest. She was on the "It's More than just Robots and Outer Space" panel along with Marissa Meyer, Jessica Brody, Lindsay Cummings, and Belle Whittington. Thousands of teens turned out, and the panel attendance was standing room only!




Eve Bunting Book Drawing

Winners were announced on Don's blog on February 4th. Don was not able to make contact with one winner, so if no response has been received by the end of this week (2/21), another name will be drawn.   

Don Tate (link here) and Eve Bunting (link here) discuss their book, The Cart That Carried Martin (Charlesbridge).   

Don was a featured author in the 22nd Annual African American Children's Book Festival in Philadelphia, where hundreds of children and their families came out to purchase and celebrate books. See Snapshots from the festival on the Lee & Low Blog

Several Fort Worth area librarians have suggested that Don's first authored book, It Jes' Happened, become a RIF title. And guess what-the book has now been included in RIF's (Reading Is Fundamental) 2013-2014 STEAM Multicultural Booklist (Grades Pre-K to 5). So what does this mean? It means that more than 3,200 children in low-income communities throughout the U.S. will receive a copy of Don's book, and many others.  

Don's School Visits 

Don recently completed a full week of school visits in Richland and Garland, Texas, where he presented 24 presentations to 7 schools. "I was so impressed with the children," Don said, "who gave me their complete undivided attention. They were so excited and asked great questions. Speaks to the hard work of their school librarians."   

Next week, Don looks forward to a week of school visits in Killeen, Texas. For more information about Don's school visit program, see Don's website. Don still has plenty of days open to book a school visit in April and May.


Jessica Lee Anderson recently made some updates to her website, so swing on and say hello! She has some availability for school visits this spring, so please contact her for more information.
Our Featured Sweethearts for this month are librarians in the Richland and Garland schools: Kathy Chicoine, Taressa Anderson, Toni Dowd, Amy Shaffner, Ann Rubin, Shannon Glidden. Pictured here is Ms. Robin McMahan, librarian Heather Glen in Garland. Thank you for working so hard on behalf of literacy for kids! (nominated by Don Tate)