A Peek at Beaks: An Interview with Author Sara Levine and Illustrator Kate Slater

Have you ever seen a bird with a beak like a straw? How about a bird with a beak that looks like a pair of tweezers? Get ready to see these birds and many more in A Peek at Beaks: Tools Birds Use by Sara Levine and illustrated by Kate Slater. Structured as a guessing game, this playful picture book introduces young readers to the science and anatomy of different bird species. Discover how birds’ beaks resemble—and can be used like—tools!

Today author Sara Levine and illustrator Kate Slater join us to share their most surprising moments while creating the book, their hopes for young readers, and much more.

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Where I Belong: an Interview with Marcia Argueta Mickelson

The new YA novel Where I Belong follows Guatemalan American high school senior Millie Vargas as she struggles to balance her family’s needs with her own ambitions. Then Mr. Wheeler, a U.S. Senate candidate and her mother’s employer, mentions Millie’s achievements in a campaign speech about “deserving” immigrants. It doesn’t take long for people to identify Millie’s family and place them at the center of a statewide immigration debate. Millie must confront the complexity of her past, the uncertainty of her future, and her place in the country that she believed was home.

Read on to hear how author Marcia Argueta Mickelson started writing, which authors influence her work, and more! Don’t forget to download the FREE discussion guide.

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AfterMath: An Interview with Emily Barth Isler

In AfterMath, twelve-year-old Lucy is still grieving her little brother, Theo, who recently died from a congenital heart defect. Her parents are so intent on a “fresh start” that she doesn’t know how to talk to them anymore. And the other kids in her grade are survivors of a very different kind of tragedy: a school shooting that devastated their small town four years ago. Without the shared past that both unites and divides her classmates, Lucy feels lost. Even her love of math doesn’t offer the absolute answers she craves. But when an after-school mime class gives her a chance to forge new kinds of connections, Lucy finds that while grief can take many shapes and sadness may feel infinite, love is just as powerful.

Debut author Emily Barth Isler shares her writing journey and the books that inspired her. Read on to find a book trailer, free discussion guide, and so much more!

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Artie and the Wolf Moon: An Interview with Olivia Stephens

Earlier this month Artie and the Wolf Moon hit the shelves. In this original and empowering middle grade, Artie Irvin is thrilled to discover she comes from a line of werewolves. She asks her mom to share everything—including the story of Artie’s late father. Her mom reluctantly agrees. And to help Artie figure out her own wolflike abilities, her mom recruits some old family friends. As she learns the history of werewolves and her own parents’ past, she’ll find that wolves aren’t the scariest thing in the woods—vampires are.

Today debut graphic novelist, Olivia Stephens, joins us to share a little bit about her creative process and some exclusive early sketches.

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Hair Story: An Interview with NoNieqa Ramos

The new celebratory picture book, Hair Story, follows Preciosa and Rudine as they play hair salon and take inspiration from their moms, their neighbors, their ancestors, and cultural icons. They soon discover that their hair holds roots of the past and threads of the future. With rhythmic, rhyming verse and vibrant collage art, author NoNieqa Ramos and illustrator Keisha Morris taken an intersectional look at natural hair.

Read on to hear author NoNieqa Ramos describe her inspiration for the story, the significance of the characters’ names, and more. Download a free teaching guide for Hair Story at the end!

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