Children & YA

Making Beautiful Stories

The Southern Festival of Books is a lot like the state fair—but better

by Alice Randall

October 9, 2015 Twenty-seven years ago, if you had asked me about the best time to visit Nashville, I would have said the second weekend in October—the weekend of the Southern Festival of Books. It’s a guaranteed good time. Rain or shine. At the festival, just showing up to hear the same author is considered invitation enough to engage your seatmate in conversation. Attending the Southern Festival of Books is the closest a visitor can come to being an instant insider in Nashville, where the New South begins. If you asked me that question today, I would say the same damn thing.

Published Friday, 9 October 2015

Living Kindly in the World

Cynthia Lord’s new middle-grade novel is almost a parable of empathy

by Susannah Felts

October 7, 2015 In Cynthia Lord’s latest middle-grade novel, A Handful of Stars, the blueberry barrens of coastal Maine present a rich backdrop for a story of two new friends, Lily and Salma, whose families’ livelihoods are dependent on the local agricultural economy. Lord will appear on October 10, 2015, at 1 p.m. in the Commons Room of the Nashville Public Library. The event, part of the Southern Festival of Books, is free and open to the public.

Published Wednesday, 7 October 2015

What It Was, Was Football—and Segregation

A front-yard football game ignites a controversy in Taylor Kitchings’s new middle-grade novel, Yard War

by Corabel Shofner

September 17, 2015 Trip Westbrook did not expect his world to fall apart just because he asked his housekeeper’s son to play football in the front yard. Yard War, a new middle-grade novel by Taylor Kitchings, takes place in segregated Mississippi, and what follows this game of pickup ball surprises and confuses young Trip. Kitchings will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on September 24, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 17 September 2015

Stumbling on a Wasp’s Nest

In Ronald Kidd’s new middle-grade novel, a girl comes of age in the civil-rights era

by Tracy Barrett

September 14, 2015 Thirteen-year-old Billie Sims, the heroine of Ronald Kidd’s middle-grade historical novel, Night on Fire, is just becoming aware of prejudice all around her. Then the Freedom Riders come to town. Ronald Kidd will discuss his most recent novel for young readers at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015.

Published Monday, 14 September 2015

Zeroing in on a Great Story

Children’s author Margo Lanagan talks with Chapter 16 about the pleasure of writing with collaborators

by Julie Danielson

September 9, 2015 Margo Lanagan, Scott Westerfeld, and Deborah Biancotti kick off a new science-fiction series for young adults with Zeroes, the gripping story of a group of teens with unlikely superpowers. All three authors will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. Today Lanagan speaks with Chapter 16 about this smart, fast-paced YA novel.

Published Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Maps and Mayhem

Barry Wolverton’s middle-grade novel, The Vanishing Island, is a charming romp of a tale

by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

August 27, 2015 Barry Wolverton’s The Vanishing Island is a story of big dreams and of breaking away. It is a story of seeking riches, and the way deeply hidden treasure is somehow more valuable than easily obtained wealth. Wolverton will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on September 3, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. He will also appear on a panel with Kristin O’Donnell Tubb at the Mid-South Book Festival in Memphis on September 12 at 2:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Ball is Your Heart

Kwame Alexander discusses The Crossover, his award-winning YA novel about basketball, family, and the rules of life

by Aram Goudsouzian

August 24, 2015 In this interview, Kwame Alexander reflects on basketball, music, political consciousness, and the challenges and rewards of writing a young-adult novel in verse. He will discuss The Crossover, winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal, at the Southern Festival Books held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015.

Published Monday, 24 August 2015

Stinky Success

Beloved children’s author Dav Pilkey talks with Chapter 16 about Captain Underpants

by Michael Ray Taylor

August 19, 2015 There’s something rotten in the state of Ohio in Captain Underpants and the Sensational Sir Stinks-A-Lot, the twelfth “epic novel” in Dav Pilkey’s popular series of graphic novels for children. Pilkey will appear as part of the Salon@615 series at the Nashville Public Library on August 25, 2015, at 6:15 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Simple Living in the Suburbs

With four homeschooled kids, a popular blog, a flock of chickens, a herd of goats, and a new picture book for children, Deanna Caswell has her hands full

by Julie Danielson

August 6, 2015 Deanna Caswell, who writes the popular blog Little House in the Suburbs, has just published a beautiful new picture book, Beach House. A homeschooler and homesteader, Caswell writes regularly about self-sufficiency in the suburbs. Today Chapter 16 takes a look behind the scenes.

Published Thursday, 6 August 2015

Five Times the Fun

Jessica Young talks with Chapter 16 about her book for young readers—and the four other books she’s bringing out this year, too

by Julie Danielson

July 31, 2015 Jessica Young’s Finley Flowers: Original Recipe is the first in a new series of chapter books about an inventive young girl and her warm circle of friends. This title—the first of five books Young will release this year—tells the story of Finley’s attempts to win the school cook-off. Young will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Friday, 31 July 2015

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