Archive for the 'Young Adult' Category

A Moment with Gene Luen Yang,
National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

h1 Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

I’m not normally in the habit of posting other people’s interviews in full at my site, but what the hell, I’m doing so today.

And that’s because I was very excited to hear on Monday of this week that graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang (pictured left in his self-portrait) was named the 5th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Below is a five-question chat he had with Gina Gagliano at First Second Books. I’m merely hosting them here today.

I can’t wait to hear more from Gene in his two-year term as Ambassador.

As the new Ambassador of Young People’s Literature, what changes would you like to see in America’s reading culture?

Gene: I want us to diversify our reading in every sense of the word “diverse.” I want us to read stories from different cultures about different topics in different formats. I want every person to read at least one book that others don’t expect them to like, at least once a year.

What draws you to YA books and literature?

Gene: I started in the comic book industry, which isn’t as tightly categorized into age demographics as the traditional book market. I didn’t really think of myself as a YA author until I began publishing with First Second Books. They looked at my stuff and decided it fit best in Young Adult.

I think they’re right. My friend and fellow author Marsha Qualey says there’s an equation at the heart of all YA:

Power + Belonging = Identity

Most of my stories are about that equation.

What do you like better — hardcovers or paperbacks?

Gene: You know, I’ve never really thought about it. Each format has its advantages. Hardcovers feel solid and substantial in your hand. Paperbacks are more portable.

I do a lot of my reading on the go these days, so I guess right now I prefer paperbacks.

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Art from Özge

h1 Thursday, December 17th, 2015

As a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week (here) with Özge Samanci, I’ve got art here today from Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey (Margaret Ferguson/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, November 2015).

You can click on each image below (except for the last one and the book cover) to enlarge slightly and see in a bit more detail.


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The Illustrations of Cannaday Chapman

h1 Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Work-in-progress piece (as of April 2015)

Today, I’m showcasing some artwork from illustrator Cannaday Chapman. Shadra Strickland shared Cannaday’s site via social media, and I went and saw and liked. Cannaday then gave me permission to pull images from his site and share them here at 7-Imp.

As you can read here, Cannaday studied Illustration at SVA. His work hasn’t appeared in the world of children’s or YA lit, as far as I can tell (but can’t you see him doing something like YA covers)?


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Catching Up with Margo Lanagan …

h1 Monday, October 12th, 2015

I’m a bit late in posting this, but …

Last month, I talked with the talented Margo Lanagan over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16 about collaborating with Scott Westerfeld and Deborah Biancotti on their newest novel, Zeroes (Simon Pulse, September 2015).

That conversation is here.

Until tomorrow …

A Quick Art Break, Watercolor-Style

h1 Thursday, March 13th, 2014

“… I remember my aunt Gladys’s house next door. It was also a big stone house, but it smelled different from ours, like old milk, and there was randomness in the way that everything was placed as though it had been dropped in haste wherever it was.
There was also a crucific on the living-room wall.
It was an object that was missing from our living room. …”

(Click to enlarge)

Since I chatted at Kirkus last week (here) with author-illustrator and graphic designer James McMullan about his new memoir, Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood (Algonquin, March 2014), I am following up today with two watercolors from the book. Read the rest of this entry �

A Conversation with James McMullan

h1 Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Remember this award-winning picture book?

Its illustrator, James McMullan (pictured here), who has led a long and distinguished career in graphic design and illustration, has written a new memoir. It’s a fascinating read, and today over at Kirkus I chat with him about this book.

It’s called Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood and was released this month from Algonquin. McMullan was born in North China, the grandson of UK missionaries who had settled there, and in this book he recounts his childhood in brief, impressionistic vignettes accompanied by paintings — first, his privileged life and then his father’s departure for the war, followed by his and his mother’s attempts to escape Japanese occupation.

It’s a book aimed at teens (given that it was published by Algonquin’s young-readers imprint), but as many reviewers have noted, adults would enjoy it as well.

Our chat is here today.

And next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have a couple of paintings from the book.

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Photo of Mr. McMullan taken by Phillip Lehans and used by permission.

What I’m Up To at Kirkus Today,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Daniel Nevins and Marije Tolman

h1 Friday, October 11th, 2013

“And Jacob said to Rebekah, his mother, ‘But Esau is a hairy man and I am a smooth man. If my father touches me, he will think me a thief and I will bring upon myself his curse and not his blessing.’ His mother said, ‘Your curse, my son, will be upon me. Now, listen and go; bring them to me.'”
(Click to see spread in its entirety)

“Flamingoes obtain their color from the shrimp and algae they eat.”
(Click to enlarge)

Today at Kirkus, I write about Amy Schwartz’s newest picture book, Dee Dee and Me. Regular 7-Imp-goers will know I really like Amy’s picture books, and with this new one she, once again, doesn’t disappoint. That link is here.

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Last week at Kirkus, I chatted here with Asheville artist Daniel Nevins about creating the artwork for Amy Ehrlich’s With a Mighty Hand (Candlewick, August 2013). Today, I’ve got a little bit of art from the book, including the image at the very top of this post.

And I also wrote here about Jumping Penguins, an international import written by Jesse Goossens and illustrated by Marije Tolman. Featured here today is some art from that book, too. (Please note that some of the spreads featured here from this book are different from the English-language version — both art, in some instances, and text. The cover is also slightly different.)

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With a Mighty Hand

h1 Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

This morning over at Kirkus, I chat with Asheville artist Daniel Nevins about creating the artwork for Amy Ehrlich’s With a Mighty Hand (Candlewick, August 2013), which consists of Ehrlich’s adaptation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, told as a single narrative. Sub-titled The Story in the Torah, it’s one of the most beautifully designed books I’ve seen this year.

That link is here, and next week here at 7-Imp I’ll have a bit of art from it.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Daniel Nevins used with his permission.

“To Face the Lions”

h1 Thursday, September 26th, 2013

From “Sleep Charm”: “This bed is the perfect bed. / Sink into its healing /
cloud-softness, / cheek against cool pillow-white. /
Forget anything you ever wanted, / hoped, or feared. …”

Last week, I chatted here at Kirkus with author and poet Joyce Sidman about her newest poetry collection, What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings (Houghton Mifflin), to be released in early October. The book is illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Pamela Zagarenski.

Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve got two spreads from the book (including the poems), as well as some details from some of Pamela’s paintings. I thank Pamela for sharing them.

Also below is one question for Joyce I didn’t have room for in last week’s column, as well as a trailer for the book, which features even more of Pamela’s artwork.

*[This post’s title comes from “Song of Bravery,” one of my favorite poems in the collection: “…But here I go— / bones clicking quietly together, / blood flowing dutifully / from heart to hands and back again— / here I go, stepping out / through the door / of my own shadow: / into the glare of the arena / to face the lions.”]

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Art Break!

h1 Thursday, August 29th, 2013

“My Name Is Santiago … I am Dominican. I live in Detroit. I am Latino.”

Well, there’s always art here at 7-Imp, but it’s I who am taking a break in my work today to post some art from David Díaz.

Last week over at Kirkus, I chatted (here) with Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, both pictured below in this post, about Yes! We Are Latinos (Charlesbridge, August 2013), illustrated by Díaz, a series of narrative poems about the various ways Latinos and Latinas in this country celebrate their heritage. So, today I’ve got some art from the book.

I also didn’t have room in last week’s column for one final question I had for Ms. Ada and Ms. Campoy, so that question is also included below.

Enjoy the art. Read the rest of this entry �