Archive for the 'Young Adult' Category

My BookPage Q&A with Denene Millner

h1 Thursday, September 10th, 2020



 

Over at BookPage, I had the pleasure of talking with publisher, author, and journalist Denene Millner about her work. Earlier this year, she moved her imprint, Denene Millner Books, to Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Denene talks about the challenges of launching an imprint during a pandemic and a “modern-day civil rights movement”; about wanting books about Black joy over Black struggle; how she finds talent; what’s on her publishing wish list; and more.

Click the above image to head to BookPage to read the Q&A.

Flamer: A Conversation with Mike Curato

h1 Thursday, August 27th, 2020



 
It’s a pleasure to welcome author-illustrator Mike Curato once again to 7-Imp. Today, we discuss Flamer (Godwin Books/Henry Holt, September 2020), his new graphic novel for teens. Flamer is fictional but based on some of Curato’s own personal experiences.

The book tells the story of 14-year-old Aiden, who is away at summer camp (awash in toxic masculinity) and trying to figure out a lot of things about himself, including the fact that he has a crush on a boy. He dreads the return to school (he’s about to transition from a Catholic school to a public high school) and is accustomed to being bullied — for his size and weight, for being effeminate, for not playing sports, and for his Filipino heritage. It’s a powerful and poignant coming-of-age story and a departure for Curato, who until now has made picture books.

I thank him for visiting today to discuss the book and share some art.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #705: Featuring Temi Coker, Alexis Franklin, Omar T. Pasha, and Jenna Stempel-Lobell

h1 Sunday, August 23rd, 2020



 
I know I regularly post here at 7-Imp about picture books and illustration, but sometimes I see a book cover that blows me away. In this case, it’s the cover art (pictured above) for the YA novel Punching the Air, written by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam and coming to shelves next month. I read an early copy, and it’s a beautifully crafted and compelling story.

How about that cover art, right? See below to take in the whole package, the cover with its lettering. The jacket art is by Temi Coker; the portrait is by Alexis Franklin; and the jacket design and lettering is by Jenna Stempel-Lobell. (I highly recommend following all of them on Instagram — respectively, @temi.coker; @alexis_art; and @jstempellobell. I don’t know about you all, but that’s my primary reason for being over at Instagram — to see art.)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #694: Featuring the 2020 BGHB Winners

h1 Sunday, June 7th, 2020



 
If you are familiar with the book Saturday, written and illustrated by Oge Mora, you’ll recognize the characters in this image above. It’s Ava and her mother, the unforgettable duo of the story. Oge posted this image on Instagram recently, and she wrote: “Um…look what rockstar librarian @lizzeppelinii made!! Bout passed out when I saw it. SO COOL.” The librarian’s name is Liz Braithwaite, and she’s a children’s librarian in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She also sewed Pokko! I’m in love.

I’m sharing this, because on May 27 the winners of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced, and Saturday won in the Picture Book category. I always look forward every summer to the announcement of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners, but I’m feeling especially celebratory this year, because I had the pleasure of chairing this year’s awards with fellow judges Sujei Lugo and Leo Landry. Last Sunday, I had wanted to do a bit of celebrating of the winners, but I posted something else instead. But here’s some celebrating at 7-Imp today — a short something about each book. Come October, they will all be celebrated at the Horn Book’s (online) awards ceremony. Details on that later. Read the rest of this entry �

The 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards

h1 Thursday, May 28th, 2020



 

I had the pleasure of chairing the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards with fellow judges Sujei Lugo and Leo Landry. The awards were announced yesterday. The books we fell in love with are pictured here, but you can head here to the Horn Book for more details.

My Chapter 16 Q&A with Lois Lowry
(Featuring Artwork from Kenard Pak)

h1 Monday, April 6th, 2020


“A blinding light came. A roar. A vibration. / And after that, silence.”
(Click image to see poem, “Takeo,” in its entirety)


 
Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16 today, they have a double feature for fans of Lois Lowry — a review I wrote of her new novel, On the Horizon: World War II Reflections (Houghton Mifflin, April 2020), illustrated by Kenard Pak. And they also have a transcription of a phone chat she and I had, during which Lowry talks about writing this book and lots more.

The interview is here. The review is here.

And here today at 7-Imp are a few illustrations from the book.

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Meet Mel Valentine Vargas

h1 Tuesday, February 18th, 2020



 
I’m breaking my own rules again here at 7-Imp. Normally, I feature illustration students on the first Sunday of each month, but hey, I feel like featuring one day. So I am.

Meet Mel Valentine Vargas! They are, as they will tell you at their site, a Chicago-based Latinx illustrator and comics-creator. Mel, as explained below, is currently attending Columbia College Chicago, studying illustration and animation. Mel likes inking illustrations with brush pen work, and they also enjoy exploring new ways to detail and texture their work digitally.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #678: Featuring Noa Denmon

h1 Sunday, February 16th, 2020



 
Say hello to illustrator Noa Denmon. (That’s her self-portrait above.)

I read a just-released YA novel last week (which, by the way, I highly recommend) — Echo Brown’s Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard (Henry Holt, January 2020). I was really taken by the book’s cover art, and when I saw that it was by Noa Denmon, I visited her site and then emailed to see if I could secure her permission to share some of her art. Lucky for me, she said yes. So, today I’ve got a bit of her artwork. Here — isn’t it beautiful? — is the dustjacket of the novel I read:

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2019 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Blog Tour:
Vesper Stamper and What the Night Sings

h1 Wednesday, February 13th, 2019


(Click to enlarge)


 
I’m happy to be a part this week of the 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award blog tour. You can read more about the award, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), at the official Sydney Taylor site. The full blog tour schedule is posted here at the on the AJL blog, and I also list the schedule below at the bottom of this post.

It’s a pleasure to welcome artist and author Vesper Stamper here today to talk about What the Night Sings (Knopf, 2018), her debut illustrated novel and winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers Category. It tells the moving story of 16-year-old Gerta, liberated from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 and attempting to create a new life for herself. Gerta recalls her past, including her love of music (she is a singer and violist); memories of life before imprisonment when she was unaware she was Jewish until the Nazis take her and her father by force; her father’s death at Auschwitz; the suffering she endured in the camps; and more. Post-liberation, she struggles to understand her newfound Jewish identity, to revisit music in her life, to form relationships with others, and to journey to Palestine. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Andrea Dorfman

h1 Friday, September 14th, 2018



 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a picture book import from Spain.

That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Andrea Dorfman’s Flawed (Firefly, September 2018). I’m following up today with some art from the book.

Enjoy!

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