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Wednesday, November 18th was one of the biggest literary nights of the year --- The National Book Awards!

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I love a lot of things about summer --- eating endless quantities of ice cream without feeling like I’m going to freeze to death, lazing on the beach on sizzling Saturdays and wandering the city for hours, basking in the sun and seeing where my feet decide to take me. Another thing, though? Summer reading! So many great books come out this time of year, and for once, we actually have time to read them. I decided to do a quick roundup of books that I loved that came out in May and June, and ready for you to grab and bring to the beach.

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While attending Author's Unlimited in Long Island on April 24th, 2015 --- an event where eight YA authors and just short of 200 local teens spent the morning and afternoon together, hanging out in panels, having group discussions and getting their books signed --- I found myself thinking about the US Weekly segmentRead more »

OF COURSE authors and publishers know plenty about books, but so do plenty of people who you wouldn't necessarily expect to --- including those who work for costume companies! One such company, the UK-based Fancy Dress Ball, has to know a lot about popular books and characters so every kid can dress up as their favorite.

Based on all of their research, they decided to make an infographic about some classic children's tales with popular movie adaptations (and plenty of costume inspiration), sharing fun trivia about each and deciding, once and for all, which medium is the best! You can see a short version of the infographic below. Click on the image and it will take you to a longer version, where you can zoom in and read all of the little-known facts the Fancy Dress Ball team dug up!

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Last week was one of the most important times of year in the literary world --- the National Book Awards! These awards celebrate the best of the best in American literature in all fields --- adult fiction, adult nonfiction, poetry, and, as LEMONY SNICKET author Daniel Handler delightfully claimed was the most important category, Books for Young Readers.

I was lucky enough to attend the Awards and have a front seat for all of the action, as well as a couple of the pre-Awards events, including 5 Under 35, a “celebration of emerging fiction writers” under 35 years old, and the Teen Choice Book Conference, where New York City students interview the finalists for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.

Below, I detail some of my favorite moments from those whirlwind few days.

 

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One of my favorite parts of my job is conducting interviews for REAL TALK: Publishing. I get to meet people with the most interesting jobs, and, like our readers, get a sneak peek into a side of the book industry that I likely know little about.

Preparing for our upcoming REAL TALK interview with audiobook producer/director May Wuthrich was no exception, and actually, it was extra special, because it came with a field trip! May invited me to watch an hour of her recording session with Mozhan Marnò (“House of Cards” fans will recognize her as reporter Ayla Sayyad), who was narrating READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN author Azar Nafisi’s newest book, THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION: America in Three Books. Here are a few of the most interesting things I discovered:

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As a birthday tribute to the boy who lived, I made a "top five" list of my favorite personal Harry Potter moments. It's not quite one of Mrs. Weasley's or a bag of chocolate frogs, but I think he'd appreciate it. Hope you're all having fun celebrating, today!

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Last week was an amazing time for YA fans in New York City --- it was the NYC Teen Author Festival! This is exactly what it sounds like --- an entire week packed with top YA authors reading from their books, discussing important topics about the genre, and performing from each other's works in a staple in co-founder David Levithan's repertoire: Reader's Theater. I was only able to make the festival on Friday, but luckily that day was jam-packed with excellent programming. Here is a list of the panels I attended, and the highlights from each:

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There's no denying it --- Kate DiCamillo has one of the best "children's book author" resumes out there. She's written 17 children's books, has won the Newbery Award (more than once!) and was recently named the National Ambassador for Young People's LIterature. In this interview, Kate tells us where she was when she found out she won the 2014 Newbery Award for FLORA AND ULYSSES, what she wrote about as a child, a particularly amusing plane ride and her plans as National Ambassador. 

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In early January, the mind-set is all, "new year, new you!" But as the days wear on and you start going to the gym way less than you promised, watch yet another episode of Pretty Little Liars instead of starting your homework and put off starting the next Great American Novel for tomorrow night, it's time to actually get introspective. Sure, you wanted to be a healthy, non-procrastinating famous author (and a gourmet chef, too!) but who actually are you?
 

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