Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Craig, please fill in the blank:
You should never read and (blank) at the same time.
You should never read and ....fight the need to Sleep... at the same time. I believe in the power of both reading and sleep. It's not an either/or thing at all.
If you were invited to be on Oprah, what book would you bring for her to read?
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. This master storyteller's brilliant series of first chapters ending in cliff hangers is a perfect plaything for people who love to read....in small bites. Reading the first chapter aloud would be perfect for an expectant TV audience.
What is the funniest book you’ve read?
I couldn't choose just one funniest book if my life depended on it! Mo Willems is taking the cake for the early reader set, with That is Not a Good Idea tickling several funny bones at once. Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter and the Starcatchers is snort-through-your-nose funny prequel to this re-imagined Peter Pan for upper elementary. For older readers, I still find Dave Macauley's Motel of Mysteries a brilliant send up to the King Tut hype, as is Leo Lionni's Parallel Botany for spoofing scientific proceedings of biologists and desert mystical philosophists.
What is the saddest?
OK, so the fact is I've got issues with most question with -est adjective forms. The Fault in Our Stars was sad and lovely , poignant enough to stand out in recent YA fiction. But then so was Roz Chast's graphic memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? and there humor helps soften the blow while allowing grief its due.
Favorite reading snack/beverage?
I'm a chai tea and gingersnap kinda guy.
What’s next on your TBR list?
Groaning shelves of TBR loom over me as I struggle to keep up a with read/write/share habit for school and Unshelved.com/bookclub audiences. Tonight Ed Piskor's HipHop Family Tree towers from the top of the pile in anticipation of his appearance in Seattle Short Run Comix and Arts Festival Nov 15th at Washington Hall.
Monday, October 20, 2014
I'm especially honored because many of those 5th graders have read either Duke or Dash and I will get to share the story behind those stories with them. How fun is that?
Then I zoom home from Bellingham, pack my bag and jet off to Tennessee. My BFF Mary Nethery and I will be speaking at a school on Thursday and then attending the Tennessee School Library Association conference, where we will accept the Volunteer State Book Award for Nubs (which now has 13 state young reader award medals!).
I am one lucky dog.
Friday, October 17, 2014
It's a sheer delight to host Dori Jones Yang today. Dori and I shared and editor back in the day; we also managed to bump into each other on a hiking trail between Monterosso and Vernazza, in the Cinque Terra, this summer. Dori is an amazing and dedicated writer, as you will figure out from her post.
|Dori Jones Yang|
For a long time, I was afraid to talk about my new wisdom book project. Each time I conducted an interview for it, I asked the person not to mention it to others. I wanted the whole project to be “under the radar” – just in case I never finished it, I guess. I didn’t know how I would structure the book – or if I was capable of it. Several of my loved ones doubted the project, wondering who might possibly be interested in reading it. Several times I lost heart and put it aside.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
On Sunday October 5, I celebrated the Seattle launch of Dash with 100 or so friends and fans. The event took place at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall, 1212 South King Street, with the able help of my daughter Quinn Wyatt and Nisei Veteran's Committee board member, Debbie Kashino.
|Me, in vintage garb, with Debbie Kashino|
|Son-in-law Matt, Princess Esme, and Uber Party Planner, Quinn|
Secret Garden Bookshop not only lugged over a ton of books, they also donated a percentage of the afternoon's book sales to the Nisei Veteran's Foundation.
|Cookies from Sweet Themes Bakery|
A bit of background: when the Japanese-American vets returned after WWII, they were not allowed to join the segregated Veterans associations. In order to have a place to gather, they built their own hall. Now, with fewer and fewer WWII vets around, the Memorial Hall is a place of education about that slice of American history. If you are ever in the area, I would encourage you to visit and take in the powerful exhibits board members have assembled.
|Mitsi Shiraishi and her beloved dog, Chubby -- inspirations for Dash|
I was so pleased that a good number of Mitsi Shiraishi's family was present; Mitsi (and her dog, Chubby) was the inspiration for Dash.
|Judy Kusakabe, Mitsi's step-daughter|
Other special guests included people who had been interned at Minidoka (including Louise Kashino, widow of Shiro Kashino, from whom my character Mitsi takes her last name); my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Steve Craig; and too many dear friends and family members to name.
A few days after the book launch, I received an email from Louise Kashino: I read DASH and poured over every sentence inasmuch as I was 16 when we were incarcerated on May, 1942. My family was assigned to Area D inside the Puyallup Fairgrounds, where our barrack among others was built inside the racing grounds. I don't know who guided you through the whole incarceration, but you did an excellent job of describing the experiences for someone like me. I also relocated to Chicago and eventually returned to Seattle, so again, your description of the whole movement brought back many memories. Thank you for your accurate descriptions of our experience to give the general public an insight into what we experienced during our incarceration.
|Me talking about how Dash came to be|
Even though Dash has garnered two starred reviews, Louise's endorsement means more than any other recognition I could receive. (Special thanks to Louis Fiset, who shared his carefully compiled map of Camp Harmony with me, a complete stranger.)
It was a deep privilege to write this book. And, to use a phrase I saw near Notre Dame, at a memorial to the French Jews sent away during WWII, "Pardonne n'Oublie Pas. . ." (Forgive but do not forget.)
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Teachers, librarians, reading coaches, principals, custodians, lunch ladies, anyone with school connections: Please play along! Email me here and I'll get you the questions so you, too, can be featured on Teacher Tuesday.
Friday, October 10, 2014
|Justina at Machu Picchu|