Tuesday, December 6, 2016

listen to me!



Around the time of my election depression (which I admit I still struggle with),  the awesome Matthew Winner of All the Wonders published a lovely episode with yours truly. In this episode, we talked about how my readers' reactions effected the writing of When the Sea Turned to Silver, thinking in English and more! Listen HERE!





I was also thrilled to be interviewed by Hillary Frank at the Longest Shortest Time! In that episode we talk about how I rejected my culture as a child, how I try to incorporate that same culture into my own daughter's life and more! Listen HERE.

Friday, December 2, 2016

on the radio


It helps to have friends in high places! My pal Jarrett Krosoczka is a contributor to SiriusXM Kids Place Live, where he recommends books...and last week he recommended When the Sea Turned to Silver! If you are still curious about the book, take a listen:




And if you get the chance, check out the awesome charity auction that Jarrett is doing! All proceeds goto his hometown art museum, which is pretty cool!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

graphic novel format

I've often thought about attempting a graphic novel, but I am such slow creator that I know it would never be a feasible project. Which is why I'm particularly thrilled to be in one of the authors in Steve Sheinkin's "Walking and Talking With..." series. You might recognize Steve as the amazing non-fiction author of books such as BOMB and Most Dangerous. Well, he also does this awesome web-comic series and this installment features yours truly:


Check out the whole thing HERE.

Monday, November 28, 2016

NY Times Notable



The reception for When the Sea Turned to Silver continues to warm my heart. The NY Times just named it as one of their Notable Books of 2016 (a good list for holiday gifts, hint hint!) and last week published this incredible review. It might be the best review I've ever had in my life. I admit, I might have shed a tear after reading it...and I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall!


Monday, November 21, 2016

thankful

 

So, here I am back on internet. My grief over the election was genuine (and I am still trying to keep away from Facebook and twitter), but the National Book Awards were happening so I had to put on my game face.

As you may know, before the election I was so, so, so thrilled that my book was finalist. I picked out my silver dress, went shopping for sparkly shoes...but then the election happened and I felt as if there was very little to celebrate.

But, slowly, as I began to attend and present at all the NBA events, I felt my mood begin to lighten. Just seeing and being with my fellow finalists was uplifting. Because, together, we are all so beautiful, don't you think?

Nate Powell, Brendan Kiely, me, Kate DiCamillo, Jason Reynold and Nicola Yoon after the Teen Press conference
Congressman John Lewis, Nicola Yoon, Kate Dicamillo, and Jason Reynolds at the  reading

And, of course, I couldn't help but be so incredibly awed that one of my fellow finalists was the living civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis.

Congressman John Lewis, me, Rebecca Sherman (my awesome agent), and Alvina Ling (editor and Melody from "Year of the Dog")  at the medal ceremony

When he spoke about his book, March, the graphic novel memoir (one of three) of the civil rights struggles and the movement he helped lead, I felt the gloom lift even more--things have been much worse in the past and maybe, just, maybe, with books like his we can make sure we don't return there.

So I put on my sparkly dress and went to the awards ceremony and smiled with more joy than I expected.

on the red carpet at the National Book Awards

me in the silver dress with sparkly shoes!

With the leading ladies behind my books (and career!)

And, truly, my smile was  honest when Congressman John Lewis won. I love my book and am proud of it, but it just felt right that the award was given to him.




I am extremely grateful to the National book Awards for the entire experience. Beyond the finalist glory and the red carpet glamour, it gave me three things to always remember:

1.  "Joy is an act of resistance."-Poet Toi Derricotte

2. "Be Kind." -Coulson Whitehead

3. This:

 

This is a photo of this year's finalists for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature.  When I see all our books together, just like the photo of all the authors together, I am struck by how absolutely beautiful they are. These are the books the young people of our nation will be reading and, when I think about that, I know there is reason to hope. 












Thursday, November 10, 2016

the tears I cry

I'm going to be taking a hiatus from social media for a little bit, because, honestly, the election results have broken my heart.

Authors, especially children's authors, like to think that their work is important. I did the TED talk, I share my stories and push my books because I thought it would build bridges, and open hearts and minds. I believed that people weren't racist, they were just unexposed. They just needed to see that people who didn't look like them could be as American and, more importantly, as human as they were.

I don't know what I believe now.  

The election has told me that half of this country believes that I don't belong in this country, that many of my friends don't belong here and probably that even my daughter doesn't belong here. Regardless of the Constitution, where we were born or how long we've been here, we will never be American enough to them.

And, what hurts me so deeply, is that they don't want to change their minds. 

People have told me the election was about jobs or healthcare and not about race. But, the end result is that it is now okay to always think of me as a foreigner, to always think of me as an "other." 

I have stood up in a school in Taiwan and told the students that as much as I am proud of my Asian heritage, I am glad I am American. I have told families that the hyphen in Asian-American is a bridge between two cultures that allows you experience the best of both. I have told packed rooms how I wouldn't want to be anything other than what I am.

I still believe that. Because I still love America. But the tears fall because I know it does not love me back.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Natalie Babbitt

I'm so sad to hear that one of my most favorite authors in the world, Natalie Babbitt recently passed away.  I've always been a huge admirer of her work. In fact, back in 2011 when I found out one of my past teachers knew her personally, I begged for an introduction and was honored to go to lunch with her:

Natalie Babbitt, me & my old teacher Mary Brigid Barrett in 2011
It is truly one of my most treasured memories.  After I met Natalie, I decided I wanted to record a podcast interviewing as many of favorite authors of books I loved as a child. Unfortunately, with the advent of Rain Dragon I never got the podcast of the ground. However, I did get to record Natalie and I am so grateful that I did. In her honor, I hope to at least release that recording soon.  In it, I learned all about her childhood and more; and she even showed me the photo reference she used to paint the cover of Tuck Everlasting.



Which I am glad I got to see as a musical, too!
I told you I was a huge fan of her work!

Tuck Everlasting, is, of course, amazing.  But I have a soft spot for her book The Search for Delicious. It's one of my favorite books of all time and fostered my love of fairy tales and folk tales--in many ways, an inspiration for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.


What I loved about her books was that they did not have to be "dark" to be deep. In fact, it was their lightness that revealed life's poignancy.  Her work has always been an example for me to model mine upon and my dream is to reach her level of writing and readership.

Rest in Peace, Natalie Babbitt. You were loved.

Monday, October 31, 2016

this year's pumpkins

I've been pretty much traveling non-stop all October so we barely were able to squeeze in the pumpkin carving:


This year's pumpkins were not as elaborate as years past, but they did feature a duck drawn by Rain Dragon herself as well as a requested pig and chick (I carved the chick):



And they still brought some nice holiday spirit to the house:


Happy Halloween, all!

Monday, October 24, 2016

On my desk Monday

On my desk today...paper copy of The NY Times best list with "When the Sea Turned To Silver" at #9!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Thanks so much for coming!


one of the many great schools I visited!
So it's been a whirlwind week, with more active weather coming! I was in California visiting schools and stores--Mrs. Dalloway's in Berekely,  Lindentree Books in Los Altos, the Bookshop Santa Cruz and the Children's Book World in LA--of course, all to promote my new book, When the Sea Turned to Silver (just in case you didn't know).  It was super fun! The only reason why I don't have more photos of any of the events is because I was too busy!

But people came out to the bookstore events and it was a thrill! Authors are always scared to death of presenting to empty chairs, I'm very, very grateful that most of mine were filled:



And on the third day of my travels, I was informed that When the Sea Turned to Silver is a National Book Award Finalist! EEKS! The winner will be announced at the ceremony in November--cross (double-cross) your fingers for me!!

the great folks at the Bookshop Santa Cruz helped me celebrate with cupcakes!

But I had to rush from the balmy CA weather to Boston (arriving after midnight!) so that I could prepare for my big launch party at Porter Square Books!

Since we don't live in the area anymore, we had to camp and prep at a local airbnb. There was a lot of prep:

even Rain Dragon helped stuff goodie bags!
 because this was to be my party deluxe.  The silver goodie bag decorated with a red tissue butterfly (which take longer to make than I thought, tissue flowers are way faster)  had a poster, an embroidered bookmark, and a "moon cookie" (courtesy of my mother-in-law, again). And if you preorder, you also received that exclusive booklet:

I admit I am  listing these things so they might make you  come to the next one!

And after stuffing about a hundred of those...it was show time! People came and I talked. And then some friends and I performed the Readers Theater to rapturous applause:

We told "The Story of the Red Stone" 
check out the cool costumes that I had made!

and then I signed books:
at the event
and after the event!

And when the day was done,  I got together with some of my awesome local friends...who surprised me with a cake:
did I mention my friends were awesome?
Lucky for me, that  cake was high in sugar because now I'm going to keep going! Come see me at Water Street Books (Exeter, NH) on Wed and at Northshire Bookstore (Saratoga Springs, NY) on Friday! AND after that, Providence RI, Austin TX and more...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fun with When the Sea Turned to Silver: Connect the Worlds

Congratulations, you finished the book! Oops, did I jump the gun? Oh well, when you DO finish the book, I have this great activity for you...


In When the Sea Turned to Silver, Pinmei and Yishan travel to the Sea Kingdom and discover that the moon they are used to seeing in the sky is also at the bottom of the Heavenly Lake. The Sea King tells them, "Our worlds connect here. The bottom of our lake is your sky."

How can the sea and sky share a moon? Play with this activity and make the worlds of When the Sea Turned to Silver connect.  Download the activity HERE!




When the Sea Turned to Silver
Pinmei's grandmother always has the most exciting tales to tell but the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller. Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Alongside her friend Yishan, Pinmei must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save her grandmother--before it's too late. 
A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Four starred reviews and a National Book Award nominee. NOW AVAILABLE!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fun with When the Sea Turned to Silver: Invisible Answers

What? You're almost finished with the book? Well, even if you are not, you can still do today's activity!


In When the Sea Turned to Silver,  the Paper of Answers could only shows words when exposed to the light of the full moon. While, sadly, I cannot offer you a paper to answer your difficult questions, this activity will show you how to create invisible writing that only appears in the presence of light and heat. Will you use it to tell your own wisdom? Download the activity HERE!


When the Sea Turned to Silver
Pinmei's grandmother always has the most exciting tales to tell but the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller. Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Alongside her friend Yishan, Pinmei must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save her grandmother--before it's too late. 
A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Four starred reviews and a National Book Award nominee. NOW AVAILABLE!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fun with When the Sea Turned to Silver: Make a Rainbow

So, how far are you in the book? Well, here's another activity for you when you finish!

In When the Sea Turned to Silver, the goddess Nuwa places five-colored stones into the sky to stop the Starry River from flooding the earth. Pinmei's grandmother claims that when one sees a rainbow in the sky, they are truly seeing Nuwa's gift.

With this activity, you can see Nuwa's gift yourself! Using science, cast your own rainbow--truly an experiment worthy of a goddess! Download the activity HERE!




When the Sea Turned to Silver
Pinmei's grandmother always has the most exciting tales to tell but the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller. Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Alongside her friend Yishan, Pinmei must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save her grandmother--before it's too late. 
A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Four starred reviews and a National Book Award nominee. NOW AVAILABLE!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fun with When the Sea Turned to Silver: Math Exercises fit for an Emperor


I thought that once you have read  When the Sea Turned to Silver (which, of course you already have, right?),  you might want some fun activities to do with the book...so, I have some for you! Today's activity is a Math Exercise fit for an Emperor!

In When the Sea Turned to Silver, a magistrate steals a bite from a magical Peach of Longevity. Folktales do not usually lead to math, but if you explore the years inherent in the story, you may solve some mysteries about the magistrate...Download the activity HERE!


When the Sea Turned to Silver
Pinmei's grandmother always has the most exciting tales to tell but the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller. Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Alongside her friend Yishan, Pinmei must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save her grandmother--before it's too late. 
A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Four starred reviews and a National Book Award nominee. NOW AVAILABLE!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fun with When the Sea Turned to Silver: Readers Theater

I know When the Sea Turned to Silver only came out yesterday, but a couple of kids got the book early:

That's because they were my volunteer guinea pigs for an awesome readers' theater that was put together for the book. Here's a sneak peak:

Yes, I'll be doing this readers' theater at all my events (if you come, you might get to play one of the parts!), but you can also put on this show yourself! The script is available to download HERE! Break a leg!


When the Sea Turned to Silver
Pinmei's grandmother always has the most exciting tales to tell but the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller. Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Alongside her friend Yishan, Pinmei must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save her grandmother--before it's too late. 
A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Four starred reviews and a National Book Award nominee. NOW AVAILABLE!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My book is out! Find the Red Butterfly!



Today's the day!!! When the Sea Turned to Silver is NOW out in stores!!!! The book is officially available!

I hope to see you at my book party! Thanks so much to all who pre-ordered!  But for those of you who didn't & don't live nearby, you can go find it in your local indie bookstore and...

LOOK FOR THE RED BUTTERFLY:





Why? Well, my publisher did this really cool thing and offered independent bookstores the opportunity to sell autographed copies. Which, meant last month I flew to the publisher's warehouse:



and signed a lot of books:

Really, it was a lot of books:

which have been sent to select independent bookstores for purchase! Yes, you can still get an autographed book (if your store participated).

AND, I did something special for the last nine (lucky number nine!) books I autographed. In the last nine books, I included a drawing of a red butterfly:




If YOU buy the book with a red butterfly in it, take a photo of with it and send it to me! 

You can post it on my Facebook page or tweet it at me or just send it via e-mail (gracelin.manager @ gmail.com) and I'll send you something great!  A booklet (though I think I might be out of those), a poster, maybe an original piece of art...we shall see! So, go to your local indie bookstore and look for the book & the butterfly! 

I'm so curious to see if anyone actually finds one!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

one more week!

When the Sea Turned to Silver hits the bookstore shelves in one more week!!!  While you wait, you can watch this booktrailer!


Please come help me celebrate the book's release at Porter Square Books on Oct. 8th or at one of my other events (I'm traveling to California to TX and to IL)!  I hope to see you!

Oh, and there's still time to pre-order and get one of those exclusive "cut" story booklets!  You really don't want to miss that!

Monday, September 26, 2016

on my desk monday


Because of the new book, my schedule is packed this fall (come see me at an event near you!) and I'm not going to be home on election day! But I'm still going to try to do my civic duty and am applying for an absentee ballot! It's a pretty easy thing to do, so if you are going to be away from home on election day, you should do it, too!