It's almost like we're not on vacation. We are working on setting up a great series of events for the 2015-2016 school year. Related to that work, we have our annual, very brief, educators survey posted - the responses to these surveys really help us continue to improve our offerings, so please take a minute to fill it out:
Summer 2015 Educators Survey
Meanwhile, let's carry on with our semi-regular check ins on what's new with past speakers in our series. Here are some updates:
Laurel Neme - Creating Global Connections (January, 2015)
Laurel Neme came to speak at Bear Pond soon after the publication of her first children's book, a picture book called Orangutan Houdini. Laurel has spent most of her writing career in journalism and wrote the adult book Animal Investigators about investigating crimes against wildlife. It is no surprise, then, that Vermont Edition chose her as the state's resident expert to discuss big game hunting and the illegal killing of Cecil the lion in this July 30th episode.
Gary Miller - Short & Sweet: Crafting Classroom Writing Prompts (February, 2015)
Do you remember the subzero Valentine's Day morning when some of us ventured outdoors to get to Gary & Deb's workshop on classroom writing prompts and maybe contracted frostbite on the way? At least half a dozen of us do. And the article written about the workshop is one of our most popular blog posts. The latest news is that Gary is a finalist for the inaugural Vermont Book Award, with his short story collection Museum of the Americas! This award is presented by the Vermont College of Fine Arts and the grand prize winner will be announced at the end of September. You can read about the award and finalists here. Gary is also now co-host of the "Write the Book" radio show and podcast, found here.
Jason Chin - Picture Books that Explore Nature (November, 2014)
When he visited Bear Pond last fall, Jason showed us the work in progress on a new book 'Water Is Water' about the water cycle. That book has since been published and (particularly good news) the Classroom Bookshelf blog has published an article about it. This blog provides lots of information and links for use by educators - check out all their book reviews: http://classroombookshelf.blogspot.com/
Jo Knowles - Writing Workshop (March, 2014)
Jo Knowles also shared information from a not-yet-published book in her workshop back in the spring of 2014. And that book is now published. Read Between the Lines, a novel told in multiple viewpoints, came out in March and was on the list of books reviewed in our YA / Middle Grade Fiction materials review.
An interesting companion article on the power of telling stories from multiple points of view is this Kirkus interview with Kekla Magoon about How It Went Down. We had it filed in our notes under "in case Kekla ever comes to Montpelier". Turns out, that wasn't a long wait, and she will be speaking here on the fall schedule.
Linda Urban - Book Party for 'The Center of Everything' (April, 2013)
A third installment in the new book list. Linda Urban's picture book Little Red Henry was published this spring, and received a quite nice review in the New York Times, "A Cure for Hovering". This September, we're looking forward to her middle grade novel Milo Speck, Accidental Agent. The blog Read, Write, Reflect published this essay by Katherine Sokolowski on recommending Milo Speck to a fifth grade class. Linda will be discussing this new book and the revision process as part of the author-educator series in the fall.
And finally, it seems fitting to end this retrospective-plus-update piece with a link to the short essay "The Value of Re-reading Books" by Joanna Lieberman in Horn Book.