Every now and then, there's a writer whose work is so profound and so beautiful that for a moment you want to be them. That writer right now for me is multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Andrea Davis Pinkney who also happens to be an exquisite human being. I'm lucky enough to know Andrea and when Hillary Homzie and I started the Chapter Book Alchemist course, we named the scholarships for it after her. Now that the Alchemist has become an Instant Access course, we wanted to keep honoring Andrea with a new scholarship for our Middle Grade Mastery course, where Andrea is also sharing her writing knowledge for students here.
When I said that I wanted to be Andrea, just for a moment, it is because when I thought a little deeper about the pain and heartache she must have gone through researching and writing the extraordinary prose poem middle grade novel The Red Pencil, I don't think I could hold that much sorrow and transform it so eloquently. It takes a special kind of courage and fortitude to take on such a daunting task of creating a 12 year old character who you love and then take them through the dark landscape of war and loss with beauty and humor and hope. Perhaps it's because of my own background as the daughter of war survivors but I don't know if I could do it.
I made one of my new sneak peek reviews of this book, this one is less than 4 minutes and due to the length there's so much that I couldn't include so I'm just going to give a brief overview of some of the many themes explored in the novel:
Coming of age
Family and community
Education for girls
Voice and voicelessness
Desert life and animal husbandry
Telling stories in innovative ways
Here's the wee video followed by some of Andrea's many books:
Find out more about Andrea at her website http://andreadavispinkney.com/
Apply for a 2016 Middle Grade Mastery course scholarship here
Find out about the Middle Grade Mastery course itself, right here
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the fabulous debut author/illustrator Maggie Brown.
And 5th Mondays will feature a surprise reprise from over nine years of archives.