Zana Fraillon’s THE BONE SPARROW, a Rohingya Refugee Story

Since its release late last year, Zana Fraillon’s THE BONE SPARROW has garnered critical acclaim with starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist alongside industry awards such as the CCBC Choices 2017 list from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and the shortlist for the Carnegie Medal in the UK. This debut middle-grade novel tells the story of Subhi, a young Rohingya refugee born in an Australian detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of their distant homeland. Every night, the faraway whales sing to him, the birds tell him their stories, and the magical Night Sea from his mother’s stories brings him gifts. As Subhi grows, his imagination threatens to burst beyond the limits of the fences that contain him. One night, it seems to do just that.

In the accompanying educator’s guide, the author was able to shed light into how she first learned of the very real plight of the Rohingya, and how her research helped shape this unforgettable story. The full guide for your classroom or library, including Common Core guidelines and discussion questions about THE BONE SPARROW, is available FOR FREE RIGHT HERE. The Q&A with author Zana Fraillon is presented below to help get the discussion started.

 

How did you first learn about the detention centers for the Rohingya? How long have they been in place in Australia?

Australia has had immigration detention centers for a long time now. What has changed however, are the policies about who gets put in the centers and for how long. As of the time of my writing The Bone Sparrow, any person who enters Australia by boat without a valid visa gets placed into a detention center for an indefinite amount of time. These people will never be resettled in Australia. This includes children and people who are found to be genuine refugees. In Australia, there are no specific detention centers for Rohingya refugees.

I learned about what conditions were like in the detention centers by going through lots of media articles, documentaries, photos, reports, drawings, and testimonials.

In researching The Bone Sparrow, did you use other detention centers, such as those for Syrian refugees, as examples, or did you rely on the Australian camps only?

I really wanted the conditions described in The Bone Sparrow to represent refugee camps and detention centers around the world. So, while I did base the descriptions on Australian detention centers, I was careful to make sure these were conditions that were similar in other countries as well.

Since the writing of your book, has there been any change in the detention centers for the Rohingya? Are people being processed and free to leave, or are they still in limbo?

Unfortunately, the issues and conditions described in The Bone Sparrow remain unchanged in Australian immigration detention centers. One of the centers is based offshore, on an island called Nauru. Recently the government has allowed the asylum seekers to leave the detention center and live on the island, but this has caused new issues and new problems for those seeking asylum. They are still being denied their basic human rights, and they are still facing extreme danger. There is still a distinct lack of adequate medical care and little, if any, access to education. They do not know how long they will be required to stay on Nauru, and what will happen to them next—they are still very much in limbo.

Do you feel that there any practical ways to help the people being kept at these detention centers?

Yes, I do. Different detention centers and refugee camps have different requirements for what can be sent and received. However, there are some great refugee charities which can help you find out what is most needed. Some detention centers allow letters to be sent and received, and this can be a great help for people. Raising money for refugees and asylum seekers is also a huge help and can provide basic necessities that would otherwise be difficult to provide.

UNHCR is the United Nations agency specifically designed to assist refugees and people seeking asylum all over the world. You can find local charities too, such as Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Australia, as well as charities for refugees in specific locations, such as Help Refugees, which assists refugees who are currently living in the “Jungle” in Calais, France.

Download The Miles Morales Educator Guide For FREE Today!

 

“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

Since his YA debut last month Miles Morales has been swinging around The New York Times Best-Seller List and hanging out in bookshelves across the country. But Now you can bring his latest adventure from author Jason Reynolds into the classroom with our web-fueled educators guided, loaded with sensational discussion questions. Just click on the images below to download your very own copy today!

Read Chapters 1 & 2 of The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding Before It’s Release!

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation.  Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding hits shelves in the less than one month, but you can get your first glimpse of what mysteries await readers by clicking right here for a sneak peek at the first two chapters of this chilling new release.
Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history—that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made—and then broke—a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, eight-hundred-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.
 
The fiend has reawakened with one purpose–to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him.  With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts to trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his afterlife without a side of eternal servitude, thanks. But with the help of his long-lost uncle, Barnabas, and his daughter, Nell, a witch-in-training, it seems like Prosper has at least a fighting chance of ridding himself of Alastor before the demon escapes and wreaks havoc on his family.
 
Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host…
 

The Summer Stars Are Shining Bright!

This season’s starred reviews have been lighting up our new releases each and every week since May. With Books like Elizabeth Wein’s The Pearl Thief and Ryan T. Higgins Be Quiet continuing to deliver out-of-this-world praise from industry periodicals and fans alike. While many of our upcoming titles like The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding and The Adventurer’s Guild have begun to gather their own star struck followings sure to send readers searching for exciting new reads at your school or library this fall. So with The Dog Days of Summer finally here, let’s take a look the books shining brightly at DBG this summer!

THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING By Alexandra Bracken

“Bracken’s (Passenger, 2016) new middle-grade offering is an infectious, entertaining series starter. Hapless, dry Prosper is at hilarious odds with his demanding, old-fashioned demon companion, and the thrilling plot twists will keep even the most savvy readers guessing. Clever, occasionally frightening, and always fun, this will hook plenty.” – Booklist

SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART By Robert Beatty

“Beatty decidedly keeps readers on the edge of discovery as the plot unfurls. Each character continues to surprise both one another and readers with their emotional complexity. A captivating, edge-of-your-seat, action-packed fantasy.” – Kirkus

SUPER SAURUS SAVES KINDERGARTEN By Deborah Underwood and Illustrator Ned Young

“Young cleverly makes Arnold’s imaginative adventures kid-doable: the Sticky Shoes are smeared with peanut butter, and the Rescue Rocket is a decorated box. Imagination as a coping mechanism equals lots of superpowered fun. (Picture book. 4-8)” – Kirkus

THE PEARL THIEF by Elizabeth Wein (FIFTH STARRED REVIEW FOR THIS TITLE!)

Verity fans will find this irresistible and return to a reread of that title with this new backstory in mind, while fans of period drama such as Cooper’s A Brief History of Montmaray (BCCB 11/09) will appreciate this as an absorbing read that leads them inexorably to the next book.” Deborah Stevenson, Editor – The Bulletin for The Center of Children’s Books

 

WELCOME: A MO WILLEMS GUIDE FOR NEW ARRIVALS by Mo Willems

Along with being a shoe-in for inclusion in every maternity ward’s gift bag, this loving heads-up will continue to resonate with all offspring as they go on to toddle, big-kid, and beyond. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Williams is a reliable best-seller, and love letters from parents to children are always in demand.”  —  Booklist

The real audience is new parents, who will revel in having their devotion mirrored back to them and chuckle at the many knowing jokes (“If you have any further questions/ Do not hesitate to call or flail about or scream like a banshee”). And they’ll be grateful that Willems offers a modicum of hope regarding the world that the newborn will inherit: “We are happy to report there are people working day and night on making this a better place to be.” – Publishers Weekly

 

THE TAKEDOWN By Connie Wang

“Wang has managed to write an exciting, prescient story that brings to mind the unlikely combination of M.T. Anderson’s Feed, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, and Sara Shepard’s “Pretty Little Liars” series, with a little of Libba Bray’s “Gemma Doyle” trilogy and the cult classic film Heathers thrown in the mix. VERDICT Highly recommended for all YA collections” – School Library Journal

Author J.C. Geiger Brings WILDMAN to ILA 2017 This Weekend!

This weekend Orlando FL, plays host to The International Literacy Association’s annual conference! ILA 2017 will pack the Orange County Convention Center with three full days of literary programming for educators of all kinds. The Preconference Institutes kicked-off TODAY but you can still register to attend through the association’s website.

The best part? Hyperion’s own J.C. Geiger will be in attendance on Saturday July 14th to sign copies of his debut YA novel WILDMAN for those lucky enough to score a spot in line at the Publishers Spotlight Booth #603 from 12-1pm.

WILDMAN is a potent coming-of-age tale that asks the question “How can a total stranger understand you better than the people you’ve known your entire life?”

When Lance’s ’93 Buick breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he tells himself Don’t panic. After all, he’s valedictorian of his class. First-chair trumpet player. Scholarship winner. Nothing can stop Lance Hendricks.

But the locals don’t know that. They don’t even know his name. Stuck in a small town, Lance could be anyone: a delinquent, a traveler, a maniac. One of the townies calls him Wildman, and a new world opens up.

He’s ordering drinks at a roadhouse. Jumping a train. Talking to an intriguing older girl who is asking about his future. And what he really wants.

This debut novel by a remarkable new talent explores the relationship between identity and place, the power of being seen, and the speed at which a well-planned life can change forever.

Following his signing J.C. will be speaking at the Young Adult Author Meetup session from 3:00pm – 5:00pm. The ticketed event is currently SOLD OUT. But it promises a fast-paced, high-energy chance to meet seven established and up-and-coming authors in a small-group setting.

So if you’re at ILA 2017 this weekend, be sure to embrace the true spirit of WILDMAN, and make sure you say hi to J.C. Geiger for us.

Disney Authors Head To nErDcamp 2017!

School may be out but nErDcampMI was in session earlier this week when nearly 1,400 teachers and librarians, and 1,000 eager young students descended on Parma Michigan’s Western High School for two days loaded with learning and fun. The event hosted DBG authors: Minh Lê (Let Me Finish), Ryan T. Higgins (Mother Bruce, Be Quiet), Shelley Johannes (Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker), Anica Mrose Rissi (The Teacher’s Pet), Matthew Cordell (Bob, Not Bob, Dream), along with recent Geisel Award recipient Laurie Keller (We Are Growing!) and many more.

The two day event was put on by The Jackson County Intermediate School District and was split up into two portions, nErDcamp for educators and librarians, and then nErDcamp Jr. for young readers simply not content to stay home without a book all summer, followed by a formidable 5K walk/run marathon. Some local press was on hand to capture the event and you can click here to read their report or head to the official nErDcampMI website for more info on next year’s program.

 

 

Rick Riordan Accepts The Stonewall Award at ALA 2017

 

This past Monday at ALA Annual, Disney-Hyperion Author Rick Riordan accepted the Stonewall Children’s Book Award for “exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience” at the committee’s breakfast meeting in Chicago. During the unforgettable morning ceremony the acclaimed author of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 2: The Hammer of Thor took center stage to deliver an acceptance speech worthy of the halls of Valhalla. Luckily for those who could not attend the event in person Uncle Rick has already made his speech available online and we have it below for anyone inspired by Rick’s work and the fictional world he has created.

 

Thank you for inviting me here today. As I told the Stonewall Award Committee, this is an honor both humbling and unexpected.

So, what is an old cis straight white male doing up here? Where did I get the nerve to write Alex Fierro, a transgender, gender fluid child of Loki in The Hammer of Thor, and why should I get cookies for that?

These are all fair and valid questions, which I have been asking myself a lot.

I think, to support young LGBTQ readers, the most important thing publishing can do is to publish and promote more stories by LGBTQ authors, authentic experiences by authentic voices. We have to keep pushing for this. The Stonewall committee’s work is a critical part of that effort. I can only accept the Stonewall Award in the sense that I accept a call to action – firstly, to do more myself to read and promote books by LGBTQ authors.

But also, it’s a call to do better in my own writing. As one of my genderqueer readers told me recently, “Hey, thanks for Alex. You didn’t do a terrible job!” I thought: Yes! Not doing a terrible job was my goal!

As important as it is to offer authentic voices and empower authors and role models from within LGBTQ community, it’s is also important that LGBTQ kids see themselves reflected and valued in the larger world of mass media, including my books. I know this because my non-heteronormative readers tell me so. They actively lobby to see characters like themselves in my books. They like the universe I’ve created. They want to be part of it. They deserve that opportunity. It’s important that I, as a mainstream author, say, “I see you. You matter. Your life experience may not be like mine, but it is no less valid and no less real. I will do whatever I can to understand and accurately include you in my stories, in my world. I will not erase you.”

People all over the political spectrum often ask me, “Why can’t you just stay silent on these issues? Just don’t include LGBTQ material and everybody will be happy.” This assumes that silence is the natural neutral position. But silence is not neutral. It’s an active choice. Silence is great when you are listening. Silence is not so great when you are using it to ignore or exclude.

But that’s all macro, ‘big picture’ stuff. Yes, I think the principles are important. Yes, in the abstract, I feel an obligation to write the world as I see it: beautiful because of its variations. Where I can’t draw on personal experience, I listen, I read a lot – in particular I want to credit Beyond Magenta and Gender Outlaws for helping me understand more about the perspective of my character Alex Fierro – and I trust that much of the human experience is universal. You can’t go too far wrong if you use empathy as your lens. But the reason I wrote Alex Fierro, or Nico di Angelo, or any of my characters, is much more personal.

I was a teacher for many years, in public and private school, California and Texas. During those years, I taught all kinds of kids. I want them all to know that I see them. They matter. I write characters to honor my students, and to make up for what I wished I could have done for them in the classroom.

I think about my former student Adrian (a pseudonym), back in the 90s in San Francisco. Adrian used the pronouns he and him, so I will call him that, but I suspect Adrian might have had more freedom and more options as to how he self-identified in school were he growing up today. His peers, his teachers, his family all understood that Adrian was female, despite his birth designation. Since kindergarten, he had self-selected to be among the girls – socially, athletically, academically. He was one of our girls. And although he got support and acceptance at the school, I don’t know that I helped him as much as I could, or that I tried to understand his needs and his journey. At that time in my life, I didn’t have the experience, the vocabulary, or frankly the emotional capacity to have that conversation. When we broke into social skills groups, for instance, boys apart from girls, he came into my group with the boys, I think because he felt it was required, but I feel like I missed the opportunity to sit with him and ask him what he wanted. And to assure him it was okay, whichever choice he made. I learned more from Adrian than I taught him. Twenty years later, Alex Fierro is for Adrian.

I think about Jane (pseudonym), another one of my students who was a straight cis-female with two fantastic moms. Again, for LGBTQ families, San Francisco was a pretty good place to live in the 90s, but as we know, prejudice has no geographical border. You cannot build a wall high enough to keep it out. I know Jane got flack about her family. I did what I could to support her, but I don’t think I did enough. I remember the day Jane’s drama class was happening in my classroom. The teacher was new – our first African American male teacher, which we were all really excited about – and this was only his third week. I was sitting at my desk, grading papers, while the teacher did a free association exercise. One of his examples was ‘fruit – gay.’ I think he did it because he thought it would be funny to middle schoolers. After the class, I asked to see the teacher one on one. I asked him to be aware of what he was saying and how that might be hurtful. I know. Me, a white guy, lecturing this Black teacher about hurtful words. He got defensive and quit, because he said he could not promise to not use that language again. At the time, I felt like I needed to do something, to stand up especially for Jane and her family. But did I make things better handling it as I did? I think I missed an opportunity to open a dialogue about how different people experience hurtful labels. Emmie and Josephine and their daughter Georgina, the family I introduce in The Dark Prophecy, are for Jane.

I think about Amy, and Mark, and Nicholas . . . All former students who have come out as gay since I taught them in middle school. All have gone on to have successful careers and happy families. When I taught them, I knew they were different. Their struggles were greater, their perspectives more divergent than some of my other students. I tried to provide a safe space for them, to model respect, but in retrospect I don’t think I supported them as well as I could have, or reached out as much as they might have needed. I was too busy preparing lessons on Shakespeare or adjectives, and not focusing enough on my students’ emotional health. Adjectives were a lot easier for me to reconcile than feelings. Would they have felt comfortable coming out earlier than college or high school if they had found more support in middle school? Would they have wanted to? I don’t know. But I don’t think they felt it was a safe option, which leaves me thinking that I did not do enough for them at that critical middle school time. I do not want any kid to feel alone, invisible, misunderstood. Nico di Angelo is for Amy, and Mark and Nicholas.

I am trying to do more. Percy Jackson started as a way to empower kids, in particular my son, who had learning differences. As my platform grew, I felt obliged to use it to empower all kids who are struggling through middle school for whatever reason. I don’t always do enough. I don’t always get it right. Good intentions are wonderful things, but at the end of a manuscript, the text has to stand on its own. What I meant ceases to matter. Kids just see what I wrote. But I have to keep trying. My kids are counting on me.

So thank you, above all, to my former students who taught me. Alex Fierro is for you.

To you, I pledge myself to do better – to apologize when I screw up, to learn from my mistakes, to be there for LGBTQ youth and make sure they know that in my books, they are included. They matter. I am going to stop talking now, but I promise you I won’t stop listening.

Disney Signing Schedule For ALA Annual 2017

    

The American Library Association’s annual summer conference is once again upon us, and this year we will be spending the convention at Booth #3924 on the show floor of Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center! The doors open on Friday night and continue throughout the weekend as we host several DBG authors for giveaways, signings and more. Take a look at the schedule below for the full list of who we have coming by, and what they will be signing. The weekend is sure to be packed, so make sure you come say hello if you’re in Chicago.

Friday, June 23

5:30pm

                Rick Riordan Signed Book Giveaway

                Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Saturday, June 24

9:00-10:00am

                Marvel signing with Jason Reynolds and Ronald Smith

Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Signing: Miles Morales , Black Panther

10:30-11:30am

                Geisel Award signing with Laurie Keller and Greg Pizzoli

Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Signing: We Are Growing! and Good Night Owl

1:30-2:30pm

                Crystal Cestari and Neal Shusterman Signing

Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Signing: The Best Kind of Magic and Hawking’s Hallway

Sunday, June 25

9:30-10:30am

Matthew Cordell Signing

Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Signing: Dream

10:30-11:30am

                Alexandra Bracken and Tom Angleberger Signing

Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Escort: Emily Meehan and Seale Ballenger

Signing: Prosper Redding galleys, Keep on Truckin’

1:00-2:00pm

                Margaret Dilloway and Ami Polonsky signing

Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Escort: Stephanie Lurie, Seale Ballenger

Signing: Momotaro and Threads

2:00-3:00pm

Dhonielle Clayton Signing

Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Escort: Emily Meehan

                Signing: The Belles galley

3:00-4:00pm

                Bryan Collier Signing

Location: Disney-Hyperion Booth #3924

Escort: Tracey Keevan

Signing: It’s Shoe Time! Galleys

 

Follow the #Wildmanroadtrip Across The USA

When author J.C. Geiger set out in his red ’93 Buick earlier this month he started a mission to “Get Lost” on his way to New York City similar to the ordeal his protagonist Lance Hendricks goes through in his upcoming debut novel Wildman. Well 4,238 miles later we are happy to report J.C. has reached the finish line fueled by pre-sales of the book, and money raised for the The American Library Association.

If you missed any of J.C.’s live updates from the road worry not, we’ve got the live stream recorded below for further proof that sometimes in order to find yourself all you really need to do is get lost.

Rules of The House Receives 2017 Comstock-Gág Read Aloud Honor

The winners of the this year’s Comstock-Gág Read Aloud Book Awards were announced last Friday at Jefferson Elementary School in Fargo, ND and among the titles honored with an official 2017 Comstock-Gág Read Aloud Honor was Disney-Hyperion’s own Rules of The House written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matthew Myers.

The Comstock Read Aloud Book Award, is an annual award for the best read aloud picture book for older children (ages 9-12). This award is named for the Comstock Family, an important pioneer family in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Rules of The House debuted last spring from the New York Times best-selling team of Mac Barnett and Matthew Myers and is one hilarious tale of sibling rivalry, moral complexity, and disgruntled monsters, perfect for sharing with your own favorite rulebreakers. Since it’s release it has earned four starred reviews from Kirkus Magazine, Booklist, School Library Connection, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Congratulations to all of this year’s Comstock-Gág Read Aloud winners and honorees we are thrilled to be included in such great company.

Celebrate Revenge of The Fifth With Sample Chapters of Rebel Rising by Beth Revis

The force (and fourth) was strong with all of us yesterday as Stars Wars Day was celebrated all over the world. In the spirit of keeping the blue milk flowing and the cantina band playing a day later we’ve got a special surprise for all fans of a galaxy far, far away here on the School & Library blog.

Rebel Rising by Beth Revis debuted this week, and already has the legions of fans who fell in love with Jyn Erso last December in Rogue One talking about this brand-new tale of the latest Lucasfilm heroine in this in-canon prequel to the film.

As we close out this week, we’re offering up the chance to read the first two chapters of this exciting new Star Wars story online right here. Check it out, and make sure you bring Rebel Rising to your library today.

When Jyn Erso was five years old, her mother was murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents she is not completely alone—Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary in order to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own, and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to become a rebel herself.

Jyn dedicates herself to the cause—and the man. But fighting alongside Saw and his people brings with it danger and the question of just how far Jyn is willing to go as one of Saw’s soldiers. When she faces an unthinkable betrayal that shatters her world, Jyn will have to pull the pieces of herself back together and figure out what she truly believes in…and who she can really trust. 

April Stars For DBG Books!

Our stars kept rising last month as April brought four more starred reviews from our friends at The Horn Book, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Magazine. With May already off to a great start we’ve gone ahead and included links to those recent reviews of both current and upcoming titles below, so make sure you add these new DBG books to your school or library today! As always we are incredibly humbled by the support each of these titles has received.

Wildman by J.C. Geiger isn’t out until June but early reviews of the title have us ready to hit road with this book in tow.

“The ethereal Dakota is reminiscent of John Green’s Alaska, while the rest of the cast is crass, uncouth, dangerous at times, and winningly human. All of this is amplified by Geiger’s ability to spin laugh-out-loud, insight-filled one-liners to keep the pace up while the quieter moments balance the narrative with genuine beauty. A thought-provoking, hilarious, eloquent story of a young man realizing that the world is much larger than the one set up for him.” – Kirkus

 

Bob, Not Bob by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick with illustrations by Matthew Cordell earned its third starred review this time The Horn Book.

“Kids will relate to Little Louie’s suffering from both his cold symptoms and his inability to make his wishes heard. Cordell’s expressive loose-lined illustrations set on lots of white space enhance the humor and help move the plot forward. Sharp-eyed viewers will clue in to the difference between BOB meaning the dog (printed with an o-shaped O) and BOB meaning MOM (with a heart-shaped o: “B♥B”). Eventually, Mom (exhausted), Little Louie (happy), and Bob (content) all end up in bed, as “cozy as could be.” All turns out well for Little Louie; his germs, however, move on to the next victim. Get well soon, Bob, er, Mom!”  – Kitty Flynn Horn Book

Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins (Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce) is available now, and jus earned it’s THIRD starred review from School Library Journal.

“The text, appearing in a large, handwritten font and in speech bubbles, is well spaced and easy to read. The giggle-inducing conversations among the characters are fast-paced and witty. The illustrations are large and comical, inviting readers to fully experience the range of emotions displayed by the characters. VERDICT This hilarious and fun read-aloud will be a hit at storytime. Kids will be laughing out loud.” – Amy Shepherd, St. Anne’s Episcopal School, Middleton, DE SLJ

 

The Pearl Thief  by Elizabeth Wein’s is inching ever closer to release later this month, and as the countdown to this prequel to Code Named Variety continues so to do the starred reviews. The latest from School Library Journal marks the FOURTH starred review for this title.

The main plot is compelling and has the added depth of Julie’s growth and her interactions with the cast of interesting characters and the hints of her future romantic relationships. VERDICT A must for Verity fans and a good read for those who enjoy mystery with a touch of romance. – Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton SLJ

DBG Heads To Texas For TLA 2017!

We’re back on the road this week and heading to San Antonio Texas for the 2017 Texas Library Association’s annual conference. Starting Wednesday April 19th and continuing through Saturday April 22nd you can catch us in the middle of the Exhibit Hall floor at the Disney-Hyperion Booth #2708. We’ll have loads of free swag to giveaway and plenty of great galleys we can’t wait to load you up with. With several DBG authors on hand throughout the weekend including Ashley Elston (This is Our Story), Bob Shea (Ballet Cat, The Happiest Book Ever), Ryan T. Higgins (Mother Bruce, Hotel Bruce, Be Quiet), Robin Roe (A List of Cages) Shannon and Dean Hale (Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World) as well as Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick (Bob, Not Bob) for panels, signings, and plenty of good cheer all around.

If you’re TLA bound we can’t wait to see you! If you’re spending the weekend at home, be sure keep an eye on @DisneyBooks on Twitter for tweets live from the show floor!

Our full TLA Schedule is below including signing times, panel locations, and exhibit hall hours. Remember to stop by booth #2708 to say hello, and we’ll see you in Texas!

 

Wednesday, April 19th

5:30pm – 7:30pm

Exhibit Hall Preview Night

LOCATION: Disney-Hyperion Booth #2708

Come be among the first to load up on great DBG Galleys and other free goodies for show attendees!

Thursday, April 20th

Exhibit Hours: 10:15am – 5:00pm

11:00am – 12:00pm

Author Signing: Shannon Hale (JT signing with Macmillan & Candlewick)

LOCATION: Authors’ Signing Area #5

Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World

11:15am – 12:15pm

Author Program: Ashley Elston

Panel: Investigate the Art of the Clue: Mystery Fiction for Young Adults

LOCATION: Convention Center Room 217AB, Meeting Level

1:00 – 2:00pm

Author Signing: Ashley Elston

LOCATION: Authors’ Signing Area #8

This is Our Story

2:30 – 3:30pm

Author Signing: Ryan T. Higgins

LOCATION: Authors’ Signing Area #11

Be Quiet!

4:15 – 5:15pm

Author Program: Ryan T. Higgins

Panel: Children’s Book Illustrators Ultimate Sketch-Off

LOCATION: Convention Center Room 303ABC, Ballroom level

Friday, April 21st

Exhibit Hours: 9:00am – 4:00pm, Disney

10:00 – 11:00am

Author Signing: Robin Roe

LOCATION: Authors’ Signing Area #5

A List of Cages

11:00am – 12:00pm

Author Program: Bob Shea

Panel: Catching Readers from the Beginning

LOCATION: Convention Center Room 221CD, Meeting Level

12:00 – 1:00pm

Author Signing: Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick

LOCATION: Authors’ Signing Area #5

Bob, Not Bob!

1:00 – 2:00pm

Author Signing: Bob Shea

LOCATION: Authors’ Signing Area #5

What’s Your Favorite, Favorite?

1:30 – 3:30pm

Author Program: Robin Roe

Panel: Texas Tea

LOCATION: Grand Hyatt Hotel (600 E. Market Street), Texas Ballroom

Download Free Ellie In Concert Activities Ahead of Next Week’s Release

 

We can’t wait to experience the next wonderful Ellie outing from author/illustrator Mike Wu. To help celebrate the release of Ellie in Concert next week, we’ve got some free activity sheets you can download for your school or library right here. Just click on the images below for more fun-filled pages featuring one of our favorite Elephants.

Since Ellie saved her home with her wonderful paintings, the zoo is back in business and the animals are more energetic than ever. All except for Lucy the giraffe, who hasn’t been able to sleep with all the noise. Determined to help her friend, Ellie tries to tone down the ruckus and organizes the animals into an orchestra. But is it possible to conduct the cacophony of the zoo into beautiful music?

Praise for Ellie

“[Wu’s] visual storytelling, rendered in sweet, throwback-style watercolors, shows creativity and poise. . . . [E]very vignette is expertly framed for a chuckle, an “Awww,” or both.”  —Publishers Weekly

“In his first picture book, Pixar animator Wu creates watercolor illustrations that are reminiscent of classics like Harry the Dirty Dog and Curious George.”    —Kirkus Reviews

“Wu’s dynamic watercolor illustrations enliven the story, their retro/classic feel possessing a distinctive animation quality.”  —School Library Journal