Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New school year...end of summer...

A couple days ago, the city of Austin public schools began the new year and classes begin at UT today.  

It's always seemed weird to me when begins in August, rather than the day after Labor Day, like it did in Chicago when I was growing up.  Anyway, I haven't been blogging a lot this summer, so here's a much-abbreviated post of "What I did last summer." 

Of course, the bulk of the summer was working on the follow-up to CHRONAL ENGINE :-).

In July, Cyn and I did a trip to Galveston, where we went to Moody Gardens and saw some penguins.  We also did a trip to the Railroad Museum and wandered around the Strand.

Avian dinosaurs at Moody Gardens
Another avian dinosaur at Moody Gardens
Cyn at the Bishop's Palace
Big cruise ship
Me and a diesel  locomotive. 
Me and a steam locomotive
At the Rain Forest Cafe

With the ghosts at the railroad museum...

Then, after just enough time at home to do laundry, we headed out to Honesdale, PA, to teach the Highlights Foundation YA Whole Novel Workshop.  It was a great deal of fun -- good food, relaxed, collegial atmosphere, and a lot of writing time.  Unfortunately, I took the draft of CEII down to the bones....  Best of all, it was about 25 degrees cooler than in Texas. :-). 

Giving my speech on Voice.
The cabin in the woods...

Monday, August 26, 2013

2015 Books by Austinites

Here's a preliminary list of books by Austin authors scheduled for publication in 2015!  For previous years' (2010-2014) lists, click here: "Austin Authors and Illustrators." Note that titles and pub dates are subject to change. 

Middle Grade/Tween

CHRONAL ENGINE: BORROWED TIME, by Greg Leitich Smith (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2015).

COLONIAL MADNESS, by Jo Whittemore (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster, Spring 2015).

WATCH OUT FOR FLYING KIDS, by Cynthia Levinson (Peachtree 2015).

THE GREAT GOOD SUMMER, by Liz Garton Scanlon (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster 2015).

HOUSE ARREST, by K.A. Holt (Chronicle Books, Fall 2015).

THE LOST TRACK OF TIME, by Paige Britt (Scholastic, Spring 2015).

DINOSAUR BOY, by Cory Putnam Oakes (Sourcebooks 2015).

ANYWHERE BUT PARADISE, by Anne Bustard (Egmont, Spring 2015).

WISH GIRL, by Nikki Loftin (Razorbill/Penguin, February 2015).

RED MOON RISING, by K.A. Holt (McElderry/Simon & Schuster, Fall 2015).

Young Adult

FERAL PRIDE, by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, Spring 2015).

THINGS I'LL NEVER SAY: SHORT STORIES ABOUT OUR SECRET SELVES, by Ann Angel (ed.)(Candlewick, Spring 2015)(with pieces by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Varian Johnson) 

VIOLENT ENDS, by Shaun David Hutchinson (ed.)(Simon Pulse, Fall 2015), with piece by Cynthia Leitich Smith

UTOPIA, IOWA, by Brian Yansky (Candlewick 2015).

SMOKED, by Mari Mancusi (Sourcebooks Fire, Fall 2015).

KISSING IN AMERICA, by Margo Rabb (HarperTeen Spring 2015).

Picture Books

STEP RIGHT UP: THE STORY OF BEAUTIFUL JIM KEY, by Donna Janell Bowman (Lee & Low 2015).

PIONEERS AND PIROUETTES, by Chris Barton, ill. by tbd. (Millbrook 2015).


IN THE CANYON, by Liz Garton Scanlon (Beach Lane/S&S, Summer 2015).

WHAT THIS STORY NEEDS IS A PIG IN A WIG, by Emma Virjan (Harper Children's, 2015).

THE AMAZING AGE OF JOHN ROY LYNCH, by Chris Barton, ill. by Don Tate (Eerdmans 2014).

Sunday, August 04, 2013


REALITY BOY, by A.S. King (Little Brown, October 22, 2013)(ages 14+).  At the age of five, Gerald and his anger management issues became a national sensation when his family appeared on the reality TV show, Network Nanny.  Infamous as a spoiled brat who who acted out by committing acts of vandalism through bowel movements (really), Gerald is now in high school, trying to control his anger, avoid fights, deal with his parents, and somehow move forward, even if that means jail.

Told in a compelling first-person voice, REALITY BOY is at once funny, horrifying, and heartwarming.  More than just an examination of the excesses of "reality" television, REALITY BOY offers the gripping story of a boy coping with an extraordinary past and hoping to salvage something from the wreckage of his childhood.     
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