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True Story Blog

True Story—If Lin Can: How Jeremy Lin Inspired Asian Americans to Shoot for the Stars

Married to a big sports fan, I know how excited people get about March Madness. But I didn't know anything about "Linsanity" until I read the true story If Lin Can, written by Richard Ho and illustrated by Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huỳnh Kim Liên.


In February 2012, Jeremy Lin went from sitting on the bench to leading the Knick's victorious six games in a row. The frenzy over his meteoric rise to fame inspired the world and a whole generation of young Asian Americans. Told in second-person, If Lin Can is both a biography of a champion and a cheerleader for the reader.


Today author Richard Ho discusses creating this unique book.


Was there one aspect of Jeremy Lin's life—a specific scene, quote, or image—that guided you throughout the writing process?

There's a great anecdote about Lin sleeping on his teammate Landry Fields' couch during his first few weeks with the Knicks. His status with the team was so tenuous that he didn't even bother to get more permanent housing. Why rent an expensive New York City apartment when you might get cut any day? Of course, in the span of two weeks, Lin went from an unknown bench player to one of the most famous celebrities in the world. It's a classic rags-to-riches tale (or maybe couch-to-court?) that emphasizes both Lin's humble origins and the sheer unlikeliness of his rise.


What was the most challenging thing about creating this book?

Finding the proper balance between biographical snapshot and inspirational pep talk. This isn't a traditional biography that details Lin's entire life from birth to now and everything in between. Instead, I wanted to use Lin's story as a springboard to show how three young Asian American children are inspired by his sudden success. The challenge was to make sure that we were properly honoring Lin, while also emphasizing that his story is really every Asian kid's story.


While researching Lin, which fact surprised you?

How much racism he experienced as a player. I knew he dealt with taunts and jeers, but I never realized how pervasive it was. Growing up in the diversity of New York, I was a bit naïve to think that truly malicious racism was a thing of the past. Seeing the resurgence of anti-Asian sentiment in recent years, I realize how important it is for Asian children to have books like this, to reassure them that they're not alone.


What made you decide to use a second-person point of view? Did you write a draft in third-person at some point?

The manuscript was always written in second-person. I never tried a draft in third-person, because I wanted to speak directly to the Asian kids in the book—and to all Asian kids reading it.


Which sources were invaluable to writing this biography?

There are some biographies of Lin that I found helpful, of course. But since the focus was more on the impact of Linsanity than the granular details of Lin's life, the most helpful sources were actually video highlights of Knicks games. Watching those clips brought me back to the heady days of Linsanity, and they were a great source of inspiration while writing.


How did you select the timeframe for your book?

It was an easy choice to center the book on the two-week stretch of Linsanity in February 2012, and how watching Lin during this time inspires the three children to believe that their own dreams can come true. 


What's your #1 tip for writing true stories?

Research is important in order to get the "who," "what," "where," and "when" down pat. But don't forget the "why." Why does this story need to be told? What makes it surprising or enlightening or inspiring? You're not just writing an historical account. Find the essence of the subject, the thing that makes it worth exploring, and build the story around that.


If you could pick the ideal place for a If Lin Can storywalk, where would it be?

Even though Lin is a California kid, his rise to stardom happened in New York. So I would say the streets of Manhattan, or maybe inside Madison Square Garden!


What other books would you recommend to readers who love If Lin Can?

For sports, and basketball in particular, there are a few recently or soon-to-be published picture books about Wataru Misaka, a Japanese American player who broke the color barrier in the NBA and also played for the Knicks. (Rising Above by Hayley Diep and Naomi Giddings is out now, and Wat Takes His Shot by Cheryl Kim and Nat Iwata will be out in June.) For Asian empowerment, I recommend the Eyes series (Eyes That Kiss in the Corners and Eyes That Speak to the Stars) by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho (no relation to either of them).




I recommend this pep-talk picture-book biography on four shelves in my TrueStory Bookshop:

  • True Stories~Basketball
  • True Stories~Athletes
  • True Stories~Activists 
  • True Stories~Asian & AAPI Stories


To take a peek inside the book, checkout my Booktok.


Every day is a good day for a true story but here are some special tie-in dates for If Lin Can:

  • February 4: The New York Knicks played the New Jersey Nets on February 4, 2012. Lin scored 25 points and recorded 7 assists in a 99-92 Knicks win. That was the game that kicked off Linsanity.
  • March: March Madness
  • May: AANHPI Month
  • August 23 (1988): Jeremy Lin's birthday
  • November 6: National Basketball Day

Richard Ho has worked as a magazine journalist, a scriptwriter, an editor, and an author. His highly acclaimed picture books include Red RoverThe Lost Package, and Year of the Cat.

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True Story: Mami King— How Ma Mon Luk Found Love, Riches, and the Perfect Bowl of Soup

When I was a kid, I travelled to the Philippines and was fascinated by the sights, sounds, and flavors. A feast for the senses! So it was a treat to revisit the country through Jacqueline Chio Lauri's book Mami King, illustrated by Kristin Sorra.


A picture-book biography of Ma Mon Luk's journey from heartbroken street vendor to successful restaurant owner, Mami King is also a heart warming love story. By creating the perfect bowl of soup—Mami: "ma" for his name and "mi" for noodles—Ma Mon Luk earns his fortune to make a future with his true love. 


Today Jacqueline tells us how she whisked up this true food-origin story with a dash of romance.



Was there one aspect of Ma Mon Luk's life—a specific scene, quote, or image—that guided you throughout the writing process?

Vividly ingrained in my head until now is Ma Mon Luk propping a pingga bamboo pole on his shoulder. From both ends of this pole hang two vats containing the ingredients and wares for his mami noodle soup. Scissors strapped on his waste clinked-clanked as he plodded through the streets of Chinatown, Manila. He was an epitome of a hard-working immigrant street food vendor in the Far East. 


Anyone who has been to that part of the world would know how hot and humid it gets in the city. Walking outside, even for a short period, can be very uncomfortable. Imagine what Ma, a former schoolteacher in China, had to endure all day and every day in order to earn a living, so he could one day be deemed worthy of winning the hand of the woman he loved.


What was the most challenging thing about writing this biography?

It took me several re-writes before coming up with the ending. I wanted no misunderstandings about the message of the story without being too didactic. Although Ma found riches, how do I show where his true fortune actually lay while staying true to the story?


While researching this book, which fact surprised you the most?

That the Chinatown in Manila (Binondo) is the oldest Chinatown in the world! 430 years old! It was established in 1594 by the Spaniards, who ruled over the Philippines at that time, to keep a close eye on the growing Chinese population on the islands. Binondo Chinatown still stands today as a living testament of the harmonious coexistence of diverse cultures.


Why do you think kids can relate to Mami King?

Though the story might be set in an unfamiliar time or place, I think most kids are familiar with, if not enjoy, a bowl of noodle soup on a regular basis. It gives comfort, nourishment, and in general, it's food that makes one feel good. I also think that many kids enjoy a good love story. Children see love between two adults, such as their parents, grandparents, or even in fairytales where the idea of happiness blooms when two people who are in love end up together. 


Which sources were invaluable to writing this biography?

Book published in the Philippines, such as The Camino Real to Freedom and Other Notes on Philippine History and Culture by Jose Victor Torres. I also wove in historical details that I found from Philippine Culinary Vignettes and Period Recipes 1521-1935 by Felice Prudente Sta. Maria.


How did you select the timeframe for your book? 

I started the story right after Ma's love conflict began—after he was rejected by the parents of the girl he loved and was leaving China for the Philippines with a broken heart. The conditions on board the ship that brought him across the ocean provided an opportunity to reinforce the core message of the story.


What's your #1 tip for writing true stories?

For me, writing true stories is like trying to create a recipe from ingredients that are already given. Unlike writing fiction, there's no leeway to shop for more or use other ingredients. You just have to work with what you got. Most of the time, you'd have to sift through a huge variety of ingredients that don't blend well together. So for me, the key is figuring out the main ingredient—the core of the story. Would the remaining ingredients enhance the flavor of the main ingredient? Those that could, I stir them in. Those that don't, I leave out.  


If you could pick the ideal place for a Mami King storywalk, where would it be?

In a Chinatown or Little Manila/Manila town. 


What other books would you recommend to readers who love Mami King?

If readers liked the noodle part of it the most, Cora Cooks Pansit and Magic Ramen. If they liked the love story bit the most, Love in the Library. If they are looking for other books set in the Philippines, Sari-Sari Summers and Holding On.




Sweet, savory, and satisfying, this picture-book biography is on four shelves in my TrueStory Bookshop:

  • True Stories~Foodies 
  • True Stories~Makers
  • True Stories~Entrepreneurs 
  • True Stories~Asian & AAPI Stories

To take a peek inside the book, checkout my Booktok.


Every day is a good day for a true story but here are some special tie-in dates for Mami King:

  • February: Month of love and Chinese New Year
  • March: Noodle Month
  • April: Filipino Food Month
  • May: AANHPI Heritage Month
  • June 9: Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day
  • October: Filipino American History Month


Jacqueline Chio Lauri is a writer, anthologist, and editor based in Manchester, England. Her work includes The New Filipino Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from around the GlobeWe Cook Filipino: Heart-Healthy Recipes and Inspiring Stories from 36 Filipino Food Personalities and Award-Winning Chefs, and articles on global media sites, such as Huffington Post and Epicurious. Born and raised in the Philippines, Jacqueline holds a bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of the Philippines and earned multiple MBA-level Executive Certificates in Marketing & Business Strategies from Cornell University.

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True Story: Valentines for All—Esther Howland Captures America’s Heart

As a volunteer at my son's high school library, I was surprised to learn that one of the gazillon things that our librarians offer is card-making resources so that the kids can create their own greeting cards to give on holidays and birthdays. I was skeptical: would tech-obsessed teenagers really do this? Surprisingly, yes! They put down their phones and designed homemade cards, especially Valentines. Esther Howland would be proud.


Who is Esther Howland? The subject of Nancy Churnin's Valentines for All, Esther is the artist and entrepreneur who popularized Valentine's Day cards in the U.S. and became one of New England's first career women. Today Nancy shares how she crafted this lovely biographical valentine to the "Queen of Hearts".

Was there one aspect of Esther Howland's life—a specific scene, quote, or image—that guided you throughout the writing process?

I imagined her delight at receiving that first fancy valentine card from her father who had brought it back from a business trip to England. I thought of how that moment captured her mission to help others to feel that joy of receiving something that can speak for those who don't know how to put their love into words. Esther's valentines and the other cards she created helped people speak the language of emotions – love, friendship, grief, apology. Like a card "therapist," she transformed and elevated relationships, bringing people together and deepening their sense of being loved and valued. It is a full circle moment when Esther, who never had a partner that we know of, gives up her business to take care of her beloved and now aging and ailing father, who had given her that first valentine.


What was the most challenging thing about creating this book?

The most challenging part was staying focused on what the cards meant to Esther emotionally, while also showing that she also was an incredible entrepreneurial success. That was especially unusual for a woman in the early 1800s who was discouraged from working in, much less owning a business. Plus, she hired women, giving them their own financial resources, too. There was another challenge in the book, but one that was self-imposed. I decided to create little poems in the "Roses are red/Violets are blue" format to express Esther's feelings throughout the book. My hope is that these simple poems will encourage kids to express their feelings through poems, too. In the back matter, I describe different poetic forms so kids can experiment with the ones that they connect with most.


While researching Esther Howland, which fact surprised you?

I was surprised that the woman who became known as the "Queen of Hearts" in her lifetime never had a sweetheart of her own. However, she was devoted to her family, friends and customers, reminding us that there are indeed many wonderful forms of love and relationships. I also found it funny that her father had a paper business called "Howland & Sons" because he never expected his daughter to work. But ultimately Esther's cards became more profitable than his business.


Why do you think kids can relate to Esther Howland?

Kids have big feelings and a lot to say, just as Esther Howland did! They like to make things. And they like to collaborate with their friends. I'm hoping that Esther inspires kids to write their own words and craft their own cards for Valentine's Day and other holidays. I hope kids consider teaming up with their friends to make extra cards to give to seniors or patients or anyone who might appreciate a little extra cheer, including people at their school who might not receive cards or the message that someone cares.


Which sources were invaluable to writing this biography?

There isn't a great deal that has been written about Esther Howland. I did a lot of my research by looking up old newspaper articles and studying images of her original valentine cards which are on display in museums. My best sources were the wonderful people at the Worcester Historical Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, that are thanked in the book. The Worcester Historical Museum has a terrific permanent exhibit on Esther, who was a Worcester native, and an annual Valentine card contest for local children. They gave us permission to reproduce a couple of Esther's original valentines at the back of the book.


How did you select the timeframe for your book?

I introduced her as a girl who liked to express her feelings, but that was just a quick prelude to a time frame that begins with her coming up with the idea for starting a card company and the moment when she finally decides to sell her business and spend the rest of her time caring for her father.  


What's your #1 tip for writing true stories?

Find a subject you love, trace their steps, and see if you can feel what they may have felt so that you can share their hopes, their fears, their dreams, their tears and their joy with your readers. 


If you could pick the ideal place for a Valentines For All storywalk, where would it be?

The Worcester Historical Museum! But really, any school or library or social service organization around Valentine's Day would be wonderful. It would be so cool if the storywalk could be complemented by original valentines created by kids and then donated to those in need of cheer. In one scene, we show how much it meant to soldiers to receive valentines during the Civil War. Wouldn't it be great to create and send valentines to those serving our country far away from home, too?  


What other books would you recommend to readers who love Valentines For All?

One of my favorite Valentine's Day books is Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli (illustrated by Paul Yalowitz, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers). I love the way this story gently reminds us what a difference a message of love can make in how people feel about themselves and how they treat others. For readers intrigued by the history of popular celebrations, I also have two other books that are a good fit. The Queen's First Christmas Tree, Queen Charlotte's Gift to England, illustrated by Luisa Uribe, is the true story of how kind Queen Charlotte introduced the first Christmas tree to England in 1800, to delight a party of 100 children.Lila and the Jack-o'-Lantern, Halloween Comes to America, illustrated by Anneli Bray, is my first historical fiction, and tells the story of the Irish immigrants who brought their Halloween customs to America when they fled the Potato Famine in the 1850s. These books and Valentines for All, illustrated by Petronela Dostalova, are published by Albert Whitman. 



This sweet book is on four shelves in my TrueStory Bookshop:

  • True Stories~Women's History
  • True Stories~Artists
  • True Stories~Makers
  • True Stories~Entrepreneurs 


To take a peek inside the book, checkout my Booktok.


Every day is a good day for a true story but here are some special tie-in dates for Valentines for All:

  • February 14: Valentine's Day 
  • August 17 (1828): Esther Howland's birthday.
  • First Saturday in October: World Card-Making Day


Nancy Churnin is an award-winning author of picture books, chapter books, and board books who writes stories about people who persevered to achieve their dreams and make the world a better place. She provides free teacher guides and a project for each book with a dedicated page on her website, to encourage and celebrate kids to be heroes and heroines, too. She's available for bookings through Authors and More.

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True Story: Sakamoto’s Swim Club—How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory

My parents were born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii, so I am familiar with some of the Hawaiian legends—from the pranks of the tiny Menehunes to the wrath of the volcano goddess Pele. But I had never heard of the true story of Maui's Three-Year Swim Club from the 1940s until I read Sakamoto's Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory.


When children of plantation workers were being reprimanded for playing in the sugar field's irrigation ditches, a local science teacher stepped up. Soichi Sakamoto took responsibility for the kids every day after school and trained them in competitive swimming, using the ditch's natural current to improve their strength and speed. Coach Sakamoto also taught his team about commitment, hard work, and believing in themselves. By transforming the Maui ditch swimmers into international champions within three years, Sakamoto became a local hero and one of Hawaii's true legends.


Today author Julie Abery takes us into the writing process for her picture-book biography, Sakamoto's Swim Club, beautifully illustrated by Chris Sasaki


Was there one aspect of Soichi Sakamoto's life—a specific scene, quote, or image—that guided you throughout the writing process?

Yes!! As a teacher myself, I was deeply moved by Sakamoto's unfailing commitment to the children he coached, and his life-long passion to give them the opportunity to be the best they could be—many of his swimmers went on to be accepted by U.S. universities on sports scholarships. He shaped the lives of so many in such a positive way.


While researching this book, which fact surprised you the most?

Probably that Coach Sakamoto wasn't the best swimmer, but taught thousands of children to swim, and achieved so much throughout his coaching career!


Why do you think kids can relate to Sakamoto's Swim Club?

 I think most kids find a sport they are passionate about and can relate to the hard work and dedication of Sakamoto and his students, while at the same time being inspired by the success of the swimmers.


Which sources were invaluable to writing this biography?

I was lucky to find a wealth of newspaper clippings collected by the Hawaii Swim Club to mine for facts, with many articles written by Coach Sakamoto and his swimmers. I was also fortunate to connect with Coach Keith at the club, who worked alongside Coach Sakamoto.


You write in rhyming verse. Do you create a draft in prose and then convert it to rhyme or is the rhyme in the first draft?

This is a funny story! When I started drafting the story I intended to write it in prose, but before long, spare rhyming verse ideas began to emerge in my text. I shared this once before, but I think it is worth sharing again:



On Maui, also known as the Valley Isle, streams rush down lush mountain slopes. In the 1930s, water tumbled to the valley and flowed into irrigation ditches that nourished the island's sugar plantations. As the sugar cane industry on the islands had grown, so an influx of migrants had arrived. They toiled dawn to dusk, often leaving their children to fend for themselves.


Became this…

Valley Isle,

Lush terrain,

Migrant workers

cutting cane.


Dawn to dusk

they toil away,

Children left

alone to play.


Once I had these two verses, I continued in verse. I loved the rhythm. Reading it aloud I heard the strokes of a swimmer and the rhythm of cutting cane. It felt like a perfect way to tell the story and so, with my 'voice' set, I wrote the story.


How did you select the timeframe for your book? Was there a version that began with Soichi as a child or that character was always and adult in your book? 

In my mind I could visualise the story arc to be swimming in the ditches, becoming a coach, the formation of the Three-Year Swim Club and on to the 1948 Olympics in Wembley when Bill Smith won two gold medals. Even though Sakamoto is an adult MC I never envisioned a version where he was a child. For me, he was always the golden thread in this story for children about children.


How did you determine if elements should be included in the story or the backmatter?

As I mentioned, I was very clear what my story arc should be, but with such a pared-back text I felt the story needed a very detailed author's note, which acts as another chapter to the book. It fills in more story details, clarifies time passing, the meaning of the Three-Year Swim Club, Pearl Harbor, the war, and fighting for your country. Finally, the editor and I were thrilled to acquire a black and white photograph of the team courtesy of the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum to complete the book.


What's your number 1 tip for writing true stories?

The key to the writing process for me is being clear on the story I want to tell. I sometimes write a key phrase to keep me focused, this is what I wrote for Sakamoto's Swim Club: Science teacher turned swim coach, Sakamoto, takes a group of sugar-cane workers' kids from the irrigation ditches in Maui and trains them into Olympic swimming champions.


What other books would you recommend to readers who love Sakamoto's Swim Club?

I'd like to stay in Hawaii with Surfer of the Century (by Ellen Crowe, illustrated by Richard Waldrep) and Ohana Means Family (by Ilima Loomis and illustrated by Kennard Pak) and then head back to swimming with When You Can Swim by Jack Wong.




An inspiring read aloud with stunning illustrations, this book is on three shelves in my TrueStory Bookshop:

  • True Stories~Athletes
  • True Stories~Olympics
  • True Stories~Asian and AAPI Stories


To take a peek inside the book, checkout my BookTok.


Every day is a good day for a true story but here are some special tie-in dates for Sakamoto's Swim Club:

  • May 24: National Learn to Swim Day (date varies in May)
  • July 27-August 11, 2024: Summer Olympics
  • August 6: Soichi Sakamoto's birthday 
  • September: Hawaiian History Month


A former preschool teacher, Julie Abery is also the author of two other biographies, Yusra Swims, and The Old Man and the Penguin: A True Story of True Friendship, as well as the Little Animal Friends board book series and the Baby Dinosaurs board book series. To learn more about Julie and her work, visit her website.



A note from Karlin Gray:

Like the rest of the world, I was horrified to learn about the devastation and deaths caused by the fires on Maui this summer. How can we help? West Maui has opened back up to tourism--if you are able to travel to Hawaii, consider Voluntourism. To learn about other ways to help, visit Maui Strong.



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True Story: Niki Nakayama—A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites

When I was 10 years old, my dad's job moved us from California to Japan where we lived for four years, two in Okinawa and two in Yokosuka. Even though I was a picky eater at that time, I couldn't resist the delicious rice and noodle dishes prepared at the outdoor markets. Just thinking about them today still makes my mouth water. So reading Niki Nakayama: A Chef's Tale in 13 Bites is a special treat for me. This book tells the true story of a girl who loves to cook and travels from her Los Angeles home to her family's home in Japan. Throughout her journey, she learns the true meaning of kuyashii and the art of kaiseki—two key ingredients she pours into her Michelin star restaurant today! 


Beautifully illustrated by Yuko Jones, this picture-book biography proves how delicious determination can be. Today authors Debbi Michiko Florence and Jamie Michalak share their experiences creating Niki Nakayama.

You don't often see co-authors on picture books. How did that work—did you each write individual drafts and merge them into one manuscript? Or were you responsible for writing different sections of the biography?
DMF: Neither of us had co-authored a book before we decided to write NIKI NAKAYAMA together, so we pretty much made up the process as we went. I felt like we worked really well as a team. To be honest, while I do like researching, it's not the thing that brings me the most joy, so I really appreciated that Jamie did the bulk of the heavy-lifting there. She shared an early draft along with all the resource information and I got to do the thing I love most - revise! From there we went back and forth, revising and sharing, discussing and collaborating until we had a draft we were both proud of.

JM: I first saw Chef Niki's story back in 2015 on the Netflix Chef's Table series, and her story unfolded to me like a picture book. It was inspiring and moving. Plus, Chef Niki's food is visually stunning and her kaiseki dishes tell the story of the season. The combination of a strong woman, nearly impossible dreams, and storytelling food hooked me. I wrote to her asking if she might be willing to be interviewed for a book—and she said yes! After interviewing Chef Niki and dining at her restaurant, n/naka, I did a lot of research (and eating) and wrote the story. But I eventually realized that another framework would work better — the 13 Bites structure — and wrote a new draft. This was perfect timing for partnering with Debbi. She's equally passionate about Chef Niki's story and food, and she's a wonderful writer. She brought fresh eyes and new insights. One great aspect of writing with a partner is that you have a built-in editor for your work, and vice versa. So she'd revise and I'd make suggestions, and she did the same for me.


Was there one aspect of Niki Nakayama's life—a specific scene, quote, or image—that guided you throughout the writing process?
DMF: There's a line from the book that perfectly encapsulates the connection I felt to Niki Nakayama's life that I carried through in my heart and head as we wrote this book: "Outside of Niki's house was Los Angeles. Inside her house was Japan."

     I'm third generation Japanese American and I was born in California and raised in Los Angeles not far from where n/naka is. Growing up, I spoke a mix of Japanese and English with my parents and my grandmother who lived with us. Inside our house were a lot of decorations from Japan. Like Niki, I ate a mix of Japanese foods and American foods. In fact, it wasn't until middle school that I learned not everyone ate spaghetti and pasta with a side of rice. We had Japanese rice with almost every meal. But outside of the house, I felt as American as the next kid. It was this blending of cultures that I wanted to carry through in this book.

JM: The aspect of Niki's life that drew me to the story is her fighting spirit. In Chef's Table, she said, "In Japanese, there's this word called kuyashii, which is when somebody puts you down or says you can't do something and you have this burning desire to prove them wrong." Throughout the book, whenever anyone doubts her, she uses it as motivation. Since I'd never written a picture book biography before, I sometimes doubted myself during the research and writing process, and then Chef Niki's own words pushed me along: "No matter what happens, I can do this. At some point. you need to trust yourself." It's a great message for readers of any age.


While researching this book, which fact surprised you the most?
DMF: Because I first learned about Chef Niki and her amazing journey on the Netflix show Chef's Table, I can't say I was super surprised by anything I learned from researching. I was, however, continually impressed and amazed by Niki Nakayama's fortitude, perseverance, and determination to make her dreams come true.

JM: I was surprised to learn that she originally wanted to be a pop star! That didn't make it into the book, but I love the idea of her being a professional musician. The snacks she made as a kid were also fun to hear about. Her childhood recipe for wonton pizzas is in the book, and they're delicious.


Why do you think kids can relate to Niki Nakayama?
DMF: I think almost every child at some point feels discouraged. Even as an adult, I was (and still am) inspired by Niki's journey to success. Kuyashii! I'll show them is a soundtrack in my head, now. So I hope that kids can relate to Niki's journey and be encouraged to follow their dreams.

JM: Kids can relate to being discouraged and also doubted. It's difficult to know what to do with other people's doubt when you're a kid—or even as a grown-up. What I hope young readers take away from this story is that they don't have to let other people's opinions get them down. Instead they can take that doubt and use it as fuel. They can dream big and work hard to accomplish anything.


Which sources were invaluable to writing this biography?
DMF: Jamie! 😀

JM: Obviously the Chef's Table episode, which I watched many times. But the most important source was Chef Niki herself. She was gracious with her time, and I interviewed her over the phone, in person, and via email when Debbi and I had follow-up questions. Also, reading a ton of picture book biographies—too many good ones to name—helped when selecting the best moments to string into a story.


How did you select the timeframe for your book?

JM: It begins with Chef Niki as a child because kids are interested in reading about other kids their age. So we start when she's in about second grade and end with the moment after n/naka becomes a huge success. 


What's your #1 tip for writing true stories?
DMF: For me it's about passion. I need to feel passionate or at least some kind of connection to the subject/person in order to write about it/them.

JM: Find the heart of your story. It's probably what drew you to it in the first place. What's the emotional center that will resonate most with readers and make them think, "I've felt that way, too"? Keep your story tightly focused. Even a most interesting moment might not make the cut if it doesn't support the heart of your story. But that's what backmatter is for.


If you could pick the ideal place for a Niki Nakayama storywalk, where would it be?
DMF: The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles CA.

JM: Ooo, that's a good one. Any elementary school would be great, too. 


What other books would you recommend to readers who love Niki Nakayama?
DMFMagic Ramen by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz; Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham, illustrated by CG Esperanza; Ramen for Everyone by Pat Tanumihardja, illustrated by Shiho Pate, Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee, illustrated by Julie Wilson

JM: Yes to all of those. Also, Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee, illustrated by Man One; Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence, and illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic; and A Girl Named Rosita: The Story of Rita Moreno by Anika Aldamuy Denise. 



  • This book is on three shelves in my TrueStory Bookshop:
  • Women's History
  • Foodies
  • Asian and AAPI Stories


To take a peek inside the book, checkout my BookTok.


Every day is a good day for a true story but here are some special tie-in dates for Niki Nakayama—A Chef's Tale in 13 Bites:

  • January 1: Japanese New Year
  • March: Women's History Month
  • March 8: International Women's Day
  • May: AANHPI Month
  • June: Pride Month 

 To learn more about their books, check out the websites for Debbi and Jamie.

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True Story: Hope for Ryan White

Before I read this book written by Dano Moreno and illustrated by Hannah Abbo, I associated the name Ryan White with tragedy. A teen who was diagnosed with AIDS after a blood transfusion, Ryan was told he had six months to live AND THEN he had to face discrimination from his community and the education system. But Dano's book reminded me that Ryan lived five years longer than expected and he chose to use that time to educate others about the disease because "the more people knew, the less they feared." Since reading this biography about the young activist, I now equate Ryan White's name with hope—hope that his legacy lives on, inspiring young people to fight fear with facts.


Today Dano Moreno discusses how he tackled a tough subject while honoring a young hero in Hope for Ryan White.

Ryan White's life was too short—passing away at 18 years old. How did you turn such a sad subject into an uplifting children's book? 

I kept young readers in mind as I wrote Hope for Ryan White, and I focused on Ryan's life—which was short, but heroic. Ryan knew that if he was kept out of school for having AIDS, others would be too. This motivated him to become an advocate and a public figure, educating and inspiring people all over the world. My goal was to amplify Ryan's voice and remind young people that we all have the ability to create a more inclusive world.


While researching this book, which fact surprised you the most? 

I enjoyed learning about the White family's friendship with Sir Elton John. I also loved learning about Jill Stewart, the student body president at Ryan's high school. She played a pivotal role in ensuring Ryan would be welcome at his new school and in the broader community.


Was there one aspect of Ryan life—a specific scene, quote, or image—that guided you as you wrote this biography? 

Yes! There's a photo of Ryan that came to mind many times while I wrote. It shows Ryan speaking with the media. He's happy, confident, and surrounded by adults with microphones who are eager to hear what he has to say. I love this image because the traditional power dynamic between children and adults is flipped. This photo also inspired the cover of Hope for Ryan White, illustrated by Hannah Abbo.


Why do you think kids can relate to Hope for Ryan White? 

Ryan's story is about the need to be accepted, heard, and treated fairly. It's about challenging misinformation and discrimination. These are relevant themes for kids today. 


Which sources were invaluable to writing this biography? 

My primary source was Ryan White's autobiography, Ryan White: My Own Story, coauthored by Ryan White and Ann Marie Cunningham. I read old news articles and watched interviews with Ryan and his mother too.


How did you choose the title for this book—was it your working title or did it change over time? 

I landed on Hope for Ryan White as the title early on. Though I revised the story countless times, I knew I wanted to convey a sense of hope in both the title and the story. Hope is a common and important element in children's books. They're wonderful tools for opening up conversations about difficult but important topics.


What's your #1 tip for writing true stories? 

The main character's emotional journey is just as important as the events that occurred. We're better able to learn from our history and our heroes when we connect with their humanity.


If you could pick the ideal place for a Hope for Ryan White storywalk, where would it be? 

I'd love to see a Hope for Ryan White storywalk anywhere! If I had to suggest one place, I'd choose a park in Cicero, Indiana—the town where Ryan found acceptance.


What other books would you recommend to readers who love Hope for Ryan White? 

Two of my favorite picture books that address challenging topics with hope and sensitivity are That Flag by Tameka Fryer Brown and Nikkolas Smith and Nina: A Story of Nina Simone by Traci N. Todd and Christian Robinson.


True Story Tidbits

Inspiring and educational, this book is on two shelves in my TrueStory Bookshop:

  • Activists
  • Science

To take a peek inside the book, checkout my BookTok.


Every day is a good day for a true story but here are some special tie-in dates for Hope for Ryan White:

  • August 18 (1990): Congress passed the Ryan White CARE Act, creating programs that provide health care for people living with HIV. 
  • December 1: World AIDS Day—unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
  • December 6 (1971): Ryan White's birthday


Dano Moreno is also the author of Our Wish For You: A Story About Open Adoption, illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke.


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True Story: Door By Door—How Sarah McBride Became America’s First Openly Transgender Senator

When I'm writing a biography, I always search for the thread that starts from a childhood moment, weaves its way through challenges, and ties into an accomplishment later in that person's life. So I was delighted to spot that thread early on in Door by Door: How Sarah McBride Became America's First Openly Transgender Senator by Meeg Pincus and illustrated by Meridth McKean Gimbel.


At a young age, Americans learn about the country's presidents. But do most American toddlers use their building blocks to create a model of the White House? Do most American kids request a podium for a holiday gift? Do most American teenagers work on a gubernatorial campaign? No, but Sarah McBride did. She knew politics was her destiny. But what she didn't know was "why her body didn't match her brain and heart." Born with a boy's body, Sarah longed to be seen as a girl. Heartfelt and engaging, this is the true story of Sarah's McBride's quest to become her authentic self—an American leader working to improve the lives of others.


Today author Meeg Pincus discusses creating Door by Door—How Sarah McBride Became America's First Openly Transgender Senator:


In the back matter, there is a wonderful note from Sarah McBride. How involved was she in the process of making this book?  

Sarah has graciously been involved from the very beginning of this book, before it was a book and before she was a senator, in fact! I approached her about writing her story for kids when she was still at the Human Rights Campaign and had been the first openly transgender person to work at The White House and to give a national political convention speech. I wouldn't have written it without her, and we are grateful that she has worked with us throughout the process – commenting on drafts and illustrations, contributing her beautiful note, and launching the book with us.


Was there one aspect of Sarah McBride's life—a specific scene, quote, or image—that guided you as you wrote this biography? 

I actually think it was the image of her asking for a podium for Christmas as kid! That quirky fact of her life just illustrates so powerfully how strong the dream was for her to speak up for others, to make a life in government and politics. She knew from such an early age how she wanted to help the world, just as she knew her gender (which was different from what she was assigned at birth) but she felt she could not achieve her dream and also live as her true self. To me, this is the heart of Sarah's story, especially for kids, as it was a struggle she had since childhood.


While researching this book, which fact surprised you the most? 

Learning about how active and impactful she was in politics as a youth was surprising – you don't hear of many kids devoting themselves so fully to local political campaigns, but Sarah did. She gave a televised public speech introducing Delaware's governor-elect when she was just a teenager.


Why do you think kids can relate to Door by Door?
I think kids may relate to several parts of Sarah's story. For some, it will be her feeling different and her worries about not being accepted as her true self by her loved ones and others in her life. For some, it will be her passion for a dream she's not sure she will ever get to accomplish. For some, it will be her desire for a more inclusive culture, where everyone is embraced for who they are. At its core, I think kids will relate to Sarah's emotional journey – her fears, her dreams, her sadness and relief – as all humans have these emotions.


Which sources were invaluable to writing this biography?
Sarah herself was the most invaluable source, both in real time and in all the writing she has done and interviews and speeches she has given. I read the articles she wrote when she came out as trans in college and later as a young adult. I watched her political speeches and the interviews she gave at bookstores and on talk shows after the release of her memoir. I read her memoir at least three times all the way through. Sarah is one of the most eloquent people I've ever encountered, and her own words were the key sources for this biography.


How did you select the timeframe for your book? 
I knew the book had to begin in her childhood, as the story is so much about what she knew from when she was a child. In my original version, I had started the story with her asking for a podium for Christmas and then ended it with her at the podium at the Democratic National Convention. But it took a while to sell the manuscript, so by the time it sold to Penguin Random House, I needed to end with her becoming a state senator, and my editor wanted even more focus on her childhood, so I went earlier than the podium to her building The White House out of blocks as a very young child!


What's your #1 tip for writing true stories?
Beyond the typical (and important!) advice to research deeply and thoroughly, use primary sources, etc., for me the #1 tip is to tap into the underlying emotion of a true story and find a way to connect readers to that heart. Whether it's a biography or a STEM story, there needs to be something emotionally compelling to draw in a reader, from compassion to curiosity.


If you could pick the ideal place for a Door by Door storywalk, where would it be?
Definitely Delaware! Probably around the state house, where Sarah serves as the nation's first openly transgender state senator, and the area where she grew up.


What other books would you recommend to readers who love Door by Door?
I recommend several nonfiction picture books about LGBTQ+ role models and history in my "Solutionary Stories" Bookshop list. Gayle E. Pitman and Rob Sanders have been groundbreaking authors in this niche, and luckily we are adding more books (by them and other creators) to this list each year.



Both uplifting and informative, this book is on two shelves in my True Story Bookshop:

  • Activists
  • LGBTQ+ Trailblazers 


To take a peek inside the book, checkout my BookTok.


Every day is a good day for a true story! But here are some special tie-in dates for Door by Door—How Sarah McBride Became America's First Openly Transgender Senator:

  • Election Days – both federal and local election days – are a huge and important tie-in to this book, especially in these times when politicians have been attacking the rights and freedoms of transgender and other LGBTQ+ Americans through discriminatory laws, banning books, and the like.
  • June: Pride Month
  • March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility 
  • Oct. 11: National Coming Out Day 
  • Nov. 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance 


Meeg Pincus is the author of several "Solutionary Stories"—nonfiction & informational books that inspire kids to make a difference—such as Miep and the Most Famous Diary and So Much More to Helen! To learn more about her work, visit her website.

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True Story: Rena Glickman, Queen of Judo

It's been almost three years since my last blog post so I'm excited to kick off my True Story series with Rena Glickman, Queen of Judo by Eve Nadel Catarevas and illustrated by Martina Peluso (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2022). 


Rena Glickman, known professionally as Rusty Kanokogi, was a Jewish girl from Coney Island who grew up to become a judo master at a time when the sport was strictly for males. Disguised as a man, she entered and won the 1959 YMCA Judo Championship but was forced to give back her medal when it was discovered that she was a woman. Never wanting that to happen to another female, she set out to make women's judo a popular sport around the world. Her fight for equality resulted in the first Women's Judo World Championship and turning women's judo into an Olympic sport.


Since Eve is one of my critique partners, I was lucky enough to be an early reader of this project and so thrilled to see her hard work pay off with her debut book. One fearless, determined woman writing about another fearless, determined woman! Today Eve answers my questions about Rena Glickman, Queen of Judo: 


Was there one thing—a specific scene, quote, or image from Rena's Glickman's life—that guided you throughout the writing process?  

It was a quote. Rusty (I've always used Rena's nickname) always said, "In life you're either the hammer or the nail. Be the hammer." It doesn't get more straightforward than that!


While researching this book, which fact surprised you? 

Rusty was so committed to holding the first Women's Judo World Championships (at Madison Square Garden) that she mortgaged her own home.


Why do you think kids can relate to Rusty? 

Girls today are taught to go after what they want. That wasn't a general precept in the 1950s, but that's exactly what Rusty did. Obstacles didn't deter her. Rusty forged ahead.


Which sources were important in creating this biography? 

There were no books on Rusty. I used every magazine, newspaper and online article I could find. Thankfully, I found Rusty's daughter. She was invaluable.


How did you select the timeframe for your book? 

Rusty's childhood was so rife with drama (a lot of it didn't make it into the book – too dark), I knew I had to start there. The culmination of the story was women's judo becoming, at long last, an Olympic sport.


How did you determine if information should be included in the story or the back matter? 

Ooh, that's a good question, Karlin. I can't tell you how often I put in and take out information during the writing process. In one draft it's part of back matter, next draft it's part of the text, and finally it's out altogether. But not really because I'll have a change of heart and back it goes, just written differently. Back matter is where I put elements that are relevant to the subject's life story, but don't serve the story. It's where I house statistics or inroads made beyond my subject's lifetime.


If you could pick the ideal place for a storywalk for this book, where would it be? 

The streets of Coney Island where Rusty grew up, the place that helped her become an independent, strong-willed woman who would stop at nothing to achieve her dream – and to encourage others to do the same.


What's your #1 tip for writing true stories? 

Ferret out as much source material as you can. Dig, dig, then dig some more. You never know when you're going to come across that stop-you-in-your-tracks quote or anecdote—the one that pulls the whole story together.


What other books would you recommend to readers who love Rena Glickman, Queen of Judo? 

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer's Historic Run by Kim Chaffee & Ellen Rooney and Billie Jean!: How Tennis Star Billie Jean King Changed Women's Sports by Mara Rockliff & Elizabeth Baddeley.


Thank you, Eve, for being the hammer (wink!) and for taking the time to chat about this kick-butt biography!



Spirited and empowering, this book (with its "Kapow!" cover) is on four shelves in my TrueStory Bookshop:

  • Women's History
  • Athletes
  • Activists
  • Jewish Heritage Stories 


To take a peek inside the book, checkout my BookTok


Every day is a good day for a true story! But here are some special tie-in dates for Rena Glickman, Queen of Judo.

  • February (first Wednesday in February): National Girls and Women in Sports Day raises awareness about the positive aspects of sports and the continued need to promote gender equality in every way.
  • June 23 (1972): The day Title IX was signed into law. Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government.
  • July 30 (1935): Rena Glickman's birthday.
  • August 21 (2009): YMCA gives Rusty back the medal she was stripped of 50 years earlier.
  • September 25 (1988): First Olympic Women's Judo competition (This was a demonstration tournament with no medals. After that, Women's Judo became a full medal Olympic sport.) 
  • October 28: World Judo Day celebrates the martial art and the birthday of its founder, Kanō Jigorō. 


Eve Nadel Catarevas is also the author of Wonderful Hair: The Beauty of Annie Malone, illustrated by Felicia Marshall and published by Creston Books. To learn more about Eve and her work, visit her website.
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Illustrator, web designer, and rabbit lover, Abi Cushman writes about sassy animals on her two websites: My House Rabbit (yes, rabbits are verrry sassy) and Animal Fact Guide, which was named a "Great Website for Kids" by the American Library Association. This month she celebrates her author/illustrator debut with #firstpicturebook Soaked!—"a great story about finding joy in the moment, whatever it might be, and learning to let go of your expectations.... A sure hit for any kind of weather, and every kind of story hour." (School Library Journal)


Q. Was SOAKED! the first picture book manuscript you ever wrote? If not, what was the first picture book you wrote and what happened to it?
A. No, the first picture book manuscript I ever wrote was a meta alphabet book in 2015, which landed me an agent. We went on sub with it to a handful of editors, but unfortunately, the market was completely saturated with meta alphabet books (and probably still is). So that one got shelved. SOAKED! was the fourth story I wrote, and the third one that went on submission.


Q. What inspired SOAKED!?
A. In August of 2017, I was on a walk with my family about a mile from home when a torrential rainstorm struck. Normally, we would have started running. But unfortunately, I was 8 months pregnant at the time and I was down to one option: waddling. I told my husband to go ahead and run home with our daughter without me. What I realized on my slow, soggy walk home was that once I was completely soaked, the rain was actually kind of nice. I thought it would be fun to show a character having that same realization in a picture book.


Q. How did you pick the title of your book?
A. "Soaked" was a word that was pretty prominent throughout the story. It seemed simple and to the point, so it stuck. I realized later that my book shares its title with some other books on Amazon that are slightly more... salacious.

Q. Do you write by hand or on the computer?
A. I mostly write by hand. I start with sketches and snippets of text in my sketchbook. Then I move to thumbnails, and then to a rough mini-dummy. After revising it with my critique group and agent, I will create a more polished dummy using Adobe Indesign. I type in the text then and also scan in tighter drawings.


Q. What is your favorite part of the book? And was that part in the first draft?
A. My favorite part of the book is the spread where Bear's looking for his blue bumblebee umbrella and Badger says she could only find her blue bumblebee umbrella. It was a part I added in during my revision process. And I liked it because it helps develop Badger's storyline and character. Plus, it gives the reader something to consider- did Badger steal Bear's umbrella or does Badger happen to have the exact same taste in umbrellas as Bear?

Q. How did you select the names for your characters?
A. Bear, Badger, Bunny, and Moose don't exactly have the most unique names. :) But I did choose a badger and a bunny as characters because I liked the alliteration of B sounds in my opening scene, which is then interrupted by the appearance of a Hula-Hooping moose.


Q. What made you decide to tell the story in first person?
A. Writing the story in first person meant I could reveal who the narrator was in a page turn. When I was first brainstorming the story, I thought about revealing the narrator at the end, similar to THE BEAR ATE YOUR SANDWICH or SNAPPSY THE ALLIGATOR, but I abandoned that idea and revealed the narrator (Bear) in the second spread. I also really liked the idea of an unreliable narrator where you could see in the pictures that Bear's recounting of events did not always match reality. It allowed for a lot of humorous moments.


Q. Did you write the story first, then illustrate it? Or did the images appear before the words?
A. The images came first. I played around a lot with the image of a drenched, miserable bear who then finds joy in splashing around in puddles in my sketchbook.


Q. Did SOAKED! receive any rejection letters? If so, how many (ballpark)?
A. My agent submitted it to two publishers, and it received one rejection and one revise-and-resubmit. After submitting the revision, we got an offer from Viking!


Q. Describe your reaction when you received an offer on SOAKED!.
A. I was about to head into a meeting with a library director about their website (I've been a web designer/developer for 15 years), when I got an email from my agent. She said that the editor and art director at Viking loved my revision and more details would be forthcoming in a couple weeks! I was so excited that I told everyone at the meeting that I got a book deal. I called my husband and my mom from the car after the meeting and emailed my siblings when I got home that it was finally happening! Everyone was ecstatic. The next day, it occurred to me that I didn't actually see the word "offer" anywhere in the email.
So for the next two weeks when people congratulated me after hearing the news from my family, I'd say, "YEAH!! I GOT A BOOK DEAL! I mean, PROBABLY I THINK... IT LOOKS LIKE I COULD... MAYBE!!!"


Q. How long was the publication process for SOAKED!—from the time you received an offer until it was printed?
A. I got a verbal offer mid-May 2018 and signed the contract that August. I started edits and final art in December and finished everything up in September 2019. It pubs on July 14, 2020. So a little over two years from offer to print.


Q. Was there a part that you really loved but had to edit out? Or did you think of something later that you wanted to add?
A. No, Tracy and Jim, my editor and art director, really got what I was trying to do with the story. So their input only made it better. When I first got their edit notes, Jim had told me, "Don't worry, it's not that bad." and I opened the document and their comments said, "Combine these spreads so you have room for a new ending. We don't know what it is, but we're sure you'll think of something good." And I thought, "Yes. Sure. Just need a completely different ending. Great. Great." But it turned out to be fine, and I actually appreciated their trust in me, and the fact that I was both the author and illustrator of the book because I needed to add words to make it work.


Q. Is there an author secret in the book?
A. I don't think there's necessarily a secret in the book, but I really enjoyed giving Bunny and Badger their own little side stories in the pictures, with Bunny putting on Bear's shrunken sweater and Badger appearing with a suspiciously-similar umbrella to Bear's. I hope readers will have fun picking up on details like these in the illustrations.

Q. Did you create any book swag for SOAKED!? If so, what kind?
A. I made some stickers to include with signed books for a preorder campaign with my local indie, Bank Square Books, and I also created an activity guide and craft which you can find at my website.


Q. What is your #1 tip for picture-book writers?
A. Make a dummy. Even if you're not an illustrator and just use stick figures or art notes on each spread, it will help you with the pacing, the word count, and page turns.


Q. Do you have a favorite writing exercise or marketing tip that you can share?
A. I never start writing by typing up a manuscript on the computer. Instead, I keep what I call an Ugly Sketchbook. It's where I put all my ideas down, either written or doodled. I don't worry if it's a good or bad idea or if the drawing looks nice or not. I just allow myself to record all my story ideas in the sketchbook and capture them in the quickest way possible, in words or doodled facial expressions or roughly-drawn scenes. In doing so, I'm able to think visually and in a non-linear way. Later, I can go back through my sketchbook and put the pieces of the puzzle together to create a story.


Q. What are you working on now?
A. I am working on the final art for my second book with Viking, ANIMALS GO VROOM! It challenges readers to guess what goes roar, hiss, and honk and has little peekaboo windows. I'm excited to share it with everyone in the summer of 2021!

Q. Is there a public launch for the book (reading/party at bookstore, library, etc.)?
A. I was planning on having a big launch party at my town's community center. But unfortunately, plans for that have been put on hold due to the pandemic. But I hope everyone will help me celebrate virtually by following along on the Soaked! Blog Tour!




Q. Where can people find you on social media?

My newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCUjeH (For totally top secret sneak peeks, wombats, and giveaways)
My website: abicushman.com [https://abicushman.com/]
Twitter: @AbiCushman [http://twitter.com/AbiCushman]
Instagram: @Abi.Cushman [https://www.instagram.com/abi.cushman/]



Congrats Abi on your author/illustrator debut! If you have read SOAKED!, please consider writing your review on Goodreads.

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5 Favorites from . . . Hayley Barrett!

Author Hayley Barrett

Hayley Barrett is the author of Babymoon (Candlewick) and What Miss Mitchell Saw (Simon &Schuster/Beach Lane Books). Two more books, Girl Versus Squirrel (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, Aug. '20), and The Tiny Baker (Barefoot Books, Sept. '20), are on the way soon. 

Hayley lives outside of Boston with her husband John. Their two terrific kids have flown the coop.


So what are Hayley's 5 Favorites?:


My favorite place to write:

I love to write while standing at my kitchen island. 


My favorite mentor text:

I don't use mentor texts often, but I'm a dedicated re-reader of books I love. I recommend returning to childhood favorites. Read them again and ask yourself a few questions. Why did you like this book when you were a child? Do you still see now what you saw in it then? What do you admire about it?


My favorite writing tip:

Don't throw a good idea or turn of phrase away. If it won't work in the project at hand, tuck it someplace safe for future reference. It may belong in a different book. 

My favorite marketing tip:

It's important to network outside the children's literature community and share our books with those who might find them particularly appealing. Have you written a tennis book? Find the tennis people!


My favorite book event of the year:

Attending local book launches for my friends and colleagues is always a blast. 


To learn more about Hayley and her work, visit her website.

As always, if you have read the author's work, please take a minute to review them using the above links.

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