Celebrating the 2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award Winners

We hope you are enjoying celebrating the winners with your students.  Here are some additional resources for the books.

Bookmark celebrating Charlotte Award winners: Winners book mark for 2014Charlotte.

TeachingBooks.net has compiled resources for all of the books here: http://www.teachingbooks.net/tb.cgi?lid=4208

Penguin and Pinecone resources

We collected several resources here: http://charlotteaward.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/penguin-and-pinecone/

and we interviewed author Salina Yoon here: http://charlotteaward.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/interview-with-salina-yoon-2/

Dogs on Duty resources

dogs on duty Our resources for Dogs on Duty are here:  https://charlotteaward.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/dogs-on-duty/

and our interview with Ms. Patent is here: https://charlotteaward.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/interview-with-dorothy-patent-author-of-dogs-on-duty/

 

 

 

Wonder Resources

Our resources for Wonder are here: https://charlotteaward.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/resources-for-wonder/

Cinder Resources

Our resources for Cinder are here: https://charlotteaward.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/resources-for-cinder/

Our interview with Marissa Meyer is here: https://charlotteaward.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/marissa-meyer-interview/

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2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award Winners

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The 2014 New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 NYSRA Charlotte Awards.

2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award Primary Grades Winner

Salina Yoon for Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story

Published in 2012 by Walker Children’s Publishing.

2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award Intermediate Grades Winner

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent for Dogs on Duty: Soldiers’ Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond. Published in 2012 by Walker Children’s Publishing.

2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award Middle School Winner

R. J. Palacio for Wonder

Published in 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers.

2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award High School Winner

Marissa Meyer for Cinder

Published in 2012 by Feiwel and Friends.

 

Thank you to…

  • students from across New York who voted for the 2014 New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award.
  • teachers, librarians, parents, and volunteers who read the books and supported the Charlotte Award.
  • to all of the nominated authors and illustrators for sharing their great books with us and for sharing their interviews on our blog!
  • to the many publishers who sent us books to review.
  • and finally to the New York State Reading Association and the 2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award committee for all of their hard work to promote reading across the state.

 

2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award Nominees

 

GRADES PRE K-2/PRIMARY

Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders & Creepy Insiders. Written by Anthony D.Fredericks.   Illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio . Published in 2011 by Dawn Publications.

 

Because Amelia Smiled. Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

Cloudette. Written and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Published in 2011 by Henry Holt.

Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships. Written by Catherine Thimmesh. Published in 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

Goldilocks and Just One Bear. Written by Leigh Hodgkinson. Published in 2012 by Nosy Crow.

 

I Need My Own Country. Written by Rick Walton. Illustrated by Wes Hargis. Published in 2012 by Bloomsbury.

 

Jangles: A Big Fish Story. Written by David Shannon. Published in 2012 by Blue Sky Press.

 

Penguin and Pinecone. Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon. Published in 2012 by Walker.

 

Spike the Mixed Up Monster. Written by Susan Hood. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Published in 2012 by Simon & Schuster.

 

Who Has This Tail. Written by Laura Hulbert. Illustrated by Erik Brooks. Published in 2012 by Henry Holt.

 

GRADES 3-5/INTERMEDIATE

Ben Franklin His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z. Written by Alan Schroeder. Illustrated by John O’Brien. Published in 2011 by Holiday House.

 

Dogs on Duty: Soldiers’ Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond. Written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Published in 2012 by Walker.

 

For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson. Written by Peggy Thomas. Illustrated by Laura Jacques. Published in 2011 by Calkins Creek.

 

Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller. Written by Doreen Rappaport. Illustrated by Matt Tavares. Published in 2012 by Disney/Hyperion.

           

Kizzy Ann Stamps. Written by Jeri Watts. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

May B: A Novel. Written by Caroline Starr Rose. Published in 2012 by Schwartz and Wade.

Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds A Civil War Hero. Written by Marissa Moss. Illustrated by John Hendrix. Published in 2011 by Abrams.

 

Same Sun Here. Written by Silas House. Illustrated by Neela Vaswani. Published in 2011 by Candlewick Press.

 

A Storm Called Katrina. Written by Myron Uhlberg. Illustrated by Colin Bootman. Published in 2011 by Peachtree.

 

Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives. Written and illustrated by Gene Barretta. Published in 2012 by Henry Holt.

 

GRADES 6-8/MIDDLE SCHOOL

Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur. Written by Tracey Fern. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Published in 2012 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Dogs of Winter. Written by Bobbie Pyron. Published in 2012 by Arthur Levine Books.

 

Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology. Written by Lise Lunge-Larsen. Illustrated by Gareth Hinds. Published in 2011 by Houghton Mifflin.

 

Hidden. Written by Helen Frost. Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Mighty Miss Malone. Written by Christopher Paul Curtis. Published in 2012 by Random House.

A Monster Calls. Written by Patrick Ness. Illustrated by Jim Kay. Published in 211 by Candlewick Press.

 

My Brother’s Shadow. Written by Monika Schroeder. Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Shadow. Written by Michael Morpurgo. Published in 2012 by Feiwel and Friends.

 

Surviving the Hindenburg. Written by Larry Verstraete. Illustrated by David Geister. Published in 2012 by Sleeping Bear Press.

 

Wonder. Written by R.J. Palacio. Published in 2012 by Knopf.

 

GRADES 9-12/HIGH SCHOOL

Ashfall. Written by Mike Mullin. Published in 2011 by Tanglewood.

 

The Amazing Harry Kellar. Written by Gail Jarrow. Published in 2012 by Calkins Creek.

 

Cinder. Written by Marissa Meyer. Published in 2012 by Feiwel and Friends.

 

Freaks Like Us. Written by Susan Vaught. Published in 2012 by Bloomsbury.

 

The Giant and How He Humbugged America. Written by Jim Murphy. Published in 2012 by Scholastic.

 

Ice: The Amazing History of the Ice Business. Written by Laurence Pringle. Published in 2012 by Calkins Creek.

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Written by Ransom Riggs. Published in 2011 by Quirk Books.

Never Eighteen. Written by Megan Bostic. Published in 2012 by Graphia.

 

October Mourning. Written by Leslea Newman. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

Wolf Mark. Written by Joseph Bruchac. Published in 2011 by TU Books.

 

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Charlotte Award Winners will be announced May 1!

We look forward to sharing the winners with you May 1.  Thank you to everyone who has participated in the NYSRA Charlotte Award this year!

charlottes web

2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award Nominees

GRADES PRE K-2/PRIMARY

Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders & Creepy Insiders. Written by Anthony D.Fredericks.   Illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio . Published in 2011 by Dawn Publications.

 

Because Amelia Smiled. Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

Cloudette. Written and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Published in 2011 by Henry Holt.

Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships. Written by Catherine Thimmesh. Published in 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

Goldilocks and Just One Bear. Written by Leigh Hodgkinson. Published in 2012 by Nosy Crow.

 

I Need My Own Country. Written by Rick Walton. Illustrated by Wes Hargis. Published in 2012 by Bloomsbury.

 

Jangles: A Big Fish Story. Written by David Shannon. Published in 2012 by Blue Sky Press.

 

Penguin and Pinecone. Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon. Published in 2012 by Walker.

 

Spike the Mixed Up Monster. Written by Susan Hood. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Published in 2012 by Simon & Schuster.

 

Who Has This Tail. Written by Laura Hulbert. Illustrated by Erik Brooks. Published in 2012 by Henry Holt.

 

GRADES 3-5/INTERMEDIATE

Ben Franklin His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z. Written by Alan Schroeder. Illustrated by John O’Brien. Published in 2011 by Holiday House.

 

Dogs on Duty: Soldiers’ Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond. Written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Published in 2012 by Walker.

 

For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson. Written by Peggy Thomas. Illustrated by Laura Jacques. Published in 2011 by Calkins Creek.

 

Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller. Written by Doreen Rappaport. Illustrated by Matt Tavares. Published in 2012 by Disney/Hyperion.

           

Kizzy Ann Stamps. Written by Jeri Watts. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

May B: A Novel. Written by Caroline Starr Rose. Published in 2012 by Schwartz and Wade.

Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds A Civil War Hero. Written by Marissa Moss. Illustrated by John Hendrix. Published in 2011 by Abrams.

 

Same Sun Here. Written by Silas House. Illustrated by Neela Vaswani. Published in 2011 by Candlewick Press.

 

A Storm Called Katrina. Written by Myron Uhlberg. Illustrated by Colin Bootman. Published in 2011 by Peachtree.

 

Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives. Written and illustrated by Gene Barretta. Published in 2012 by Henry Holt.

 

GRADES 6-8/MIDDLE SCHOOL

Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur. Written by Tracey Fern. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Published in 2012 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Dogs of Winter. Written by Bobbie Pyron. Published in 2012 by Arthur Levine Books.

 

Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology. Written by Lise Lunge-Larsen. Illustrated by Gareth Hinds. Published in 2011 by Houghton Mifflin.

 

Hidden. Written by Helen Frost. Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Mighty Miss Malone. Written by Christopher Paul Curtis. Published in 2012 by Random House.

A Monster Calls. Written by Patrick Ness. Illustrated by Jim Kay. Published in 211 by Candlewick Press.

 

My Brother’s Shadow. Written by Monika Schroeder. Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Shadow. Written by Michael Morpurgo. Published in 2012 by Feiwel and Friends.

 

Surviving the Hindenburg. Written by Larry Verstraete. Illustrated by David Geister. Published in 2012 by Sleeping Bear Press.

 

Wonder. Written by R.J. Palacio. Published in 2012 by Knopf.

 

GRADES 9-12/HIGH SCHOOL

Ashfall. Written by Mike Mullin. Published in 2011 by Tanglewood.

 

The Amazing Harry Kellar. Written by Gail Jarrow. Published in 2012 by Calkins Creek.

 

Cinder. Written by Marissa Meyer. Published in 2012 by Feiwel and Friends.

 

Freaks Like Us. Written by Susan Vaught. Published in 2012 by Bloomsbury.

 

The Giant and How He Humbugged America. Written by Jim Murphy. Published in 2012 by Scholastic.

 

Ice: The Amazing History of the Ice Business. Written by Laurence Pringle. Published in 2012 by Calkins Creek.

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Written by Ransom Riggs. Published in 2011 by Quirk Books.

Never Eighteen. Written by Megan Bostic. Published in 2012 by Graphia.

 

October Mourning. Written by Leslea Newman. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

Wolf Mark. Written by Joseph Bruchac. Published in 2011 by TU Books.

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Megan Bostic Interview

never eighteen

One more Charlotte interview as we count the ballots!  Mrs. Ada’s students in Philadelphia, NY wrote Megan Bostic, and she answered these questions about Never Eighteen.  Thanks to the students and Ms. Bostic for the thoughtful interview!

Why do so many of the characters in your book have such extreme problems / mental issues?

Think about how many people you know in life. The people in your school, your sports teams, friends, family, coworkers, the barista at the local Starbucks, the grocery store clerk, etc. That’s quite a lot of people. How many of those people do you think may be suffering from some of the issues the characters in the book are suffering? A couple? A few? A handful? Half?  Surely, you know divorced parents? A gay teenager? One who drinks too much maybe? One who lets their boyfriend or girlfriend treat them with disrespect?

So many people are fighting battles you don’t even know about. Austin only talks to a handful of people, some of them struggling more than others. I have known every single person I wrote about in that book, most of them when I was in high school. So it’s not that they have extreme problems and mental issues, it’s just that they have problems, period, like so many others do.

What year does this book take place?

I don’t specifically choose a year, but let’s say it’s contemporary. Within the last five years.

Why did you choose to write this book / about this subject matter?

In November 2001, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. By February, they told her there was nothing more they could do for her. They gave her 6 months to a year to live. I quit my job and my husband and I took her in and cared for her in her last days with the help of hospice. That experience showed me firsthand the effects of the disease, how ravaging it can be, how fast it can take you without treatment. After my mother-in-law moved in, she only lasted just over 3 weeks.

It also makes you think about your own mortality. If I only had 6 months to year, or even just 3 weeks, how would I want to spend it? However, I see that question below, so I’ll answer it there. J

You included a lot of reference to specific bands and songs in the book, do you listen to music while you write?

To be honest, I am greatly inspired by music, especially indie and alternative, but I find it hard to concentrate and write with any noise.

I love the Shins too! What’s your favorite band?

That is like asking, when it’s snowing, which snowflake is my favorite. J I’ll say this, indie and alternative are my favorite forms of music, though I love music from all genres and many decades. I will give a list of ten bands that have influenced me throughout my life.

The Beatles

The Police

The Cure

The Smiths

REM

The Beastie Boys

Death Cab for Cutie

Pearl Jam

Nirvana

The Killers

Coldplay

Fun

Okay, that’s twelve, but it’s too hard to choose! A few more and the Shins would have made that list. There are great new bands coming out every year too.

Why did you choose to keep Austin’s cancer a secret until the end of the book?

I think to give him an air of mystery, maybe. To make people wonder what would make a teenage boy want to do the things he’s doing – what could make him so wise beyond his years. It’s not too much of a mystery, the title of the book, the clues in the book, the reader pretty much figures it out, but as they’re reading I think they secretly hope cancer isn’t the answer. It has to be something else, because in the end, no one wants Austin to die.

Was it hard for you to get close to a character that you were going to have die? How emotionally affected were you by Austin’s death?

Writing Never Eighteen was difficult. The answer is yes – it was an emotionally draining write. After writing a demanding scene, I would have to take a break. Also, since it was a subject matter so personal for me, it made it even that much harder because I had to dig deep and recall memories that were painful to make it authentic.

Are there real people who inspired any of the characters in this book?

Yes. As I said before, almost everyone of Austin’s troubled friends/acquaintances are people I have known – in this case, Julianna, Allie, Scott, Trevor – maybe not their characteristics, but their circumstances for sure. Usually a character in each of my books contains bits and pieces of me as well. I’ll let you figure that one out yourself. J

This is almost a “bucket list” type of story. If you knew you were dying, is this how you would spend your last healthy days?

I would want to know that I made an impact, left some kind of mark, no matter how small it was, so to answer the question, yes, I would want to tell the people who are stuck in a rut, who are miserable with their lives to change them. What is stopping you from living the life you want to live?  To do the things you want to do? We only have one shot at life, we need to make it count.

I would also do some traveling and throw one hell of a farewell party!

Megan Bostic, April 2014

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Charlotte Award voting deadline April 30!

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Due to spring break in many schools we can extend the voting deadline a few days.  The last day we can accept votes is April 30.  If you are mailing votes please do so in time for the mail to be received by April 30.

Voting details are here:

http://www.nysreading.org/content/nysra-charlotte-award-2014-charlotte-ballot-update

 

2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award Nominees

 

GRADES PRE K-2/PRIMARY

Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders & Creepy Insiders.  Written by  Anthony D.Fredericks.   Illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio .  Published in 2011 by Dawn Publications.

 

Because Amelia Smiled.  Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

Cloudette. Written and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.  Published in 2011 by Henry Holt.

Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships.  Written by Catherine Thimmesh. Published in 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

Goldilocks and Just One Bear. Written by Leigh Hodgkinson. Published in 2012 by Nosy Crow.

 

I Need My Own Country. Written by Rick Walton. Illustrated by Wes Hargis.  Published in 2012 by Bloomsbury.

 

Jangles: A Big Fish Story. Written by David Shannon.  Published in 2012 by Blue Sky Press.

 

Penguin and Pinecone. Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon. Published in 2012 by Walker.

 

Spike the Mixed Up Monster. Written by Susan Hood. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Published in 2012 by Simon & Schuster.

 

Who Has This Tail. Written by Laura Hulbert.  Illustrated by Erik Brooks.  Published in 2012 by Henry Holt.

 

GRADES 3-5/INTERMEDIATE

Ben Franklin His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z. Written by Alan Schroeder.  Illustrated by John O’Brien.  Published in 2011 by Holiday House.

 

Dogs on Duty: Soldiers’ Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond. Written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Published in 2012 by Walker.

 

For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson. Written by Peggy Thomas. Illustrated by Laura Jacques. Published in 2011 by Calkins Creek.

 

Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller. Written by Doreen Rappaport.  Illustrated by Matt Tavares.  Published in 2012 by Disney/Hyperion.

           

Kizzy Ann Stamps. Written by Jeri Watts. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

May B:  A Novel. Written by Caroline Starr Rose. Published in 2012 by Schwartz and Wade.

Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds A Civil War Hero. Written by Marissa Moss.  Illustrated by John Hendrix.  Published in 2011 by Abrams.

 

Same Sun Here. Written by Silas House.  Illustrated by Neela Vaswani.  Published in 2011 by Candlewick Press.

 

A Storm Called Katrina. Written by Myron Uhlberg.  Illustrated by Colin Bootman. Published in 2011 by Peachtree.

 

Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives. Written and illustrated by Gene Barretta. Published in 2012 by Henry Holt.

 

GRADES 6-8/MIDDLE SCHOOL

Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur. Written by Tracey Fern. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Published in 2012 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Dogs of Winter. Written by Bobbie Pyron. Published in 2012 by Arthur Levine Books.

 

Gifts from the Gods:  Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology. Written by Lise Lunge-Larsen. Illustrated by Gareth Hinds. Published in 2011 by Houghton Mifflin.

 

Hidden. Written by Helen Frost. Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Mighty Miss Malone. Written by Christopher Paul Curtis.  Published in 2012 by Random House.

A Monster Calls. Written by Patrick Ness.  Illustrated by Jim Kay.  Published in 211 by Candlewick Press.

 

My Brother’s Shadow. Written by Monika Schroeder. Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Shadow. Written by Michael Morpurgo. Published in 2012 by Feiwel and Friends.

 

Surviving the Hindenburg. Written by Larry Verstraete.  Illustrated by David Geister. Published in 2012 by Sleeping Bear Press.

 

Wonder. Written by R.J. Palacio.  Published in 2012 by Knopf.

 

GRADES 9-12/HIGH SCHOOL

Ashfall. Written by Mike Mullin. Published in 2011 by Tanglewood.

 

The Amazing Harry Kellar. Written by Gail Jarrow. Published in 2012 by Calkins Creek.

 

Cinder. Written by Marissa Meyer. Published in 2012 by Feiwel and Friends.

 

Freaks Like Us. Written by Susan Vaught. Published in 2012 by Bloomsbury.

 

The Giant and How He Humbugged America. Written by Jim Murphy. Published in 2012 by Scholastic.

 

Ice: The Amazing History of the Ice Business.  Written by Laurence Pringle. Published in 2012 by Calkins Creek.

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Written by Ransom Riggs.  Published in 2011 by Quirk Books.

Never Eighteen. Written by Megan Bostic. Published in 2012 by Graphia.

 

October Mourning. Written by Leslea Newman. Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press.

 

Wolf Mark. Written by Joseph Bruchac. Published in 2011 by TU Books.

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Marissa Meyer Interview

Cinder

Mrs. Ada’s students at Indian River High School in Philadelphia, NY read Cinder and sent Ms. Marissa Meyer these questions.  Thank you to Ms. Meyer for answering and to the students for the thoughtful questions!

1. Other than Cinderella, are there other stories that inspired this novel?

For the most part, Cinder is strictly a Cinderella retelling. However, I looked into many different versions of Cinderella – from Grimm and Perrault to Disney, and even a Chinese tale called Ye Xian which many believe was the original Cinderella story. Also, because The Lunar Chronicles combines four fairy tales into one series, there are elements of the next four books that make slight appearances in Cinder. In one chapter you get a glimpse at the wolf army (inspired by Little Red Riding Hood), and you meet Cress (my Rapunzel character), and there is the wicked queen who is based on the villain from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

2. How much research did you conduct for the technological parts of the novel?

Tons! I read books on cyborgs and magazine articles on androids and artificial intelligence, I studied maglev trains and space travel and the potential for moon colonization, and on and on. This was a very research-heavy series. But I also found out early on in my research that there’s nothing I can dream up that scientists aren’t already working on – it’s AMAZING what we’re capable of now, and what they think we’ll be capable of in the future. So rather than limiting the story in terms of technology, my research really gave me the confidence to make the technology as impressive as I could.

3. Have you always been interested in future technology?

Not at all! lol! I’m not very tech oriented, and I get really bored with a lot of classic sci-fi that’s too focused on the technology. For me, it has to be all about the characters and the story or else I lose interest. I think our modern technology is amazing, but I’m much more interested in telling an engaging story and taking readers along for the ride. In the end, I think this has served me well, though, as I hear from a lot of reader who don’t like “science fiction,” but enjoyed Cinder because it almost has more of a fantasy feel to it.

4. Since this book is the start of a series of novels, how far in advance did you plan the story?

I had all four book planned out really early on. I’d actually all outlined the whole series before I wrote a single word of Cinder. That isn’t to say that things haven’t changed – they do change, all the time! – but I’ve always had a vague idea of where the story was heading and how all these subplots would tie together. That really helped me to include lots of foreshadowing and hints in the early books.

5. Do you know how many novels will be in the Lunar Chronicles?

There will be four books – WINTER, the fourth and final, is based on Snow White, and will release in 2015.

6. This novel encompasses many genres of literature. As an author, what genres would you place it in?

I think it most fits into science fiction, though my favorite genre term is “space opera.” :)

7. Many novels are set in America, though this novel has a more unique setting. Is there a reason you set your story in New Beijing?

Yes – as I mentioned before, there’s a story called “Ye Xian” that was first written in 9th-century China and is considered the original Cinderella story. Scholars also believe that the concept of the slipper fitting the smallest foot, and of small feet being desirable, ties directly to the Chinese tradition of foot binding. So I chose to set Cinder in China to pay homage to some of the story’s roots.

8. How much input did you have on the creative vision (cover, font style, page layout, etc) for this novel?

Almost none! I’m lucky that I have a brilliant designer who is working with an incredibly talented artist. I usually don’t see the cover until it’s finished, but I’ve been so thrilled with all of their decisions. I think the books are gorgeous.

9. Do you have a favorite character in the book?

I have a soft spot for the funny characters. I love to write any scene with Iko, Cinder’s android best friend who has a penchant for shoes and boys, and also Captain Thorne, the charming and overconfident spaceship captain. They tend to say things that catch me off guard, and are always full of surprises! For a writer, it makes my job a lot of fun.

10. If you could pick an actress to play Cinder and Prince Kai in the movie, who would you choose and why?

It’s hard for me to imagine real people in the roles, as they’re already so real in my head, but I have heard the suggestion of Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars) for Cinder, which I like a lot, and possibly Harry Shum Jr. (Glee) for Kai.

Marissa Meyer, April 2014

Just Released: CRESS: Book Three of the Lunar Chronicles
Join the Resistance at TheLunarChronicles.net.

http://www.marissameyer.com | Blog | Newsletter | Giveaways
Twitter: @marissa_meyer | Facebook: Marissa Meyer + The Lunar Chronicles


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Jim Murphy Interview

giant

Mrs. Ada’s students at Indian River High School in Philadelphia, NY read The Giant and How He Humbugged America and sent Mr. Jim Murphy these questions.  Thank you to Mr. Murphy for answering and to the students for the thoughtful questions!

Where did you originally hear about the Cardiff giant? I live near Syracuse and I didn’t even know about it until I read this book!  

I read tons and tons of books about all sorts of subjects.  Somewhere along the line (and this was years ago) I came across a reference to the Cardiff Giant hoax and thought it was interesting.  So I started doing research on it and other hoaxes.  I didn’t do this to write a book; I did it because  I was fascinated with how some people are able to create a hoax that actually fools hundreds, if not thousands of people.  Sadly, the world is filled with people who want to take advantage of other people and I felt it was important for my readers to realize (and question) any offer they hear that seems too good to be true and maybe avoid getting involved in them.

Had you ever visited the Giant at the museum before you wrote this book? 

My wife, Alison Blank, and I have been to Cooperstown many times over the years and even been to the Farmers’ Museum and seen the stone giant.  We went back when I decided to actually write a book about the event.

Because you’re an author, when you visited the museum, were you allowed to touch or lick the giant? 

No, I wasn’t able to touch or lick the giant.  He’s reclining peacefully in a horizontal position with a very sturdy fence around him and is well out of the reach of most people.  He’s also been pretty well abused in his lifetime — being buried for a year, hauled around the country for display, stored in a leaky shed, hit with a hammer on several occasions, then moved some more.  The museum wants to preserve him as much as possible and the various acids on our hands would, over years, begin to erode him even more.  But even if given the chance, I’m not sure I would lick him!  Would you?  

 Were you able to make contact with any living relative of anyone involved with the hoax? That would be fascinating to hear about it from the family’s perspective. 

I tried to hunt out some relatives, but wasn’t able to find any.  But I did talk with many people from the town and a number of them said they had grand-parents or great grand-parents who were living in the area when the Giant was discovered.  

 Besides the Cardiff giant, what is your favorite hoax of all time?

I listed a number of hoaxes at the back of the book, some very old and some fairly recent.  I liked all of these a lot and thought them interesting enough to include in the book because the people who created them did so for various reasons.

What do you suggest to readers as a moral of these hoax stories? 

First, sooner or later every hoax is discovered, so the creator of the hoax better be ready to pay the price (in being ridiculed by friends and neighbors, being sued, losing a job, etc.). Second, I hope readers learn to question, even doubt any situation that doesn’t feel right, especially those where many details are hidden or left unexplained.

What did you learn throughout your research that was most surprising? 

I was very surprised that the Cardiff Giant hoax was such big news that it pushed other news stories (such as upcoming elections) off the front pages of newspapers.  I was also surprised at how quickly word about the Giant spread across the country, via newspaper reports and the telegraph.  Finally, I was shocked that not many people who created the hoax or profited by it were in any way embarrassed or ashamed of their actions.  This suggests that they would try to fool the public again and again.

Are you a gullible person? 

I tend to question and doubt anything that smells like too good a deal and I have refused to participate in investments, etc. when other people tell me I’m missing out on the chance of a lifetime.  But I’m not smug about this. I have been fooled in the past by fast talking people and lost money along the way.  Fortunately, it wasn’t a lot of money and now I’m very cautious.

If you had been around when the giant was discovered, which theory would you have believed? 

I think I might have believed the idea that it was a very old statue (because supposed experts were saying this). 

I really like the layout of this book, did you have a say in the look of the book? 

The answer is yes and no.  I rounded up all of the pictures for the book and suggested where in the text they should go.  A designer then did a rough layout, and I had a chance to see it and make some comments. But it was the designer and my editor who really put the book together so nicely. 

 

Jim Murphy, March 2014

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