Blog

My Book Research: 10 Facts About Animals In Movies

I’m constantly learning new things through the research I do for my books, and each one is different. For AMERICAN HORSE TALES: HOLLYWOOD, I knew a lot about movie making and movie sets from when I’d worked as a journalist and editor for a home entertainment magazine. But I while I’d see animals on sets,…
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Book Birthday Bash: The Other Side of the River

  Happy Book Birthday to THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER! In this middle-grade novel, the story that began in BAREFOOT DREAMS OF PETRA LUNA continues. Having escaped the Mexican Revolution, Petra Luna and her family try to make a new life in America. On the other side of the Rio Grande River is an…
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GEMSTONE DRAGONS Thank Yous

Chapter books don’t usually have acknowledgement pages, but just like all my books, my new GEMSTONE DRAGONS series wouldn’t be in bookstores now if wasn’t for an amazing team of people who helped me. So I wanted to thank them here. The main concept for the Gemstone Dragons was not my idea — although I…
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Book Birthday Bash: Gemstone Dragons Opal’s Time to Shine and Ruby’s Fiery Mishap

  Happy Book Birthday to GEMSTONE DRAGONS: OPAL’S TIME TO SHINE and RUBY’S FIERY MISHAP! In this chapter book series for ages 7 and up, a group of Gemstone Dragons live in Sparkle Cave deep inside Mineral Mountain. Each dragon has a unique magical power that comes from their gemstone, and while the powers are…
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What Are the Gemstone Dragons?

If you’ve never heard of a Gemstone Dragon, or think they’re just mythical creatures from the Dungeons and Dragons game, then you haven’t seen my new Gemstone Dragons book series! What is a Gemstone Dragon? A Gemstone Dragon is a magical creature with awesome powers! Each Gemstone Dragon has a gem on their chest that…
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Dragons Around the World

My new GEMSTONE DRAGON chapter book series is coming out in a few weeks! So I wanted to celebrate all things dragons around the world. My Gemstone Dragons are different from other dragons. They’re fun, sparkly and have a magical power that comes from the gemstone in their chest. They know, however, that their biggest…
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Interview with ARROW illustrator Justin Hernandez

I’ve been blessed to work with fantastic illustrators and art directors on my novels from my very first one. THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST is my debut novel, but it was also the middle-grade debut of illustrator Justin Hernandez. The book also had a fantastic art director at Simon & Schuster, Laurent Linn,…
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Interview with ARROW Disability Expert Reader Sarah Tuberty

When I got the idea for ARROW, it was this: A boy with one hand lived in a tree. I didn’t know why he lived in a tree or why he had a limb difference, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career as an author, it’s to honor what my characters tell…
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How to Plant Seed Paper

When I’ve talked to readers and librarians about ARROW, I’ve been giving out little squares of seed paper. I encourage them to plant the paper squares with kids to grow beautiful wild flowers. One of the things I love about this is the way it builds a love of nature. It’s one thing to look…
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Learn About Soil with Edible Dirt

When a tree tells a story, you can imagine that soil is probably part of it. Soil plays a major role in the story of ARROW (but I won’t tell you what — no spoilers here). In extending the story, teachers and parents can use ARROW to help teach children about soil, and I’ve got…
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