Best YA and Middle-Grade novels selected by Pete Hautman. His latest book is Eden West, the story of a boy growing up in an isolated doomsday cult in Montana.
Django Wexler is a self-proclaimed computer/fantasy/sci fi geek. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked in artificial intelligence research.
Lee Wardlaw is the author of 30 books for young readers, including Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku, recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children’s Poetry Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, and the Purina/Fancy Feast “Love Story” Award.
To make re-mixed Shakespeare exciting for young readers as well as older readers, get your hands dirty and have a field day in that Shakespeare toolbox.
The Berenson Schemes are a madcap adventure series. I hope that because I spent time in these far-off places, and brought the sights and sounds and smells home with me, some young would-be traveler thinks, “Someday, I’ll go there, too.”
Before I became a writer, I had no idea being one also meant embracing a life of crime. I don’t know why. All the signs were there – the saying “every great lie has an element of truth”, T.S. Eliot’s immortal “Good authors borrow, great authors steal”, and the infamous Faulkner adage, “Kill your darlings” (Faulkner actually stole that saying from Arthur Quiller-Couch).
It isn’t easy to tackle tension when writing a story, but keeping these things in mind can point you in the right direction.
What makes a villain a villain? I’ve always been a fascinated—and a little bit terrified—of villains, especially in fairytales. As a child, I couldn’t get enough of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs even if the old witch sent me diving into our couch cushions to hide my eyes.