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Blog Tour: Day 4

Welcome back to the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour! Today we've got interviews with each of our gold medal-winning authors!

Gathering SparksGathering Sparks is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Younger Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Howard Schwartz at Boston Bibliophile with blogger Marie Cloutier.

Here's a teaser:
Marie: Who do you see as the audience for the book?

Howard: Since the repair of the world is such a big job, I hope that everyone will do their part. So while the Ari lived in an exclusively Jewish world in Safed, his myth should be an inspiration not only for Jews, but for everyone. Of course, Jewish people can be especially proud that a genius like the Ari [Rabbi Isaac Luria] created a myth to inspire and guide the people to work together in harmony to make the world a better place. But the basic teaching of tikkun olam can be appreciated by everyone, Jewish or not.



Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Older Readers Category.

Read an interview with author/illustrator Barry Deutsch at BewilderBlog with blogger Laurel Snyder.

Here's a teaser:
Laurel: Did you just wake up one day and say, “Aha! What the world really needs is an Ortho-fantasy-graphic novel!”

Barry:Yes, that’s exactly it!

I think Hereville was mostly inspired by Lis Harris’ book Holy Days, which has a lot of appealing stories of daily Hasidic life. I read Holy Days 10 or 15 years before I created Hereville, but I thought it would be a great setting for a comic book, so it was in the back of my brain, waiting to be used.


The Things a Brother Knows

The Things a Brother Knows is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Teen Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Dana Reinhardt at A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy with blogger Liz Burns.

Here's a teaser:
Liz B: After reading The Things a Brother Knows, two things in particular stay with the reader. First, the family and friends of Levi Katznelson are amazing. I want to go his house for Friday dinner. Second, there are no easy answers, but much to think about, when it comes to sending young people to fight wars. What inspired this story? In creating such a complex world, were you a “plunger” or “plotter”?

Dana: For better or worse, I’m a plunger. This does tend to get me into trouble when I reach a certain point in my writing, as I inevitably do, where I have no idea where the story is going next. I start with characters. I begin at the beginning. I usually have some sense of where they’re going, and often I find out later that it’s somewhere I didn’t imagine.

With this book I started with listening to the radio and hearing the voices of the mothers of returning soldiers telling the stories of their changed and damaged sons, and I started to wonder about the other son, the brother who didn’t go. What has his life been like the last few years? What will it be like now that his brother is back? This is where I found Levi and the rest of the Katznelsons. They’d love to have you over for Friday night dinner, by the way.


Tune in tomorrow for interviews with Kristina Swarner (illustrator, Gathering Sparks and Modeh Ani) at Alice Pope's SCBWI Children's Market Blog, Sarah Darer Littman (Life, After) at Into the Wardrobe, and Eishes Chayil (Hush) at Frume Sarah's World.


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