Tuesday is Skype Day on the Mixed-Up Middle Grade Skype Tour!
You can win a Skype visit for your class, troop or reading group with Sayantani DasGupta! And we have a winner from last week’s contest!
But first let’s meet Sayantani– welcome to the Skype tour bus, Sayantani! Tell us about you and your books.
I write middle grade and young adult stories and novels, usually based on Indian folktales and myths. These stories of wise animals, demonicrakshas and brave princes, flying horses, and evil snake-creatures were often told to me by my grandmothers during my long summer vacations to India. They were a bridge that connected me, an immigrant daughter living in the U.S., with my own history and family. In dipping into myths and folktales, I seek to pay homage with my words and images to those great storytellers who came before me, celebrating personal cultural traditions while contributing maybe otherwise unheard stories to an ever shrinking, globalized world.
What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?
Middle graders are fantastic readers – they are generous and wise but can be zany, fun-loving and adventurous. I think middle-graders are open to learning about different cultures but are able to see how people are unique as well as similar to one another. Middle grade was also the age I really fell in love with books, and in writing for middle-grade readers, I get to remember that feeling of excitement a great story brings at that age.
What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?
So many! I loved Madeline L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time books of course, but I really loved her Meet the Austins series too – A Ring of Endless Lightwas one of my all time favorites. A heroine who can talk to dolphins and wants to be a marine biologist? How can you go wrong with that? Other favorites included The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Little Women, the Little House on the Prairie books (On the Banks of Plum Creek! Remember that one?). Now, my kids and I enjoy everything from Harry Potter to Percy Jackson to Peter and the Starcatchers. I guess I tend to gravitate to books filled with fantasy, adventure, humor, and hope.
What makes your school visits special?
In this school visit, we’ll have a chance to visit a new part of the world. And here’s a secret – the Indian ghosts and demons in these folk tales not only tell great stories, but they like to rhyme. So we’ll hear some ghostly and demonic rhymes and maybe get to make up some ones of our own!
Fantastic! Readers would you like Sayantani to visit your classroom, book club or any other group of enthusiastic middle-grade readers? You came to the right place. Leave a comment here for your chance to win. Pass it along on Facebook or Twitter for more chances– just be sure to come back and leave a comment telling us how you’ve spread the word. We’ll draw the lucky winner next Tuesday when we’ll present the next Mixed-Up Middle-Grade author for your Skyping pleasure! For all the scoop and frequently asked questions about the contest look HERE!
Ramona Behnke! Ramona come on down!!!
Please email the please email the Mixed-Up Files at msfishby (at) fromthemixedupfiles (dot) com with your contact information! You’ll be hearing from Kaherine shortly! And huge congratulations!!!!!
Readers keep those entries coming and you might welcome Sayantani to your group… and come back next week for our next pit stop on the Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour!
The Mixed-Up Middle-Grade skype bus doesn’t worry about rising gas prices… we run on imagination! When Tami Lewis Brown isn’t dreaming up another detour on the tour she’s visiting classrooms to talk about her middle-grade books SOAR, ELINOR! and THE MAP OF ME.