As a teacher and teacher educator for over 35 years, I am guided by this “mission question”: How can we help children and youth live with courage and hope in an imperfect world? I work with beginning and experienced teachers in the College of Education at Seattle University and believe that literacy is the key to transforming children’s lives. My debut novel, Something to Hold, is inspired by my childhood experiences living on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in central Oregon and explores issues of longing, belonging, and speaking out for justice.
What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?
Readers at this age are discovering who they are and who they will become. They care deeply about making a difference, yet they often don’t know how. I want to write books that help readers see possibilities for their own lives through characters who struggle and triumph with them.
Middle graders are curious and open-minded which makes for a great group of readers!
What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?
Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan, The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz, The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum — all from the Book of the Month Club!
What makes your skype visits special?
Through photos and stories, I give readers a glimpse behind the scenes of my book, Something to Hold. My visits help students become familiar with what, for many, is an unusual time and place — a non-Indian narrator moving to a reservation and learning to find a place to belong. I also use my own writing process to suggest concrete, engaging, and productive strategies for writing and revision that young writers can easily apply in their own work.
That sound fantastic! Readers would you like Katherine to visit your group?
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!
But wait!!!! We have a winner to announce! The lucky winner who’ll be welcoming Jen Blom to meet her readers is…….
Heather, please email email the Mixed-Up Files at msfishby (at) fromthemixedupfiles (dot) com with your contact information! You’ll be hearing from Jen shortly! And huge congratulations!!!!!
When she’s not putting the finishing touches on her new middle-grade mystery or skyping with middle-grade readers about her books SOAR ELINOR and THE MAP OF ME Tami Lewis Brown is driving the Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour bus.