Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

kkacer's blog

Saying good-bye!

Time to sign off, folks. I must say, I’ve loved every minute of this gig – enjoyed the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas about the writing world, particularly from the Y.A. perspective.

It’s always hard to figure out how to end a piece of writing, isn’t it? Finding that perfect last sentence is as challenging, or perhaps more so, than writing an ideal opener. So I think I’ll say good-bye with a quote. Remember, I started blogging at the beginning of the month by telling you that I’m a collector of quotes. This one is simple. I once heard Robert Munsch say that you can always end a story simply by saying, “And that’s the end of the story.”

So that’s it for me. Here’s wishing you and yours a rewarding and productive 2009.

Holocaust Stories

I’m going to be signing off shortly as WIR for the month. But before I do, I want to take this opportunity to tell you about my new book due out in February 2009. I figure that, while I use this forum to talk about other people’s books, why not talk about my own. So here goes. My new book is entitled Whispers from the Ghettos, published by Penguin Group (Canada). It’s actually the first of a three book collection of short stories from survivors of the Holocaust. The next one, Whispers from the Camps will be out in six months, followed six months later by the final book, Whispers in Hiding. I’ve written this collection of stories with a writing partner, the wonderful and award winning Y.A. author, Sharon McKay.

Unlikely book Titles

I’m terrible at picking titles for my books. I can’t honestly say that I have named one of my ten books. What started with what I thought might be a good working title, instantly changed to something better in the hands of editors, publishers, and even, in one case, my daughter!

CANSCAIP

I have to salute an organization called CANSCAIP, and this is the perfect time. CANSCAIP is the Canadian Association of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers (www.canscaip.org). This national group for professionals in the field of children’s literature supports and promotes kid lit through monthly meetings, its website, newsletters, and an annual conference. In a profession that can too often become isolating and lonely, CANSCAIP provides an opportunity for those of us who write for young people to meet, share writing ideas and programs, and celebrate our accomplishments. I’ve been a member for ten years and encourage everyone I meet in this field to join.

Airport Book Stores

Have you ever noticed how pathetic the children’s book section is in airports? (Remember, I’ve been flying a lot lately). I’m moderately impressed with the selection of adult literature in airports. There is the usual collection of best sellers – fiction and non-fiction – business books, romance, humour, you name it. There is even a classics section in most airport bookstores. I’ve seen Hermann Melville, Harper Lee, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many others on the shelves.

Does the age group matter when it comes to writing?

I’m in the process of writing my first adult novel. People have often asked when I am going to write an adult book, as if writing for kids is a stepping stone to that other “real” writing. For the longest time I’ve resisted the urge to venture into this territory. I love writing for young readers; love the voice that this forces me to write in, and enjoy the response of the Y.A. audience to my books. But then this remarkable story came my way, a story that I knew was not appropriate for a young audience, and after having written ten Y.A. books, I decided to bite the bullet and take on this new project.

Holiday Reading!

I’m going away for a week of holiday. Yes, lucky me! I will be spending a week in the Dominican Republic with my family. My family actually consists of about twenty people; my husband, myself and our two grown kids; my husband’s three siblings, their spouses, a bunch of their kids and grandkids, and even my mother-in-law. This has become an annual tradition, and an opportunity for as many of us as possible to get together in a place where we can enjoy quality time with one another. We all love it and look forward to it with great excitement.

An Open Letter of Apology

I was in my car this morning, listening to CBC radio as I always do. Yes, like many of you, I am a CBC radio junky. I heard a fascinating interview with a writer from Turkey. Recently a group of 200 Turkish academics, journalists, and writers wrote an open letter, apologizing to Armenians for what they have dubbed “the Great Catastrophe,” the genocide of 1915, in which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were massacred. "My conscience does not accept that (we) remain insensitive toward and deny the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected in 1915," read the apology. "I reject this injustice, share in the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers, and apologize to them."

Last School Reading of 08!

I just got back from doing my last school reading for 2008. I visited a wonderful school in Guelph called Kortright Hills Public School. Many thanks to Kathy Gossling-Spears for organizing my visit. I spoke to the grade 7’s and 8’s and talked primarily about my book, The Underground Reporters. The book is about a group of young Jewish boys and girls who created a newspaper in their home town in the former Czechoslovakia at a time when all of their freedoms and privileges had been taken away from them. The theme of the book, writing as a form of resistance or using words in a powerful way, is a perfect topic for thirteen and fourteen year olds who strive to assert their views to adults and others.

The International Board on Books for Youth - IBBY

For the past two years I have been on the Executive of a wonderful organization called IBBY – the International Board on Books for Youth. IBBY is a non-profit group which represents an international network of people who are committed to bringing books and children together. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953, IBBY now has more than 70 National Sections from all over the world. The Canadian Branch of IBBY was established in 1980.

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