Curriculum Guide Celebration Giveaway!

20150213_154554I’m excited to announce that free downloadable curriculum guides are now available for  THE BOY PROJECT  (Scholastic 2012) and THE BOY PROBLEM (Scholastic 2014)! Both books have themes that tie in with today’s middle school curriculum and both are common core aligned. The guides are full of fantastic reading, math, and science activities that can be used alone or separately. I feel like I can brag about I didn’t create them myself. :) The talented Marcie Colleen created the guide for THE BOY PROJECT (click HERE to view) and the great teachers at EDUCATORS R&R created the guide for THE BOY PROBLEM (Click HERE to view). These guides are also available at all times on my website http://www.kamikinard.com. 20150213_154943To celebrate the completion of these guides I am giving away five classroom reading packs that go along with the themes from THE BOY PROBLEM.  These can be used for reading circles, book clubs, or any of readers who enjoy these books!  Each kit includes a heart-shaped box and seven:

  • cupcake containers with a dove chocolate heart
  • cupcake tattoos
  • signed bookmarks
  • cupcake erasers (scroll down to see a cute video featuring these)
  • hairy mustaches
  • fortune telling fish
  • and one top to create your own shoe box lid predictor as seen on page 185
  • Winners will also receive a free 20 minute Skype visit for your class or for a small group.

(Pssst: If you win and need more than seven of the items above let me know and I’ll see what I can do!)

To enter just enter the short form below. Contest ends on midnight EST on February 28.

3 easy ways to double your entries, tweet about this giveaway and tag me @kamikinard, give it a shout out on Facebook and tag my author page, or leave a comment! 

Whether or not you enter the giveaway, you can still get a free Skype visit from myself or Sudipta for World Read Aloud Day. Click HERE for details.

Good Luck Everyone! And if you want a closer look at the erasers that come with the prize pack, check out what Mr. Etkin’s class did with them last year. Bet you didn’t know erasers could dance!

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Harper Lee

Harper LeeHarper Lee, born 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, has been on the mind of the literary world ever since it was announced this week that her second novel will be published over fifty years after her first. Lee penned the iconic Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960. It is hard to get her off of my mind these days. Her interesting life included editing her college’s humor magazine, a stint in law school, and being close friends with Truman Capote, who she helped with his research for In Cold Blood. She dedicated many years of her life to honing her craft before publishing To Kill a Mockingbird.  Find a more complete biography HERE. It was hard to find quotes from Harper Lee that did not come from her famous novel. And eventually I gave up trying because the quotes from Mockingbird are so good. Reading them reminds me of why her novel has touched so many, and why the world hopes to see a second novel from her. 

Harper Lee Quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird:

  • I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks. 
  • You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. 
  • I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
  • People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.
  • The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

And here is one about writing!

  • Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent. 

Get Ready for World Read Aloud Day!

World Read Aloud Day 2015

World Read Aloud Day 2015

Wednesday March 4 is World Read Aloud Day! If you haven’t heard about it before, it is a global program designed to get children reading. Many authors help celebrate World Read Aloud Day by volunteering to Skype, and read, with children across the country. Last year the Nerdy Chicks had virtual visits with over fifty schools. In honor of World Read Aloud Day this year we will be available on March 4, 5, and 6 for virtual classroom visits. To find out more about World Read Aloud Day, visit the LitWorld website by clicking HERE.

New this year we have forms to make signing up to have us visit your class easy! If you’re interested in having one or both of us read for your school, just scroll down to find forms for both of us that you can fill out right here on the blog. OR just click on the shareable links above each form. Clicking on our photos just below will lead you to our websites so you can find out more about us and the books we  write. And please share the link to this post with educators you know!

CIMG2157 BbNkWGmCUAAlXCs

 

 Fill out this form to schedule a visit with Sudipta or click on this LINK.  Scroll down to schedule a visit with Kami.

 Fill out this form to schedule a visit with Kami or click on this LINK.

Cool New Year, Cool (Downright Cold) New Experiences

If you’re like me, sometime around the end of December, every year, you start thinking about all the things you are going to do in the next year that you never got around to before. I always swear to myself that I will fill the new year with completely new experiences. It was in that spirit (and possibly in a moment of insanity) that I booked a room for me and my family at the Hotel de Glace in Quebec City. The Hotel IMG_0081de Glace is the only hotel in North America to be constructed entirely of ice and snow. (Which totally makes sense as who would pay a hotel to make them sleep in ice and snow? You know, except me.) The beds, luckily, have wooden bases and mattresses made of mattresses, but they are all enclosed in an ice frame and are also inside, well, a room made of snow and ice. But don’t worry! They give you a Mount Everest-style sleeping bag that looks like a mummy’s sarcophagus to sleep in. And, yes, the entire hotel is cold (it’s basically an igloo). But don’t worry! The inside stays a pretty constant temperature of about 23 degrees. That’s Fahrenheit. Do you know what that is in Celsius? Negative 5. I hope you can imagine the panic I found myself in when all these facts sunk in. It was with great trepidation that I packed my parka and my expedition weight base layer and my snow pants and my gloves to head to the Hotel de Glace. But to my surprise, when I arrived, the place was truly….magical. IMG_0085IMG_0061 The artistry of the decorated rooms was…breathtaking. SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC wpid-20150116_195640.jpg wpid-20150116_195946.jpgSAMSUNG CSC Sipping a drink out of a glass made of ice was….incredible. SAMSUNG CSC wpid-20150116_230124.jpg Taking a turn on the Grand Slide made of ice that adorns the entry hall was…awesome.

It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and one that I am glad I made myself (and my family) do. And now, I feel empowered to fill 2015 with even more cool new experiences! In the end, there is one word that I would use to describe the Hotel de Glace. Is it magical? Breathtaking? Incredible? No. The one word that best sums it up…

COLD.

IMG_0080

The Sun Sets on 2014 and Rises on 2015!Happy New Year!

2014-12-07 20.36.072014 was an eventful year of blogging for the Nerdy Chicks! Perhaps the most notable blogging event for us was the addition of our sister blog nerdychickswrite.com where we kicked off the first ever Kidlit Summer School. Many of you joined us for those great craft based posts on writing, most by fabulous guest bloggers. Yet over here at Nerdy Chicks Rule, our most popular posts were about family. Sudipta’s post about her tween daughters, Twelve Things to Tell Your Tween Tonight, and my post about my son turning eighteen, Eight Things to Teach by Eighteen that They Can’t Learn from Google, were the two that most people visited.

20141030_180705Thank you all for joining us online! We are looking forward to another great year. In thinking of wrapping up the year, I’ve been collecting pictures of sunsets. I walk my dog almost every day on a trail that crosses the marsh. Each time our walk coincides with a sunset, I have to take a picture. I am always amazed by the extreme beauty of each sunset. I love the way the sky caps off a day with grandeur, while somehow offering a promise of beauty for the following day. Each gorgeous sunset is unique in its own way. In this way, sunsets are like years. Every passing year is 20141021_185732different from the last and each one has its moments of beauty.

20141204_173438As you think about the promise that 2015 brings, we Nerdy Chicks hope you are able to reflect on those sunsets of 2014 finding beauty in the year behind you, while looking forward to the promise of what lies ahead.

Happy New Year!

 

Three Questions with Robyn Hood Black

RHB Head Shot 2012 CREDIT  photo by Sandy FryI first met Robyn Hood Black virtually, when she contacted me via email after looking up my information through SCBWI. A poet, author, and artist, Robyn and her husband were considering moving to Beaufort, and she wanted to ask a fellow kidlit author some questions about the area. Thank goodness Robyn decided to make the move!!! She is a wonderful person, a great writer and she runs a business all writerly types will love: artsyletters.  I’m so excited to have Robyn with us today to answer questions about the businesses of writing and art. Her answers, and a bio detailing her published works follow, so keep on reading! 

1. Robyn, you are an artist, a poet, an author, and an entrepreneur. I recently visited you at your studio (one full of great old books, typewriter keys, and all sorts of things that make authors drool )and wondered how you came up with the idea of combining your love of the written word with the love of art. Can you tell us about that?

???????????????????????????????I’ve done some version of art and writing my entire life, and have never quite been able to choose between the two!  I’m probably a writer first, and I did finally pick an English major over art in college at Furman. (But I took a bunch of art classes as well.) I’d still love to illustrate my own text one of these days – working on that, in fact.  Even as a child, I had an entrepreneurial streak.  My sweet mother carted me around to gift shops, where I sold little pine bark sculptures with rocks painted as birds, with a shiny coating over all.  (I still love gloss!)

???????????????????????????????In 2012, with an empty nest looming on the horizon, I decided to launch my art business, artsyletters.  I’d done art shows and commissioned work in my 20s, but for this adventure I wanted more of a focus, and a trademark, too.  Who were my people in the world?  Writers!  And poets, teachers, librarians, and book lovers.  It seemed a natural venture to create things with a literary bent, and I find I have far more ideas than time to execute them.

red door collage arch macl 2 kami c (1)I like using books and words and letters as subject matter for drawings and prints, and I also relish using actual vintage texts to create mixed media pieces.  Somewhere along the line I went to the dark side and started altering old books and excerpts.   I enjoy bringing these physical, historical elements to life in a new form.  I might be working with a text published in the 1800s or the turn of the last century, and I always swim in questions – what was going on in the world when this was written or published?  Were we at war? Who might have read these words in their parlor or library or school?  Who might have touched this very cover or page through the years?

2. It sounds like every project is a result of your love of words! What has been the best thing about starting a business that caters to literary types?

wren on books with color kami c (1)The best thing has been that I tossed these things out into the universe, first at art shows and through my Etsy shop, and my “target market” caught them!  My first customer at a show was a professor at a small local college; she bought several bookmarks to give to members of that school’s first class of English majors.  At that same show, a young boy picked up my “Twas brillig…” bookmark and recited “Jabberwocky” by heart!

Those were fun exchanges, and several of my Poetry Friday friends have bought items, sometimes as gifts for each other.  They have been so incredibly supportive. (I personally think the Kidlitosphere is home to the most wonderful folks on the planet.)

XO on manual net c kami c (1)I’ve sold just about every altered-text mixed media piece I’ve made, and I look forward to making and offering a lot more of these in the new year.  It’s been humbling when an unexpected connection is made with these; a Rilke quote presented in a way that encouraged someone facing a challenge, for instance.  I’ve come to understand that these pieces, which I make with care and awe for the words that inspire them, will sooner or later resonate with someone because of his or her own story, and I love that.

 3. I know you love poetry, and some of your art even features found poetry. What is it about poetry that inspires you?

The Poet collage RHB kami c (1)How much time do we have? ;0)

I was one of those nerdy kids who loved poetry from – forever!  The older I get, the more I appreciate poetry’s ability to so efficiently and eloquently make connections – that’s really what poems do, isn’t it? Offer an image or phrase that makes you see/feel/think about something in a new way?  I primarily write poems for children, but a few years ago I fell under the spell of haiku, and I regularly submit to contemporary haiku journals.

My first poems published in a book for children were in Georgia Heard’s THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK (Roaring Brook, 2012).  I will forever be grateful for that open door to the world of found poetry.  It’s completely addictive (and something students enjoy trying).

When I make my “books as doors” collages, I include some kind of short found poem inside along with bits of vintage bling.  Last year, a dear friend bought one of the fairy door (miniature book) sized ones, which had a vintage fairy illustration and these altered words:  “I think your/wings are/strong enough/to carry/you.”  She sent it to a friend out West battling cancer.  That touched me deeply, and I’d like to create more of these kinds of works.

If you can't make it to Robyn's Beaufort studio, you can always visit her Etsy store.

If you can’t make it to Robyn’s Beaufort studio, you can always visit her Etsy store by clicking HERE.

For fun this month, I put together a few tiny ornaments in vintage oval frames with a wee print of my “Writer Mouse” image on one side and some “micro found poetry” (?) – just a few words highlighted in text, on the other.  The texts were from the late 1800s – I think the shortest was, “reindeer travel/upwards”…  Each of these sold on Etsy this past week; I have a couple of those tiny frames left and might conjure up new ones this weekend.  I have time, right?

Robyn in her studio.

Robyn in her studio.

Robyn Hood Black is a children’s author and poet living in coastal South Carolina. Her books include Sir Mike (Scholastic Library, 2005) and Wolves (Intervisual Books, 2008). Her poetry appears in The Poetry Friday Anthology , The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School, and The Poetry Anthology for Science (compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, Pomelo Books, 2012, 2013 & 2014), in Georgia Heard’s anthology of found poems, The Arrow Finds Its Mark (Roaring Brook, 2012), and in leading haiku journals. One of her poems will appear in a board book compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins to be released from Abrams in 2015. Her fiction has appeared in Highlights and her poetry has been featured in Ladybug and Hopscotch. She enjoys encouraging young readers, writers, and artists through school visits and speaks to audiences of all ages. She’s been active in SCBWI forever. She also creates “art for your literary side” through her business, artsyletters.

You can find Robyn on her website: http://www.robynhoodblack.com

Her blog:- http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm

Her Etsy store: http://artsyletters.com

Thank you for joining us today Robyn!

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Holiday Quotes

Sometimes you just have to buy a book for the cover.)

(Sometimes you just have to buy a book for the cover.)

Life has been so busy this year that I haven’t even started preparing for the holidays. But I have started thinking about preparing for them. So I’ve at least coordinated our family calendar, etching out time to spend with parents, grandparents, cousins, and siblings! Because other than celebrating what your family believes, it is the family itself that brings the most joy (and sometimes the most chaos) to the holidays.

When it comes to the holidays, here are some quotes that spoke to me. 

Holiday Quotes

I don’t need a holiday or a feast to feel  grateful for my children, the sun, the moon, the roof over my head, music, and laughter, but I like to take this time to take the path of thanks less traveled.  – Paula Poundstone.

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. – Hamilton Wright Mabie

Sharing the holiday with other people and feeling that you’re giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism.  – Caroline Kennedy

May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility. – Mary Anne Radmacher

It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. it is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. – Agnes M. Pharo

 Happy Holidays Everyone!