Raising Nerdy Chicklets (and GIVEAWAY Reminder!)

Most of the time, we devote this blog to Nerdy Chicks. But just for today, I wanted to focus not only on girls, but on kids (or Chicklets, as we like to call them!) in general.

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At Afton Elementary in Pennsylvania

Raising a Nerdy Chicklet is a challenge in many ways. We have to foster his or her intellectual curiosity and be ready with facts, figures, and other resources to help her learn. As parents or educators, we strive to be ready with the answers. But having the answers isn’t the most important part of supporting a Nerdy Chicklet — allowing her to ask questions is the vital thing. Even when we don’t have the answers, the questioning process teaches the Nerdy Chicklet to think. Remember, giving facts is often a linear thinking process. We take the facts down a logical path with very few side stops in order to keep the explanations simple. Asking questions, however, lets a child explore in a non-linear way. Some of the smartest people in the history of the world were non-linear thinkers. If you want to help the Nerdy Chicklets in your life reach their full intellectual potential, let them ask questions — and be honest if you don’t know the answers. When that happens, it’s just an opportunity for the Nerdy Chicklet to learn independently and teach you, or for you two to learn together. Instant bonding!

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At Central Elementary in Maryland

One of the truly awesome things I get to do as a children’s book author is to go around the country to talk to kids about writing and books. Recently, this has taken me to schools in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, as well as the Knoxville Children’s Book Festival in Tennessee. I always get lots of questions from the kids and I’m often so impressed by the kinds of things they are curious about. Here are some of the questions I’ve gotten.

“How can you tell the difference between a good idea and a bad idea?”

I get this question a lot. I wish I knew the answer!

SAMSUNG CSC“Do chickens make every story better?”

Not every story, but certainly most.

“Does it ever feel better to write about something that hurts you?”

A lovely boy asked me that question privately after one of my school workshops. I’ll tell you the same thing I told him: yes, it does eventually feel better. Writing is wonderful therapy, especially because in fiction, we have power. In life, we get what we get and it is often unfair. In fiction, we get to give our characters the endings they deserve — which means the good characters get happy endings, and the ones we don’t like get humiliation and defeat.

“Did you really set a mouse on fire?”SAMSUNG CSC

I get that question everywhere, but it was especially funny at the Rumson Country Day School, where one of my presentations was invaded by an actual MOUSE!

(Oh, and, yes, I really did.)

P1030380“How do you relate to kids when you’re so old?”

This was a question to the panel at the Knoxville Children’s Book Festival, where I shared the stage with the wonderful Julie Danielson, Bob Shea, Jarrett Krosoczka, Marc Tyler Nobleman, and Debbie Diesen. Needless to say, the little girl who asked it stole all of our thunder.

REMINDER!

There is still time to enter the GIVEAWAY for a free VIRTUAL CLASSROOM VISIT! Check out the cover reveal for DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE! and enter to win!

DDM Cover

Cover Reveal! (And Giveaway!)

At long last, I am proud to present the cover for my upcoming picture book,

DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE!

DDM Cover

How adorable is that????? Of course, I had very little to do with the cover. The thanks for that goes to the very fabulous Noah Z. Jones, the illustrator of such wonderful books as The Monster in the Backpack, Stuff, Dance with Me, and Not Norman: A Goldfish Story,

and also the creator of the tremendously entertaining television series Fish Hooks and Almost Naked Animals.

IN CELEBRATION OF THIS FABULOUS COVER, I will be giving away a free 45-minute Virtual Classroom Visit, where I would be happy to tell your chosen class all about how this book came together, from the initial inspiration to the totally terrific art. (Don’t worry if you’re not a teacher — you can donate the Virtual Visit to any class you choose!)

I will accept entries until May 27, 2013 and I will draw the winner’s name and announce it on May 29.

Here are the rules for this giveaway:

Required. Fill out the entry form below with your name, the school you would like to give the visit to, and your email address (so I can reach you!).

BUT WAIT! You can be entered to win the Virtual Visit multiple times. You will get an extra entry for doing any of the following:

(1) leave me a comment here with your thoughts on the cover.

(2) follow me on Twitter – mention that in a comment below.

(3) tweet this post to your own twitter followers and tag me @sudiptabq in the tweet.

(4) like my author page on Facebook – mention that in a comment below.

(5) follow this blog (right sidebar) — mention that in a comment below.

or (6) like fellow blogger Kami Kinard’s Facebook author page – mention that in a comment below.

That’s SEVEN ways to enter and win, folks! Don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya…

GOOD LUCK!

New Giveaway! A Skype Classroom Visit!

In case you missed it, yesterday, we had a lovely chat with John Schumacher, aka MrSchuReads. (You did miss it? Quick! Click the link!) Here’s a bonus to that chat — if you pop on over to his blog, you can win a Skype Classroom Visit with Sudipta! All you have to do is fill out the entry form at Watch. Connect. Read and keep your fingers crossed!

 

mr schu pic

(By the way, if you want to see us do giveways like this on Nerdy Chicks Rule, leave us a comment and let us know!)

 

The Education of the Nerdy Chick: A Chat with John Schumacher

This week, we are talking to Librarian-Blogger-Literacy-Advocate-Extraordinaire, John Schumacher. His Watch. Connect. Read. Blog (http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/) is one of the best sources on the internet for information about children’s books, authors, resources, and insight. As a librarian and teacher, we wanted his thoughts on The Education of the Nerdy Chick, especially when it comes to reading. Thank you, Mr. Schu, for talking to us today!

We asked Mr. Schu to finish some of our sentences — here’s what he had to say:

“The differences between girl readers and boy readers are not all that different in my school library. I encourage my students not to label a book as a “boy book” or a “girl book.” If you spent an afternoon in my school library, chances are you would witness me turn to a third grader and say, “Books do not have a gender. Babymouse, Bink and Gollie, Hound Dog True, Marty McGuire, Ivy + Bean, Keena Ford, Clementine,Squish, and Stink are for ALL readers. Read what you want to read, regardless of what a marketing team might have thought when deciding on a book’s final cover or its targeted gender.”  My students know I will never create book lists with the following titles:

  • 10 Books Every Boy Should Read
  • Top Picks for Boy Readers
  • Every Tween Girl Should Read These Books
  • Listen Up Girls! You Must Read These Books

I work tirelessly to match my students with the perfect books. I consider their interests, age, and personality. Gender is not a part of readers’ advisory.”

“Girls can be reluctant readers, too. To get girls to read, I ask these questions:

  •    What are some of your all-time favorite movies?
  •    What do you do for fun on a Saturday afternoon?
  •    What does the perfect day look and sound like?
  •    Have you ever been lost in a book?
  •    What’s the last GREAT book you read?

It all boils down to this: the more I know about her, the better chance I have of recommending a book that helps her realize how awesome and gratifying it is to be a reader. It’s a magical moment when a dormant reader bonds with a book.”

“It can be hard for younger girls to embrace their inner Nerdy Chick. But what is great about when that happens is she discovers a supportive reading community that wants to discuss books and celebrate authors and literacy.

The Nerdy Book Club (http://www.nerdybookclub.com) is the perfect example of a supportive and enthusiastic community.”

“Even Nerdy Chicks need guidance. To help her expand her reading interests, I would discuss a balanced reading diet and encourage her to try different genres and formats. If she’s only reading historical fiction, why not read a graphic novel every so often? If she’s only reading dystopian fiction, why not try nonfiction?

My booktalking sessions always include a nice balance of genres, formats, fiction, and nonfiction.”

“If I was a Nerdy Chick, I would wear stickers advertising my favorite books, tweet nonstop about MUST-READ titles, host book birthday parties, recommend picture books and middle-grade novels to strangers, and give away hundreds of books.  🙂 ”

Once again, a big thank you to Mr. Schu for joining us. Want to read more of his brilliant thoughts? Follow his blog, Watch. Connect. Read. And go throw a book birthday party today!

 

New GIVEAWAY!

During Picture Book Idea Month (or PiBoIdMo, as those in the know call it), participants are asked to come up with new picture book ideas. One of the best way to come up with picture book ideas is to find inspiration through reading other picture books. Therefore, in honor of  PiBoIdMo, we are doing a picture book giveaway!

Inspiration is an evolving thing, and what we can do with inspiration changes over time as well. So the prize here is actually a set of two autographed picture books: my first, Tightrope Poppy, the High-Wire Pig, and my last (or, at least, my most recent) Pirate Princess. Are you excited? Ready to be inspired? I hope so!

There are several ways to enter:

(1) Leave a comment telling me about the best picture book you’ve read in the last two years (just so every answer ins’t Where the Wild things Are)

(2) follow me on Twitter — mention that in a comment

(3) like my author page on Facebook — mention that in a comment

(4) follow this blog (right sidebar) — mention that in a comment

or (5)  follow fellow blogger Kami Kinard’s Facebook author page — mention that in a comment

So, that’s FIVE ways you can enter to win! Just make sure you tell us in the comments which types of entries you’ve submitted. We will select a winner on November 26 (*) so the contest will remain open until November 25. Good luck to everyone!

* Only entries from the US or Canada are eligible to win the autographed books

This Nerdy Chick: 10 Ways to Win

When I started this blog, I said I’d jump in and let you know what is going on with this nerdy chick (a.k.a. me) every now and then. Well, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews. I try to post all of those on my Facebook author page. Click HERE to view.  Book promotion involves more time than I ever imagined. But it feels like things are going well, so I’ll keep on, keeping on. My biggest news for the time being is that Greek rights to The Boy Project were sold by my wonderful agent to Psichogios Editions. This is the same Greek publisher who publishes Diary of a Wimpy Kid, so I am very excited.

There are a couple of ways to win a copy of  The Boy Project or some book bling on the web right now, so I thought it’d be fun to list them here in one place before the contests are over. Check out these sites:

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This site offers a chance or multiple chances to win a hardback copy of The Boy Project. It also includes an interview! Contest ends Feb. 22, 2012

Click here: I AM A READER NOT A WRITER for details!

Over at KRAZY BOOK LADY  there is another chance to win a hardback copy of The Boy Project. It also includes a book review and a guest post by me! Contest ends Feb. 25. Check it out HERE.

YABOOKSCENTRAL is offering a chance to win book bling from The Boy Project, and other debut novels, and some advanced reading copies of forthcoming books too! This contest ends March 1, 2012.

(11:42 pm, and we’ve already got 7 for the below giveaway. I’ll do another one soon… probably on my FB page next time, but who knows. Thanks for all who commented. 🙂 )

Finally, you can win right here. I put together 7 friend packs of The Boy Project book bling. Each set includes:

5 tatoos 

5 bookmarks

5 bracelets

So if you have a tween/teen reader in your household, or you are a tween/teen reader or you’re a teacher and librarian who has students who would like these, or if you just want them…. all you have to do is be one of the first 7 people to comment below and I will mail the friend pack to you. Couldn’t be easier!  Contest open to US, Canada, and Europe. One per household please!

I hope to have more interesting things to share with you soon. Thanks for reading! I feel really lucky to have been able to interview so many great nerdy chicks!

Kami

Nerdy Chick Giveaway

 

Enter to win this gift box with a Boy Project theme!

Giveaway runs from 1/16 to 1/31 2012 Midnight EST. Giveaway includes:

Signed copy of Last Minute Science Fair Projects by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Signed copy of The Boy Project, with 10+ annotated pages

10 rolls of fun and funky duct tape

Purple pocket journal with purple LePen

The Boy Project bracelets and bookmarks

Pedicured pencils kit in glitter container and a very pretty box to put it all (or most of it) in!

How to enter:

Because this is a new blog, there are several ways to enter!

1. Comment on this post to enter. (Everyone who enters must do this to make it easier for me to keep track.)

For extra entries:

2.Comment on other posts on this site to enter. Add (+1) after each additional entry including those in the future up to Jan 31.

3. Follow Kami Kinard’s Author Page on Facebook. (+1 AP) (Click follow in the right sidebar.)

4. Be a follower of this site (just click “Follow this blog” to the right.) (+1 F)

5. Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].(+1 FB link,+1 TW link)

Please list your extra entries in the comments like the samples above.

If you are already follow this blog, or follow my author page, go ahead and count those as a +1!

This is a heavy box, so I’m afraid the full contest is open in the US only. Residents of Europe and Canada who want to participate can enter to win the signed copy of THE BOY PROJECT.

Wanna know more about the great stuff in the box and why I picked it? Keep reading! Otherwise, enjoy the contest!

You can find out more about Last Minute Science Fair Projects click HERE. Kara McAllister sure could have used this book when she needed to come up with a science project at the last minute. (page 135)

You can find out more about THE BOY PROJECT here. There are also links to outtakes that didn’t make it into the book here.

Duct tape: Kara uses duct tape to get out of an embarrasing situation … and she uses it to help achieve her goals!

Journal and LePen: I wrote in journals constantly as a tween and teen! And I made hundreds of drawings with my trusty LePen.

Pedicured Pencil Kit: Kara mentions these on page 15. If you want to see how the ones we made turned out look here.

That’s it for now! Good luck!

Pssst… If you haven’t heard about it yet, there is an amazing giveaway over on the Apocalypsies Blog!