It’s the June Sweet 16 Giveaway!


…where like Flaming June, we nap beneath poison oleander.

Not! June means six more months before the very first of the Sweet 16 novels debut! Get a jump start on your reading by winning a future ARC from Brittany Cavallaro, author of A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, Winter 2016).

Be the first to correctly match the 16th line to the novel. Read on:

My first kiss, French kiss, was the single most disgusting moment in my life.”

Is it…

A. Celeste Lim’s THE BRIDE FROM HUANAN (Scholastic Press, Spring 2016)?

B. Dana Elmendorf’s SOUTH OF SUNSHINE (Albert Whitman & Co., March 2016)?

C. Michelle Andreani’s FAR FROM US, Summer 2016 (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)? Or

D. Rebecca Podos’s THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES (HarperCollins Children’s, Balzer + Bray)?

Know it? Want it? Send your answer to And good luck!

#SixteensBlogAbout Diversity

In the month of May, the Sweet Sixteens took to their blogs to discuss diversity.diversity

1) Randi Pink shares her thoughts in video form.

2) Ki-Wing Merlin discusses how her Chinese-American identity affects her writing at DiversifYA.

3) Laurie Elizabeth Flynn reflects on the need for kids to see characters that look like them.

4) Celeste Lim discusses seeing Britain and America from afar as a child growing up in Malaysia.

5) Heidi Heilig reflects on bringing marginalized voices to the forefront of children’s literature.

6) Ashley Herring Blake shares how listening makes all the difference.

7) Jenn Bishop reflects on diversity in summer reading lists.


Don’t forget to leave the Sixteens some love on their own blog as well as here!  Feel free to share this post with the hashtag #SixteensBlogAbout. Until next month, happy reading!

The Debut Club: An interview with Krista Van Dolzer, author of THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING

Sweet Sixteener Celeste Lim recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Krista Van Dolzer about her MG historical science fiction debut, THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING (May 5, 2015 from G.P. Putnams’s Sons Books for Young Readers).

Krista squaredAbout the Author:

Krista Van Dolzer is a stay-at-home mom by day and a children’s author by bedtime. She lives with her husband and three kids in Mesquite, Nevada, where she watches too much college football and looks for her dead people online. She’s the author of THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, May 2015) and DON’T VOTE FOR ME (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, August 2015).

Find Krista on her websiteTwitter, and Goodreads.



Ella Mae Higbee is a sensible girl. She eats her vegetables and wants to be just like Sergeant Friday, her favorite character on Dragnet. So when auntie Mildred starts spouting nonsense about a scientist who can bring back to life cousin Robby, who died defending the country in WWII, Ella Mae doesn’t believe her–until a boy steps out of the scientist’s pod and drips slime on the floor right before her eyes.
But the boy is not Robby–he’s Japanese. And when Auntie Mildred refuses to take responsibility, Ella Mae convinces her mama to take the boy home with them.

Determined to do what’s right by her new friend, Ella Mae teaches him English and defends him from the reverend’s talk of H-E-double-toothpicks. But when the boy’s painful memories resurface, Ella Mae learns some surprising truths about her own family and, more importantly, what it means to love.

Signed copies of THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING are available for purchase at The King’s English Bookshop. Other buy links: Amazon, Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Indigo, and Indiebound.

Continue reading

Meet the Author: Celeste Lim

Celeste LimGrowing up in Malaysia made Celeste Lim a child incredibly envious of the children she read about in English storybooks. Where was her snow? And Thanksgiving turkey? Why were there no fairies in her garden? So, when she arrived in New York City to complete her MFA, all her dreams came true (or most of it). She decided, henceforth, to inspire in young readers the awareness of many exciting worlds that exist beyond where we live.

Celeste’s debut novel, THE BRIDE FROM HUANAN (Scholastic Press, Spring 2016), is a historical Middle Grade fantasy. In Medieval China, a girl is sold by her family to become a nursemaid and wife to a toddler husband. With the help of sentient creatures called jing, she discovers internal strength, and a destiny that is foretold to intertwine with her spirit guardian – a great, golden fox spirit.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: JOURNEY TO THE RIVER SEA by Eva Ibbotson
  • Childhood aspiration: To be away from Malaysia
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: In bed at night, as late as is humanly possible to stay up
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Painting, gaming, and making life difficult for her brother (although sometimes it’s the other way around)
  • Surprising personal fact: She is terrified of butterflies
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: It’s sweet!

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

SixteensBlogAbout: How We Got Our Agents

This month the Sweet Sixteens have been blogging about how we met some of our favorite people – our agents!

Dee Romito’s story involves a luau and a promising with pen on left

Erin L. Schneider took the road less travelled.

Kate Hart got an agent she never queried.

Melissa Gorzelanczyk succeeded in Pitch Madness.

For Jenn Bishop, timing was everything.

How many people can say they’ve danced on a tabletop with their agent before being signed?  Just Ellen Goodlett, maybe?

For Kathy MacMillan, it was all about patience, more patience, and a dash of luck.

Celeste Lim found out the importance of making the right connection.

Laura Shovan is a Pitch Wars success story.

Itching for more “how I got my agent stories”?  Our own Dee Romito has a terrific collection of them, from authors of all different backgrounds, on her blog. Go forth and be inspired!