Educator & Discussion Guides from the Sweet Sixteens

Whether you’re a teacher looking for curriculum connections or a book club organizer looking for a new selection with ready-made discussion questions, we have the resources for you! The links below provide direct, free (!!!) access to educator’s guides and discussion questions for a variety of middle grade and young adult titles, all published in 2016.

Middle Grade:

 BFF Bucket List

The BFF Bucket List by Dee Romito

 

 

 

COUNTING THYME

 

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

 

 

 

THE DISTANCE TO HOME

 

The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop

 

 

 

Bounders_cvr_LR-2tundra-trials

 

Earth Force Rising (Bounders 1), The Tundra Trials (Bounders 2) by Monica Tesler

 

 

 

Victoria J Coe (FENWAY AND HATTIE)

 

Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe

 

 

 

Finding Perfect Cover

 

Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz

 

 

 

from-the-grave-monster-trilogy-1

 

From The Grave by Cynthia Reeg

 

 

 

Howard Wallace

 

Howard Wallace, P.I. by Casey Lyall

 

 

 

I-AM-DRUMS-R4

 

I Am Drums by Mike Grosso

 

 

 

Last Cherry Blossom_cover (1) (1) (2)

 

The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw

 

 

 

Last-Fifth-Grade

 

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan

 

 

 

PBJ Society

 

The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society by Janet Sumner Johnson

 

 

 

WAR

 

The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez by Robin Yardi

 

 

 

momotaro

 

Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway

 

 

 

motleyedhighres

 

Motley Education by S.A. Larsen

 

 

 

Lois Sepahban (PAPER WISHES)

 

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

 

 

 

RAT PRINCE

 

The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder

 

 

 

CHARLIE PRICE

 

The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari

 

 

 

 

Young Adult:

DIG TOO DEEP

 

Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer [second page]

 

 

 

mY KIND OF CRAZY

 

My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

 

 

 

Phantom Limbs

 

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner

 

 

 

Underwater

 

Underwater: A Novel by Marisa Reichardt

 

 

 

THE WAY I USED TO BE

 

The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

“I Wish I’d Known…”: Advice for Debut Authors, Part 4

More Members of the Sweet Sixteens share what they’ve learned in their debut year.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

 

Heather Smith Meloche, author of Ripple

Heather Smith Meloche    RIPPLE

Find her online at www.heathersmithmeloche.com

“I wish I’d known how out of my comfort zone I’d be having to promote my own work. Me as a salesperson is like: “You don’t want it? O.K. Cool.” But that doesn’t fly in this biz. And while I can tout my peers’ accomplishments all day, it’s awkward to ask for reviews or find a trillion flashy ways to publicize my book. But timidity won’t sell for you, so prepare to scream, shout, stand battalion-ready behind your novel, then fire it into the crowd. Even if it means withdrawing under a blanket with tea in hand after to recuperate!”

 

Kathleen Burkinshaw, author of The Last Cherry Blossom

Kathleen Burkinshaw   Last Cherry Blossom_cover (1) (1) (2)

Find her online at www.kathleenburkinshaw.com

“I wish I’d known that there are specific proposal submission deadlines for state school library, reading conferences, and various book festivals. I would have submitted proposals prior to my publishing date. One source for book festivals is www.bookreporter.com/book-festivals.  Also, look up your state and neighboring states’ school library, local city library, and reading conferences.”

 

S.A. Larsen, author of Motley Education

S.A. Larsen   motleyedhighres

Find her online at salarsenbooks.com

“I wish I’d known that the rigors of post-release sucking any solid story words from my head to write the second book is actually normal. Publishing your first book, entrusting your baby to the minds and hearts of readers is exhausting and scary. But it is also brave. Be gentle with your post-release self. ”

 

Stephanie Scott, author of Alterations

Stephanie Scott   steph scott alterations cover

Find her online at http://www.stephaniescott.net/

“I wish I’d known that as much as you prepare for publication, there will be changes out of your control–and that’s okay. There’s no one, single publishing experience. Share your ups and downs with other debut writers and be there for each other.”

 

 

 

Printable Release Calendar for August!

Here’s our handy printable release calendar to help you keep track of all the sweet August debuts coming at you soon!

 

Click here for the August 2016 calendar in .pdf format

 

Book Cover Calendar August

Thanks to our printable calendar team: Sarah Alexander,  Jenn Nguyen, Dee Romito, Shari Schwarz, Kathy MacMillan, Randi Pink and Ava Jae!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Kathleen Burkinshaw

Kathleen BurkinshawKathleen Burkinshaw resides in Charlotte, NC.  She’s a wife, mom to a daughter in college, and dreading the reality of being an empty nester (most of the time), and owns a dog who is a kitchen ninja.  She also advocates for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy research. Writing has given her an outlet for her daily struggle with chronic pain. Writing Historical Fiction satisfies her OCD tendencies to research anything and everything.

Kathleen’s debut novel, THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM (Sky Pony Press, August 4, 2016), is upper middle grade historical fiction. THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM gives a glimpse into a 12 year old girl’s daily life in Hiroshima during the last year of World War II. Shocking family secrets are revealed just as her entire world is about to ignite and become a shadow of what it had been.  This historical fiction novel is based on her mother’s life in Hiroshima.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: NANCY DREW MYSTERIES and anything by Judy Blume
  • Childhood aspiration:  Veterinarian (until she found out she would also have to put animals down-couldn’t do it)
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: In the morning in her favorite chair by the window in her bedroom
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: She has more than one on her nightstand depending on her mood – RED BERRIES, WHITE CLOUDS, BLUE SKY by Sandra Dallas, HOLD TIGHT DON’T LET GO: A STORY OF HAITI by Laura Rose Wagner, and THE THICKETY: A PATH BEGINS by J.A. White
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading):  Writing, spending time with family and any crafts involving a glue gun
  • Favorite sports teams: NY Yankees, and to keep peace in family-Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Surprising personal fact: After college, she acted in a dinner theater group
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Seeing her book in print with other great debut authors and being able to be called sweet sixteen again-but this time can she bypass the permed hair and the SAT’s?

Where to find her:

Blog | Twitter

Top Sixteen: Writer Support Groups That Should Exist… But Don’t

supportgroup

TOP SIXTEEN WRITER SUPPORT GROUPS THAT SHOULD EXIST…BUT DON’T

Hi everyone, my name is “Writer”, and I’m messed up. And there’s no one out there to help me with my problem, no special group to back me up as I struggle with…well, check out what I struggle with, in our Top Sixteen List below!

1) Query Letters Anonymous: If you have ever binge-queried more than 500 times for a single work, our group can help. Sessions include having your manuscript pried from your cold, dead fingers by caring peers.

2) Twitter-Free and Proud: For friends and family of authors who are tweeting themselves into the small gilded cage of addiction. Our understanding, gentle group leaders may not be able to actually help, but at least there are no cell phones allowed at meetings.

3) Haven’t Interacted with Another Human Being in Over a Week Group: It’s time to step away from your computer or notebook for at least a couple of hours and speak to some real-life people. No, Netflix and your characters don’t count. Don’t worry – we won’t ask how your novel is going. Promise.

4) Butt In Chair Exercise Group: Classes available online, of course, so you don’t have to move out of your chair while you are completing your first, second, third…millionth drafts. All exercises performed with B.I.C as well (such Finger Pushups, Wrist Rotations, Toe Crunches, and the grueling Thigh-Minator Presses.) Our motto is “Stay in Shape While You Punctuate!”

5) Contention Deficit Disorder of America Group: Writers! Do agents reject your manuscripts with the comment, “There’s no conflict in this story?” Do your protagonists lead stress-free, boring lives? Yawn no more! At Contention Deficit Disorder of America’s cheerful six-week-long retreats, we will help you insert conflict by withholding Cheetos, coffee, alcohol, and chocolate of all kinds until you crack and agree to do whatever we tell you.

6) Finish Line Race Team: Do you find yourself revving your writing engine only to stall out half way around the track? Do faster, shinier writing ideas zoom past you and keep you from staying on course? Have no fear dear writer, Finish Line is here to take your project from starting block to checkered flag no matter what speed you like to drive. Seatbelts optional.

7) Book Baby Weight Buddies: If you’ve used savory meals and deliciously decadent desserts to celebrate every small success along the way, you might need BBWB. (Wrote 100 words! Finished Revising! Partial request! Full request! Agent offer! Sale!) Join the Book Baby Weight Buddies for getting back into healthier eating habits and exercising. We’ll do our best not to celebrate every successful spin class with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s latest flavor.

8) Google Hands Anonymous: Are your hands constantly Googling or in Google position–even when doing other activities like arguing with your teenager or watching Netflix? Oopsies, you have Google Hands. Don’t be ashamed. We all have it. We can’t stop googling our names. Anything good? Anything bad? Is that ugly picture of you and your ex at that stupid gala from 2008 still showing up? Damn you Google! This group has a $5.00 fee that includes a pair of comfy gloves to soothe your Google Hands.

9) Hip Replacement Group: Have you grown a full beard and mustache and taken to writing only upon a portable manual typewriter, which you lug around with you on your vintage bicycle, in hopes that this will make you a “real” writer? Meet our bunch of clean-shaven guys with laptops, who will fight you bare-fisted until you give up clinging to this delusion.

10) Writing Forum Addicts Anonymous: You wanted somewhere to discuss the trials and tribulations of the writing life. So you joined a forum or two, or three, or five. For a while, you had it under control. Then suddenly, you found yourself spending hours daily lurking on your forums, following other people’s complaints about querying like soaps. You read thousand-page archived threads stretching all the way back to the snail-mail era. You started needing to check your favorite threads before you could sleep at night. In this group, we force you to make face-to-face conversation with people who think a “WIP” is something you might use for kinky sex and an “MC” is generally found in dance clubs.

11) Weekly YMCA Shower Check-In: during which all writers arrive ready to bathe themselves for the first time, possibly, in a week. The only problem is that those who most need to be there forget to show up.

12) Procrasticleaning and Procrasticooking Maid Services: Put those hours spent avoiding your manuscript by scrubbing toilets and baking complicated dinners to good use! Team up with other writers and maybe earn some cold hard cash for every junk drawer you suddenly decide *has* to be organized NOW, or that new recipe for a cake with a million layers.

13) The Herb Brooks Support Group: Are you constantly comparing yourself to other writers, particularly those who are more disciplined, more productive, more polished, more creative, and all-in-all more successful than you? Join our group, named for the immortal Team USA hockey coach Herb Brooks, who famously told his “Miracle on Ice” team captain: “You worry about your own game. Plenty there to keep you busy.”

14) Review-Me-Not Group: Stop reading those reviews. No, we mean it: stop. NOW! This group ties you to the nearest chair, table, bed or heavy object and blindfolds you, while singing “Kumbaya” and “Happy”, to keep you from seeing your book torn to shreds. Not to be confused with the Fifty Shades of Grey withdrawal group.

15) The ‘How to Cope with the Death of Your Favorite Lines’ Group: Celebrate and share your best literary, heart-wrenching, eye- tearing line that you know is Pulitzer-worthy, but alas, your editor does not.

16) Email-Refreshers Anonymous: You’ve queried ten agents and you’re waiting for news. You’re on submission, and your agent expects an email any second. You’re waiting for edits from your editor. Whatever the cause, do you find yourself compulsively checking your email every other second as you wait for that anticipated email? Do you stare at your phone and hit refresh . . . refresh . . . refresh? Then this is the group for you. Email-Refreshers anonymous will talk you through the basics of life with less e-mail. And you WILL be okay. We promise.

BONUS! 17) Author Improv Group: Even before you signed your book deal, you suspected that you were the only person in the world who didn’t know what you were doing, and now you’re sure of it. Every other author you meet is so confident. They talk about editors and agents and marketing until your head spins. Line edits, copyedits, first pass proof pages, second pass proof pages… you can’t take any more! We can let you into a secret – we’re all making this stuff up as we go along. You need the Author Improv Group to teach you the vital skill of sounding as if you know what you’re doing.

This month’s Top Sixteen List brought to you by the following authors: Ami Allen-Vath, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Victoria Coe, Lindsay Eagar, Claire Fayers, M. Garcia, Margot Harrison, Emily Henry, Bridget Hodder, Janet Sumner Johnson, Scarlett Kol, Cynthia Reeg