Kathryn Erskine, Author

My Bloghttp://kathyerskine.wordpress.com/
 
 
 

                  NEWS!!

FACING FREEDOM

(Scholastic 2013)


THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF MIKE

(Philomel 2011)


MOCKINGBIRD

(PhilomeL 2010)


QUAKING

(Philomel 2007)


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9/10/14  The Badger Knight, noted as one of six middle grade or young adult novels featuring a protagonist with albinism.  Shouldn’t there be more?


9/9/14  Is page 69 of The Badger Knight representative of the rest of the book?  Find out on Marshal Zeringue’s blog’s Page 69 test!


9/7/14  Thank you, MWIB (My Week in Books) for this lovely review of The Badger Knight!


The character of the Badger (otherwise known as Adrian, when he’s not hiding), is luminous and memorable. I find myself thinking back to many of the other characters in this book as well, so alive were they for me. I was right alongside Badger as his frailness and his differentness set challenges before him at practically every turn. I love how he didn’t give up, in spite of everything thrown his way.

It’s a great book with heart and history intermingled, a wonderful story about the power of love, loyalty, and open-mindedness.

9/6/14  Middle Shelf Magazine is full of cool Middle Grade book info -- and an excerpt from The Badger Knight!


9/5/14  Love this review of The Badger Knight -- thanks, Jennifer Barnhart at Fiction for Today’s Reader!


...This is a wonderfully complex issue. What is a hero? How does a person become a hero? While THE BADGER KNIGHT is set in Northern England of 1346, these questions linger today and will spark the reader's imagination and give him or her room to think about what heroism means to him or her.

...THE BADGER KNIGHT by Kathryn Erskine is fast-paced, historical adventure filled with memorable characters. The historical details are seamlessly integrated into the story, providing a richly vivid and interesting setting.


9/1/14  Two great reviews for The Badger Knight!


From Storytime Hooligans:

Funny, adventurous, and thought-provoking, this should be a surefire hit with anyone who can be talked into historical fiction.

From Shelf-Employed:

The Knight Badger is rich in historical details - from the minor particulars of everyday life and the societal hierarchy of medieval England to the gruesome manner of medieval warfare. Erskine offers an unvarnished look into the lives of serfs, tradesmen, religious leaders, free lances, city street urchins, and robber barons.

And:  A solid adventure story that should appeal to boys and girls.  There is room for a sequel.

:o)

8/26/14 The Badger Knight launch day!  Many thanks to The Styling Librarian for this wonderful review and interview!  Please also read The Styling Librarian’s real life story of bravery and honor here.  She is one amazing woman.  Thank you, Debbie, we’re thinking of you!


8/22/14  The Badger Knights lovely review by ReadQueen, ”Featuring brief YA book reviews from a Christian viewpoint:”


Very rarely do I find a book that has an equal amount of both character and world building, but this one did. Adrian was an amazing main character because he wasn't perfect or invincible, he was actually quite the opposite. He was realistic, and very rarely do I see authors write a book where the characters struggle tremendously.


8/17/14 Win an ARC of The Badger Knight

on Goodreads (now!) -- ends 8/18/14!


8/13/14  Grateful that Seeing Red made it into the top ten list of YA books of this adult blogger.  :o)


8/11/14  Honored that The Badger Knight is in the first ever “My Week in Books” blog:


It’s a great book with heart and history intermingled, a wonderful story about the power of love, loyalty, and open-mindedness.

8/9/14  “Seeing Red is the perfect powerful read aloud.”  Thanks, PVP in Paradise!


7/30/14  Seeing Red & The Badger Knight reviews from Girls in the Stacks -- thank you!!


Badger -- Definitely an awesome book for anyone in late elementary school or above who is a fan of The False Prince, Graceling, The Pillars of the Earth (this is a very quick read in comparison) or other tales of adventuring youths!

Game of Thrones, perhaps? But a very clean version!


7/15/14  THE BADGER KNIGHT Goodreads review from a 6th grade teacher (Thanks, Andy!):


Kathryn Erskine has done it again! She has delivered a story with adventure, intrigue, interesting historical information, and a message that every young reader needs. Badger, the main character, takes the reader on a journey through the Middle Ages as the English and Scots fight for control of land and power. Badger finds himself in a cathedral, castle, and priory while searching for knights and battle. His sickly appearance and stature does not make him a good candidate as a soldier, but he is determined to be something more than useless. Along the way, he meets a cast of characters that teach him about life, both the good and the bad, and with these encounters he becomes more than his nickname of Badger.


This is the perfect book for a sixth grade student learning about the ancient civilizations and the Middle Ages. While the students learn about the knights, monks, castles, cathedrals, Roman forts, Hadrian’s Wall, and the conflict between the English, Scots, and French, this fictional story is the ideal companion to read along with the social studies Middle Ages unit. My students were riveted by the story. They laughed, they were nervous for Badger, and they constantly begged me to read them more each day.


7/11/ 2014  Beautiful review of Mockingbird -- thanks, Bookaholic!


7/9/2014  SEEING RED awarded Honorable Mention by the Library of Virginia -- many thanks to my home state Library!!


6/25/14  Great SEEING RED review -- thanks, Marcia!


6/22/14  SEEING RED review on A Word Edgewise--thanks, Linda! I don’t know which part I like best ... maybe the comparison to Gary Schmidt’s OKAY FOR NOW?  :o)  :o)


6/10/14  SEEING RED is on the 2014 Bank Street College Best Books list!


Also, just found out it’s on the Pennsylvania State Award list, too!


5/26/14  My appearance on Brazilian TV re: MOCKINGBIRD!


5/21/14  Get ready for the SEEING RED Goodreads giveaway!

Starts midnight Monday, May 26

Ends midnight Thursday, May, 29


5/20/14  Blog Hop -- learn about several writers here!


5/19/14  Scholastic Fall Preview, including THE BADGER KNIGHT (in middle grade section, at 21 and a half minutes into the video!).


5/18/14  Thanks for this blog post, Shelley!  Learn about a cast of wonderful writers here!


4/26/14  Many thanks to the Jane Addams Peace Association for naming Seeing Red an Honor Book for Older Readers!!


“Realistically complicated characters and situations breathe life into this story of a young man creating change in both his community and himself.”

I love what this award stands for: 


The Jane Addams Peace Association gives these awards annually for children's books that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, the equality of the sexes and equality of all races. The winning books also meet conventional standards of excellence.


Thank you, Jane Addams Award Committee!!


4/19/14  What a lovely Seeing Red review on Book Peep Wonders--thank you!


4/8/14  Thanks, Mrs. Cejda, for reviewing Seeing Red!


4/6/14  Thanks for this great review of Seeing Red from the Lancashire Evening Post, UK!


3/26/14 -- Bridgewater College free lecture at 7:30 pm in Cole Hall!


3/25/14  Thanks for this Seeing Red review, Rosi Hollinbeck!


One of the things about this book that I found to be very special was the way Erskine manages to take us to the south through her language. I've been trying to pinpoint just what she's done, but it isn't easy. She doesn't have pages of dialect full of shortened gerunds and contracted words. But there is a cadence, a rhythm that takes us to the small-town South.


3/25/14 And another very nice Seeing Red review:


This is a fast-moving book that treats some BIG issues with sensitivity and grace. 


Thanks, Booksnstories!


3/16/14  Another fantastic SEEING RED review from the UK, likening it to To Kill a Mockingbird!  Thanks, Reading Zone!


3/10/14  SEEING RED is one of “eight kid lit books your child should read:” in Northern Virginia magazine:


The Survivor Tree, Cheryl Somers Aubin

Am I Pretty? Lindsey Jensen Berke

Seeing Red, Kathryn Erskine

Harry’s Bearded Adventures, Shawn Geegbae

The Lions of Little Rock, Kristin Levine

Operation Oleander, Valerie Patterson

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, Wendy Shang

Forget-Her-Nots, Amy Brecount White


3/1/14  Announcing my next book!

THE BADGER KNIGHT (Scholastic, August 26, 2014) -- see a description under the “Books” tab, above.


2/20/14  Interview with a 10 year old girl who loved Mockingbird--thanks, Tess!


2/19/14  Thanks, Winnetka-Northfield, IL for selecting Mockingbird for One Book Two Villages!  See you on May 13th!


2/18/14  Great SEEING RED review from Berlin, Germany!


2/17/14  Latest SEEING RED review on Amazon (no, I don’t know the reviewer!)--so lovely I just had to share a snippet:


This is one of the most touching, heart-wrenching, yet hopeful books that I have read. I hope that it can be found in school libraries all over my home state of Virginia. I fantasize that history teachers everywhere have this book to refer to and to share with their students. While Seeing Red is intended for, and perfectly suited for a Middle Grade audience; I cannot imagine any adult reading this book without shedding a tear.


2/11/14  I like so many things in this review of SEEING RED:


If there’s any justice, Seeing Red will win awards too...

More dialogue-driven than many first-person voice novels, Seeing Red is eminently adaptable for stage or film.

But above all it is a totally convincing immersive read that can be enjoyed on an individual level from age 10 up to adult.

2/9/14  Another U.K. SEEING RED review!


This is a thought-provoking historical fiction tackling the important themes of race and responsibility in 70s America, but with elements that resonate on a wider scale.


2/6/14  Posts on SEEING RED in US & UK.  Thanks to Linda Urban (for THREE posts!) & The Federation of Children’s Book Groups!


Talking Process with Kathy Erskine


More about Character with Kathy Erskine


Kathy Erskine on Childhood, Justice, and Fiction


The Importance of Story: Yours, Your Family’s and Your World’s PLUS a giveaway


1/23/14 The Absolute Value of Mike review at Semicolon Blog -- thanks!


1/21/14  SEEING RED review at Allison’s Book Bag:


Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine is deserving of multiple literary awards. It’s that good.


And the review gets even better from there!  Thanks, Allison!!


1/2/14 Wonderful reviews of SEEING RED:


Welcome to my new Tweendom: top 5 of 2013


The Styling Librarian:  top 30


NoveList:  “Characters Change Their Worlds”


Many thanks to all of you!


12/17/13  SEEING RED as a movie?  In my dreams, and on Marshal Zeringue’s blog. :o)


12/15/13  Thanks, Joyce Hostetter for hosting me on your blog -- 2 days in a row!

Interview

SEEING RED Review


12/1/13  SEEING RED is a recommended book in Washington Independent Review of Books.  Check out the other books, too!


12/1/13  Thanks for this amazing SEEING  RED  review from  “So long and thanks for all the fish” blog:


This book deals with so many issues - racism, sexism, loss of a parent, growing pains, domestic abuse, where blame stops, sins of your ancestors - I mean the list goes on.  Despite all of this,

it's not a difficult book to get through.  I know that sounds hard to believe considering what that list is, but the writing is well-written, but simple, and the characters are so relateable I could NOT put it down, and stayed up til 3 am to finish it!


Every thing in this book is so layered - in a lot of ways it reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird...”



11/20/13:  So grateful for this review from Novel Thoughts:


I’m going to go out a limb here and say that the only reason this book hasn’t won an award yet is because it’s only been out since late September. But seriously, award committees need to get on this.

It’s just a beautiful story and one that many should read for more than just the quiet commentary on racism, the tense political climate of the Cold War and how that affected even small town America.

I so rarely compare any book to one of my childhood favorites, but if you like Holes by Louis Sacher, give this book a try.”


11/7/13:  Thanks, Genrefluent, for this thoughtful review of SEEING RED, especially this wrap-up.  :o)


Erskine's stories always delve deep into what it is that makes a person human, what goes into their moral makeup, how they decide what is good and right. This is a terrific heart-warming but definitely not saccharine story that deals with real issues for the here and now as well as the role history can play in a family down through the years.


11/2/13  Recent reviews of SEEING RED:


Richmond-Times Dispatch

Erskine’s narrative deeply traverses generations of prejudice and inequity within a diverse community of long-time neighbors. Yet, both justice and mercy arise in this finely textured and transformative story.


Walk the Ridgepole

I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about this one...

... I admire Erskine's willingness to show how a generally sympathetic character can be driven to do something evil, and then to stick with that character through the fallout. This is upper-middle-grade, and I think I would've been ready for it around 11 or 12.


Waverly Public Library

A new young adult book in the library, Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine, talks about the civil rights movement. In her note at the end, she remembers growing up during this time period and the helplessness of it all. She notes, however, that she wrote this novel to show that even though we have a long way yet to come, we should "be strong, be brave and be leaders."

     So, along with Neil Gaiman in his speech on Monday, these two examples of a movie based on a book and a new novel, show how reading, fiction or non-fiction,  and our imaginations will inspire and create and make the world a better place to be.

    Go out and read something today!


5th Grade Reading

Woven throughout this coming-of-age story is the story of America’s coming of age through civil rights.

Book clubs, fifth grade reading classes and older classes studying the Civil Right movements will find this a spellbinding read.

Teachers and librarians, as well as parents, can use this as an excellent read aloud to lead to discussions about tracing family trees and maybe not liking everything found in that past. Ideas like courage, truthfulness, honor and knowledge will be topics of conversation involving this story, individual families and contemporary life. Readers might give thought to what they would be willing to do in standing up for friends and/or strangers of other races.

Literacy skills strengthened throughout this text include, but are not limited to: inferential details, comprehension, main idea, supporting details, plot development, character development, dialogue and setting.

This book could also be used successfully for a readers’ theater by appointing a different reader for each speaking part within a chapter.

10/17/13  TEEN ’13 tonight in Richmond!  Hope you can come!


10/14/13  SEEING RED gets starred review from Booklist!

“Erskine has written a powerful indictment of injustice in all forms and an equally powerful and dramatic demonstration that young people, by taking individual action, can actually change history. This is an important book that deserves the widest possible readership.”


10/7/13  Thanks to Jen Rumberger for this beautiful review of SEEING RED, which was nominated for the Cybils!


9/29/13  Thanks for this SEEING RED review from The Stacks:

This captivating historical fiction novel deals with heavy topics such as racism, abuse, and death in a way that makes you think about injustices in this world. In the end, Kathryn Erskine’s work gives a profound feeling of hope for the future.

9/28/13  Thanks, Virginia, for this fabulous review of SEEING RED!


9/27/13  I LOVE this quote from ALAN Picks about SEEING RED:

Seeing Red is a boy’s twist on Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Wow.


9/26/13  SEEING RED Interview on Pencil Tips: Writing Workshop Strategies -- thanks, Mary Quattlebaum!


9/24/13  It’s launch day for SEEING RED and here’s a chance to win your own copy, thanks to DEBtastic Reads!  And an interview, too -- thanks, Debbi!


9/17/13  Many thanks to the Styling Librarian for this beautiful review of SEEING RED!  (You need to scroll down to see it.)


9/17/13  Hope to see you at the National Book Festival this weekend!


9/17/13  Thrilled that SEEING RED is on the list of potential books for Capitol Choices!


9/16/13  New book!  BREAK THESE RULES is an anthology of 35 authors talking about being yourself.


9/15/13  Back from research and school visits in the UK (amazing!).  Blog posts soon, like ... I saw JK Rowling’s house.  :o)


8/23/13  Thanks to the Birmingham Times for this great review of Seeing Red!


8/19/13  Mockingbird on list of “Books for Smart, Confident and Courageous Girls.”  :o)


8/10/13  Looking forward to my interview on the Fairfax Network!


8/8/13  Thanks for this Seeing Red interview on Author Turf, Brittney!


8/7/13  I love that Mockingbird is on “Book Club 4 Boys!” even though the main character is a girl.  Thanks, Laura, for this lovely review!


8/1/13 Announcing Teen ’13, a literary event for teens (and a little younger and older, too) at the Richmond Public Library, Richmond, VA on Thursday, October 17, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Featured authors include Aimee Agresti, Gigi Amateau, Hannah Barnaby, Susann Cokal, Kathryn Erskine, Lana Krumwiede, Meg Medina, Erica Orloff, Valerie O. Patterson, Madelyn Rosenberg, Sarah Sullivan, Steve Watkins, A.B. Westrick, and Sylvia Whitman.

And it’s free!  Click on the logo at the left.


7/29/13  Mockingbird reviewThis is an easy way to get a glimpse into the mind of a fictional child with Asperger's and to reflect on how we might treat them if given the chance.

Thanks, Andrea!


And from a young reader:

Caitlyn’s story is a touching one and beautifully written. The story really draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. I highly recommend this one.

Thanks, Angie!


And a review for The Absolute Value of Mike

This is compulsively readable, nearly impossible to put down.

Thanks, Salamander House


7/14/13  New autism info link under “MOCKINGBIRD Research” tab above -- thanks, Nicole!


7/6/13  More Common Core Connections for Seeing Red!  Please click on “COMMON CORE” above.


7/3/13  Seeing Red Discussion Guide with Common Core Connections for Grades 5 - 9!


6/26/13  Looking forward to seeing LOTS of wonderful librarians at ALA!


6/26/13  Delighted that Seeing Red is in the Eva Perry Mock Newbery!


6/14/13  It’s finally here!  The playlist for SEEING RED.  Enjoy!


5/30/13  Teachers, librarians, and anyone to whom I’ve promised an ARC of SEEING RED, they’re being sent in June/July (if you haven’t received yours yet).  Hoping it’s worth the wait!  :o)


5/28/13  Authors honor Sandy Hook victim who was an animal advocate with online auction—June 3-16, 2013.  See more info on my blog.


5/13/13  The Absolute Value of Mike is nominated for YALSA’s “Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults” in the humor category!


5/8/13  Poetic Tools for Writing Emotion, Part 1 and Part 2, with thanks to Jen Bailey, MFA, for using Quaking to illustrate her points!  :o)


5/7/13 Beautiful (and very useful) review of Mockingbird -- thanks, Brian!


5/6/13  The Absolute Value of Mike is on a list of books (from 1792 - 2012) specifically set in Western Pennsylvania -- what fun!


4/30/13  Mockingbird nominated for the Sasquatch Award -- thanks, state of Washington!


4/27/13  See my blog post for the story behind the story of my upcoming novel, SEEING RED.


Click on “Books” above to see cover of SEEING RED!


4/26/13  Congratulations and thank you to Kenadi Swendsen for the beautiful--and winning--letter she wrote about Mockingbird!


Level 2 Winner


Dear Kathryn Erskine,

I had never read a book that has changed the way I look at the people around me, until I picked up Mockingbird. Before starting this book, I was (to put it bluntly) a jerk to the people around me. I had never stepped into someone else’s shoes before, and I was quick to judge others. I hated to think about how others felt or how they were treated by the people around them. To be honest, I would rather sit in my little selfish world and complain about my life.

All of that changed one day, at a Scholastic Book Fair at my school, when I saw this book sitting on a shelf. It didn’t look as flashy or shiny as the other books, but for some reason, I felt in my heart that I needed to read this book. When I looked at the summary on the back cover, I cringed. It forced me to think about how I treated Marie (name changed) a girl in my class who has autism. Still, the promptings in my heart told me to read it. I bought the book and as soon as I got home, I began to read.

At first, I didn’t understand how Caitlin looked at the world. But in a few minutes, I became conscious of the fact that I was in her shoes. I started to understand the way everything seemed to her. I understood why she didn’t understand emotions, and throughout the book, I thought about Marie. Occasionally, I would put down the book and understand the girl’s thoughts and why she acted the way she did. I read about Emma, Mia, Anna and Laura, the popular girls at Caitlin’s school, thinking, “How could anyone be so mean?” and I became aware that I was the Emma in Marie’s life. I tried to be nice, but then I would just turn around and ignore her, so she was confused. I answered my own question: “I could.”

Three days later, I finished the book. After reading the last page, I put down the book, stunned. I had finished the book. What now? I thought about how the book applies to my life. I thought about Marie, and how I treated her. I finally comprehended that not only did I ignore Marie, I ignored everyone! I was determined from that point on that I was going to change my ways, and my selfish attitude towards other. I immediately tried to say something kind to my classmates every day.

A couple of months later, I reflected about how I had changed my life, and I realized that I was a happier, more optimistic person. I went to school, and I didn’t focus on flaws anymore, I would look at someone and think, “Wow, he or she is just the kindest person ever!” I could find something positive in everyone. I made a lot more friends, and Marie even walked up to me one day and said, “I used to think that you were so mean, but now that I’ve met you, you’re really nice!”

Now, I am still like that, I seek the light in everyone. By reading this book, I have learned a valuable, lifelong lesson: that you don’t judge a book by its cover, in fact, you shouldn’t judge at all! I never thought that I would or could step into another’s shoes, and yet here I am!

In closing, I would just like to say thank you for writing this book, which has changed not only my life, but also the lives of everyone who picks it up.


Sincerely,

Kenadi Swendsen



4/22/13  Happy Earth Day!  Also, a happy day for me because here’s the link to my new book!


3/27/13  Common Sense Media gives Mockingbird 5 stars for teaching empathy.


3/27/13  Thanks to all the students and organizers of the Racine/Kenosha English Festival -- what a wonderful event!


3/27/13  Using The Absolute Value of Mike as a read-aloud.


3/14/13  A teacher’s view of Mockingbird--thanks, Sarah!


3/13/13  Fun week: 

Today:  Speech to school librarians

Friday:  Skype with 4th graders

Sunday:  Interview with SAfm, South Africa!


3/12/13  Mockingbird shortlisted for the U.K. Redbridge Book Award!


3/9/13  Click the “Resources” tab above for a (long) list of some of my favorite recent kids’ & YA books on a variety of themes.


2/28/13  Sneak preview of my next 2 books here!


2/27/13  I missed this review of Quaking --thanks, Bermuda Onion!


2/15/13  The Absolute Value of Mike is a 2014 Sequoyah (Oklahoma) Book Award nominee!


1/29/13  Mockingbird is a 2014 Illinois Book Award (Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award) nominee.  Thank you, Illinois teachers and librarians!


1/12/13  Thanks for including Mockingbird in this great list of autism spectrum books, Nerdy Book Club!


1/11/13  Check out the latest writing prompt (click “Writing Prompt” above)  :o)


1/1/13  Happy New Year, everyone!

Wishing you health, happiness, and great reading in 2013! 


I’m excited that SEEING RED (Scholastic) is coming out this year, and that I’m working on many more books.


And here are some reviews from my blog of recent or 2013 books you might enjoy:


Hope’s Gift, Kelly Starling Lyons (picture book, illustrated by Don Tate)


The Center of Everything, Linda Urban (middle grade)


The Coming of the Dragon and Peaceweaver, Rebecca Barnhouse (middle grade/young adult)


Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, Meg Medina (young adult)


coming soon:  Operation Oleander, Valerie Patterson (middle grade/young adult)

COMMON CORE  ELA for MOCKINGBIRD and SMT (& ELA) for THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF MIKE