I’m still processing all my notes and such from IRA! Here are a few gems from the author sessions I went to.
Megan McDonald: Her dad threatened to rip out the very last page of any book brought to the dinner table! [As a fellow reader-at-the-table, I admired the seriousness of that threat!]
Elise Broach: The main challenge of Masterpiece was how to make the two characters, a boy and a beetle, communicate and have an equal relationship.
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer: In poetry, "Content should be master over form!"
The art in Steady Hands has some of her belongings photographed in it. Her dad’s welding gloves, lace from her [I think] wedding dress, a key from her grandparents’ home, etc.
On forcing students to revise poetry: "Poetry is short, so revision isn’t tragic."
Paul Janeczko (on A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing and Shout): The editor first suggested a book of poems for kids to memorize. Janeczko said, “I don’t think so.” Ended up with these poems that are fun to say and MAYBE memorize, if you read them enough.
Chris Raschka (at the end of summarizing his artistic method): “And if it doesn’t work, I throw it away and try again.”
Teacher Nicola Turner and poet Joyce Sidman (who both said so many wonderful, useful things about teaching poetry, but I’m no longer sure who said what!): “Poets bring opposites together in a way that makes perfect sense.”
Jordan Sonnenblick: “What boy readers are most looking for is authenticity and story.”
Annie Barrows (on creating realistic chapter book characters): “My 7-year-old daughter wanted a mirror rather than a window.”