By willalex

Two Nights in New York City



This year I served alongside Katherine Paterson, Laura Ruby, Ellen Oh, and Valerie Lewis as a judge for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. From many hundreds of books published in 2016 we picked a longlist of ten, each one incandescent.


Then we narrowed that list down to five finalists, all of them astonishing.


On Wednesday we chose the third volume of March, a graphic memoir by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, as the winner. Read more

Unsettling Things Said By My Children

“My tooth is not a ghost.”

“Ghosts taste like broccoli and cheese and flowers and the ocean.”

“They’re here! The shadow people are here! They want their daylight dinner.”

“I’m pretending to be a cat. Cats scratch furniture to keep the furniture from taking over.”

“When you roar like a monster it tickles my feelings.”

“Your voice is too low and booming for me. It needs to be higher and squeakier.”

“I have my toy shovel and I want you to help me bury up a person. Please?”

“Before I was born, when I was in my mom’s belly, I had nothing to do except play with her skeleton.”

“Dad, when you’re dead and I’m a writer, I will take your place.”

A Roundup of Various Interviews


The great and powerful Cynthia Leitich Smith moderated a We Need Diverse Books roundtable discussion between biracial / bicultural authors. The first post features Chrystal Chan (author of Bird) and myself. Stay tuned for more from Kekla Magoon, Jo Whittemore, and Yvonne Wakim Dennis


Newbery Medalist Karen Cushman just published Grayling’s Song, her first fantasy novel, which adds actual magic to her already-magical depictions of medieval Europe. She invited other fantasy writers over to her blog for conversation and celebration. (Susan Cooper! Susan Fletcher! Anne Ursu! SUSAN COOPER! The Dark is Rising shaped much of my young brain…)

Ahem. My contributions are here.

K.C. Maguire, science fiction writer and graduate student at VCFA, asked me a bunch of crafty questions about speculative things. The answers are all posted here.