21 episodes

Join middle grade authors Cheryl Caldwell and Heather Clark as we explore writing craft, demystify publication, highlight author journeys, promote child literacy, and celebrate good books.

MG Book Party Cheryl Caldwell and Heather Clark

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

Join middle grade authors Cheryl Caldwell and Heather Clark as we explore writing craft, demystify publication, highlight author journeys, promote child literacy, and celebrate good books.

    Author Grace Lin Talks Book Banning, Inclusivity, and Winning A Caldecott and a Newbery

    Author Grace Lin Talks Book Banning, Inclusivity, and Winning A Caldecott and a Newbery

    Ever wondered what it's like to win both a Newbery AND a Caldecott award?

    Author/illustrator and delightful human, Grace Lin, is with us today and she shares all the behind-the-scenes award info you've been looking for, plus:
    Why it's important that books serve as both windows and mirrors.Why books get banned.How a better solution beyond cultivating lists of diverse books might be to integrate diversity and inclusion into the curriculum at large: math, science, English, health, etc. and what that looks like.How many of our favorite childhood books are a little like that one out-of-touch relative we all have.The advantages of growing with a small publisher.Winning both a Newbery Award and Caldecott Award.The pros and cons of how books are labeled for the market.How she chooses her illustration styles.And more! You don't want to miss this episode.

    You can find Grace at her website, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube!

    Support indie bookstores and this podcast (affiliate links) by clicking on these links to purchase Grace's books through Bookshop.org.

    Where The Mountain Meets The Moon
    Ling and Ting: Not Exactly The Same!
    A Big Mooncake For Little Star
    When The Sea Turned To Silver
    The Year Of The Dog
    Starry River of the Sky

    As always, please feel free to connect with Heather and  Cheryl in the following places:
    www.CherylCaldwellAuthor.com
    www.HeatherClarkBooks.com
    www.MGBookParty.com
    Order LEMON DROP FALLS by Heather Clark here.
    Twitter: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites, @MGBookParty
    Instagram: @SaltyQuills, @HeatherClarkBooks, @MGBookParty

    Please leave us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts!

    • 1 hr 8 min
    An Interview with MG Author Mae Respicio: Where we talk about Slime Recipes, Writing Journeys, and What We Can Control

    An Interview with MG Author Mae Respicio: Where we talk about Slime Recipes, Writing Journeys, and What We Can Control

    What's it like to write, publish, and promote a book a year?

    Here to tell us today is middle-grade author Mae Respicio, author of the award-winning The House That Lou Built, Any Day with You, How to Win a Slime War, and more!

    Mae shares her thoughts on:
    How our twelve-year-old selves greatly influence who we become as adults.Using a science project board in your outlining process.Research in the writing process.Setting realistic writing goals.Her incredible writing journey.Seeing yourself in books.Playing the long game.And, of course, the best recipes for making SLIME!You can connect with Mae at her website!
    Or on Twitter!

    As always, please feel free to connect with Heather and  Cheryl in the following places:
    www.CherylCaldwellAuthor.com
    www.HeatherClarkBooks.com
    www.MGBookParty.com
    Order LEMON DROP FALLS by Heather Clark here.
    Twitter: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites, @MGBookParty
    Instagram: @SaltyQuills, @HeatherClarkBooks, @MGBookParty
    All links to books are on Bookshop.org, and support indie bookstores and give a small percentage to support this podcast at no charge to you!

    • 34 min
    Verdigris Pawn Author Alysa Wishingrad Talks Writing Process, Inspiration, and Finding Truth Through Multiple Perspectives

    Verdigris Pawn Author Alysa Wishingrad Talks Writing Process, Inspiration, and Finding Truth Through Multiple Perspectives

    If you haven’t read The Verdigris Pawn, by Alysa Wishingrad, you’ll want to after listening to this interview!

    "Time distorts all truths." The Verdigris Pawn

    In both her book and this podcast, Alysa Wishingrad addresses this central theme—balancing our knowledge by searching for and understanding various perspectives on history. She graciously shares her knowledge about the writing and publishing process, and offers inside info on the creation of her debut middle grade novel, The Verdigris Pawn.

    Author bio:

    Alysa Wishingrad once had a whole different career working in theater, tv, and film, but nothing could be better or more exciting than writing stories and crafting worlds for middle-grade readers. 8-12 year-olds are truly some of the smartest, most open, and inquisitive people around, and Alysa is dedicated to helping them hold onto that magic as they grow up.
    When she's not writing she's probably out walking her two very demanding rescue dogs, who came all the way from Alexandria, Egypt to share their shedding fur and love. Or she might be trying to figure out what to make for dinner - again! - for her family. But, if she's very lucky, she's out at the theater getting lost in a wonderful story.
    Her debut, THE VERDIGRIS PAWN, was published by Harper Collins in July of 2021.

    Some of her writing influences mentioned in the podcast are:
    Francis Hardinge (The Lie Tree), Charles Dickens, Anne Ursu, Brian Selsnick (The Marvels, The Invention of Hugo Cabret), and Franny Billingsly.

    As always, please feel free to connect with Heather and  Cheryl in the following places:
    www.CherylCaldwellAuthor.com
    www.HeatherClarkBooks.com
    www.MGBookParty.com
    Order LEMON DROP FALLS by Heather Clark here.
    Twitter: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites, @MGBookParty
    Instagram: @SaltyQuills, @HeatherClarkBooks, @MGBookParty
    Clubhouse: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites
    Or Join MGBookParty on Clubhouse here.

    • 23 min
    Hilary McKay Talks About Writing About War From Dual Perspectives.

    Hilary McKay Talks About Writing About War From Dual Perspectives.

    "When you meet people, you don't hate them anymore."

    This quote from Hilary during this interview expresses so much about her humanity, her love, and her wisdom. Her historical WWI and WWII novels, The Skylarks' War, and Swallow's Flight are exquisite novels that delve into the life of people who lived these wars. Specifically, Swallow's Flight does a gorgeous job of presenting compelling characters who lived on both sides of World War II, and following the family from Skylark's War into the next generation of children is a gift. We learn so much from HIlary in this interview, and we just didn't want the conversation to end. On a personal note, Hilary McKay is one of the two authors who I credit with my decision to write middle grade. Her Casson Family series is real, heartfelt, hilarious, and just a beautiful emotional experience.

    Hilary McKay is the award-winning author of The Time of Green Magic (which received five starred reviews), The Skylark’s War (which was a Boston Globe Best Book, and received three starred reviews), Binny Bewitched (which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and received two starred reviews), Binny in Secret (which received three starred reviews), Binny for Short (which received four starred reviews), and six novels about the Casson family: Saffy’s Angel, Indigo’s Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After, Forever Rose, and Caddy’s World. She is also the author of Wishing for Tomorrow, the sequel to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess, and The Swallows’ Flight--releasing in the US on October 19th. Hilary lives with her family in Derbyshire, England. Visit her at HilaryMcKay.co.uk.
    You can connect with  Hilary and follow her books at the following links:
    Hilary's Website
    Twitter: @hilary_mckay

    Purchase Books by Hilary McKay
    Saffy's Angel
    Indigo's Star
    Binny Bewitched
    The Skylark's War
    The Swallow's Flight

    As always, please feel free to connect with Heather and  Cheryl in the following places:
    www.CherylCaldwellAuthor.com
    www.HeatherClarkBooks.com
    www.MGBookParty.com
    Order LEMON DROP FALLS by Heather Clark here.
    Twitter: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites, @MGBookParty
    Instagram: @SaltyQuills, @HeatherClarkBooks, @MGBookParty
    Clubhouse: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites
    Or Join MGBookParty on Clubhouse here.

    Disclaimer - Book links on this page are affiliate links through Bookshop.org. By ordering through our links, you are supporting independent bookstores, and also this podcast, through no additional cost to you.

    Please consider purchasing titles by ALL MGBookParty Featured Authors here to help support this podcast. 

    • 54 min
    Newbery Honoree Rajani LaRocca and her Agent Brent Taylor Share Details About Their Super-Productive Partnership

    Newbery Honoree Rajani LaRocca and her Agent Brent Taylor Share Details About Their Super-Productive Partnership

    Newbery Honor winning middle grade author Rajani LaRocca and her Super Agent Brent Taylor have collaborated to share Rajani's prolific collection of picture books and middle grade novels with the world, and in this interview, they share what that collaboration has looked like, what they looked for in an agent / client relationship, and inspire us with their joy over children's fiction. This was recorded BEFORE Rajani won the Newbery for Red, White, and Whole, so listen for talk of pre-award buzz...

    Brent Taylor
    After years of interning in trade book publishing, Brent Taylor joined Triada US in 2014 to assist Uwe Stender while building his own list of fiction and non-fiction for readers aged 0-18. He was promoted to associate agent in November 2015, to agent in April 2017, and to senior agent in October 2020. In 2019, Brent was named a Publisher’s Weekly Star Watch Honoree. Brent describes his reading tastes as upmarket: He’s passionate about books for young readers that are extremely well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience.
    Rajani LaRocca
    Newbery Honoree Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning novels and picture books. She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, science, and just about everywhere she looks. To connect with Rajani and learn more about her and her books visit her at www.Rajani.LaRocca.com or @rajanilarocca on Twitter, Instagram, and Clubhouse.
    Purchase books by Rajani LaRocca:
    Midsummer's Mayhem
    Much Ado About Baseball
    Red, White, and Whole

    As always, please feel free to connect with Heather and  Cheryl in the following places:
    www.CherylCaldwellAuthor.com
    www.HeatherClarkBooks.com
    www.MGBookParty.com
    Order LEMON DROP FALLS by Heather Clark here.
    Twitter: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites, @MGBookParty
    Instagram: @SaltyQuills, @HeatherClarkBooks, @MGBookParty
    Clubhouse: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites
    Or Join MGBookParty on Clubhouse here.

    Disclaimer - Book links on this page are affiliate links through Bookshop.org. By ordering through our links, you are supporting independent bookstores, and also this podcast, through no additional cost to you.
    Please consider purchasing titles by ALL MGBookParty Featured Authors here to help support this podcast. 

    • 50 min
    Little Brown Editor Samantha Gentry—Where We Talk About Aquisitions, Editor Phone Calls, and her #MSWL

    Little Brown Editor Samantha Gentry—Where We Talk About Aquisitions, Editor Phone Calls, and her #MSWL

    We had way too much fun interviewing Samantha Gentry editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. We got so much insight into the editorial process, acquisitions, publication, editor phone calls, and so much more!

    Samantha Gentry is an editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Her primary focus is commercial nonfiction across all categories, and fiction picture books, and middle grade. She has a particular interest in pop culture tie-ins, and platform driven stories in nonfiction. She is especially on the lookout for voice-driven middle grade with unforgettable characters, a friendship story at its core, interesting family dynamics, and a touch of magical realism. She loves to see character-driven stories with a touch of humor and quirk, but she's also a sucker for charming tales that feel like an instant classic.

    You can learn more about Samantha Gentry at #MSWL
    Or connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

    As always, please feel free to connect with Heather and  Cheryl in the following places:
    www.CherylCaldwellAuthor.com
    www.HeatherClarkBooks.com
    www.MGBookParty.com
    Order LEMON DROP FALLS by Heather Clark here.
    Twitter: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites, @MGBookParty
    Instagram: @SaltyQuills, @HeatherClarkBooks, @MGBookParty
    Clubhouse: @CherylCaldwell, @HClarkWrites
    Or Join MGBookParty on Clubhouse here.

    Disclaimer - Book links on this page are affiliate links through Bookshop.org. By ordering through our links, you are supporting independent bookstores, and also this podcast, through no additional cost to you.

    Please consider purchasing titles by ALL MGBookParty Featured Authors here to help support this podcast. 

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Maghranimal1234 ,

Great kidlit podcast

Cheryl and Heather are wonderful informative hosts as they bring on various members of the kidlit community, ranging from editors, agents, and writers.

Dilly1313 ,

Great podcast!

Fun, fascinating interviews for writers and readers of kidlit. Covers great nuts and bolts advice about writing craft and the publishing industry as well as philosophical conversations about art and the magic of writing for children.

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