Welcome, Jacqueline Jules! Jacqueline is the author of Sarah Laughs, a picture-book retelling of the biblical story of Abraham's wife Sarah, who had a child late in life. Sarah Laughs just won a Sydney Taylor Honor Award in the younger-readers category. (Named for the author of All-of-a-Kind Family, the Sydney Taylor prizes recognize Jewish literature for children and teens.)
I'm quite pleased that the Sydney Taylor Book Award blog tour brings Jacqueline Jules to Chicken Spaghetti, especially since it's an "On the Books" day. "On the Books" is a series in which writers and other aficionados answer one question:
What are you reading these days?
Let's hear from Jacqueline.
6:30 a.m. On my exercise bike. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, by Wendy Mass. I am enjoying this because of the existential questions it examines and its New York city setting.
7:00 a.m. At the kitchen table, eating my 200-calorie breakfast. Queen of a Rainy Country, by Linda Pastan. Next to Billy Collins, Linda Pastan is my favorite poet.
11:00 a.m. At my desk in my school library office, I read School Library Journal while chomping celery and rice cakes during the one break I have from classes which allows lunch.
9:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. I teach library classes to students in grades preschool through sixth grade. Lots of read-alouds. This week the most memorable one was Duel: Burr and Hamilton’s Deadly War of Words, by Dennis Brindell Fradin. My sixth graders, who are studying the formation of our U.S. government, were fascinated to learn that the man on the ten-dollar bill and a bona fide founding father died in a senseless duel. I hope they will be as interested next week, when I share my new book from Charlesbridge, Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation.
4:00 p.m. Apple snack time at my computer. I like to read the poem posted daily on Garrison Keillor’s "The Writer’s Almanac."
7:30 p.m. After-dinner research: Biblical Images, by Adin Steinsaltz, and Legends of the Bible, by Louis Ginzberg. High from seeing Sarah Laughs win a 2009 Sydney Taylor Honor Award, I am doing research to find another child-friendly story for a fifth book in this bible series. Benjamin and the Silver Goblet was just released this month, and Miriam in the Desert (tentative title) is with the wonderful illustrator Natascia Ugliano. My stack of bible reading material is likely to grow higher and higher in the coming months.
Thank you, Jacqueline—and congratulations! By the way, Natascia Ugliano, the illustrator of Sarah Laughs, stops by Write for a Reader today. The entire schedule for the Sydney Taylor Book Award tour is here, and the Sydney Taylor Book Award's own blog is here.
Also, don't miss "The Best of the Best: Kids' Books '08," Chicken Spaghetti's compilation of awards and magazine/journal/blog end-of-the year lists.
Previously in "On the Books":