Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Friday, July 31, 2009

Poetry Friday: Broadway Across America

Broadway Across America

Gazelles ready to
leap for Simba the Lion
King, dancing through town.

Lorie Ann Grover, 2009

Catch the full roundup with Sylvia Vardell at Poetry For Children.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brushing Mom's Hair: Andrea Cheng

Sometimes a book will rest in your palm, and you know you've found a kindred spirit. That happened to me recently when Andrea Cheng's Brushing Mom's Hair crossed my path.

This special work teeters between a novel in poems and a verse novel. Each entry is titled, and the majority could stand alone as individual poems. Yet, united they tell a beautiful story about Ann, coping with her mother's recent breast cancer, mastectomy, and treatments. It is through Ann's art and dance that she finds moments of peace and control. The reader joins her as she moves through worry, embarrassment, a diminished appetite, the waiting, and finally joy.

Andrea Cheng's attention to detail brings rich life to the collection: beans, a fluorescent smiley face, warm bricks, and striped leg warmers. Each grounds the poems and makes tangible connections to the reader. Andrea bravely relays the truth of the breast cancer experience.

Nicole Wong has contributed delicate pen and ink and wash drawings and spot illustrations to every page. The line mimics the tenuous state of the characters at times and then the rising hope at other moments. There's a beautiful dance between line, text, and negative space on each spread. It is a welcome aid to the reader working through the difficult subject matter.

Personally, I feel close to this work as it seems to dance between my own novels Loose Threads and On Pointe.

Brushing Mom's Hair is accessible to tweens, teens and adults. Share it with your loved one upon its release in September. Give it to another this October for Breast Cancer Month.

Brushing Mom's Hair
by Andrea Cheng
illustrated by Nicole Wong
Wordsong, September, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Poetry Friday: Midsummer Fairies

Midsummer Fairies

Midsummer fairies
Cast spells
With eyes
And smiles
Beware the flicker of
On your
Midsummer night

Lorie Ann Grover, 2009

Catch the roundup with Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What a Girl Wants: YA or Adult

In a roundabout way, Colleen over at Chasing Ray, asked the ladies what we thought about the YA versus adult distinction in literature. Do girls need YA books? Here's my entry. Visit her post to hear all the passion. It's going to be a hot one!

Lorie Ann Grover: I believe teen girls need stories that express their own voices and introduce them to new ones that speak outside of their worldviews. Any topic can potentially engage a teen if it's contained in a meaningful story. The teen protagonist is merely a conduit which connects the reader, with a shorter life experience, to the writer.

So, what can be found in the teen novel not found in an adult work? Nothing, aside from a guarantee of hope in some measure, even if it's small. At least today, I still find this to be true. Otherwise, there will be the same literary merit, engaging plot, and credible characters. There will be the same value.

At ALA, Libba Bray was recently telling me about her book tour in Germany where she found YA and adult works esteemed equally. I am hopeful we might reach this conclusion in the states. Let writers craft their stories and people from all walks find the words, regardless of age or place in life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Me as a Superhero!

Holly Cupala found this fun app to make your own superhero as we are reading Cecil Castellucci's The Plain Janes over at rgz. Check out the Superhero Factory!

So here I am. Ha! I think it took into account my rheumatoid arthritis. ;~)

Thoughts on Revision or Run, Chicken, Run
I've been thinking about my revision process because of Holly Cupala's Summer Revision Smackdown this summer with Jolie Stekly. I had some clarity this morning as I discussed my pattern with my daughter.

So I'm working on a manuscript I've been nursing a few years. Just recently I grasped a major plot and structure change. What commenced was a frantic urge to get to my computer to tackle the ideas. I became irritated, grumpy, and driven. Other activities and people were a test in patience. (Sorry, you guys.)

This morning I landed on the last page, all changes poured from head onto the screen. Like separating the yolk and white with eggshells. Slippery, bloopy stuff.

And now there's peace again. I can do rgz work, clean, chat with friends. I'm still revising. But there's not the urgency that I had before. What I have is a dead, plucked, uncooked, floppy chicken. However, it's not going anywhere.

These are my thoughts. If you hit me at the egg separating moment, please accept my apologies. I'll be dancing with the floppy chicken soon enough and hoping people will join my conga line.

Here's to good friends and family who tolerate revising writers! Love ya! Smack!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Poetry Friday: Andy Warhol Portrait

Andy Warhol Portrait

What? What is the fear?
What to perceive, grasp, ponder?
Red-white thoughts on blue.

Lorie Ann Grover, 2009

Catch the roundup with Becky Laney at Becky's Book Reviews.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Severus on the big screen again!

When he took the screen for the first time, I gasped. Thankfully, my husband kept holding my hand. :~) He's so tolerant.

Oh, it was a GOOD movie! Bravo!

ALA 2009: The Men

Okay, Justina is going to smack me for focusing on the men, but come on. In a sea of beautiful ladies, it is nice to encounter a man. Right? (I'll post the ladies next.) So here are the ones I crossed paths with...

M.T. Anderson was brilliant. I've been waiting to meet him for many years. Feed is one of my all time favorite books.

Ed Masessa works for Scholastic Book Fair and loves to tease me. We had a very fun reunion at the Scholastic Brunch.

David Levithan was extremely generous and fun to be around.

Christopher Meyers was absolutely hip and sincere. He asked immediately how tall I am. :~) I appreciated getting to look up to him!

And finally Richard Peck. How awesome to compare shoes. The man is definitely dapper.

Okay, Justina. Go ahead and smack me now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rotem Moscovich, MY EDITOR!

One of the very best parts of ALA was meeting my Cartwheel/Scholastic editor Rotem Moscovich! She's a gem and a new friend! Here we are in Millennium Park where we talked about Argentina, board books, and ice cream.

And then she was my host at the Scholastic table during the Newbery Awards Banquet. So much fun! Let it be known she ate her entire cayenne apple. Woohoo!

Here's to meeting fellow creators who challenge you to be your best. May we collaborate on many more books together!

Now, to commission my very own Rotem handbag...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Priya's Adam-tastic photos!

Squeeeeee! Book Crumbs, Priya, just posted her fabbity fantastic photos of the American Idol Live Tour. Look!

She loaded extra, extra of Adam just for me! Do you see this Gypsy Wings? Woohoo!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My divas

This is such a fun photo that Holly snatched at my signing for Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish! It makes me miss my peeps! *waves from Chicago*

Poetry Friday: Be Warned

Poetry Friday

Be Warned

We take volleyball
seriously. Amazon
women at the net.

Lorie Ann Grover, 2009

Catch the full roundup with Jama Rattigan at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

And 31 years later...

I'm here! I've arrived in Chicago!

And sure enough, my 8th grade social studies teacher zipped through the airport and picked me up! Thirty-one years later, we had a TON of catching up to do!

Needless to say, he can still dish it out. So how weird is it to get into your teacher's car and then have him treat you in the local Chicago pub, McNamara's. Mind blowing, really. So many answers to questions I've wondered about for a long time.

A bit of trivia: Mr. Hoeksema appears in my first novel, Loose Threads. Yep, that would be he.

Here's to teachers who give their all and impact their students in life-changing ways. Thanks, Mr. Hoeksema! And to his folks who raised him so well and are starting a new beginning themselves. Cheers!

Off to ALA Annual!

And I'm off to ALA to dialogue about Operation TBD '10, meet the awesome Scholastic staff, and go to the Newbery and Printz awards! All of this, and I haven't even finished blogging about my trip to DC. So much to write! More soon...

Oh, AND my eighth grade social studies teacher is picking me up from the airport. Last time we saw each other was 1979. What did I look like at 14? Hm.

Now what did he look like?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What a Girl Wants: Who can write what?

Over at Chasing Ray, Colleen has posted a controversial subject: can an author write about a race, culture, or lifestyle not his/her own? The answers were varied. Much! But I wasn't totally alone. Catch the full discussion at Chasing Ray. And here's my entry.

Lorie Ann Grover: I do believe writers and publishers are bringing to the market a variety of story. With broad foreign rights sales, we are privy to an even wider range of storytellers in our country. To further unlock the untold, I believe we need to encourage writers of all walks to write their own stories well. At readergirlz we are constantly looking for unique voices to resonate in the field. What satisfaction to offer Rita Williams Garcia's No Laughter Here and discuss female circumcision and then Laura Resau's Red Glass and debate illegal immigration.

Authors can write of cultures and lifestyles beyond their experience, or we'd have no sci-fi fantasy, right? The challenge is to be faithful in full research and revelation. Red Glass is an excellent example of Laura Resau bringing to light a culture not her own. I also think of Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains, and Patricia McCormick's Sold. Why would we ever inhibit storytellers who have a burden to share truth, even if the story doesn't spring from their own immediate life experience?

Concerning publishers, initially, maybe the books aren't placed as quickly because of sales concern. In truth, there might not be broad sales at first as the experiences are foreign to American teens. Hopefully though, the books are published, purchased, and read, with connections made through shared desires and emotions. Is it the library market that feeds the groundswell until the books can crossover to the stores, maybe? I have to believe there are dedicated middle grade and YA editors out there who will bring these stories to light for the love of truth, regardless of questionable sales. I'm hoping to place one now myself!

As to characters resonating through my life from different places than my own, I have to say: Djo from Frances Temple's Taste of Salt, Liesel from Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, Junior from Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, or how about Devon Hope from Nikki Grimes' Bronx Masquerade? My list could go on and on. These are characters who wanted the very same things I do and just happened to be reaching for them in a different place. Their courage empowers me. There are so many examples, and for that, I am thankful.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Poetry Friday: Fezzik, the Poet

Fezzik, The Poet

Yes, Fezzik, I am
in awe of your heart and rhymes.
I'll take that peanut.

Catch the full roundup with Tabatha A. Yeatts.