Deep Thoughts

Marie Marquardt on Immigrants, Issues & the Healing Power of Libraries

Last year, Marie Marquardt leapt onto the YA scene with her debut novel, DREAM THINGS TRUE, a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story in which a wealthy Southern boy falls in love with an undocumented Mexican girl and together they face perils in their hostile Georgia town. Her second YA novel, THE RADIUS OF US, explores the American dream again, but this time through the lenses of two traumatized teens who find healing in love.

Marie Marquardt has a message for librarians, but first, we’re offering complimentary advance readers copies of THE RADIUS OF US to any U.S.-based librarian who requests one (limited quantity available).

To get your copy, email Library@MacmillanUSA.com from your professional/library-issued e-mail address (subject: Radius of Us) and don’t forget to include your library’s mailing address.

Take it away, Marie!

Dear YA Librarian,

I am thrilled to write to you about my new young adult novel, THE RADIUS OF US, which will be published by St. Martin’s Press on January 17, 2017. As a story featuring immigrants and asylum-seekers seeking refuge in the United States, this book addresses timely and important themes, and I hope you’ll be willing to tell your young patrons about it.

I’ve spent two decades working with Latin American immigrant families in the South. I also run a non-profit called El Refugio that serves immigrants and asylum-seekers in detention. This work inspired my debut novel, DREAM THINGS TRUE, which was published in 2015. To research THE RADIUS OF US, I traveled to El Salvador and to detention facilities across the U.S., where I met with teenagers fleeing gang violence and seeking asylum.

Told in alternating first person points of view, THE RADIUS OF US is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor. It’s about a boy from El Salvador, who ran from a city torn-through with violence, looking for a safe place to call home. It’s about an American girl who no longer feels safe anywhere, except maybe when she’s with him. And most importantly, THE RADIUS OF US is about two people struggling to overcome trauma and find healing in love.

I’m especially enthusiastic to share this story with librarians and library patrons, because for thirty-three years, libraries have been my refuge, and librarians have been the ones that welcomed me in. readmoreremove

Banned Books Week 2016

Happy Banned Books Week, lovely librarians! This is the week (Sept 25 – Oct. 1) to re-read and recommend all your favorite banned and challenged books.

This year’s theme is diversity and the lovely folks at BBW have put together a list of frequently challenged books with diverse content, as well as resources for librarians and free downloadable art to help spread the word about Banned Books Week.

The ALA also has lots of great resources on Banned Books Week, including lists of frequently challenged books, banned/challenged classics, top 10 frequently challenged books, the 100 most frequently challenged books by decade, the most frequently challenged authors of the 21st century, and MORE free downloadable materials.

Share your love of banned books all week long!

Take a selfie with your favorite banned book and tweet it out to @BannedBooksWeek with the hashtag #ireadbannedbooks. If you’re feeling inspired to read aloud, we highly recommend that you submit a banned book reading video to the Virtual Read-Out page on YouTube.

Check out BannedBooksWeek.org for more live and online events, including this free webinar on Thursday, Sept. 29 about how librarians can help support authors whose books have been banned or challenged.

Thank you for continuing the fight for our FREADOM!

Holt Celebrates 150 Years!

HoltLogoHoly smokes, Henry Holt & Company is 150 this year! (We see your awesome tweets via #Holt150!)

Founded in 1866 by Henry Holt and Frederick Leypoldt, the imprint focused exclusively on publishing translations and textbooks. A fruitful relationship with Robert Frost began in 1915 with the publication of NORTH OF BOSTON, and his books became a mainstay for the company and anchored a prestigious poetry list, with five collections eventually winning the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. By the mid-twentieth century the company boasted a diverse and strong trade list (including children’s books), publishing classics by Norman Mailer, Dee Brown, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, Philip Caputo, Robert Olen Butler, and W. E. B. Dubois, who won two Pulitzer Prizes.

Holtzbrinck (now Macmillan) purchased the company in 1985, and the tradition of award-winning publishing continues into the 21st century, with a list that includes the two-time Man Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel, Nobel Prize-winner Herta Müller, and Pulitzer Prize-winners Rick Atkinson and Elizabeth Kolbert. Holt—under the imprints Henry Holt, Metropolitan Books (celebrating its 20th anniversary), and Holt Paperbacks—publishes literary fiction, history, biography, politics, current events, science, psychology, and mysteries and thrillers, by authors such as Bill O’Reilly (the Killing series), Rick Atkinson (The Liberation Trilogy), Paul Auster, Noam Chomsky, Andy Cohen, Barbara Ehrenreich, Atul Gawande, Coretta Scott King, and Elizabeth Warren.

We’re thrilled to celebrate by giving away 5 prize packs of Holt 150 totes full of 5 notable books by Hilary Mantel, Bill O’Reilly, Diane Guerrero, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Susan Faludi to lucky librarians!

To enter the giveaway, simply email Library@MacmillanUSA.com from your professional/library-issued e-mail address (subject: Holt 150) by Friday, September 2. Make sure to include your library’s mailing address to be placed in the random drawing.*

UPDATE 9/7/16: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners:
Elena S. Feiza, Algonquin Area Public Library District, Algonquin IL
Cindy Levine, Winston Salem State University, O’Kelly Library, Winston-Salem NC
Carla Hollar, Swannanoa Public Library, Swannanoa NC
Anna Brinegar, Huntington City-Township Public Library, Huntington IN
Carol Hanan, Pendergraft Library and Technology Center, Russellville AR

For more, read Publishers Weekly‘s feature story on Holt’s 150th anniversary, including notable milestones from the company’s history.
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Happy International Cat Day!

In honor of #InternationalCatDay, we present the latest adventures of Frederick “Freddie” Paw Olmsted and his owner, SMP executive editor, Keith Kahla:

Freddie wasn’t happy my impending vacation.

Freddie with sock

And did his best to discourage it:

Freddie and the computer

He got into some shenanigans while I was away…

Freddie on the Fridge

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Library Penance

Caution: serving a community sentence in a library for a minor crime may lead to a career as a mystery writer! It happened to Lance Hawvermale. He shares his experience below and explains how libraries continue to inspire him today:

I once served mandatory community service in a library.

As a crime writer, I need a good run-in with the law as part of my backstory, even if the crime in question was victimless and endangered no one but myself. The judge explained that the infraction would not appear on my permanent record if I agreed to perform 20 hours of service to my fellow Americans… in the local library.

Yes, Your Honor. I was born in that briar patch.

Flashback: A boy with neo-hippie hair is too slow for the track team and too easily bored for wood shop, and so he seeks refuge in the school library. Immediately to his left sits Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes), and on his right is William Goldman (Marathon Man). In between them, the boy feels safe. Safe from bullies. Safe from chemistry class. Safe from the possibility of having to say hello to a real live girl. As that very boy, I can tell you that courage can be shoveled from library shelves. I stormed the Bastille from that poorly padded chair; I followed Poe to a woman in a premature tomb; I stood on the docks beside Jay Gatsby and admired a light on a distant shore. But while I read one chapter after the next, Bradbury kept pushing my hand from the books toward my own pen and paper. He told me to strip-mine metaphors from these pages and then to write about the ore I discovered. The school librarian, at least, thought I was cool.

Flash-forward: This year my novel FACE BLIND is released by Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press. readmoreremove

Happy 4th of July!

IMG_7129Happy 4th of July weekend!

The Macmillan offices are closed on July 4th & 5th, so Talia and Anne have an extra long holiday weekend starting tomorrow (July 1st). We’ll be back on the blog on Wednesday, July 6th.

Remember that September LibraryReads nominations are due on July 20, so you’ve got plenty of time to read our recommended titles (Jonathan Safran Foer!).

We hope you have a happy and safe Independence Day weekend!

Cat in the Stacks

Friends, meet Frederick “Freddie” Paw Olmsted. He lives with SMP executive editor, Keith Kahla, who wants to tell you all about him:

Freddie in the Stacks-edit

“The cat is relatively new. He was a street rescue by a friend of a former assistant—a stray who was living on the streets of Bed Stuy (editor’s note: the cat, not the assistant). She took care of all the important vet stuff, but he and Otter, her rescue pit bull, weren’t the best of friends.”

Freddie and Otter

Long story short, he came home with me.

Freddie

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It’s National Poetry Month!

♫♪♫♪♫ Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
We made a poetry Edelweiss collection,
Just for librarians like you! ♫♪♫♪♫

Happy National Poetry Month! Check out our amazing Edelweiss collection of nearly 200(!) great poetry books and then hear some poems from our friends at Farrar, Straus & Giroux—literally.

Inspired by John Giornio’s classic Dial-A-Poem, FSG made a poetry hotline of their own. Each day you can call 949-DIAL-FSG (949-342-5374) to hear President and Publisher (and poet himself) Jonathan Galassi recite one of his favorite poems from a recently published collection. They’re putting new poems on the answering machine every weekday, so keep calling!

Happy National Library Week 2016!

Happy National Library Week! Con Lehane wants to tell you all about his love of libraries and how they helped shape his newest book, MURDER AT THE 42ND STREET LIBRARY. Take it away, Con!

My new mystery novel has a librarian as a protagonist, something of an adventure for me because I’ve never been a librarian. Much as I love libraries, and while I’ve spent time in a good many of them, in order to write about a librarian and a library, which I planned to do in MURDER AT THE 42ND STREET LIBRARY, I needed to do more than read about it or look at one; I needed to feel what it’s like to work in a library. I’d been to the New York Public Library’s main branch, the 42nd Street Library hundreds of times, so the iconic structure at the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue presented itself as the logical place to house my new protagonist Raymond Ambler. To do so, I made him curator of the library’s (fictional) crime fiction collection.

Next, I wormed my way into an appointment to the Frederick Lewis Allen Memorial Room at the 42nd Street Library. The Allen room at the 42nd Street end of the second floor marble corridor is designated for writers with a book contract who are making use of the general research collections. It requires a key card to enter and has a dozen or so desk spaces that one uses on a first-come first-served basis. It’s place where you can hang your hat, so to speak, and leave your materials (in a little cubby, desks are not reserved) overnight. The fact of the matter is I did have a book contract but my main purpose was not to use the research collection. My aim was to absorb—to be and work at the library until I knew in my bones what my new friend Raymond Ambler knew and felt. To that end, I spent most of the winter of 2012 ensconced on the second floor of the library writing the first draft of MURDER AT THE 42ND STREET LIBRARY. readmoreremove

Talia’s CAT-TASTIC Sabbatical

cats_basket
My dear librarians,

On a whim, I applied to be a cat nanny in Manchester, England. Several Skype interviews and a few letters of recommendation later… And the position is mine!
I cannot wait for the many hours of snuggling, biscuit-making, and paw pad squishing! Let’s not forget the endless hours of toe floof and if I’m really lucky:
TINY. KITTEN. SNORES!

CAT-TASTIC!

As you can imagine, my library marketing travels enabled me to accrue a bazillion airline and hotel points and I will be using all of them for this 4 month sabbatical. It’s been an honor working with y’all… Goodbye for now and see you all again in September!

xoxo

Talia readmoreremove

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