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The Lie Tree: Author Frances Hardinge’s 2016 BGHB Fiction Award Speech

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Writing is a thoroughly weird job. Writers perform in a void for an invisible audience. We show the tender insides of our brains to people we will probably never meet. Sometimes I’m asked whether I write for an “ideal reader” or a particular “market.” To be honest, I don’t really know how you write for […]

Goodbye Stranger: Author Rebecca Stead’s 2016 BGHB Fiction Honor Speech

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My childhood took place in the 1970s, and because my parents were lefties who moved to New York to lead liberated lives, they wanted me to have a certain number of touchy-feely activities. One of these was a class where we hit defenseless floor pillows with Bataka encounter bats in order to vent our naturally […]

The Hired Girl: Author Laura Amy Schlitz’s 2016 BGHB Fiction Honor Speech

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Joan would be happy that I’m here. She’d be thrilled to find herself in the Athens of America: the city of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and Candlewick Press. I’m thrilled too, so gleeful that I’m going to share a secret, a truth not universally acknowledged in the writing world: Sometimes things go well. Not […]

Jazz Day: Illustrator Francis Vallejo’s 2016 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

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My sincere thanks to all those who have made this day possible: the wonderful Candlewick team, and my home team — my parents and my remarkable girlfriend. And of course my partner in this project, Roxane! I am truly honored that Jazz Day has received this award. The arts are in a tricky place. Art […]

Jazz Day: Author Roxane Orgill’s 2016 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

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When I’m asked how this book came to be, I usually say that I was at a party and a woman I hadn’t met before, a person in children’s book publishing, said, “Someone should write a book about the famous Harlem jazz photograph.” That’s true. But it’s not the whole story. Jazz Day began much […]

Thunder Boy Jr.: Illustrator Yuyi Morales’s 2016 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

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You all must be at the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, celebrating. I want to say a big thank you to you all. Thunder Boy Jr. is a book in which I felt I wasn’t only supposed to make illustrations, but questions — to ask questions to myself, such as how what we love and dream […]

Thunder Boy Jr.: Author Sherman Alexie’s 2016 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

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It’s been a wonderful experience with this book. I think the best story I can tell is this: I was in Chicago reading at a very diverse school, with a lot of brown-skinned kids. A biracial kid came up to me and put his arm up to mine and said, “You and I are the […]

One Day, the End: Illustrator Fred Koehler’s 2016 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

One Day, The End

One Day, the End is an out-of-the-box collaboration with the fantastic team at Boyds Mills Press and the brilliant Rebecca Kai Dotlich. As the illustrator, I was able to base the book’s narrator, both in personality and physical design, on my daughter. She and the character from the book are both smart, clever, independent, and […]

One Day, the End: Author Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s 2016 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

One Day, The End

Thank you for this magical moment, and for honoring our book One Day, the End. I am indebted to illustrator Fred Koehler for taking a concept, an idea, and making it a book, an amazing one, and I thank him particularly and deeply for the spunky, adventurous character that he brought to life based, in […]

Most Dangerous: Author Steve Sheinkin’s 2016 BGHB NF Award Speech

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First of all, I totally agree with what people have said tonight about how incredibly nice and supportive this community of writers is. At a recent book event, I got to sit next to the great cartoonist Roz Chast, and I wanted to say something, get some kind of conversation going, so I started telling […]