Translating Hagrid’s Accent

I love this fascinating look at the complications of translating Harry Potter into an international bestseller and maintain its sense of British-ness and wordplay.

Also, I totally didn’t realize that that was how Quidditch got its name.

No matter where you may live and what languages you may speak, we can all feel part of the wizarding world.

Babbitt Everlasting

I was so sad to learn that Natalie Babbitt, author of the beautiful Tuck Everlasting, died yesterday at 84 years old, after a battle with lung cancer. Publisher’s Weekly has a lovely obituary about Babbitt’s life and work. In the AP article about her passing, I love this quote by her husband:

“She once said that her ambition was just to leave a little scratch on the rock..I think she did that with ‘Tuck Everlasting.'”

My childhood copy of Tuck Everlasting.

My childhood copy of Tuck Everlasting.

I more than agree. Tuck Everlasting is a book I read over and over as a kid, and I got something new out of it every time. I reread it as an adult a few years ago, and I was blown away by the precision of her writing–her craft was on point. I also write about how Tuck Everlasting stays with me as an adult and the power of children’s literature a little while back for Ploughshares.

I got to meet Babbitt briefly about ten years ago, when I first moved to Boston. She was doing a panel with Lowis Lowry and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and I got my copy of Tuck Everlasting signed. I don’t remember saying anything in particular to her (probably just “thank you for being here, I love your book”) or that she said anything in particular to me, but it was one of the first big writer experiences I had, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see her.

I’m so sorry that the world has lost Natalie Babbitt, but what a wonderful mark she’s made on the lives of so many readers. It seems appropriate to end with this quote from Tuck Everlasting:

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s appropriately fall-y here in New England, and all I want to do is wear hoodies, see all the turning leaves, drink tea, curl up with a few good books, and bake all the baked goods. Hopefully I’ll get a least a couple of those in over the weekend. Let’s kick things off with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing.

ReadingLife Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People by Camille DeAngelis
If you liked Big Magic, get Life Without Envy immediately. Must-read for writers.

Writing: …I thought, maybe it’s true—maybe this will be an adventure.
New projects are always an adventure.

 

Quote of the Day

rilke

Currently reading (and loving) Life Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People
by Camille DeAngelis. Camille included this Rilke quote, and of course I had to Photoshop it into the image above.

Stand strong, trees.

(Original image: Green tree by Stanley Zimny)

Links Galore

All the links I’ve been saving:

Where Are Your Mirrors? Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 Infographic

It’s one thing to read stats, and it’s another thing to see them. Based on information compiled by the the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), David Huyck created the infographic below:

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image by David Huyck

How sad is it to see actual kids with less representation than animals and inanimate objects? Publishing as a whole needs to provide diverse young readers with way more mirrors.

The good news is that David has made his infographic available for general use, so you can share this around your own blog/social media networks. Because the more we see and talk about problems like this, the harder it is to ignore.

Happy Book Birthday to The Light Fantastic!

Fellow Candlewick author Sarah Combs is one of my favorite writers and people in the world. Her debut, Breakfast Served Anytime, got me teary because it was so beautifully written and so full of love and hope and feels. So obviously I’ve been way excited for her next book, and I am thrilled to say that The Light Fantastic is out today! A little about the book:

Delaware, the morning of April 19. Senior Skip Day, and April Donovan’s eighteenth birthday. Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the country is still reeling, and April’s rare memory condition has her recounting all the tragedies that have cursed her birth month. And just what was that mysterious gathering under the bleachers about? Meanwhile, in Nebraska, Lincoln Evans struggles to pay attention in Honors English, distracted by the enigmatic presence of Laura Echols, capturer of his heart. His teacher tries to hold her class’s interest, but she can t keep her mind off what Adrian George told her earlier. Over in Idaho, Phoebe is having second thoughts about the Plan mere hours before the start of a cross-country ploy led by an Internet savant known as the Mastermind. Is all her heartache worth the cost of the Assassins machinations? The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption.

I’m so excited to see how Sarah brings together these viewpoints to craft a sensitive and thoughtful story of grief and anger and pain and hope.

In case that all sounds awesome to you, too, friend and fantastic book blogger Ginger is celebrating The Light Fantastic‘s release with a giveaway! Inspired by one of the book’s associated discussion questions, Sarah and Ginger are sharing their lists of five good things/things that matter. Check out their lists and sign up to win a copy of the book!

Even though I’ve already ordered my copy, I want to share my list of five good, real things. In no particular order:

  • The smell of bread baking, the magic of seeing how such simple ingredients can become something so delicious.
  • When a song comes on the radio and you have to turn it up and sing along and make ridiculous emotive hand gestures.
  • The first sip of coffee.
  • Jokes you have with loved ones that go so far back, you don’t even remember exactly when or how they started.
  • When you’re watching a movie, sneaking a glance at the rest of the audience and seeing them engrossed in the story.

Head over to Ginger’s to share your five, enter her giveaway, and most importantly, get yourself a copy of The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs!