Julie Berry's Blog

January 12, 2017

I've been devouring 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley, and marking it up like a Bible for its densely packed gems of clear critical insights and unapologetic opinions. The book is the fruit of a process Smiley underwent of reading 100 novels, ranging across centuries, cultures, and styles. She's got me salivating. I want to do the same thing -- make a very deliberate selection of acclaimed, significant, diverse, groundbreaking titles and read them in both a curricular and a perso...
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Published on January 12, 2017 11:03 • 17 views

January 12, 2016

Today is the release date for the paperback edition of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place , released by the SquareFish imprint of Macmillan, so I thought a scandalous celebration was in order. Cue the ginger beer and the shortbread biscuits! But whatever you do, beware the veal.

First of all, the cover deserves some love. This artistic gem by Italian illustrator Iacopo Bruno has been a gift to the book. But look! The paperback gets a new treatment in blue, as compared to the amber c...
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Published on January 12, 2016 11:42 • 142 views

October 5, 2015

I'm excited to share the exquisite cover of my upcoming young adult novel, The Passion of Dolssa, coming April 12, 2016 from Viking Children's Books in North America. Isn't it pretty? My thanks to the talented design team at Penguin Young Readers Group.

This has been my most engrossing, challenging, and heart-rending project to date. It's a historical drama and romance, and I'm thrilled (and a little nervous!) to share it with the world. Set in medieval France, it tells the story of Dolssa, a...
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Published on October 05, 2015 05:24 • 17 views

July 2, 2015

Last March, I guest-blogged for the State Library of Victoria, Australia's groovy blog for YA readers: InsideADog.com. Over the course of the month I wrote eight posts about writing. Enough time has passed that I should repost them here, with links to the original. Enjoy!

Where in the World is Julie Berry? 
"Why do we do this? Do you have the same crazy appetite that I do to chuck three-dimensional, ultra high-definition reality for the hazy murk of a fictive world? To disappear...
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Published on July 02, 2015 13:46 • 13 views

February 22, 2015

When I was a young (so very young!) bride-to-be, the women at my church threw me a bridal shower. Among the dishes, towels, and utensils I received from this coven of kind and knowing women was a gift that did not seem to fit--a slim, beige volume of poetry: Sabbaths by Wendell Berry, published in 1987 by North Point Press, San Francisco. The friend who gave the gift was undoubtedly making a little joke about what my name would be when I married Phil Berry. I confess that at the time I didn't...
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Published on February 22, 2015 23:55 • 135 views

November 13, 2014

Here’s an overdue bulletin of all that’s been happening with me lately (and why I’ve been so behind in my blogging!). 1.     This year we managed an epic cross-country move from suburban Boston to suburban Los Angeles. And all in a relatively short time, to, from final decision to final arrival. It’s been a somewhat harrowing adventure, including home renovations, yard sales, getting rid of tons of stuff, packing, unloading vehicles, buying new vehicles, flying family plus cats...
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Published on November 13, 2014 11:22 • 196 views

May 5, 2014

Last weekend was the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in Springfield, MA. I attended on Friday and Saturday, and gave a presentation Saturday afternoon with my editor from Viking Children's Books, Kendra Levin.

I attended my first such conference in 2006 in Nashua, NH. Since then the conference has outgrown one venue after another. I remember that first conference vividly. I had signed up for a critique for the first ten pages of the very first...
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Published on May 05, 2014 08:29 • 163 views

December 23, 2013

These books were gifts for nieces and nephews, ranging from 3-12, and I’ve already given them, so there’s no harm now in me sharing my choices here. Last-minute shoppers, if you’re hitting your bookstore and looking for ideas for great reads, you might want to look for these. (And what, I ask, is the purpose of school vacation, if not to read read read?) 
Use the links under each title to see if your nearby indie has them in stock. If not, you can order them. 
Picture books Monstergart...
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Published on December 23, 2013 06:05 • 123 views

December 16, 2013

1. It’s shiny.2. The cover has Christmas colors.3. Mistletoe is romantic. So is the book. 4. Sprinkle it with seeds and water, and it becomes a ChiaBook. 5. Before you wrap it, you can read it. She’ll never know unless you spill nacho crumbs.6. It helps digest Christmas dinner. Flop on the couch with book and Tums.7. “Crumbs” rhymes with “Tums.”
If you tweet a photo of your new book (at the store! coming out of the package!) and tell where you got it, I will mail you a signed bookplate, po...
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Published on December 16, 2013 18:59 • 83 views

November 22, 2013

A few years ago I attended Kate Messner’s Swinger of Birches writing retreat on Lake Champlain for the first time. Many authors I met there have become writer pals for life. One who leaped out at me (figuratively! Ahem.) was Sarah Albee. Smart, funny, clever, talented, and kind could describe every writer there, but there was something so cool about Sarah. (Don’t you want to hang out with the author of Poop Happened ? I do!) She’s a rockstar writer, a jock, a scholar, a fascinating blogger, a...
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Published on November 22, 2013 08:00 • 23 views