Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Blog

September 11, 2014

.


Hello, Global Read Aloud Teachers, Librarians, Students, and Fellow Reading Enthusiasts!


Let me just say what an extraordinary honor it is to have One for the Murphys chosen as a Global Read Aloud book this year. I am absolutely stunned by the company that it is in. I think no matter which book you choose for #GRA14, you can’t go wrong!


ALL GRA 14


If you have chosen Murphys as your read aloud, I would like to try to help make the experience feel a bit more interactive for your kiddos. So here are some things that I’ve done/will be doing for GRA!


1) I have read Chapter ONE online for you. Don’t think I wasn’t nervous doing this, either, but I thought that kids may like to hear the beginning read by the author.


2) I have read the last chapter online for you as well. I’ve heard from many teachers who have cried while reading it and from many students who have watched their teacher cry while reading it. I am so grateful that readers feel connected enough to Carley to feel such emotion. But, I also feel a bit bad sometimes. Like I should start sending flowers to people. 


For you teachers who do read in front of kids even though you know you’ll cry—kudos to you! I think that’s brave and great for kids to see. I also think it’s a bonding experience for a class.




3) Some teachers have expressed wanting to order “Be someone’s hero” lanyards. I usually give these out at schools when I visit, but for GRA, I will offer them for sale at cost plus just a bit more to cover packaging and postage. They will only be for sale for a few weeks. Please e-mail me at lyndamullalyhunt@gmail.com with LANYARD ORDER in the subject line to receive a printable order form. I’m asking for e-mail so I can tell people if I run out. If I run out, I will let you know here.


GRA lanyards


4) I promised on Twitter that I will send out a limited number of class sets (30) of free bookmarks (see below) for classes reading One for the Murphys for #GRA. Please send an e-mail to lyndamullalyhunt@gmail.com with #GRA BOOKMARKS in subject line. Please provide your SCHOOL mailing address. I’m sorry but I won’t be able to mail to residential addresses. Thanks! (I’m sorry :-/ bracelets are not available for shipping)


5) I will be holding an in-person GRA LAUNCH CELEBRATION in Mystic CT at the fabulous BANK SQUARE BOOKS—one of CT’s best indie bookstores. It will be held on Oct 6th from 4:00-6:00. TEACHERS who attend–I will have classroom packs for you containing bookmarks and “Be someone’s hero” bracelets for your class. I’ll explain the back story for One for the Murphys and tell you about my strange writing process  There will also be raffles for cool stuff.


GRA bookmarks and bracelets


6) If you do not live near Mystic, CT., BANK SQUARE BOOKS and their awesome staff such as Kelsy or Julia are taking orders for signed copies that they will ship to you. Place your order and I will sign it the night of Oct 6th and it will then be shipped to you. Please call the store at (860) 536 – 3795 to order your book and leave instructions—I am happy to personalize! If no instructions are left, I will just do the basic signature.



7) I am already pretty booked up with Skype visits with classes, having booked MANY over the summer and early fall. I know that the phenomenal writer and person, Kate Messner, was a GRA author last year and ran into the same thing. So, borrowing Kate’s idea, I ask that students and teachers ask questions in the comments section ON THIS POST throughout #GRA and I will choose a couple of questions each week and answer them in a video. The more creative the question, the more likely it will be chosen. If you include the kid’s name who came up with the question, I will mention him/her. I will post links to those videos here. Also, you can search Youtube.com for my name and #GRA14


Okay! So, that’s it! I am so excited to begin Global Read Aloud SOON! Huge thanks to Pernille Ripp ( @pernilleripp on Twitter) who CREATED GLOBAL READ ALOUD. What an extraordinary thing you’ve begun, Pernille!


Read on, folks. Read on. And remember…


Hero badge


Filed under: writing Tagged: #GRA14, Global read aloud, GRA, pernille ripp
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on September 11, 2014 16:01 • 18 views

April 1, 2014

 


I am blessed to be co-director of the annual SCBWI-New England Whispering Pines Retreat. I mean I could do a whole post on just THAT! Love the retreat. Love the venue. Love the people that attend. Love it all.


This year, our uber-talented and generous editor mentors were Regina Griffin, Executive Editor at Egmont USA, Sarah Dotts Barley, Editor at HarperCollins, and Christine Krones, Editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Our fabulous author mentor was Audrey Vernick and our Marketing Extraordinaire expert was Kirsten Cappy of Curious City in Portland Maine.


Truly. These ladies were phenomenal. If only they could have heard the chatter after they’d left about how inspiring, intelligent, generous everyone thought they were. How grateful everyone was. It was a memorable year. One for the books :-)


Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, here are some–you guessed–pictures :-)


 


The beginning...

The beginning…


 


 


Where we break bread...

Where we break bread…


 


 


The weekend Gang!

The weekend Gang!


 


SONY DSC

L to R: Lynda, Regina Griffin, Executive Editor of Egmont, Christine Krones, Editor at Houghton Mifflin, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, Sarah Dotts Barley of HarperCollins, Audrey Vernick, Author, and Co-director, Mary Pierce


 


Our wonderful First Page Readers, Mary Pierce and Jenny Bagdigian

Our wonderful First Page Readers, Mary Pierce and Jenny Bagdigian


 


If it hadn't been raining, we would have done s'mores  here. :-)

If it hadn’t been raining, we would have done s’mores here. :-)


 


Instead, we made s'mores in the fireplace. Which was still pretty great :-)  As evidenced by the experts, Sarah and Jean.

Instead, we made s’mores in the fireplace. Which was still pretty great :-) As evidenced by the experts, Sarah and Jean.


 


With my Maine girls, Julie and Cameron  :-)

With my Maine girls, Julie and Cameron :-)


 


red hat

The incomparable Carlyn Beccia brought this hat and got a picture of everyone in attendance wearing it.


 


My corny thank you. :-) When a Transformers kaleidoscope speaks to the transformative nature of SCBWI - adding color to our lives.

My corny thank you. :-) When a Transformers kaleidoscope speaks to the transformative nature of SCBWI – adding color to our lives.


Moi with dear friends--and talented ladies--Mary Pierce, Laurie Murphy, and Jennifer Thermes

Moi with dear friends–and talented ladies–Mary Pierce, Laurie Murphy, and Jennifer Thermes


 


Awesome ladies--Kim Savage, Cameron Rosenblum, Annie Cardi, and Caroline Webster

Awesome ladies–Kim Savage, Cameron Rosenblum, Annie Cardi, and Caroline Webster


 


The fabulous Kirsten Cappy and her red hat picture.

The fabulous Kirsten Cappy and her red hat picture.


 


Circle of friends. Me, Penny Piva, and Jenny Bagdigian

Circle of friends. Me, Penny Piva, and Jenny Bagdigian


 


This year's get-up as Kid-lit Jeopardy emcee.

This year’s get-up as Kid-lit Jeopardy emcee. Obviously serious business…


 


Kid-Lit Jeopardy teams trying to win points for fabulous prizes and world wide prestige.

Kid-Lit Jeopardy teams trying to win points for fabulous prizes and world wide prestige.


 


Lovely Eisenhower Lake

Lovely Eisenhower Lake


 


With Nancy Tandon :-)

With Nancy Tandon :-)


The stylish and wondrous Jill Dailey

The stylish and wondrous Jill Dailey


Penny Piva rocks the red hat shot!

Penny Piva rocks the red hat shot!


 


Jill Dailey, Kristin Russo, Nancy Tandon, and Holly Howley :-)

Jill Dailey, Kristin Russo, Nancy Tandon, and Holly Howley :-)


Jennifer O'Keefe puts down her paint brushes to do the hat a favor. Thank you, Jen, for the lovely art work you did for people on the fly :-) BEST nametags we've ever had!

Jennifer O’Keefe puts down her paint brushes to do the hat a favor. Thank you, Jen, for the lovely art work you did for people on the fly :-) BEST nametags we’ve ever had!


The amazing Audrey Vernick. She spoke to picture books, but there was wisdom to be had for writers in any genre. Just wonderful.

The amazing Audrey Vernick. She spoke to picture books, but there was wisdom to be had for writers in any genre. Just wonderful.


 


kirsten

The extraordinary Kirsten Cappy of Curious City imparts tremendous marketing wisdom. *mind blown*


 


 


Christine Krones of Houghton Mifflin teaches us about herself, writing, and the business. Her visuals were awesome!

Christine Krones of Houghton Mifflin teaches us about herself, writing, and the business. Lots of fantastic info–and her visuals were awesome!


Love this picture of Sarah DOtts Barley, Editor at HarperCollins. It's just

Love this picture of Sarah Dotts Barley, Editor at HarperCollins. It’s just “so Sarah” – full of joy and affection for literature. And sweetness toward writers :-) She spoke to us about revision – the rest of us scribbled wildly.


 


regina griffin

Regina Griffin, Executive Editor from Egmont was our final mentor to speak–and what a way to wrap up. I wish I’d been able to record it–such phenomenal wisdom-laden points laced with clever humor.


 


photggo

Group shot during evening portion of first pages. Mentors were awesome at this!


 


 


THANK YOU again to our wonderful mentors. This was a year for the books, as they say. :-)

THANK YOU again to our wonderful mentors. This was a year for the books, as they say. :-)


 


 


Now to start planning next year so that we may return...

Now to start planning next year so that we may return…


 


 


 


Filed under: Whispering Pines, writing
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on April 01, 2014 13:08 • 80 views

November 30, 2013

Last weekend, I attended NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English). What an amazing weekend. And, no…I’m not just throwing that word, amazing, around. It really did amaze me.


It amazed me to see so many kid & book loving people all in one place. It amazed me to see the sea of publishers’ booths. It amazed me to meet authors whose work I’ve admired for years. It amazed me to meet friends “for real” from my online community and The Nerdy Book Club. It amazed me to attend workshops given by these people for their teaching colleagues – and it amazed me how much it all made me miss being in the classroom. Inspiration everywhere!


And I left feeling just so, so grateful. Grateful that I have been blessed with this career. And grateful that there are teachers in the world like the ones I met at NCTE. I had many teachers and librarians thank me for writing, which I so appreciated and was humbled by. But, let’s face it–without the teachers like the ones below (and tons of others!) most kids wouldn’t pick up books, discover how opening the cover of a book can open up things inside of them that they never would have dreamed. Books do change lives. I’m proof of that.


So here’s to teachers and librarians! There are so many gifted, big-hearted people in the trenches with our kids every day. Thank goodness.


Here is my picture wrap-up of the most excellent NCTE, 2013. :-)


Bostonbanner


boston


Hanging out in the Penguin Booth with the phenomenal Judy Blume. WOW! Also, there with Eileen Bishop Kreit from Puffin. Always so happy to see Eileen. :-)

Hanging out in the Penguin Booth with the phenomenal Judy Blume. WOW! Also, there with Eileen Bishop Kreit from Puffin. Always so happy to see Eileen. She’s a rock star in my book. :-)


Happy to visit with lit agency friends! (Front:) Susan Meyer, Erin Murphy (my agent), Joan Paquette, Elly Swartz  (Back:) Jennifer Nielsen, Audrey Vernick, Nancy Tupper Ling, moi

Happy to visit with lit agency friends! (Front:) Susan Meyer, Erin Murphy (my agent), Joan Paquette, Elly Swartz (Back:) Jennifer Nielsen, Audrey Vernick, Nancy Tupper Ling, moi


My fabulous agent, Erin Murphy. Doesn't she have the best name ever? :-)

My fabulous agent, Erin Murphy. Doesn’t she have the best name ever? :-)


Editor and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen, with

Editor and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen, with “her girls” at NCTE. Beck McDowell, Nancy Paulsen, moi, Jacqueline Woodson


Love these ladies!  Alyson Beecher and Cynthia Alaniz . SO fortunate to attend their panel :-)

Love these ladies! Alyson Beecher and Cynthia Alaniz . SO fortunate to attend their panel :-)


Alyson Beecher who has been so very sweet throughout my debut journey. Loved meeting her for real!

Alyson Beecher who has been so very sweet throughout my debut journey. Loved meeting her for real!


Who doesn't love Jennifer Nielsen? Finally got to talk with each other in person!

Who doesn’t love Jennifer Nielsen? Finally got to talk with each other in person!


Dessert with some of my favorite Maine ladies: Susan Dee, Mary , Gigi McAllister, and Mary Lou Shuster

Dessert with some of my favorite Maine ladies: Susan Dee, Mary Bellavance, Gigi McAllister, and Mary Lou Shuster


Chatting with these great ladies about books. Thanks, Heather Jensen :-)

Chatting with these great ladies about books. Thanks, Heather Jensen and Amy Romanowski :-)


Here I am with Gigi McAllister!! Yeah :-)

Here I am with Gigi McAllister!! Yeah :-)


Here, I am with my editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen. I could write something very long about how phenomenal she is, but then she'd have to edit it. :-)  So, let's just say that I'm blessed.

Here, I am with my editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen. I could write something very long about how phenomenal she is, but then she’d have to edit it. :-) So, let’s just say that I’m blessed.


An amazing panel on multi-cultural literature with authors, Mitali Perkins, Christina Gonzalez, and Matt de la Pena. Also, teachers, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner (standing) and Alyson Beecher

An amazing panel on multi-cultural literature with authors, Mitali Perkins, Christina Gonzalez, and Matt de la Pena. Also, teachers, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner (standing) and Alyson Beecher


At a fun Tweet-up with Marianne Knowles, Ann Haywood Leal, and Emily Mitchell

At a fun Tweet-up with Marianne Knowles, Ann Haywood Leal, and Emily Mitchell


Ellen Hopkins and Erin Dionne. :-)

Ellen Hopkins and Erin Dionne. :-)


I got to meet Melissa Guerrette! Yeah! :-)

I got to meet Melissa Guerrette! Yeah! :-)


Such fun to meet Colby Sharp in person!

Such fun and an honor to meet Colby Sharp in person! Nerdy Book Ambassador Extraordinaire.


Meeting the great Donalyn Miller, co-founder of The Nerdy Book Club and renowned author, was such a pleasure. A sweet author moment for me.

Meeting the great Donalyn Miller, Co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club phenomenon and acclaimed author/literacy expert, was such a pleasure. Such a sweet author moment for me.


Nerdy presenter, Teri Lesesne (AKA Professor Nana!) WOW! :-)

Nerdy presenter, Teri Lesesne (AKA Professor Nana!) :-) Teri shared a bunch of cool online stuff to help teachers turn kids onto reading and help teachers organize including vine videos and livebinder.com


Nerdy Co-Founder, Colby Sharp presents with Author, Jenni Holm :-)

Nerdy Co-Founder, Colby Sharp presents with uber-talented author, Jenni Holm :-) “We want to give kids experiences that change lives.” ~Colby “Help your students make connections to authors via Skype, Twitter, and fan mail.” ~Jenni


Nerdy presenter, Kellee Moye  :-)

Nerdy presenter, Kellee Moye :-) “Set high expectations and hold the kids to them.” “You might as well be *that* teacher that talks books.” “Give the kids choices re: books.” “Don’t just hand out books. You must book talk them!”


A Nerdy workshop!

The Nerdy audience! :-)


Nerdy presenter, Katherine Sokolowski :-)

Nerdy presenter, Katherine Sokolowski :-) Conferences with kids should be like talking around a table.” “Going forward–it’s all about relationships. I’m not talking about me–I’m talking about *them* ” “Slow down. Talk less.”


Donalyn Miller! :-)

Donalyn Miller! :-) “Every reader has value and their own voice.”


Nerdy presenter, Cindy Minnich, and YA author, Beck McDowell

Nerdy presenter, Cindy Minnich, and YA author, Beck McDowell


cindyminnich

Cindy Minnich presents at Nerdy Workshop! :-) “Our lives are constantly changing and we need to change with them.” “Have kids keep log of their lives.” “If we know where we are and where we want to be, we can plan.”


jackie woodson

Me with Jackie Woodson. Amazing writer. Phenomenal person.


This was actually at AASL the weekend before, but I SO loved being on a panel with these ladies. We spoke on using books to teach resilience and compassion: (1st row:) Jo Knowles, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Karen Day, (2nd row:) Leslie Connor, Erin Moulton, Me, Cynthia Lord  (not pictured: Moderator, Susannah Richards)

This was actually at AASL the weekend before, but I SO loved being on a panel with these ladies. We spoke on using books to teach resilience and compassion: (1st row:) Jo Knowles, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Karen Day, (2nd row:) Leslie Connor, Erin Moulton, Me, Cynthia Lord (not pictured: Moderator, Susannah Richards)


Filed under: agent, author, editor, friends, inspiring, writing Tagged: NCTE NCTE13 #NCTE13
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on November 30, 2013 10:52 • 37 views

November 5, 2013

MyVeryUnFairyTaleLife_CVR.indd My Epic Fairy Tale Fail Final Cover RGB My-Sort-Of-Fairy-Tale-Ending-Cover


A Huge Fairy Tale welcome to author and friend, Anna Staniszewski, who has just released the third installment of her amazing Unfairy Tale series. She is here to tell us about when a hero wants to quit. WELCOME!


“Thanks, Lynda! Happy to be here.


When I first started working on the UnFairy Tale series several years ago, all I knew was that my character Jenny was a reluctant hero. Very reluctant. The “I’m done and I never want to do this again” kind. Jenny had already been a magical adventurer for a few years and she was TIRED. I liked the idea of having a character who’s sick of magic and just wants to be normal again.


There was only one problem with this type of book: when the hero has pretty much quit before the story starts, it’s BORING. Who wants to read about someone quitting? So I had to start in a different place and show why Jenny was sick of being a hero, why she wanted to quit. Then we could really understand her frustration.


Of course, once Jenny quits being a hero, she discovers that a normal life isn’t necessarily any better, and she realizes that she can’t help saving the day when people are in trouble. I think that idea ultimately weaves through the whole series. Jenny has to be a hero because she can’t stand by and let fairy tale creatures be mistreated.


Jenny might not be the kind of hero who runs into a situation with her sword swinging (like Sir Knight does in the second book) but she’s a hero in her own way. She uses humor and cheesy sayings and crafty schemes. Jenny might not love being a hero, but that’s what makes her a good one; she saves the day because she knows no one will do it for her.


I’m not sure Jenny will ever be a non-reluctant hero, but I think over the course of the series, I’ve found ways to convince her to become a (mostly) willing one.”



Bio:

Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish anAnna Staniszewskid English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston with her husband and their black Labrador, Emma.


When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of My Very UnFairy Tale Life and its sequels, My Epic Fairy Tale Fail and My Sort of Fairy Tale Ending, all published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Look for the first book in Anna’s next tween series, The Dirt Diary, in January 2014, and visit her at http://www.annastan.com/


Filed under: author, EMLA, Guest post--Author, middle-grade, writing Tagged: Anna Staniszewski, Author Guest Post
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on November 05, 2013 06:00 • 48 views

October 19, 2013

.


For years, I knew that pit in the stomach every morning before school. Like so many others, I was bullied as a kid. A lot.


The first bout began in fourth grade under bright autumn leaves and continued until green buds returned. Three boys a year older than me decided they would make it their almost-daily task to DSC09712meet me at the same place and beat me up. Thing is, I could have avoided them, as I walked home every day and there were multiple ways to leave. I knew this. Yet. Every single day, I would show up. I’d put down my stuff. And…I’d try to win.


It was the 70’s. We didn’t tell. We were raised to believe that it was “part of growing up.” And, at that time, it really was. Some of my peer struggles were pretty extreme. In the sixth grade, I landed in the emergency room for stitches, but lucky that I didn’t lose my left eye. (I don’t think the other kid intended such an extreme result, but…)


It wasn’t just physical. For three years, there were some girls that used to share their opinions of me every day. Which was worse than a fight. Was I afraid of the bullying? I was. Did I hate it? I did. But, I reacted to mistreatment with a stubborn passion that I am forever grateful to my Mum for. When others would say and do things that were unkind, a message would meander through my head. Like an iron whisper. “They’re wrong.”


This was a gift. I know that. And I know that not everyone can react this way. But I do believe a reaction like this can be learned–for self talk is so powerful. When someone else tries to drag us down, most of us react in one of two ways: The first is “I don’t deserve that” which lights a fire inside—the kind of fire that fuels determination and success. The kind of thing that helps people rise above their circumstances. Turns victims into conquerors.


The second reaction is, “They’re right.” A deflation of the spirit. It’s an understandable reaction but one we must all fight to eradicate in the children/teens we know. Actually, in anyone we know.


For me, resilience was honed by being resilient. I have achieved things I never thought I would because I pushed through fear, dismissed the naysayers, and plugged away. There is no doubt that my struggles and heartbreak as a kid have aided in my success along the way. Although, a bit ironic, I think.


I recall when the anti-bullying campaigns were introduced to schools over a decade ago. Being good to each other is a great message, of course. But, with the seemingly constant reports of childhood despair because of bullying by peers…well, I have wondered why we don’t have more calls for resilience as well. A reminder to play the “I don’t deserve this” message rather than giving in to feeling ashamed about labels that someone else pins to us–which are probably inaccurate. After all, a bully’s actions/words have more to do with him/her than their target.


I’ll be honest. I’ve sat and long-stared at victims’ pictures—kids bright-eyed and beautiful and looking like they’ll take on the world when they grow up. Kids who’ve had supportive parents, people who love them…and yet…they end their lives because of bullying. The word, heartbreaking, doesn’t nearly cover it.


I love the “It Gets Better” campaign. It’s gone a long way in showing gay teens that they are not alone and that it really does get better.  Also, there is a wonderful video below done by Megan Kelley Hall, one of the editors of Dear Bully. (The other Dear Bully editor is Carrie Jones) We need more and varied messages like this for kids–and we need to introduce resilience earlier. When I visit schools, I discuss the phrase, “Be someone’s hero.” I touch upon being good to each other, of course. But I also point out that this phrase means being a hero to yourself as well. Knowing that just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. And every time. Every school. I see some faces of kids who I suspect have not heard this before.


Teaching kindness is a such a human thing to do. It’s because we’re protective. It represents our wish for peace and mutual understanding. Our desire to toss out the things about humanity we know don’t shine. It is a lesson we need to continue to teach–and model. I have seen wonderful changes in schools since the anti-bullying campaigns began. Sadly, though, there will be kids who are still unkind. Regardless of these lessons.


So, my hope is that we are spending some time teaching kids to stand tall as well. To be brave. Value who they are—for we all have gifts to offer the world. Know that others’ opinions are not necessarily facts. Self esteem doesn’t come from others; it comes from impressing ourselves. And how do we do that?


Stand strong. Seek out what makes you happy. Shake off the bad stuff and look for the good, because there’s plenty of it. Seek out the people who do care–because they are there. You can succeed. Be happy. Chase down any dream you wish. Make any life you want. Regardless of having been bullied.


Because you are worthy.


Of everything wonderful.


^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*


GIVEAWAY:  Enter to win signed copies of BREAK THESE RULES and ONE FOR THE MURPHYS


by leaving a comment below, retweeting, and sharing. Giveaway ends


Sunday, Oct 27th at 11:59 pm. Thank you :-)


^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*



Filed under: Be Someone's Hero, courage, Heroes, inspiring, writing Tagged: bullies, bully, helping kids, overcoming bullying, resilience, resilient, teaching kids resilience
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on October 19, 2013 23:55 • 28 views

.


For years, I knew that pit in the stomach every morning before school. Like so many others, I was bullied as a kid. A lot.


The first bout began in fourth grade under bright autumn leaves and continued until green buds returned. Three boys a year older than me decided they would make it their almost-daily task to DSC09712meet me at the same place and beat me up. Thing is, I could have avoided them, as I walked home every day and there were multiple ways to leave. I knew this. Yet. Every single day, I would show up. I’d put down my stuff. And…I’d try to win.


It was the 70’s. We didn’t tell. We were raised to believe that it was “part of growing up.” And, at that time, it really was. Some of my peer struggles were pretty extreme. In the sixth grade, I landed in the emergency room for stitches, but lucky that I didn’t lose my left eye. (I don’t think the other kid intended such an extreme result, but…)


Was I afraid of the constant bullying? I was. Did I hate it? I did. But, I reacted to mistreatment with a stubborn passion that I am forever grateful to my Mum for. When others would say and do things that were unkind, a message would meander through my head. Like an iron whisper. “They’re wrong.”


This was a gift. I know that. And I know that not everyone can react this way. But I do believe a reaction like this can be learned–for self talk is so powerful. When someone else tries to drag us down, most of us react in one of two ways: The first is “I don’t deserve that” which lights a fire inside—the kind of fire that fuels determination and success. The kind of thing that helps people rise above their circumstances. Turns victims into conquerors.


The second reaction is, “They’re right.” A deflation of the spirit. It’s an understandable reaction but one we must all fight to eradicate in the children/teens we know. Actually, in anyone we know.


For me, resilience was honed by being resilient. I have achieved things I never thought I would because I pushed through fear, dismissed the naysayers, and plugged away. There is no doubt that my struggles and heartbreak as a kid have aided in my success along the way. Although, a bit ironic, I think.


I recall when the anti-bullying campaigns were introduced to schools over a decade ago. Being good to each other is a great message, of course. But, with the seemingly constant reports of childhood despair because of bullying by peers…well, I have wondered why we don’t have more calls for resilience as well. A reminder to play the “I don’t deserve this” message rather than giving in to feeling ashamed about labels that someone else pins to us–which are probably inaccurate. After all, a bully’s actions/words have more to do with him/her than their target.


I’ll be honest. I’ve sat and long-stared at victims’ pictures—kids bright-eyed and beautiful and looking like they’ll take on the world when they grow up. Kids who’ve had supportive parents, people who love them…and yet…they end their lives because of bullying. The word, heartbreaking, doesn’t nearly cover it.


I love the “It Gets Better” campaign. It’s gone a long way in showing gay teens that they are not alone and that it really does get better.  We need more and varied messages like this for kids. When I visit schools, I discuss the phrase, “Be someone’s hero.” I touch upon being good to each other, of course. But I also point out that this phrase means being a hero to yourself as well. Knowing that just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. And every time. Every school. I see some faces of kids who I suspect have not heard this before.


Teaching kindness is a such a human thing to do. It’s because we’re protective. It represents our wish for peace and mutual understanding. Our desire to toss out the things about humanity we know don’t shine. It is a lesson we need to continue to teach–and model. I have seen wonderful changes in schools since the anti-bullying campaigns began. Sadly, though, there will be kids who are still unkind. Regardless of these lessons.


So, my hope is that we are spending some time teaching kids to stand tall as well. To be brave. Value who they are—for we all have gifts to offer the world. Know that others’ opinions are not necessarily facts. Self esteem doesn’t come from others; it comes from impressing ourselves. And how do we do that?


Stand strong. Seek out what makes you happy. Shake off the bad stuff and look for the good, because there’s plenty of it. Seek out the people who do care–because they are there. You can succeed. Be happy. Chase down any dream you wish. Make any life you want. Regardless of having been bullied.


Because you are worthy.


Of everything wonderful.


.




Filed under: Be Someone's Hero, courage, Heroes, inspiring, writing
 •  flag
0 comments
1 like · like  • 
Published on October 19, 2013 23:55 • 31 views

August 12, 2013

I am writing to THANK teachers for supporting One for the Murphys—but mostly I want to thank them for being who they are. For being with children every day. Affecting lives. Expanding imaginations. Bolstering self esteem. Seeing the child before the test-taker. Basically, being AWESOME.


So, I thought I’d express my appreciation with a giveaway. Giveaway includes:


August giveaway



Ten signed copies of Scholastic Book Club’s One for the Murphys
One copy of Break These Rules (I have one essay in here that I will sign. This is YA, though.)
Twelve  Be someone’s hero bracelets
A class set of signed bookmarks
Two Murphys pens
Two Be someone’s hero lanyards
A free 45-minute Skype visit with Lynda during the 2013-2014 school year

To enter, please make a comment below, share on FB, RT on Twitter, or post on your own Twitter acct. Please copy me there at @Lynmullalyhunt. Each share/tweet/etc. is an additional entry. Thank you!!  Winner will be chosen at 11:59 pm on Saturday, August 17th.


Also, here is the printable Teacher’s Guide with questions, graphic organizers, Writing prompts, and Common Core info for grades 5-8.


Here is the Official Book Trailer.


Again—my THANKS to teachers for all that you are doing. Many of your students may not understand your influence on their lives until years from now. But, having had some teachers that changed my life, I want to thank you on their behalf today. J


.



Filed under: Be Someone's Hero, middle-grade, Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), Scholastic Book Club
 •  flag
1 comment
1 like · like  • 
Published on August 12, 2013 11:16 • 66 views

July 25, 2013

best deal – yahoo.com/great deal



Filed under: writing
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on July 25, 2013 09:29 • 27 views

May 1, 2013

I sometimes wonder if the truly invested teachers and librarians out there ever take the time to think about the impact they have on the world. The impact on individuals that they meet along the way. And how their reaching out to elevate the spirit a child is like knocking down a winding path of dominoes. Dominoes that can fall for years to come.

.ncte

I wonder if teachers and librarians like this ever stop to think how they change the world within the walls of their classrooms and libraries. How paying attention to the quiet child who could slip under the radar can change a kid’s perception of themselves. Change their internal compass. How realizing that sometimes the kid who creates the biggest commotion is asking for help in the only way he knows how.

.

I just read a comment from a librarian who spent her vacation reading five middle grade books and couldn’t wait to get back to school with them because she knew the exact students she would share them with. She was not patting herself on the back. She was not boastful.

.

She is a hero.

.

Today, I am thinking of the teachers and librarians who are quietly going about their day just as they always do. Saving children. With the right book. Or a hand on a kid’s shoulder. A knowing glance or nod. Some acknowledgement of understanding. A recess period of one-on-one help. Whether it be academic or otherwise.

.

And, I’m thinking of one child who desperately needs one of these heroes.


.



Filed under: Be Someone's Hero, courage, Heroes, inspiring, middle-grade, writing Tagged: heor, heroes, lIbrarians, saving kids, school, Teachers, teaching
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on May 01, 2013 11:54 • 90 views

April 18, 2013

As a kid, when asked, “If you had three wishes…” one of those wishes was always to live in Boston.


On the way back home to CT from Boston family gatherings, I would practice my Boston accentwelcome to mass (which sounded more like a rogue pirate than a Bostonian). I wanted a poster of Larry Bird in those too-short seventies shorts even though I was not a basketball fan. Why? Because of the Boston Shamrock on his jacket. Even now, the “Welcome to Massachusetts” sign feels like a return home.


I have a blessed life, but at the end of it all I will regret one thing. That I never actually lived in Boston.


The events of the Boston Marathon break my heart.


Whenever things get rough—when life hands me cards I’d rather not hold—I come to whatever it is from a place of gratitude. This is one of my best qualities, I think. It has literally saved me.


The events in Boston are still weighing heavily on me, and so I look for the good. Looking for the helpers (as Mr. Rogers used to say) and there are many. I am grateful that the many people I love who were at the marathon were uninjured—even the ones that stood at the finish line and witnessed the blasts. I am grateful that others that I love were spared seeing it at all. I cry for the losses and I cry for the triumphs. And there are so many of both.


I love the phrase, “Boston strong” because it fits—-man, is Boston full of a bunch of scrappy we’re-not-taking-this kind of people; I’ve always loved that about the city. I love how everyone around you in Fenway is your best friend for the day. I love the history of Boston and how the fighting spirit of being free from tyranny was born on its street and on its fields. I love the beauty and the humor and the energy of the city. I love how I feel like I’m part of something special when I’m there. Some of my favorite movies are set in Boston: Good Will Hunting, Fever Pitch, and Far and Away. Heck, I even wrote a whole novel with a beloved Boston theme. Why? Because if you’re going to convey emotion, I believe that your story has to have threads of things you really love.


And, I love Boston.


In the midst of all of this, I am prouder to be a New Englander and an American than ever. But, as an American and a mom and a wife and a sister and a daughter, I mourn too. I will for a long while. I have no doubt, though, that the Boston Marathon will draw record numbers next year and I plan to be there to cheer on the runners. Bostonians—and others from around the world–will stand. And run. With pride and with grit.


I may not have your zip code, Boston, but I have your back. My heart is with you. Just as it’s always been.



Filed under: Be Someone's Hero, courage, Heroes Tagged: boston marathon, good will hunting
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on April 18, 2013 11:32 • 57 views