Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Blog

July 3, 2016

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I’m on deadline and should be writing my novel right now but I am just SO DARN GRATEFUL, it’s just spilling out of me. I woke up today to find this on the header of the NYT Best Seller’s page. WHAT?! This is crazy.


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NYT Header with fish


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Also, last week, I attended The American Library Association’s conference where I received The Schneider Family Book Award. This is an award that means a great deal to me as I have followed all of its winners since 2007 when RULES by Cynthia Lord won. I loved that book


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Cropped Schneider


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so much. Because it won the Schneider, I’ve taken note of the Schneider winners every year since and you know what? The list of winners are among my favorite authors EVER. I have learned so much from authors such as Leslie Connor, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Joan Bauer, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and Cynthia Lord. And, it turns out that these very talented writers are truly stellar people. Seriously folks. How did this happen?


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If this wasn’t enough, I recently won the Crystal Kite Award, an award given by the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators). Again, this award means SO MUCH to me because it is won via votes from other writers and illustrators in one’s region. Crystal Kite seal on FIATAND this organization transformed my life. I don’t mean the writing thing. Yes, that was cool and a very welcome and amazing and unexpected treasure but it’s the people of SCBWI who I treasure most. The people who have stood by me through rejection and success. The people who are STILL my go-to people. I adore you. I have so many things to be grateful for in this career, but you top the pile.


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So, I really want to give back today. I want to help other children’s writers who are trying to figure it out and who are still waiting for publishing lightning to strike. It’s a long haul, I know, but we really ARE all in this together. (You may be interested in this from my website about the vulnerability of writing)


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SO WRITERS…In the comments section below, post your title, genre, and first line. Then include your Twitter name (preferred) or e-mail. I will choose a couple and reach out to those writers to send me the first five pages. I’ll read them and contact the writer with some feedback about character, beginning, pacing, etc.. It’s likely I’ll ask for a phone # as I’d rather have a two way chat rather than write an e-mail.


Also, please RT / share this to spread the word – I would very much appreciate it J


Yours truly,


the ever-grateful, I can’t believe all that’s happened, goofball,


Lynda


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Published on July 03, 2016 11:28 • 16 views

May 6, 2016

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Three years ago, I visited a class whose teacher told me that I “needed to speak with them.” She’d said she had a lot of “Carleys” from my first book, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS. I’d been scheduled to speak to them for 45 minutes. I was there for 2 1/2One for the Murphys Hi-res hours. And, yes, there were a lot of kids struggling with life’s circumstances. I could see it in their body language, their questions, and how some averted their eyes when stories relating to resilience came up. How I’d had to dig down and find my own when I was their age.


When I left, several followed me into the hallway. It was fun and lively and they made jokes as I walked backwards to face them. Then their teacher called them back and I turned to go. And then I heard my name.


I turned to look into the eyes of a boy as tall as me with dark, wide eyes. He took a deep breath and when he exhaled, his body sagged. He shook his head a bit and finally said, “I’ve been through an awful lot.”


I didn’t ask what. Instead, I gave him the room to share what he wanted. The little he did share broke my heart. One of the things that struck me was how his teacher had obviously been helping with far more than English, math and history. She was helping him lay a foundation to navigate the future. After we talked for about ten minutes, he said to me, “My teacher tells me that I can’t be thinking of myself as a victim.”


I held his shoulders and looked him in the eye and said “No. You will not be a victim. You will grow up and do great things in the world. You will use these experiences to help others. You will not be a victim. You…will be a conqueror.”


He nodded once and he swallowed hard. I could see he was already working on that.


I have since met several kids like this and as I think of them, I always think of their teachers as well. For every talk I’ve had with a child, there is an adult nearby. Circling from afar. Glancing over. Checking in. These kids have emotional safety nets in these teachers and I am grateful for them every single day. I wonder if these teachers realize that they are saving lives.


I’ve met teachers who buy books and food and jackets for kids in need. Teachers show up at author events two hours from their homes because their students couldn’t get there otherwise. And then they thank me—this always floors me. And then there are the teachers who are not able to do these things outside of school but do a darn good job of teaching and igniting curiosity in their kids. They take their calling seriously. They make kids want to come to school—which opens huge doors. I had such a teacher.


Having been a quiet, disheveled student whose standardized test scores said I was illiterate I showed up to sixth grade expecting to fail. Again. I had been in the lowest reading group since first grade and spent a lot of time looking around the room and wondering why I couldn’t do the things the other kids could do. I had begun to wonder what would become of me.   FullSizeRender(4)


And then I met Mr. Christy, my sixth grade teacher. He smiled when I walked into the room. He set high expectations and then ensured my success. He lifted me from one life path and set me on another. He changed the trajectory of my life by changing my perception of myself. He did this by focusing on the child rather than the student—and the student flourished. Regretfully, I didn’t have the words to thank him at the end of the year; I think eleven-year-old me was overwhelmed. Even though he has now passed away, I hope he knows that I’ve finally written him that thank you note. It’s 288 pages long and entitled, FISH IN A TREE.


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Giveaway for teachers for Teacher Appreciation Day:


TEN winners will be chosen ~ I will give away one signed hardcover of your choice (One for the Murphys or Fish in a Tree) to ten different winners. Each winner must be able to provide a school address. After all, it IS a Teacher’s Appreciation giveaway.  I will happily personalize it as well.


To enter, please leave a comment below and/or tweet / Retweet with the hashtag #OFTM which will help me find your entry.


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Published on May 06, 2016 16:51 • 39 views

February 13, 2016

Hello!


HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS!






It’s no secret to those of you who know me that I just adore and respect teachers and librarians teacherswho are out there every day with kids–reaching out to them with just the right book or just the right conversation and changing lives. As is often said in children’s literature circles, books offer both mirrors and windows to readers. We often discover things about ourselves and/or who we want to be through reading (mirrors). We also learn about the world–other cultures, ways of life, opinions and learn to empathize with others (windows). For some, a book offers a friend and the ability to revisit that friend as needed. Yes, we write the books. but YOU put those books into the hands of kids every day. We are a team.


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So…to express this appreciation and love for ALL of you heroes/teachers/librarians out there, I have banded together with some author friends (THANKS to you all for your kindness and generosity!) to offer one GIANT giveaway for one lucky winner. The winner of this giveaway will receive a signed copy of every single book below–each mailed to you in separate packages. Several are new releases, so the winner will be ahead of the game reading-wise in 2016! You may click on each cover to see more information about the book and its author.


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Directions for entering are at the bottom.


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So a pretty cool line-up of signed middle grade novels, huh?


Note: Ten of these books are 2016 releases. Therefore, there may be a delay in receiving a book that has not been released yet. When the author has them in hand, you will get one! Promise :-)


Okay–so to enter the MIDDLE GRADE Giveaway to win ALL of these books:


1) Make a comment on this blog about anything book-related or kid-related. Or teacher/librarian related. Or anything-under-the-sun related. :-) *Please provide twitter handle or e-mail address with your comment* Also, if you share elsewhere online (Facebook, Google+, etc.) please let me know here.


2) Share to Twitter with the hashtag #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers  I know–long hashtag :-) But it will help us find your entry! Please include link, if possible!


 


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Rules: ***Giveaway ends on Saturday, February 20th at 11:59. Winner will be announced Sunday morning.


1) This is to show our appreciation for teachers and librarians, specifically. Therefore, the winner must have a school mailing address and be presently employed at that school. (Sorry–only US and Canadian winners this time.)


***2) We know that teachers do not always get the appreciation they deserve. (They deserve parades and serenades and major awards.) This giveaway is a reminder that WE appreciate you. Yes—we write the books, but YOU get the books into the hands of our readers. Together, we are creating life-long readers. For that we are most grateful.


THANK YOU for visiting our giveaway!


Be well, read well,


Lynda


 


teachers2


Thanks for being fantastico


 


Filed under: author, books, Giveaway, Love of teachers, middle-grade, writing
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Published on February 13, 2016 17:00 • 157 views

November 12, 2015

NCTE logo 15Hey, Book Lovers and NCTE Adventurists!


I am SO excited to be attending NCTE15 in Minneapolis this week. Here is my schedule, just in case you’d like to attend something and say hello!


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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20th:


12:00 -1:00  SIGNING IN PENGUIN YOUNG READERS BOOTH – BOOTH #316


4:00 – 5:15  PANEL: “I HATE READING!: PEDAGOGY & ADAPTATIONS IN SHAME-RESILIENT CLASSROOMS” w/ Lisa Graff, Kara DiBartolo, Cheryl Mizerny, and Justin Stygles.   ROOM M100E


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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21st:


8:00 – 9:15 AM  “GLOBAL READ ALOUD – MAKING CONNECTIONS AROUND THE WORLD, WITHIN COMMUNITIES, CLASSROOMS, AND OURSELVES” with SHARON DRAPER, KATHERINE APPLEGATE, KATE MESSNER, JENNI HOLM, MICHELLE KEDZIERSKI, AND PERNILLE RIPP.  ROOM 101D


10:00 – 11:00  SIGNING WITH ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP  — BOOTH #950


4:15 – 5:30   MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT: USING INCLUSIVE LITERATURE TO FOSTER UNDERSTANDING, RESPONSIBILITY AND COMPASSION FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES with Gigi McAllister, Alyson Beecher, and Cynthia Lord.  BOOTH 101E


WOW! What a wonderful time we all have in store! I m SO hoping to see you at NCTE :-)


cover with frame button great minds no border 2 One for the Murphys Hi-res Hero badge


Filed under: Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), NCTE, writing
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Published on November 12, 2015 17:56 • 39 views

November 11, 2015

November 9, 2015

Hey, GRA Fish in a Tree Readers!!!


Thanks for being fantastico


So, I have not filmed the LAST GRA video for FISH IN A TREE, so let me have your questions in the comments section here! I’ll choose a bunch and film the last one to be posted on Wednesday. (I will also read the last chapter for you)


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am SO grateful for each and every one of you. You have each given me a Silver Dollar Month!


Lynda


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Published on November 09, 2015 04:56 • 22 views

November 4, 2015

October 28, 2015

October 24, 2015

Hey! As promised, I have gotten my hands on a SPANISH version of FISH IN A TREE. It came all the way from Amazon Spain.


Usually, I choose winners randomly, but here I will ask entrants to tell me in the comments section why they would like this Spanish copy. Giveaway will end on October 30th at 11:59pm and will be mailed out the following morning.


Muchas gracias por entrar en mi regalo para COMO PEZ EN EL ÁRBOL :-)


spanish FIAT2


 


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Published on October 24, 2015 10:53 • 23 views

Hey, Everyone!


I have just launched a NEW website! One facet of the website is the opportunity for readers to post their personal stories and/or favorite classroom ideas.


Below are links to these pages and giveaways for each. To ENTER:



Leave a comment on the given page with your Twitter handle at the end of your comment so I can find you (or send an e-mail with your info to lyndamullalyhunt@yahoo.com with “book giveaway” in subject line. Please include your name if it isn’t obvious from your e-mail address.)
Retweet (optional) the link with the hashtag #sharewithLMH (again, so I can find your entry)

NOTE: Comments on website need to be accepted by me to avoid spam and such :-) Winners will be announced October 30th at 11:59 PM


ENTER HERE FOR A SIGNED COPY OF FISH IN A TREE:


Do you have a personal story of overcoming adversity? Did you struggle in school but, because of your grit, came out standing tall on the other side. Please share your story here on the Personal Stories re: FISH IN A TREE here:


http://www.lyndamullalyhunt.com/books/fish-in-a-tree/personal-stories/


ENTER HERE FOR A SIGNED COPY OF ONE FOR THE MURPHYS:


Do you have a personal story of struggling as a kid with your family life? Did you struggle but, because of your grit, came out standing tall on the other side. Please share your story here on the Personal Stories re: ONE FOR THE MURPHYS here:


http://www.lyndamullalyhunt.com/books/one-for-the-murphys/personal-stories/


ENTER HERE FOR A SIGNED COPY OF FISH IN A TREE:


Are you a teacher who has used an activity with your class re: FISH IN A TREE? Please share your idea (and see others’ ideas!) Here:


http://www.lyndamullalyhunt.com/books/fish-in-a-tree/classroom-activities/


ENTER HERE FOR A SIGNED COPY OF ONE FOR THE MURPHYS:


Are you a teacher who has used an activity with your class re: FISH IN A TREE? Please share your idea (and see others’ ideas!) Here:


http://www.lyndamullalyhunt.com/books/one-for-the-murphys/classroom-activities/


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Many THANKS to all! I am SO BLESSED to do what I do.


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Published on October 24, 2015 04:27 • 43 views