Books & Science


Last April, I packed my car with coolers, posters, my three kids, one of my oldest friends, and set out for Washington, DC. We’d decided to spend Earth Day there, standing up for something that was important to us: science. Marching with 1.3 million people in 600 locations around the world was, for me, less a protest than a celebration. A celebration of human ingenuity and our  method of doing science, a celebration of what we humans have learned of how the world works, of curing disease, and of staving off disaster. It was also an invitation for anyone, anywhere to join in supporting a vigorous and publicly-funded national science program.

The March for Science was a complete success. It poured all day long and still tens of thousands of science enthusiasts showed up, raincoats on and handmade signs covered in plastic wrap, ready to move. With the Washington Monument as backdrop, we listened to stories, to short speeches, to artists and poets and musicians and scientists speaking their truths. And then we marched from Constitution Street, past the White House, to the Capitol building, cheering and chanting every drenched step of the way.

In the months since April 22, 2017, March for Science organizers have done a great job of helping allies and supporters of science to continue to work for science in our communities. One of their many suggestions was to promote science outreach and science literacy. Which is why I’ll be speaking at the Beaman Memorial Library in West Boylston, MA tomorrow night, July 26, 2017, sharing my passion for the literature of science. Part pep talk, part book talk, the presentation will be an experiment. Is there an interest in a local book club that explores science stories across genres?  I hope so. But we’ll see. All I know for sure is that I’d love to see you there.

Small Business Saturday

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This year I’m celebrating Small Business Saturday with writers from across the state of Massachusetts at the Groton Public Library‘s Local Author Fair. There will be warm drinks and sweet pastries, plenty of books for browsing and purchasing, and smiling authors ready to inscribe them to you or your loved ones. Join us!

Here’s a list of the authors you’ll meet; click on their name for more information about their work:

David Brody

Loree Griffin Burns

Annette LeBlanc Cate

Richard Feitelberg

Greg Fishbone

Catharine Glen

Frederick Goodwin

Katharine Grubb

Jennifer Hallock

Elizabeth Keddy

Erin McCormack

Richard Meibers

Stephen O’Connor

Caroline Poser

Joseph Ross

Molly Salans

Vlad Vaslyn

Pam Wight

Sharon Wooding

I’ll have copies of all my books there. I hope to see you.

My Smacation

07242016 (Coleomegilla maculata)© Loree Griffin Burns

This gorgeous pink-spotted ladybug (Coleomegilla maculata) is the most recent species recorded in my vegetable garden, and it brings my 2016 species tally to five. This summer has been super full, though, and to be honest, all the ladybugs I’ve spotted have been by chance, while weeding or harvesting or doing other chores in the garden. There just hasn’t been time for a day in the meadow with my sweep net and a collecting jar and high ladybug hopes.

I’ve decided to change that by taking my very first social media vacation. A smacation, if you will.

I plan to spend the next few months writing, and gardening, and hanging out with my family. But I also plan to pull out my sweep net and see what ladybugs are living in our milkweed meadow these days. Things will be quieter than usual here on my blog, and on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages …  but I’ll be back soon. With any luck, I’ll have some new ladybug photos to share.

Happy hunting!

NCTE Annual Conference

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I’m thrilled to be attending the 2015 National Conference of Teachers of English. If you’ll be at the conference too, I’d love to see you. Here’s where you’ll find me:

Saturday, November 21

9:30-10:45 am
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room L100J
Revved for Research. I’ll join authors Sarah Albee, Chris Barton, Sy Montgomery and Laura Purdie Salas, in a panel presentation moderated by Alyson Beecher. Join us for a look at how professional writers gather information for their writing. (Hint: they go way beyond books and online sources!)

11am-12 noon
I’ll be signing books in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt booth (#640). Stop on over!

QCC Lecture

I’ll be speaking at Quinsigamond Community College today, October 27, at 1:30pm. If you are in or near Worcester, Massachusetts, feel free to join us. Details on the flyer below, which you can click to enlarge …

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AASL Annual Conference

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I’m thrilled to be attending the 2015 American Association of School Librarians annual conference in Columbus, Ohio in November.  Here’s where you can find me a the event …

Friday, November 6
Presentation

To the Library … and Beyond
Loree and fellow children’s author Sarah Albee will share creative approaches to research, suggesting ways to adapt the methods of the pros for student writers. This interactive workshop will be held at 11:20am in Room D230.

Signing
Loree will be signing books from 3:30-4pm in the conference exhibit hall. Look for the Author-Palooza signs at Booth #543!

Saturday, November 7
Presentation
Changemakers in Society: Books that Motivate Kids to Solve Problems and Make the World a Better Place
Loree will join Don Tate, Melissa Stewart, and Shana Corey for a panel discussion, moderated by author Laurie Ann Thompson. This event will be held at 8:40am in Room E-171 of the Convention Center.

Getting our Science On!

© Loree Griffin Burns
© Loree Griffin Burns

I’m excited to share some citizen science on the south coast of Massachusetts later this month, and I hope you can join us. This public program will start with a general introduction to the world of citizen science (inside the library) and finish with some hands on ladybug science (on a nearby trail). The event is open to the public and citizen scientists of all ages are invited to participate. Dress for the weather!

Saturday, May 30 at 1pm
Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library
17 Constitution Way
Rochester, MA 02770

Books will be available for sale and signing after the event. Cash and checks only, please. Register by calling the Plumb Library at (508) 763-8600.

And for the eager beavers among you, check out the Lost Ladybug Project website. We’ll be collecting information for the database housed on this site, and its THE place to start your ladybug learning.

2015 Green Earth Book Awards

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I’m thrilled to announce that The Nature Generation has announced the short list for its annual Green Earth Book Awards, and they’ve included Beetle Busters!

Here’s some information on the awards taken from The Nature Generation website:

The Nature Generation created the Green Earth Book Award to promote books that inspire children to grow a deeper appreciation, respect, and responsibility for their natural environment. This is an annual award for books that best raise awareness of the beauty of our natural world and the responsibility we have to protect it.

The winners in each of five categories (picture book, children’s fiction, young adult fiction, children’s nonfiction, young adult nonfiction) will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2015. You know I’ll keep you posted.

Cybils News!

Cybils-Logo-2014-Web-Lg-300x193You’ve heard of the Cybils, right? Annual book awards given out by the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers? Of course you have. For the past eight years, the bloggers at the heart of this group have been tirelessly promoting great books for kids, constantly updating their categories, and exhaustively seeking out the best the publishing world has to offer children and young adults. Here’s how they describe their mission on the Cybils website:

The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.

I’m so proud to have Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey recognized by these incredibly dedicated and passionate organic chicken nugget enthusiasts! It’s one of seven finalists in the Nonfiction for Elementary & Middle Grades category; here’s the entire delicious list. Bring it with you when you go off to your local independent bookseller to spend that holiday gift card. If you have a taste for nonfiction, bring the list of finalists in the Nonfiction for Young Adults category, too. Bon appétit!

To see finalist lists for all twelve categories–seriously, don’t miss these lists!-click here.