Clear Fork Publishing, Ellie and Co book series, It's a RHAP, Cat, Jeffrey Sanzel, Lee Y. Miao, middle grade books, Penny Weber, Times Beacon Record, WEI TO GO!

Take A Peek!

Today I’m excited to share some news and a cover reveal for the second book in the Ellie and Co book series written by Lee Y. Miao, cover art by Penny Weber and published by Clear Fork Publishing. It’s a RHAP, Cat is set to be released this coming February 21, 2023.

Book Cover image for It's a RHAP, Cat. A tween blond girl is in the foreground holding a unicorn and a tween boy is in the background with an easel before him. He is holding a paint palette as he is painting a portrait of the girl.  A lacrosse stick and a softball bat are on the floor.

In this, the second book of the Ellie and Co middle grade adventure series; Ellie Wei’s bestie from Wei To Go! takes center stage. In fact, Cat’s story and exploration of Italy take place about a month before Ellie’s adventure in Hong Kong.

It’s a RHAP, Cat, is all about twelve-year-old Cat, a history nerd, who sees her mysterious double in a sixteenth-century portrait by Raphael. Cat enters the school’s Renaissance history and art project (RHAP) with an art partner—aka her crush—that just might help her uncover puzzling family ties.

image of the author Lee Y. Miao, a middle aged asian american with medium length black hair wearing sunglasses while on a bridge in Italy.
Lee Y. Miao

So far, each of Lee’s books in the Ellie and Co book series involve travel abroad. Here’s a photo of Lee in Italy, one of the settings for It’s a RHAP, Cat.

Please take some time to sign up for Lee’s email newsletter on her website www.leeyemiao.com in order to follow her continuing book journey.

To learn more about Lee Y. Miao and the first book in the series check out Jeffrey Sanzel’s book review in the August 25, 2022, Times Beacon Record,www.https://tbrnewsmedia.com/book-review-author-lee-miao-takes-us-on-a-journey-to-hong-kong-with-her-first-book-wei-to-go/.

Mr. Sanzel summed up the book’s appeal in this way, “While Wei To Go! is immersed in Chinese and Chinese American culture, the story’s universality complements an enlightening narrative and makes for an entertaining, engaging and memorable reading experience.”

Wei To Go! is available for purchase on Amazon, through Barnes&Noble, or Clear Fork Publishing.

https://www.amazon.com/Wei-Go-Ellie-Co-Book/dp/195016967

Barnes&Noble-

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wei-to-go-lee-y-miao/11405330

Clear Fork Publishing-

https://www.clearforkpublishing.com/product-page/wei-to-go-an-ellie-co-book

Best of luck Lee! I enjoyed Ellie’s adventure in Wei To Go! and I’m looking forward to more adventure in It’s a RHAP, Cat !

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The Devil is in the Details

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The phrase the devil is in the details refers to the specifics of a plan which, while seeming insignificant, may contain hidden problems that threaten its overall feasibility.

The necessity for specifics is obvious when writing works of non-fiction, but it is also an integral part of fiction, especially for world building.

What does this mean for writers? What does it all come down to?

The need for research, research, and more research.

On the whole, efforts spent researching are a good thing. The only negatives being its effect on time.

Researching, in itself, is a time consuming effort. Once decided upon it has the potential for, the almost inevitable, off-topic traveling. Research can, particularly for the less vigilant like myself, cause the researcher to veer from an intended destination.

This is a list of some of the topics I’ve researched: the Garuda, Esala Perahera, Holi, dragons, dryads, the green man, Herne, spotted eagle rays, sharks, NASCAR, Mushussu, gravitational ripples, Mexican spotted owls, and the list goes on.

All of them led to side trips down narrow alleys of previously unknown topics that, in some way, served the story or my curiosity.

To me, one of the most interesting things about research is coming across the unexpected. The discovery might cause me to revise or alter a premise, in order to make a situation or condition feasible, but that’s what so cool. I love incorporating something new into my overall understanding of the world and those in it. There’s always more to learn.

What have you researched? Where has it led you?

Please share,I’m curious.

children's books, creativity, CVI, CVI Literacy, Diane Sheline, diversity, Dr. Christine Roman Lantzy, equal access, learning, Paths to Literacy, picture books, tactile elements, teaching

CVI Literacy Awareness Month

CVI, or cortical visual impairment, is a brain-based visual impairment that is caused due to damage within the brain or the visual pathways.

Literacy is widely defined as “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.” (UNESCO 2004)http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001362/13

Dr. Christine Roman Lantzy, a leader in the field of CVI assessment and education, has stated that “Literacy begins when they look.” When a child with CVI can visually fixate on a target and interpret it, the child is working to build a visual memory of the target that they can later refer to when the target is presented in different contexts.

As a teacher for the visually impaired and a children’s writer, I love the challenge of creating a meaningful book for a student whether their visual impairment is ocular or brain-based. It is incredibly gratifying to create something that opens the door to literacy for a student.

This link shares creative examples of books created for students with CVI by Diane Sheline, a TVI (teacher for the visually impaired) and a CLVT (certified low vision therapist). https://www.pathstoliteracy.org/adapting-books-and-literacy-students-cvi

There are a few commercially available books that, with adaptation, can be useful for students with CVI, but there could easily be more.

Something I’d like to see is the publishing world getting pro-actively involved in fostering greater equality of access for children with diverse literacy needs.

Below is a YouTube video on one teacher’s effort in modifying a book for a student with CVI.

And this link will take you to an article that talks more about adapting books for children in each of the three phases of CVI. //www.pathstoliteracy.org/blog/adapting-books-children-cvi-all-3-phases.

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Calling All Readers!

Support authors, illustrators too, they need you.

Just think about it, they’ve poured all of themselves into creating that book you enjoyed. They’ve revised, reworked and fine tuned the words and images you escaped into. They’ve worked hard to get their book(s) published and made available to you.

They deserve a shout out, or a pat on the back, you know they do.

So, that book you’ve just started, or are mid-way through, or are close to finishing? Once you’re finished, use your power as a reader to share your thoughts.

Here are two super easy ways to do just that.

Give it a rating and a review.

It won’t take long. Ratings and reviews can be found on most bookselling sites as well as Goodreads.

You have the power. Books and their creators need your input. It’s a harsh publishing world out there. A little appreciation goes a long way.

Illustrator, Debi Ridpath Ohi says it all!

Your star rating and review can help new readers find and enjoy the book you loved. The more new readers that a book gets, the more likely it is that the writer and illustrator will have opportunities to publish again.

So please, take a few moments to flex your reading power. Help the authors and illustrators you enjoy have the opportunity to create more books. Your imagination will reap the benefits.

The Imaginators by Linda Scott is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

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Feeling the Pull

What is it about the draw of books?

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Not everyone recognizes, or feels it to the extent that some do. But among those who do feel the intense draw of books, it is definitely a shared experience.

Walking into a place where books reside is like walking into a space where magic is at your fingertips. Book stores, libraries, second hand bookshops, anywhere there’s a stacked pile, or a shelf lined with books, spells are waiting to be conjured. Forget about window shopping. Shelf scanning, or stack perusing, is an otherworldly way to spend a morning, an afternoon, or an evening.

First, you might notice the titles on the spines, or the authors’ names. You might pull a book from the shelf just to view the image on the cover and then slip it back in its spot. But, when the cover catches your eye, you, if you’re like me, will read the first paragraph, and then maybe more, most probably more.

Holding the top right edge of the cover of the book between your fingertips, you sense its possibility.

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

What world will you enter? Where will you go within that world? With whom, will you travel?

How will your perspective be challenged, or changed?

Will it be challenged? Will it be changed?

There’s a book out there waiting to weave its spell.

It might be among a stack, or wedged between its neighbors.

Find it and invoke its powers. You, and most especially your imagination, will feel all the better for it.

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” – Jane Smiley