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Tanya Lee Stone

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Tanya Lee Stone
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May 16th, 2013

New Idea!

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I'm feeling excited as I've just finished a new picture book manuscript. Fingers crossed!

May 10th, 2013

Good news, teachers and librarians. If your school blocks YouTube, you can still show students the book trailers for Courage Has No Color on Vimeo! There are two versions--a 45 second and a 90 second, should you have just a bit more time!

February 24th, 2013

Come see me in D.C.!

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I have two public signing events in D.C. next week. Please join me!
Thursday, February 28th, 10:30 am, at Politics & Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Saturday, March 2, from 12:00-2:00 pm at the National Air and Space Museum,
Independence Avenue at 6th St, SW. It's on the Mall, between the Capitol building and the Smithsonian Castle.
Gallery 101-Museum Shop
Here is a short book trailer to get a feel for the book: http://vimeo.com/57600789

February 18th, 2013

Touring in D.C.

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I am excited to report that I will be touring in Washington, D.C. for Courage Has No Color in late February/early March. Stops will include the downtown National Air and Space Museum and Politics & Prose. Details to follow!

February 10th, 2013

Reviving my LiveJournal

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Hello from LiveJournal land! In an attempt to streamline my online postings, I think I have now set this up so that postings here will go to Facebook and my Amazon Author page--but only a test post like this will show me for sure!

Things are busy around here, with two new books out back-to-back. The launch for COURAGE HAS NO COLOR was a lot of fun this past week, and coming right on its heels is a picture book called WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN'T BE DOCTORS? which is the story of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor in America. 

COURAGE is for older readers and is a missing piece of WW2 history in the shape of the Triple Nickles--America's first black paratroopers. Here's a taste of their story in a short book trailer. Enjoy!

October 20th, 2011

My latest INK blog post is about the process of telling an additional layer of story through the careful choosing of photographic images.

September 22nd, 2011

Each month, I post on INK (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids). As I am currently immersed in gathering photos for my forthcoming book, Courage Has No Color, my post this month focuses on one story that illuminates how tricky tracking down elusive photos can be--and how fun!

June 11th, 2011

I am thrilled that the Spring 2011 of my wonderful alma mater, Oberlin College, did a feature story on me and some of my books. I loved Oberlin so much. The education I received there, as well as the college's own history of feminism, informs a lot of what I do as a writer. Thanks, Oberlin Magazine!

April 28th, 2011

 I explain all in my guest blog for National Poetry Month

In case that link isn't working, here is what I wrote:

Poetry is the sunny spot on the carpet. It is a sea salt caramel. It is a hermit crab tickling its way across my raspberry-punch-painted toes. It is an orchestra tuning before the curtain rise.

Poetry came with me from somewhere. I remember hearing poetry as early as I remember seeing the world from the height of a stroller.

Poetry helps me breathe. It makes me consciously calm.

Poetry is voices.

When I started writing A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, the characters talked to me in whispers, pieces of sentences, snippets of thought. They visited me when I was half-awake, wondering if it was late night or early morning.

As someone who most often writes narrative nonfiction, I am regularly asked why I decided to write a YA novel in verse. The answer is: I didn’t.

What I did decide to do was not say no to an old friend. I decided not to care that poetry “wasn’t what I wrote” as a grownup. I decided to remember that poetry was what I always wrote when I was young.

I decided to listen.

I listened to that first voice, that first new day. Her name was Josie. An orchestra began tuning in my brain. It played Nicolette for me a different day. And then Aviva.

I listened. I wrote. I listened some more. I wrote some more. Poetry had come back to me.

Maybe it came back because I went looking for it.

Like the sunny spot on the carpet, and sea salt caramels.

I am certain I will write poetry as fiction again.

For now, it visits me still, dancing into my nonfiction, adding shadows to lines of prose.

There are poems that accompany Almost Astronauts, and poetic prose describing some of the events in that true story.

The WWII black paratrooper heroes in my soon-to-be-finished nonfiction book Courage Has No Color risk their lives to jump out of airplanes and be of service to their country, at a time when their country was not of service to them. What is more poetic than these great men?

--Tanya Lee Stone

April 7th, 2011

 I am thrilled to report that The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie has received SCBWI's (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Golden Kite Award for nonfiction! That means a trip to L.A. this summer to attend the annual conference and accept the award. This award is special because the judges are fellow children's writers. Thank you SCBWI and the judges! Barbie thanks you as well.

March 7th, 2011

I was asked to be a guest blogger for Women's History Month, so here it is:


March 4th, 2011

I am so proud to be in the company of such fine colleagues as the new Horn Book magazine hits shelves this week. The March/April 2011 special issue entitled Fact, Fiction, and In Between includes articles from Marc Aronson, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Elizabeth Partridge, Candace Fleming, Deborah Heiligman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Katherine Paterson, Matt Tavares, Modica Edinger, Katherine Paterson, Kathy Isaacs, Marthe Jocelyn, Leonard Marcus, me (Tanya Lee Stone), and several other talented people. 

My article is called A Fine, Fine Line: Truth in Nonfiction and is about a topic that riles me up. Kate Monster from Avenue Q makes an appearance, as does chocolate. Here is a link to the TOC of this issue with several live links to articles, including mine:


February 16th, 2011

A Love Letter of Sorts

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Better late than never--I realize Valentine's Day was two days ago, but I didn't realize I wanted to send a Valentine's Day card to our industry until just now. This is a business we are in--those of us who write, draw, edit, design, produce, and sell books for kids and teens. It is a weird business, a fickle business, a random business--but a business built on creativity and passion and love and energy and excitement--and I LOVE it. Even on the days when I am tired or frustrated, I am thankful that I get to wake up every day and pursue work that I find meaningful and fulfilling, work that feeds my soul, work that connects me to so many wonderful people I admire and adore.

So Happy Valentine's Day to the whole world of Children's Lit. I Love You. 

December 7th, 2010

 Well, it's official. Yesterday was my last author visit of the year, and it's a good thing, too. The ride home was the first white-knuckle drive of the winter, with winds whipping out of the northwest and snow driving itself across the highway. Fifty miles an hour was about the limit, but I went slower a good chunk of the time. When authors book school visits, the weather is an important factor, especially when driving. 

All in all an excellent day, though. Marion Cross School--you were fantastic! Attentive, well-prepared kids with thoughtful questions. Thank You-- I had a great time!!

November 17th, 2010

Due Promotion Process

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 In this modern world of publishing, authors pretty much have to make sure they toot their own horns when news comes out about their books. That's just the way it is. It's not something I particularly like doing, but a few years ago I decided it was better to be a grown-up about it, bite the bullet, and make sure I did my promo part. So here goes:

The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie made TWO Best of 2010 Lists today, count 'em--TWO! Drum roll, please:

School Library Journal Best Books of 2010 in the Nonfiction category, and Kirkus Best Books of 2010 for Teens! 

Brought to you by the author of The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. 

October 26th, 2010

Barbie is feeling the love.

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I'm overjoyed by the love reviewers are showing my Barbie book. The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie has now been reviewed by SLJ, Horn Book, Kirkus, and the BCCB. And did you know the fabulous Meg Cabot wrote the foreword? Here are review clips to date:

From Kirkus (starred): "Sibert Medalist Stone tantalizes...She begins with the history of Mattel, started by self-made businesswoman Ruth Handler in the 1940s, and moves onto materialism, body image, portrayals of ethnicity, nudity, taboo and art. Direct quotes from women and girls showcase the variety of feelings that Barbie engenders, and the author weighs in occasionally and effectively to show that though Barbie is often "just a doll...We have...helped make her the icon-and subject of controversy-that she is."

From the BCCB: "Stone calmly covers Barbie’s creation…From there on, though, the gloves come off, and Stone allows the voices of women and teens, scholars and collectors, lovers and haters to thrash [it] out… Stone orchestrates proffered testimonials and opinions with an evenhandedness… teen book clubs might want to nominate this as a fiery nonfiction selection."

From SLJ (starred): "Stone reveals the pathos behind so many relationships of girls with Barbie: those who cherished her and those who were negatively influenced. Was she a destructive role model or just a toy? Experts disagree. In this balanced overview, both sides of the quandary are addressed....The author maintains her signature research style and accessible informational voice."

From Horn Book: "Stone's evenhanded, eye-opening cultural history examines this split personality, quoting a myriad of sources to reveal the devotion and loathing generated by a fifty-plus-year-old hunk of molded plastic..."

October 12th, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie launches on Oct. 14th! If any more bloggers would like additional info, just send me a message or email me. 

From the Critics:

Starred Review from School Library Journal: "...Stone reveals the pathos behind so many relationships of girls with Barbie....The author maintains her signature research style and accessible informational voice..."

Starred Review from Kirkus: "Sibert Medalist Stone tantalizes...She begins with the history of Mattel...and moves onto materialism, body image, portrayals of ethnicity, nudity, taboo and art...the author weighs in occasionally and effectively to show that though Barbie is often "just a doll...We have...helped make her the icon-and subject of controversy-that she is.""

What People Are Saying: 

"Love Barbie or hate her, what I admire about Tanya's book is that she takes an even eye to Barbie's global phenomenon and delicately lets readers explore their own complicated relationships to this very complicated doll." --Jess Weiner, self-esteem expert and author of Life Doesn't Begin 5 Pounds from Now

"Holy belly buttons! This is no mere Barbie book. This is a how-to manual about being a girl: a strong, sparky, awesome girl, with Barbie in hand *or* Barbie in the nearest Dumpster!" --NYT best-selling author Lauren Myracle

"History writers don't get better than Tanya Lee Stone. The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie is balanced, funny, provocative -- and most of all, important for anyone wanting to understand girlhood in America." --National Book Award finalist E. Lockhart

October 1st, 2010

Today is the kickoff for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I am celebrating by joining the Love/Army of Women organization and helping them spread the word about the important work they are doing for breast cancer research. There is NO COST, but you can help them be ONE MILLION STRONG.

Take a minute and watch this moving PSA and you’ll get the picture fast.

How can we cure something if we don’t know what we’re curing? Plain and simple, the Army of Women hopes to STOP CANCER BEFORE IT STARTS. By enlisting ONE MILLION WOMEN to participate in breast cancer research, we will be able to finally take the research out of the lab and look at real women. This will enable us to finally find the CAUSES of breast cancer and ultimately figure out how to prevent it all together. BILLIONS of dollars have been spent on breast cancer research to date, but we still don’t know what CAUSES it.

Here's how to join.

What Is It?
Basically, Love/Army of Women was started because Dr. Susan Love was frustrated that more progress wasn’t being made in breast cancer research and scientists told her that was because not enough women were being studied. The Love/Army of Women is dedicated to spreading the word and getting 1 million people involved in breast cancer research studies.

Who Can Join?

Women who are interested register on the Love/Avon Army of Women website and receive email updates about new research studies looking for volunteers. If you fit the criteria for a particular study, you can volunteer to participate and the researcher will be put in touch with you. It’s a one-stop site that brings all the information together in one place. It’s good for the researchers, it’s good for the research, and it’s good for us.

It’s important to know that signing up to be added to the Army of Women database is only to hear about research projects – signing up for the Army of Women does NOT sign you up for a study unless you want to.

Participants must be 18 and older – but they need ALL ethnicities – ALL ages, we need healthy women, women with cancer and women who are survivors. Men are also able to join.

There is NO COST and they are NOT asking for donations, just for women to sign up and agree to hear about studies. Participation is ALWAYS, COMPLETELY voluntary.

I joined and am inviting you to join as well. And also, invite a friend to do the same. Please, pass it on. Share my blog today with others. Together, we can help the LOVE/ARMY OF WOMEN reach their goal and be 1 MILLION STRONG.

September 24th, 2010

Thank you School Library Journal! The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie has now received its second review--and it's second star! Here's a bit of what SLJ said:

"Readers learn about Mattel Toys and the background behind Barbie’s concept and development, how it was a solution for girls who wanted to imagine adult roles rather than just play mother, and details about inventor Ruth Handler. But more than that, Stone reveals the pathos behind so many relationships of girls with Barbie: those who cherished her and those who were negatively influenced....The author maintains her signature research style and accessible informational voice and includes extensive source notes and bibliographical information."

September 16th, 2010

My Monthly INK Blog

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House of Cards--my monthly INK Blog post (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids)
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