Interview with Author and Teacher, Tina Athaide
The persistent and innovative Tina Athaide talks about how she learned something new each time editors rejected her novel, Orange for the Sunsets, how teaching first grade started her publication journey, and the importance of having diversity in critique groups.
If you've been writing for a while and are feeling discouraged, this is the episode for you. Tina tells listeners editors rejected Orange for the Sunsets thirty times. She also explains how once she stopped judging herself by how many words she wrote a day and started thinking of brainstorming while walking or reading picture books as part of the writing process, her productivity increased.
Tina recommends that classrooms have the following books:
Samira Surfs by Rukhsanna Guidroz. This novel takes place in Burma and Bangladesh. It's written in verse which Tina loves because her students devour verse novels quickly. I'm reading this book and loving it. Rukhsanna is a surfer and her passion for the water shines through on every page.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani. In 2019, The Night Diary won the 2019 Newbery Honor-what else needs to be said? If you don't have this novel in your historical fiction collection, add it now.
Kid Sterling by Christine Welldon. Can't wait to dive into this historical fiction novel set in 1906 in New Orleans. Tina raves about the main character's passion for music and jazz and the cast of colorful characters. There's also historical background in the backmatter.
The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes. Percy Jackson fans will love this "contemporary adventure based on Maya mythology." Since the Mayan culture is now part of the fourth grade curriculum, I'm particularly excited to check out this title.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier. Drama passes from one student's hands to the next in my classroom. This book has no idea what it feels like to sit on a shelf. Tina copies a page from the book, whites out the speech bubbles, and asks students to fill in the dialogue. Then, they use the different responses to develop empathy for different points of view.
Here's the homework for our next episode. Read Mimic Makers: Biomimicry Inventors Inspired by Nature by Kristen Nordstrom. Also, if you live in New England, Kristen will be at the South Hadley Public Library on Saturday, November 20th at 1 P.M. She’ll be presenting Mimic Makers with two of the scientists featured in her book. Do you have to read Kristen’s book or go to her presentation? Of course not, it’s optional. But it is a chance to get one book signed by three different people which is pretty cool.
Page Street Publishing generously donated a copy of Meena’s Mindful Moment to a lucky podcast listener and Tina is donating a picture book critique as well as a critique of the first ten pages of a middle grade novel. There are several ways to enter: 1) Tweet or retweet this episode and be sure to tag me and April, 2) Write a comment below, 3) Make a comment about the episode on our Chalk + Ink Facebook page; and 4) Become a Chalk + Ink Patreon supporter. Patreon supporters are automatically entered into each giveaway. Each one of these actions is the equivalent of one entry which means people could have up to four entries for each giveaway. In order to enter the giveaway, these actions must be completed by midnight on Friday, November 12th. The winner will be announced on Friday, November 19th, on the podcast as well as on Twitter and on our Facebook page.
I have a favor to ask, if you enjoy this podcast, please leave a positive review wherever you listen to your podcasts. At the time of this recording, Chalk + Ink only had two ratings on Apple Podcasts and I know one of those is mine. The other one is probably my mom’s. Come on now people! Please help other listeners find us by rating the podcast and leaving a positive review.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to Sarah Brannen for Chalk + Ink’s podcast art. Sarah’s latest book, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, earned a starred review from Kirkus.
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Chalk + Ink is a biweekly podcast that publishes on Fridays throughout the school year. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to get notified of new episodes. Download Chalk + Ink wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Feeling inspired, grateful, and generous?