Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman

Newbery award-winning children’s book author

Karen Cushman

California Gold Rush Expansion

There were so many immigrants moving to California during the Gold Rush, from the East Coast and other countries, that the population of San Francisco grew from 1,000 to 20,000 in two years. Can you imagine the construction and the need for sanitation, food, and medical practitioners? Teachers? The Harvard University Library Open Collections has photos you can study, quite

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Glad You Asked, Q3

What’s your strongest memory of the 1950s? Elvis. No question. I also remember looking at all the unhappy housewives on our suburban street, sipping martinis and making lunches, and feared I would end up like that. PS:  I didn’t.

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Glad You Asked, Q2

Did you take writing classes? My university had a graduate creative writing major but there was only one course for undergraduates. I took it, hated it, and never went. People sat around and criticized each other’s work. Not for me. The night before the quarter was over, I stayed up all night and wrote twelve short stories. The professor commented that

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Glad You Asked, Q1

Are you working on a new manuscript? I’m struggling my way through a book set in San Diego in 1941, shortly before Pearl Harbor. Here’s the beginning, or the beginning at the moment: Jorge lifted the slimy creature to his lips and bit it right between the eyes. I shuddered as I watched.  “Doesn’t that taste muddy and disgusting?”  “Nah,” he

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What I’ve Been Reading

For young adult readers: Life in a Fishbowl Len Vlahos Certain to be controversial, this novel tackles life and death, euthanasia, celebrity, reality television, religion, cancer, oh, most everything. Even Jared Stone’s brain tumor had a voice and a point of view, and I found myself feeling sorry for it. How can you top that? Sad and funny and insightful, this

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A list of fantasy books, part 9

The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy With No Name and Two Girls Named Alice by Andrew Chilton.  Mystery, adventure, and a title like that—I climbed into the book and stayed a while.

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This Year’s Late Bloomer

Belated congratulations to Late Bloomer Stephen Baker, whose manuscript Prayers to Broken Stone was chosen to receive this grant. Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award Fourteen-year-old Milana lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo with her mother studying the wild gorillas in Virunga National Park, but soon Milana must save both her family and the gorillas from an oil

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Favorite Museums Series #9

Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada:  Collection storage is visible to visitors.  And those totem poles!

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First Book Printed with Movable Type in English

In 1473 or 1474, William Caxton printed the first book using movable type in the English language. “At the end of his Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye … Caxton wrote, ‘I have practised and earned at my great charge and dispense to ordain this said book in print after the manner and form as you may here see, and

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