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The Yarn
Inside The Yarn

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

“I hope kids find something they need in the book,” Victoria Jamieson

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Colby: Victoria Jamieson is amazing. Talking to her about All’s Faire in Middle School for The Yarn was tons of fun! During the interview Victoria drew me interviewing her. She told me that drawing makes her less nervous. If you listen closely, you’ll be able to hear her Sharpie move across the page when she’s […]

Make Something Weird: Greg Pizzoli Visits The Yarn

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Travis: I interviewed Greg Pizzoli about his book Good Night Owl at the 2017 SCBWI conference. He talked about the evolution of the book and what it was like to find out it had won a Geisel honor. We hope you enjoy the episode. Subscribe below to catch every episode. Click here to subscribe to […]

‘I just want to delight kids’ – Candace Fleming Visits The Yarn

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Travis: During the 2017 NCTE conference Colby talked with Candace Fleming about Ben Franklin’s in My Bathroom, the first book in her new middle grade series. It turns out Colby actually played a part in how the series came to be. We hope you enjoy the episode. Subscribe below to catch every episode. Click here […]

‘We Knew We Had to Lay it All Out There’ – Irene Latham & Charles Waters Discuss CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?

Can I Touch Your Hair

Travis: In early February Irene Latham and Charles Waters visited Michigan for a week of school visits. This was the perfect opportunity to interview them for the show. In this episode, Irene and Charles talk about how they collaborated to create their book Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship (illustrated […]

2018 Youth Media Award Winners on The Yarn

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Travis: A bunch of the folks who recently took home awards during the 2018 Youth Media Awards have appeared on the show. If you haven’t listened to these episodes, now might be a good time to get to know these award winners. Jason Reynolds Awards: Newbery Honor, CSK Author Honor, Printz Honor, Odyssey Honor Matthew […]

Everything Is Upside-Down: The 2008 Newbery and Caldecott Medals

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Travis: Before we even made the first episode of The Yarn podcast, we’ve wanted to do an episode on the 2008 Newbery and Caldecott medal winners, and unforgettable year that challenged assumptions about what kinds of books could win the most prestigious awards in children’s literature. In today’s episode, Brian Selznick and Laura Amy Schlitz […]

Not on The Yarn: Matt de la Peña and Loren Long

Not on The Yarn

Travis: Matt de la Peña and Loren Long were recently on NPR’s All Things Considered, reading from and talking about their just-released picture book, Love. It isn’t that often that a picture book author and illustrator sit down and talk about the making of a book together, so this was a treat. Click here to listen.

Our Top 10 Most Popular Episodes of 2017

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Travis: It’s the last day of 2017, which seems like a good day to share our 10 most popular episodes of the year. Let’s count them down from 10 to 1: 10. Melissa Sweet – SOME WRITER! Unraveled: 9. Angie Thomas – THE HATE U GIVE Unraveled: 8. Margarita Engle – LION ISLAND Unraveled 7. […]

A Conversation with the Ambassador: Gene Luen Yang

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Travis: In just a couple weeks, a new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature will be named. It seems like the perfect time to chat with Gene Luen Yang, the guy who currently holds the title. A few things covered in this conversation: How Gene’s career began with some indirect help from the Teenage Mutant […]

‘The Book Started Probably When I Was in Elementary School’ Jack Gantos Visits The Yarn

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Travis: I sat down with Newbery Medalist Jack Gantos last July at Nerdcamp. His passion for turning kids on to writing is on full display in his latest book, Writing Radar. In this episode, Jack talks about his first experiences as a writing teacher, and as a new author visiting schools for the first time. […]