05-02-2014 Update from Karleen Tauszik
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Remembering Mothers in Books for Kids

Mother’s Day is coming up quickly, on May 11th. It reminds me of a book I read as a child, and read again to my own children: Ramona and Her Mother. Ramona’s mom was a realistic combination of fun, strictness and parental concern, with a nice dash of embarrassing on the side.  She had troubles, worries and plenty of rules that affected Ramona’s life.

I love reading middle grade books (for kids ages 9-12) but when there is no parental influence present, I find the story irritating. I roll my eyes and mutter, “Realllly?” when I read contemporary stories of children wandering wherever they want, interacting with sketchy characters, forgetting any Stanger Danger lessons learned. There are no parents asking, “Where are you going? With whom?” There are no Amber Alerts in children’s fiction. To me, these books end up being more like fairy tales than fiction.

Back in 2010, an agent told me that adults, and particularly parents, played too big of a role in my middle grade fiction books. I didn’t agree. Every child has at least one parent or guardian figure in his/her life. Whether strict or lenient, law-abiding or shady, I think their presence adds more realism to the story than their absence.  Adults provided realistic conflict for the main character, as the child seeks to get what he/she wants despite the presence of a snoopy, strict, or negligent parent.

So in the spirit of Mother’s Day, bring on the moms in children’s books–realistic moms like Ramona's–who love their kids and are trying their best but still messing things up occasionally. Our kids will be better for it. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll stop saying, “But everyone else is allowed to [fill in the blank].”

Not in my books, they aren’t.

          A Mother's Day Craft -- From Me!

I was super excited to receive several Highlights Magazines in the mail, because that meant they printed one of the craft ideas they bought from me!  The Mother's Day Tea Tray was one of four crafts I made and sent off to them. They pay promptly, but you never know when they will actually use your work. So seeing Highlights in my mailbox is always a fun surprise!

   Blog Bulletin

April was a busy month at the Kids' EBook Bestsellers Blog, with fantastic authors sharing about their e-book success. Here's what you've missed if you haven't stopped by:

April 5th - Merrie Haskell, Handbook for Dragon Slayers.
April 12th - Dionne Lister, Shadows of the Realm.
April 19th - Cameo Renae, ARV-3.
April 26th - Teri Brown, Born of Illusion.

For May, every Saturday is filled already. We'll get to hear from Rysa Walker, Jessie Humphries, Karice Bolton, Marty Machowski, and the various authors of The Faery Realms bundle of novels and novellas.

You can always check the Author Index page to see the dozens of interviews (over 150!) that have been posted in the past.

See all of Karleen's books

at her Amazon Author Page

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