Author Archives: Lynda Mullaly Hunt

About Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Lynda is the author of ONE FOR THE MURPHYS and ALPHABET SOUP (Nancy Paulsen Books~Penguin, 2012, 2015)

Thanks SO Much Global Read Aloud Readers. You are MY Heroes :-) #GRA14

ALL GRA 14 Hello, Global Read Aloud Readers! I really just wanted to thank you all for jumping in to do #GRA14 this year. Thanks to those of you who chose Murphys as your GRA–but thanks to the rest of you as well! To be honest, with the amazing choices that were offered for 2014, *I* would have had a hard time choosing! So, I’m pretty honored and humbled if you chose Murphys. Thanks, again. It was a blast!

The soon-to-be-legendary Pernille Ripp, who got this whole Global Read Aloud thing started (and who is just the nicest person ever) interviewed me yesterday. She chose from over 400 questions that all of you sent in from all over the WORLD (mind blown!) and I did my very best to answer them. Here is the video just in case you missed it. (HA! WHAT is with that picture? Am I being dive-bombed by a fly the size of a football?) As a THANK YOU, Copy (3) of FISH IN A TREE COVER high resI am posting a giveaway of an ARC of my new book–FISH IN A TREE. Please leave a comment below about something surprising that happened during #GRA14 or perhaps your favorite thing about GRA14 or ANYTHING you want about #GRA. Please tweet/retweet the link with the hashtag #FIATbook so I can find your post. By doing so, you (and your class) will be entered to win:

  • An ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of FISH IN A TREE
  • Some swag for your class (i.e. bracelets, bookmarks, wooden nickels)
  • A free 45-minute class Skype about Murphys and/or Fish in a Tree. (I’ll be happy about that–I love to speak with readers. :-)

Giveaway will end on Wednesday, November 19th at 11:59 PM. Winner will be announced Thursday morning. (However, because I leave for #NCTE14 that day, I may not get your prize mailed until the following week) Again–thanks for everything! You are the BEST readers anywhere and everywhere. ~Lynda

Categories: Ally Nickerson | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

My NCTE14 Schedule – Would Love to Meet Teachers/Readers!

Annual14Hey, Folks!

I would love to see you at NCTE in Washington D.C.! If you are there and would like to attend one of my sessions and/or signings, below is my schedule. Also, check out the AMAZING company I have on these panels; I’m so excited!

Take care,

Lynda

Friday, November 21

9:30 – 10:45 AM:

PanelA.06 – Revising the Story: Reluctant Readers Overcoming Shame

Where? **Annapolis 3**

Teachers and authors realize that through testing and well intended intervention, and reading instruction, some students have inadvertently developed a negative self–image of reading. This panel will discuss and demonstrate how they help students overcome shame and realize a love for reading again through personalized instruction and insightful text analysis.

Speakers/Teachers:

Chair ~ Justin Stygles, Guy Row Elementary School, Norway, Maine

Kara DiBartolo, Bethel Public Schools, Connecticut

Melissa Guerrette, Oxford Elementary School, Oxford, Maine

Authors:

Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Group, New York, New York. Author of ONE FOR THE MURPHYS and forthcoming FISH IN A TREE (Feb 5, 2015)

Liesl Shurtliff, Knopf books, New York, New York. Author of RUMP, THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPELSTILSKIN and forthcoming JACK: THE TRUE STORY OF JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (April 14, 2015)
.

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Friday, cont.

SIGNINGS: (Please come by to say hello! I love to meet readers! I’ll have swag for both ONE FOR THE MURPHYS and FISH IN A TREE)

~1:00 – 2:00 PM: Signing in the Penguin Young Readers, Booth#612, 614, 616

~4:00 – 5:00 PM: Anderson’s signing Booth #153

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Saturday, November 22

9:30 – 10:45 AM:

G.46. GROW THROUGH IT: FOSTERING RESLIENCE AND EMPATHY THROUGH STORY

WHERE? **Maryland B**

Audience: Elementary, Middle

A panel of children’s book authors and classroom teachers share ideas and strategies professionals can

use with students to build resilience and empathy. Attendees will learn conditions that help support the

development of resilience and empathy and how literature can be used to foster this development.

Presenters:

Susan Dee, RSU 5, Freeport, Durham, and Pownell, Maine;

Gigi McAllister, teacher, Gorham, Maine; Gigi McAllister, teacher, Gorham, Maine;

Leslie Connor, author, HarperCollins-Tegen Books, New York, New York;

Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Nancy Paulsen Books/(Penguin Group), New York, New York;

Jennifer Nielsen, author, Scholastic Inc., New York, New York

Categories: writing | 6 Comments

FISH IN A TREE Giveaway

It’s Halloween and ghouls just want to have fun. SO….

….I am posting a FISH IN A TREE giveaway including a signed ARC. In case you’d like to know something about the book, here is some info including a synopsis and Chapter One.

http://lyndamullalyhunt.com/book_alphabet.php

The giveaway includes:

mega giveaway

  1. A signed ARC of FISH IN A TREE  (release date is Feb 5, 2015)
  2. A Fish in a Tree t-shirt (sizes are limited)
  3. A “Great minds don’t think alike/ Got grit?” lanyard
  4. A class set of 30 “Great minds don’t think alike/ Got grit?” bracelets.
  5. A class set of 30 “silver dollar day/wooden nickel day” wooden nickels for your students
  6. A class set of 30 FISH IN A TREE tattoos
  7. A fancy FISH IN A TREE pen – because who doesn’t love a good pen?
  8. Three signed copies of ONE FOR THE MURPHYS for your classroom library. Or I will happily personalize them if you wish.
  9. A set of 30 Murphys bookmarks for your students
  10. My undying gratitude for being the kind of teacher who would enter a giveaway for your class.

You earn entries by:

  • Tweeting this post with the hashtag #FIATbook (This way I can find your entries).
  • Retweeting or quoting tweets (with #FIATbook).
  • Sharing this to FB, but please let me know in the comments below.
  • Lastly, you can enter by commenting about anything you’d like below—feel free to just say hello, tell a story of a student (yourself or another) who has persevered despite obstacles, or a story of a wonderful, life-changing teacher—because there are SO many unsung heroes out there. I know it. In fact, this book is one big thank you note to you teachers out there who are saving kids every day.

A winner will be randomly chosen Thursday, November 6th at 11:59PM. *The winner MUST have a school mailing address.*

And, thank you for your interest in FISH IN A TREE. If you ever get around to reading it, I do hope you enjoy meeting Ally, Keisha, Albert, Suki, Mr. Daniels and the others…

Categories: Ally Nickerson, Dyslexia, Fish in a Tree, Giveaway, Great minds don't think a like, Grit, writing | 58 Comments

Global Read Aloud, 2014 ~ HOORAY!

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Hello, Global Read Aloud Teachers, Librarians, Students, and Fellow Reading Enthusiasts!

Let me just say what an extraordinary honor it is to have One for the Murphys chosen as a Global Read Aloud book this year. I am absolutely stunned by the company that it is in. I think no matter which book you choose for #GRA14, you can’t go wrong!

ALL GRA 14

If you have chosen Murphys as your read aloud, I would like to try to help make the experience feel a bit more interactive for your kiddos. So here are some things that I’ve done/will be doing for GRA!

1) I have read Chapter ONE online for you. Don’t think I wasn’t nervous doing this, either, but I thought that kids may like to hear the beginning read by the author.

2) I have read the last chapter online for you as well. I’ve heard from many teachers who have cried while reading it and from many students who have watched their teacher cry while reading it. I am so grateful that readers feel connected enough to Carley to feel such emotion. But, I also feel a bit bad sometimes. Like I should start sending flowers to people. 

For you teachers who do read in front of kids even though you know you’ll cry—kudos to you! I think that’s brave and great for kids to see. I also think it’s a bonding experience for a class.


3) Some teachers have expressed wanting to order “Be someone’s hero” lanyards. I usually give these out at schools when I visit, but for GRA, I will offer them for sale at cost plus just a bit more to cover packaging and postage. They will only be for sale for a few weeks. Please e-mail me at…I’M SORRY; THERE ARE NO MORE LANYARDS FOR SALE :-( Thank you for the huge response :-)

GRA lanyards

4) I promised on Twitter that I will send out a limited number of class sets (30) of free bookmarks (see below) for *classes reading One for the Murphys for #GRA.*  Please provide your SCHOOL mailing address. I’m sorry but I won’t be able to mail to residential addresses. Thanks! (I’m sorry :-/ bracelets are not available for shipping) SORRY–OUT OF BOOKMARKS FOR NOW :-/  Thanks for big response, though :-)

5) I will be holding an in-person GRA LAUNCH CELEBRATION in Mystic CT at the fabulous BANK SQUARE BOOKS—one of CT’s best indie bookstores. It will be held on Oct 6th from 4:00-6:00. TEACHERS who attend–I will have classroom packs for you containing bookmarks and “Be someone’s hero” bracelets for your class. I’ll explain the back story for One for the Murphys and tell you about my strange writing process  There will also be raffles for cool stuff.

GRA bookmarks and bracelets

6) If you do not live near Mystic, CT., BANK SQUARE BOOKS and their awesome staff such as Kelsy or Julia are taking orders for signed copies that they will ship to you. Place your order and I will sign it the night of Oct 6th and it will then be shipped to you. Please call the store at (860) 536 – 3795 to order your book and leave instructions—I am happy to personalize! If no instructions are left, I will just do the basic signature.

7) I am already pretty booked up with Skype visits with classes, having booked MANY over the summer and early fall. I know that the phenomenal writer and person, Kate Messner, was a GRA author last year and ran into the same thing. So, borrowing Kate’s idea, I ask that students and teachers ask questions in the comments section ON THIS POST throughout #GRA and I will choose a couple of questions each week and answer them in a video. The more creative the question, the more likely it will be chosen. If you include the kid’s name who came up with the question, I will mention him/her. I will post links to those videos here. Also, you can search Youtube.com for my name and #GRA14

Also–if you are interested, here is the book trailer for One for the Murphys:

Okay! So, that’s it! I am so excited to begin Global Read Aloud SOON! Huge thanks to Pernille Ripp ( @pernilleripp on Twitter) who CREATED GLOBAL READ ALOUD. What an extraordinary thing you’ve begun, Pernille!

Read on, folks. Read on. And remember…

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Categories: writing | Tags: , , , | 44 Comments

SCBWI Whispering Pines Retreat, 2014

 

I am blessed to be co-director of the annual SCBWI-New England Whispering Pines Retreat. I mean I could do a whole post on just THAT! Love the retreat. Love the venue. Love the people that attend. Love it all.

This year, our uber-talented and generous editor mentors were Regina Griffin, Executive Editor at Egmont USA, Sarah Dotts Barley, Editor at HarperCollins, and Christine Krones, Editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Our fabulous author mentor was Audrey Vernick and our Marketing Extraordinaire expert was Kirsten Cappy of Curious City in Portland Maine.

Truly. These ladies were phenomenal. If only they could have heard the chatter after they’d left about how inspiring, intelligent, generous everyone thought they were. How grateful everyone was. It was a memorable year. One for the books :-)

Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, here are some–you guessed–pictures :-)

 

The beginning...

The beginning…

 

 

Where we break bread...

Where we break bread…

 

 

The weekend Gang!

The weekend Gang!

 

SONY DSC

L to R: Lynda, Regina Griffin, Executive Editor of Egmont, Christine Krones, Editor at Houghton Mifflin, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, Sarah Dotts Barley of HarperCollins, Audrey Vernick, Author, and Co-director, Mary Pierce

 

Our wonderful First Page Readers, Mary Pierce and Jenny Bagdigian

Our wonderful First Page Readers, Mary Pierce and Jenny Bagdigian

 

If it hadn't been raining, we would have done s'mores  here. :-)

If it hadn’t been raining, we would have done s’mores here. :-)

 

Instead, we made s'mores in the fireplace. Which was still pretty great :-)  As evidenced by the experts, Sarah and Jean.

Instead, we made s’mores in the fireplace. Which was still pretty great :-) As evidenced by the experts, Sarah and Jean.

 

With my Maine girls, Julie and Cameron  :-)

With my Maine girls, Julie and Cameron :-)

 

red hat

The incomparable Carlyn Beccia brought this hat and got a picture of everyone in attendance wearing it.

 

My corny thank you. :-) When a Transformers kaleidoscope speaks to the transformative nature of SCBWI - adding color to our lives.

My corny thank you. :-) When a Transformers kaleidoscope speaks to the transformative nature of SCBWI – adding color to our lives.

Moi with dear friends--and talented ladies--Mary Pierce, Laurie Murphy, and Jennifer Thermes

Moi with dear friends–and talented ladies–Mary Pierce, Laurie Murphy, and Jennifer Thermes

 

Awesome ladies--Kim Savage, Cameron Rosenblum, Annie Cardi, and Caroline Webster

Awesome ladies–Kim Savage, Cameron Rosenblum, Annie Cardi, and Caroline Webster

 

The fabulous Kirsten Cappy and her red hat picture.

The fabulous Kirsten Cappy and her red hat picture.

 

Circle of friends. Me, Penny Piva, and Jenny Bagdigian

Circle of friends. Me, Penny Piva, and Jenny Bagdigian

 

This year's get-up as Kid-lit Jeopardy emcee.

This year’s get-up as Kid-lit Jeopardy emcee. Obviously serious business…

 

Kid-Lit Jeopardy teams trying to win points for fabulous prizes and world wide prestige.

Kid-Lit Jeopardy teams trying to win points for fabulous prizes and world wide prestige.

 

Lovely Eisenhower Lake

Lovely Eisenhower Lake

 

With Nancy Tandon :-)

With Nancy Tandon :-)

The stylish and wondrous Jill Dailey

The stylish and wondrous Jill Dailey

Penny Piva rocks the red hat shot!

Penny Piva rocks the red hat shot!

 

Jill Dailey, Kristin Russo, Nancy Tandon, and Holly Howley :-)

Jill Dailey, Kristin Russo, Nancy Tandon, and Holly Howley :-)

Jennifer O'Keefe puts down her paint brushes to do the hat a favor. Thank you, Jen, for the lovely art work you did for people on the fly :-) BEST nametags we've ever had!

Jennifer O’Keefe puts down her paint brushes to do the hat a favor. Thank you, Jen, for the lovely art work you did for people on the fly :-) BEST nametags we’ve ever had!

The amazing Audrey Vernick. She spoke to picture books, but there was wisdom to be had for writers in any genre. Just wonderful.

The amazing Audrey Vernick. She spoke to picture books, but there was wisdom to be had for writers in any genre. Just wonderful.

 

kirsten

The extraordinary Kirsten Cappy of Curious City imparts tremendous marketing wisdom. *mind blown*

 

 

Christine Krones of Houghton Mifflin teaches us about herself, writing, and the business. Her visuals were awesome!

Christine Krones of Houghton Mifflin teaches us about herself, writing, and the business. Lots of fantastic info–and her visuals were awesome!

Love this picture of Sarah DOtts Barley, Editor at HarperCollins. It's just "so Sarah" - full of joy and affection for literature.

Love this picture of Sarah Dotts Barley, Editor at HarperCollins. It’s just “so Sarah” – full of joy and affection for literature. And sweetness toward writers :-) She spoke to us about revision – the rest of us scribbled wildly.

 

regina griffin

Regina Griffin, Executive Editor from Egmont was our final mentor to speak–and what a way to wrap up. I wish I’d been able to record it–such phenomenal wisdom-laden points laced with clever humor.

 

photggo

Group shot during evening portion of first pages. Mentors were awesome at this!

 

 

THANK YOU again to our wonderful mentors. This was a year for the books, as they say. :-)

THANK YOU again to our wonderful mentors. This was a year for the books, as they say. :-)

 

 

Now to start planning next year so that we may return...

Now to start planning next year so that we may return…

 

 

 

Categories: Whispering Pines, writing | 5 Comments

NCTE in Boston – Amazing Weekend!

Last weekend, I attended NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English). What an amazing weekend. And, no…I’m not just throwing that word, amazing, around. It really did amaze me.

It amazed me to see so many kid & book loving people all in one place. It amazed me to see the sea of publishers’ booths. It amazed me to meet authors whose work I’ve admired for years. It amazed me to meet friends “for real” from my online community and The Nerdy Book Club. It amazed me to attend workshops given by these people for their teaching colleagues – and it amazed me how much it all made me miss being in the classroom. Inspiration everywhere!

And I left feeling just so, so grateful. Grateful that I have been blessed with this career. And grateful that there are teachers in the world like the ones I met at NCTE. I had many teachers and librarians thank me for writing, which I so appreciated and was humbled by. But, let’s face it–without the teachers like the ones below (and tons of others!) most kids wouldn’t pick up books, discover how opening the cover of a book can open up things inside of them that they never would have dreamed. Books do change lives. I’m proof of that.

So here’s to teachers and librarians! There are so many gifted, big-hearted people in the trenches with our kids every day. Thank goodness.

Here is my picture wrap-up of the most excellent NCTE, 2013. :-)

Bostonbanner

boston

Hanging out in the Penguin Booth with the phenomenal Judy Blume. WOW! Also, there with Eileen Bishop Kreit from Puffin. Always so happy to see Eileen. :-)

Hanging out in the Penguin Booth with the phenomenal Judy Blume. WOW! Also, there with Eileen Bishop Kreit from Puffin. Always so happy to see Eileen. She’s a rock star in my book. :-)

Happy to visit with lit agency friends! (Front:) Susan Meyer, Erin Murphy (my agent), Joan Paquette, Elly Swartz  (Back:) Jennifer Nielsen, Audrey Vernick, Nancy Tupper Ling, moi

Happy to visit with lit agency friends! (Front:) Susan Meyer, Erin Murphy (my agent), Joan Paquette, Elly Swartz (Back:) Jennifer Nielsen, Audrey Vernick, Nancy Tupper Ling, moi

My fabulous agent, Erin Murphy. Doesn't she have the best name ever? :-)

My fabulous agent, Erin Murphy. Doesn’t she have the best name ever? :-)

Editor and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen, with "her girls" at NCTE. Beck McDowell, Nancy Paulsen, moi, Jacqueline Woodson

Editor and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen, with “her girls” at NCTE. Beck McDowell, Nancy Paulsen, moi, Jacqueline Woodson

Love these ladies!  Alyson Beecher and Cynthia Alaniz . SO fortunate to attend their panel :-)

Love these ladies! Alyson Beecher and Cynthia Alaniz . SO fortunate to attend their panel :-)

Alyson Beecher who has been so very sweet throughout my debut journey. Loved meeting her for real!

Alyson Beecher who has been so very sweet throughout my debut journey. Loved meeting her for real!

Who doesn't love Jennifer Nielsen? Finally got to talk with each other in person!

Who doesn’t love Jennifer Nielsen? Finally got to talk with each other in person!

Dessert with some of my favorite Maine ladies: Susan Dee, Mary , Gigi McAllister, and Mary Lou Shuster

Dessert with some of my favorite Maine ladies: Susan Dee, Mary Bellavance, Gigi McAllister, and Mary Lou Shuster

Chatting with these great ladies about books. Thanks, Heather Jensen :-)

Chatting with these great ladies about books. Thanks, Heather Jensen and Amy Romanowski :-)

Here I am with Gigi McAllister!! Yeah :-)

Here I am with Gigi McAllister!! Yeah :-)

Here, I am with my editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen. I could write something very long about how phenomenal she is, but then she'd have to edit it. :-)  So, let's just say that I'm blessed.

Here, I am with my editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen. I could write something very long about how phenomenal she is, but then she’d have to edit it. :-) So, let’s just say that I’m blessed.

An amazing panel on multi-cultural literature with authors, Mitali Perkins, Christina Gonzalez, and Matt de la Pena. Also, teachers, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner (standing) and Alyson Beecher

An amazing panel on multi-cultural literature with authors, Mitali Perkins, Christina Gonzalez, and Matt de la Pena. Also, teachers, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner (standing) and Alyson Beecher

At a fun Tweet-up with Marianne Knowles, Ann Haywood Leal, and Emily Mitchell

At a fun Tweet-up with Marianne Knowles, Ann Haywood Leal, and Emily Mitchell

Ellen Hopkins and Erin Dionne. :-)

Ellen Hopkins and Erin Dionne. :-)

I got to meet Melissa Guerrette! Yeah! :-)

I got to meet Melissa Guerrette! Yeah! :-)

Such fun to meet Colby Sharp in person!

Such fun and an honor to meet Colby Sharp in person! Nerdy Book Ambassador Extraordinaire.

Meeting the great Donalyn Miller, co-founder of The Nerdy Book Club and renowned author, was such a pleasure. A sweet author moment for me.

Meeting the great Donalyn Miller, Co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club phenomenon and acclaimed author/literacy expert, was such a pleasure. Such a sweet author moment for me.

Nerdy presenter, Teri Lesesne (AKA Professor Nana!) WOW! :-)

Nerdy presenter, Teri Lesesne (AKA Professor Nana!) :-) Teri shared a bunch of cool online stuff to help teachers turn kids onto reading and help teachers organize including vine videos and livebinder.com

Nerdy Co-Founder, Colby Sharp presents with Author, Jenni Holm :-)

Nerdy Co-Founder, Colby Sharp presents with uber-talented author, Jenni Holm :-) “We want to give kids experiences that change lives.” ~Colby “Help your students make connections to authors via Skype, Twitter, and fan mail.” ~Jenni

Nerdy presenter, Kellee Moye  :-)

Nerdy presenter, Kellee Moye :-) “Set high expectations and hold the kids to them.” “You might as well be *that* teacher that talks books.” “Give the kids choices re: books.” “Don’t just hand out books. You must book talk them!”

A Nerdy workshop!

The Nerdy audience! :-)

Nerdy presenter, Katherine Sokolowski :-)

Nerdy presenter, Katherine Sokolowski :-) Conferences with kids should be like talking around a table.” “Going forward–it’s all about relationships. I’m not talking about me–I’m talking about *them* ” “Slow down. Talk less.”

Donalyn Miller! :-) "Every reader has value and their own voice."

Donalyn Miller! :-) “Every reader has value and their own voice.”

Nerdy presenter, Cindy Minnich, and YA author, Beck McDowell

Nerdy presenter, Cindy Minnich, and YA author, Beck McDowell

cindyminnich

Cindy Minnich presents at Nerdy Workshop! :-) “Our lives are constantly changing and we need to change with them.” “Have kids keep log of their lives.” “If we know where we are and where we want to be, we can plan.”

jackie woodson

Me with Jackie Woodson. Amazing writer. Phenomenal person.

This was actually at AASL the weekend before, but I SO loved being on a panel with these ladies. We spoke on using books to teach resilience and compassion: (1st row:) Jo Knowles, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Karen Day, (2nd row:) Leslie Connor, Erin Moulton, Me, Cynthia Lord  (not pictured: Moderator, Susannah Richards)

This was actually at AASL the weekend before, but I SO loved being on a panel with these ladies. We spoke on using books to teach resilience and compassion: (1st row:) Jo Knowles, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Karen Day, (2nd row:) Leslie Connor, Erin Moulton, Me, Cynthia Lord (not pictured: Moderator, Susannah Richards)

Categories: agent, author, editor, friends, inspiring, writing | Tags: | 4 Comments

An Iron Whisper

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For years, I knew that pit in the stomach every morning before school. Like so many others, I was bullied as a kid. A lot.

The first bout began in fourth grade under bright autumn leaves and continued until green buds returned. Three boys a year older than me decided they would make it their almost-daily task to DSC09712meet me at the same place and beat me up. Thing is, I could have avoided them, as I walked home every day and there were multiple ways to leave. I knew this. Yet. Every single day, I would show up. I’d put down my stuff. And…I’d try to win.

It was the 70’s. We didn’t tell. We were raised to believe that it was “part of growing up.” And, at that time, it really was. Some of my peer struggles were pretty extreme. In the sixth grade, I landed in the emergency room for stitches, but lucky that I didn’t lose my left eye. (I don’t think the other kid intended such an extreme result, but…)

It wasn’t just physical. For three years, there were some girls that used to share their opinions of me every day. Which was worse than a fight. Was I afraid of the bullying? I was. Did I hate it? I did. But, I reacted to mistreatment with a stubborn passion that I am forever grateful to my Mum for. When others would say and do things that were unkind, a message would meander through my head. Like an iron whisper. “They’re wrong.”

This was a gift. I know that. And I know that not everyone can react this way. But I do believe a reaction like this can be learned–for self talk is so powerful. When someone else tries to drag us down, most of us react in one of two ways: The first is “I don’t deserve that” which lights a fire inside—the kind of fire that fuels determination and success. The kind of thing that helps people rise above their circumstances. Turns victims into conquerors.

The second reaction is, “They’re right.” A deflation of the spirit. It’s an understandable reaction but one we must all fight to eradicate in the children/teens we know. Actually, in anyone we know.

For me, resilience was honed by being resilient. I have achieved things I never thought I would because I pushed through fear, dismissed the naysayers, and plugged away. There is no doubt that my struggles and heartbreak as a kid have aided in my success along the way. Although, a bit ironic, I think.

I recall when the anti-bullying campaigns were introduced to schools over a decade ago. Being good to each other is a great message, of course. But, with the seemingly constant reports of childhood despair because of bullying by peers…well, I have wondered why we don’t have more calls for resilience as well. A reminder to play the “I don’t deserve this” message rather than giving in to feeling ashamed about labels that someone else pins to us–which are probably inaccurate. After all, a bully’s actions/words have more to do with him/her than their target.

I’ll be honest. I’ve sat and long-stared at victims’ pictures—kids bright-eyed and beautiful and looking like they’ll take on the world when they grow up. Kids who’ve had supportive parents, people who love them…and yet…they end their lives because of bullying. The word, heartbreaking, doesn’t nearly cover it.

I love the “It Gets Better” campaign. It’s gone a long way in showing gay teens that they are not alone and that it really does get better.  Also, there is a wonderful video below done by Megan Kelley Hall, one of the editors of Dear Bully. (The other Dear Bully editor is Carrie Jones) We need more and varied messages like this for kids–and we need to introduce resilience earlier. When I visit schools, I discuss the phrase, “Be someone’s hero.” I touch upon being good to each other, of course. But I also point out that this phrase means being a hero to yourself as well. Knowing that just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. And every time. Every school. I see some faces of kids who I suspect have not heard this before.

Teaching kindness is a such a human thing to do. It’s because we’re protective. It represents our wish for peace and mutual understanding. Our desire to toss out the things about humanity we know don’t shine. It is a lesson we need to continue to teach–and model. I have seen wonderful changes in schools since the anti-bullying campaigns began. Sadly, though, there will be kids who are still unkind. Regardless of these lessons.

So, my hope is that we are spending some time teaching kids to stand tall as well. To be brave. Value who they are—for we all have gifts to offer the world. Know that others’ opinions are not necessarily facts. Self esteem doesn’t come from others; it comes from impressing ourselves. And how do we do that?

Stand strong. Seek out what makes you happy. Shake off the bad stuff and look for the good, because there’s plenty of it. Seek out the people who do care–because they are there. You can succeed. Be happy. Chase down any dream you wish. Make any life you want. Regardless of having been bullied.

Because you are worthy.

Of everything wonderful.

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GIVEAWAY:  Enter to win signed copies of BREAK THESE RULES and ONE FOR THE MURPHYS

by leaving a comment below, retweeting, and sharing. Giveaway ends

Sunday, Oct 27th at 11:59 pm. Thank you :-)

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Categories: Be Someone's Hero, courage, Heroes, inspiring, writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Welcome Back to School Giveaway

I am writing to THANK teachers for supporting One for the Murphys—but mostly I want to thank them for being who they are. For being with children every day. Affecting lives. Expanding imaginations. Bolstering self esteem. Seeing the child before the test-taker. Basically, being AWESOME.

So, I thought I’d express my appreciation with a giveaway. Giveaway includes:

August giveaway

  • Ten signed copies of Scholastic Book Club’s One for the Murphys
  • One copy of Break These Rules (I have one essay in here that I will sign. This is YA, though.)
  • Twelve  Be someone’s hero bracelets
  • A class set of signed bookmarks
  • Two Murphys pens
  • Two Be someone’s hero lanyards
  • A free 45-minute Skype visit with Lynda during the 2013-2014 school year

To enter, please make a comment below, share on FB, RT on Twitter, or post on your own Twitter acct. Please copy me there at @Lynmullalyhunt. Each share/tweet/etc. is an additional entry. Thank you!!  Winner will be chosen at 11:59 pm on Saturday, August 17th.

Also, here is the printable Teacher’s Guide with questions, graphic organizers, Writing prompts, and Common Core info for grades 5-8.

Here is the Official Book Trailer.

Again—my THANKS to teachers for all that you are doing. Many of your students may not understand your influence on their lives until years from now. But, having had some teachers that changed my life, I want to thank you on their behalf today. J

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Categories: Be Someone's Hero, middle-grade, Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), Scholastic Book Club | 94 Comments

Domino Pushers

I sometimes wonder if the truly invested teachers and librarians out there ever take the time to think about the impact they have on the world. The impact on individuals that they meet along the way. And how their reaching out to elevate the spirit a child is like knocking down a winding path of dominoes. Dominoes that can fall for years to come.
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I wonder if teachers and librarians like this ever stop to think how they change the world within the walls of their classrooms and libraries. How paying attention to the quiet child who could slip under the radar can change a kid’s perception of themselves. Change their internal compass. How realizing that sometimes the kid who creates the biggest commotion is asking for help in the only way he knows how.
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I just read a comment from a librarian who spent her vacation reading five middle grade books and couldn’t wait to get back to school with them because she knew the exact students she would share them with. She was not patting herself on the back. She was not boastful.
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She is a hero.
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Today, I am thinking of the teachers and librarians who are quietly going about their day just as they always do. Saving children. With the right book. Or a hand on a kid’s shoulder. A knowing glance or nod. Some acknowledgment of understanding. A recess period of one-on-one help. Whether it be academic or otherwise.
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And, I’m thinking of one child who desperately needs one of these heroes.

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Categories: Be Someone's Hero, courage, Heroes, inspiring, middle-grade, writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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