NCTE Preview – All the Sky Pony Details You Need to Know

Sky Pony is very excited that we’ll be at NCTE this year. Here’s all the information you need to know about booth number, panels, signings, and giveaways.

For more on the books, look below the schedule.

Stop by the booth and say hi!  We can’t wait to see you!

NCTE

Friday, November 18 – Sunday November, 20

Booth #236

 

Friday, Nov 18

1:00-2:00pm GIVEAWAY: Project Droid #1: Science No Fair! by Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran (Chapter Book)

3:00-4:00pm GIVEAWAY: The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs (Adult)

 

Saturday, Nov 19

8:00-9:15am PANEL: Making Space for Advocacy in YA Speculative Fiction – Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – B218 (YA)

10:00-11:00am AUTHOR SIGNING: Melissa Hurst, The Edge of Forever (YA)

12:30-1:45pm PANEL: Diverse Voices in YA Historical Fiction Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – B402 (YA)

2:00-3:00pm GIVEAWAY: The Phantom Virus (Middle Grade)

2:45 – 4pm PANEL: Authors Exploring Diverse Perspectives in the Classroom – Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – A404 (YA)

4:00-5:00pm AUTHOR SIGNING: Tara Sim, Timekeeper (YA)

 

Sunday, Nov 20

9:00-10:00am GIVEAWAY: The Inspired Teacher by Donna Quesada (Adult, Educator)

10:00-11:00am AUTHOR SIGNING: Sarah Reida, Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production (Middle Grade)


science-no-fair-9781510710184When you have an android cousin, losing your head takes on a whole new meaning.

There’s nothing Logan Applebaum has ever wanted more than to have another kid around the house. So when his inventor mom builds him a robot cousin, Logan’s really excited–until he finds out that it’s not so easy keeping Java;s android identity a secret. Because even though Java is really smart, he doesn’t seem to understand anything.

Still, with the third grade science fair coming up, having a cousin with a computer for a brain just might come in handy. Does having Java around mean Logan finally has a chance at winning first prize? Or will those nasty, super-sneaky Silverspoon twins outsmart him again?

 

 

 

hamilton-affair-9781628727203


Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of legendary characters, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from passionate and tender beginnings to his fateful duel on the banks of the Hudson River.

Hamilton was a bastard and orphan, raised in the Caribbean and desperate for legitimacy, who became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and improbable—heroes. Admired by George Washington, scorned by Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the new nation. Elizabeth was the wealthy, beautiful, adventurous daughter of the respectable Schuyler clan—and a pioneering advocate for women. Together, the unlikely couple braved the dangers of war, the perils of seduction, the anguish of infidelity, and the scourge of partisanship that menaced their family and the country itself.

With brilliantly drawn characters and an epic scope, The Hamilton Affair tells a story of love forged in revolution and tested by the bitter strife of young America.

 

 


timekeeper-9781510706187-2I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now. 

An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time–and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.

A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.

A boy who would give anything to relive his part, and one who would give anything to live at all.

A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

The first book in a dazzling new steampunk-fantasy trilogy, Timekeeper introduces a magical world of mythology and innovation that readers will never want to leave.


In 2013, sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea how she got there. The one thing she is certain of? Someone is following her.

edge-of-forever-9781632204240In 2146, seventeen-year-old Bridger is one of a small number of people born with the ability to travel to the past. While on a routine school time trip, he sees the last person he expected—his dead father. The strangest part is that, according to the Department of Temporal Affairs, his father was never assigned to be in that time. Bridger’s even more stunned when he learns that his by-the-book father was there to break the most important rule of time travel—to prevent someone’s murder.

And that someone is named Alora.

Determined to discover why his father wanted to help a “ghost,” Bridger illegally shifts to 2013 and, along with Alora, races to solve the mystery surrounding her past and her connection to his father before the DTA finds him. If he can stop Alora’s death without altering the timeline, maybe he can save his father too.

 


phantom-virus Herobrine has crafted an evil game for Gameknight999 to play.

Herobrine, the artificially intelligent virus, was deleted. The computer it resided in was completely destroyed. Without their leader, the few survivors of its evil army were cast away into the shadows. It looked as if there would finally be peace and happiness throughout the servers of Minecraft.

But suddenly, and mysteriously, software began misbehaving. Sheep fell from the sky. Snowballs appeared out of nowhere. What seemed at first like harmless glitches quickly became dangerous. Pigs begin walking backwards, it starts to snow in the middle of the desert, and sheep are falling from the sky.

Gameknight999, the User-that-is-not-a-user, has no choice but to investigate. But the odd yet harmless pranks are turning deadly, and it’s not long before entire villages are completely destroyed. Examining the arrogant clues, Gameknight is no longer so sure that Herobrine was destroyed after all. Is it possible he escaped? Everything points towards a deadly trap far worse than anything that Minecraft has seen before. Will Gameknight solve the puzzle before the Overworld is destroyed?

 


9781632203410-frontcover

Donna Quesada had been teaching for about a dozen years when the first signs of burnout hit her. Rather than give in to her frustration, she reached for Buddha’s teachings, the Zen wisdom that formed the basis of her own longtime spiritual practice. She survived the semester and gradually rediscovered the joy in her job that had been progressively declining. In this wise and inspirational book, she shares the lessons she learned—lessons that revealed, time and again, that no matter the situation, it’s always about getting your head in the right place first. Resolution begins in our own minds. Some days, some semesters, and even some years will be more challenging and more wearisome than others, she warns. But in The Inspired Teacher, Quesada offers a lasting source of encouragement and Zen. Although the book draws from Eastern teachings, the wisdom is for everyone, regardless of personal background, creed, or faith.

With elements of The Last Lecture as well as Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul, this is the perfect gift for teachers—but also for anyone needing inspiration.

 


monsterville-9781510707337 Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is miserable when her parents force her to move from New York City (the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress) to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s nothing to do there, except play her little sister Haylie’s favorite new game, Monsterville, and hang out with her new neighbor Adam.

But when a walk in the woods lands her face-to-face with a swamp monster hungry for brains and then a Sasquatch that moos, even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring. With Adam’s help, she catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s fled from the monster world of Down Below.

And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? Make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will be the secret to her big break.

But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and the monster must venture Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.

Monsterville is a fusion of The Boxtrolls, Jumanji, and Candyland, weaving together friendship, family, and monsters into a funny fantasy-horror brimming with heart from a great new middle grade voice.

 

 

 

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Happy Book Birthday!

Happy Book Birthday to all of our June Sky Pony Books!

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Life Before by Michele Bacon

Life BeforeSeventeen years is a long time to keep secrets, and Xander Fife has gotten very good at it.

Everyone believes Xander has a normal life and a normal family. If he can just get through this summer, he’ll start his real life in college with a clean slate—no risk, no drama, no fear.

Even better, his plans for summer are awesome: lots of pick-up soccer, relaxing afternoons with friends, and an epic road trip. Xander is banking on some long-overdue nights with his ideal girlfriend, the amazing Gretchen Taylor.

Instead of kicking off what had promised to be an amazing summer, however, graduation day brings terror. His family’s secrets are thrust out into the open, and Xander must confront his greatest fear. And survive doing so.

Armed with a fake ID, cash, and a knife, Xander skips town and assumes a new identity. Hundreds of miles from home and in danger, one thing is clear: Xander’s real life is already in progress and just getting through it isn’t enough.

Kingdom in a Horse by Maia Wojciechowska

Kingdom in a Horse_coverDavid Lee is twelve years old and disappointed in his father Earl, a once-famous rodeo clown who has quit the circuit and moved David to a small town in Vermont to start a new life. David has a hard time adjusting to life as a “normal” boy and is hurt that his father never allowed him the chance to be his partner in the rodeo arena. When Earl tries to buy David a horse at auction, David pretends to have no interest in it, and the horse is sold, instead, to a seventy-year-old woman named Sarah Tierney.

Sarah, grief-stricken at the death of her husband, tries to ?nd solace in her new horse, Gypsy, but she needs help from Earl and David to learn how to care for her. As the three of them spend more and more time with Gypsy, they all become entranced—in their own ways—by the horse and begin to learn more and more about themselves. A heartfelt story, this middle-reader novel is a must read for any girl or boy interested in nature and horses.

Treason in America by Jules Archer, foreword by Brianna DuMont

Treason in America_coverTreason can be defined as “the breach of the allegiance which a person owes to the state under whose protection he lives.” But what exactly does it mean to be guilty of a “breach of the allegiance” owed to your country? In a country that guarantees freedom of speech and dissent tp all citizens, the extent to which dissent becomes unlawful may not always be clear. Treason is punishable by the death penalty, underscoring the importance of the question: How do we go about proving that someone is indeed an enemy of his country—a traitor?

In this book, renowned historian Jules Archer explores different cases of treason throughout our history, while encouraging young readers to really question the definition of treason and how it should be treated. He asks readers to consider the similarities between disloyalty and dissent and ultimately urges this generation to take it into their own hands to redefine American duties and liberties for our time

Down into the Nether by Danica Davidson

Down into the NetherStevie and Alex thought they defeated Herobrine completely, but they soon discover that he’s still on the loose. He has returned to Stevie’s nightmares, taunting him with threats to now destroy the human world.

The prophecies on music discs suggest that only Stevie and Alex, plus Maison, Destiny, and Yancy, their friends from the human world will be able to defeat Herobrine. But the prophecies also warn that one of the friends will betray the rest, putting all the worlds at risk. Tensions run high as the group must figure out how to save the world while they try to discern the traitor in their midst. Maison, It isn’t long before the traitor is discovered.

Stevie and Alex find themselves separated from the others and must first journey into the Nether to find a special treasure that will enable them to confront Herobrine. The clock is ticking as they put their heads together to survive in the fiery depths of the Nether. Monsters are waiting for them around every corner and it won’t be much longer before they come face-to-face with Herobrine, who has become more powerful than ever.

Terror on a Treasure Hunt by Winter Morgan

Terror on a Treasure HuntAfter trapping Mr. Anarchy, the evil master griefer who’s been tormenting them, Lily, Simon, and Michael can finally concentrate on trying to escape the Overworld and getting to know their new friends on the server. So when one of their friends invites them along on a treasure hunt, they couldn’t be more thrilled!

But when the gang’s absence from Lisimi Village gives Mr. Anarchy a chance to escape, their hunt for treasure is cut short and Lily, Simon, and Michael must make a hard decision: do they continue their much-anticipated treasure hunt, or do they band together with their new friends to find and recapture Mr. Anarchy, and whatever team of griefers he might be working with?

Nothing is as it seems—and no one can be trusted—in this thrilling third book in bestselling author Winter Morgan’s Unofficial Minetrapped Adventure series.

Abracadabra! by Kristen Kelly & Ken Kelly

Abracadabra_coverSummon your inner Houdini and learn simple magic tricks that will wow your family and friends!

How did he do that? Have you ever racked your brains trying to figure out how that birthday party magician pulled a dove out of his sleeve? Or spent sleepless nights wondering just how he made that coin disappear? Well, what if there were a book that shared a magician’s secrets with you and showed you how to do magic, too?

Eleven-year-old magician Kristen and her magician dad, Ken, reveal secret magic techniques with step-by-step photographs and demonstrate how you can perform tricks that look impossible but are, in fact, very simple to master! You’ll also learn one of the most important secrets about becoming a magician—how to use your confidence, personality, and presentation skills to enchant and amaze your friends and family. Choose from thirty of Kristen and Ken’s coolest tricks and learn how to:

• Make a pencil float in mid-air!
• Bend a key using your mind!
• Make a pile of items disappear!
• Eat a knife!
• And much more!

With Abracadabra!, you’ll see that you don’t have to be an adult to perform magic!

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May’s Newest Books for Minecrafters!

Here’s a list of the latest books for Minecrafters you can pick up from Sky Pony this month!


May 3, 2016:

The Unofficial Holy Bible for Minecrafters: Old Testament by Christopher Miko and Garrett Romines

Holy Bible for Minecrafters - Old Testament 9781510702257 Minecraft has taken the world by storm. More than one hundred million games have been sold. Parents of children who play Minecraft will love this fun, educational collection of Bible stories. With the world of Minecraft as a backdrop, using vivid, full-color screenshots, children will experience the Bible as never before.

Authors Garrett Romines and Christopher Miko are teachers who have used Minecraft to create imaginative worlds in their classrooms. Now, they have created Bible stories with virtual blocks to produce vibrant, 3D worlds filled with adventure and astonishing imagination.

With fascinating scripture and narrative simplified to teach young readers, this is the perfect gift. The images created are not only of magnificent, vast terrains often found in Minecraft but also feature artfully re-created Bible characters, such as Adam and Eve, and superb designs of the pyramids and Noah’s ark. A range of biblical characters such as Jesus and Pharaoh are offered in fun, colorful scenes kids will treasure. Engaging stories including the Tower of Babel and the story of Abram and Lot, to name a few, are here. With over 400 images, young readers will explore the story of creation, the journey of Abraham, David and Goliath, Moses’s great journey, the birth of Jesus, the Last Supper, and many more stories!

The Unofficial Holy Bible for Minecrafters makes the Bible more entertaining, engaging, and accessible for children than ever!

 

May 17, 2016:

Overworld in Flames by Mark Cheverton

The spider queen and the king of the skeletons were both destroyed, but nOverworld in Flamesot before hinting to Gameknight999 that the command blocks they guarded were not the only traps Herobrine had set before he was deleted.

The inhabitants of the Overworld barely had any time to celebrate their victory when the fires started occurring. Flames were devouring more land with every tick of the CPU. The User-that-is-not-a-user knew something was terribly wrong. He also knew who was responsible.

With the fires growing both in size and frequency, entire villages were reduced to piles of smoldering ash. Entire biomes followed. But unlike before, there were no mocking signs or arrogant clues for Gameknight and his friends to follow. Only a single blaze rod was found in the rubble. But if this was the work of monsters from the Nether, where was the portal? And how could Herobrine be controlling fire from beyond the digital grave? The answer lies in a dark land filled with countless rivers of lava and hundreds of monsters lying in wait for them.

For readers ages 9 and up, this is a really fun adventure story set in the world of Minecraft, which many young children play and are familiar with. The author is a father who was inspired to write the series after his son was bullied by other users while playing the game. Using an expert’s knowledge of the game and an exciting plot that mirrors much of what users would actually be doing while playing the game, wrapped up in the engrossing story is a great anti-bullying lesson about overcoming your fears and working collectively and positively with other people.

Skeleton Battle by Winter Morgan

Skeleton BattleAfter a scourge of griefer attacks and a change in headmasters, Minecrafters Academy is once again at peace, and Lucy is working hard to keep up in all her classes. Meanwhile, the school is gearing up for an end-of-the-year talent show, where everyone will showcase their greatest skills, from master building and clever potion-making to strategic fighting.

But when a hoard of skeletons and hostile mobs attacks the campus one night, an all-too-familiar struggle begins. Is Isaac, the school’s evil former headmaster, behind the attacks? Lucy and her friends are determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and keep their school safe. As the attacks continue and their search for clues turns up more enemies than friends, Lucy, Jane, and Phoebe must rely on each other to survive—and find a way to save the school.

Fans of Minecraft and magic academies won’t want to miss the latest adventure in the Unofficial Minecrafters Academy series.

 

Mobs in the Mine by Winter Morgan

LilyMobs in the Mine, Simon, and Michael are still trapped in their Minecraft game, but with new friends and a better understanding of their arch enemy Mr. Anarchy, they’re getting closer to finding a way home. But before they can fight the evil griefer and escape the game, the friends need to replenish their resources—and that means trekking deeper into the Overworld.

When their mining party is attacked and hostile mobs reveal surprising new powers, it looks like the end for the trio—and for all their friends in town. Will Lily, Simon, and Michael find a way to defeat the mobs and save their village? Will they ever conquer Mr. Anarchy and escape from the Overworld?

Find out in this exciting, action-packed second book in the Unofficial Minetrapped Adventures series by bestselling author Winter Morgan.

 

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Q & A with Danica Davidson

Author Danica Davidson takes on the Sky Pony Q & A. Check it out below! And check out Danica’s other books here.

Q: Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?

I like to write in all different genres. I started writing stories for kids when I was a kid. I’d take the stories to school with me and pass out to my classmates. I liked (and still like!) to write all sorts of stories with adventure, mythology and fun. So writing for kids is just kind of a natural path I’ve continued, and that has led to me writing my Minecraft books.

For my manga book, Manga Art For Beginners, I’ve been a big fan of manga since I was a teenager. When I was a kid I read comics like Betty & Veronica and TinTin, but it was manga that really took me off into the graphic novel world. I’ve worked as a journalist writing about manga and also have adapted manga into English for a publishing company. That means the editor would give me the Japanese-to-English translation, which would sound very literal, and I would rewrite it to sound more natural to readers. For example, something translated as, “What a disagreeable child!” could be rewritten to, “What a brat!” And then I’d do that for hundreds of pages as I worked on these different books.

Q:What are you reading right now?

Aldnoah.Zero. It’s a manga about a future where people live on Mars.

 

Q: If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?

That’s tough, because I feel like I’d want to be one of the characters I’ve created. And I’m often creating new characters, so that answer would change a lot! I introduce Stevie’s cousin Alex in The Rise of Herobrine, and she’s a really fun character, very take-charge and adventurous, and much better with bows and arrows than I am. Maybe I’d want to be her for a bit.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to write?

Any place I can that’s quiet (unless I’m playing music for the mood) and uninterrupted. But I usually work at my desk or outside if it’s nice enough. When I’m writing at my desk, my dog Porthos is usually sleeping at my feet. I named him after the beagle Porthos from Star Trek: Enterprise, who’s named after the Porthos from The Three Musketeers. He is a very literary dog, even if he doesn’t know it.

porthosbed

 

Q: What’s your favorite classic movie?

I’d say The Graduate. It’s for an older audience than the one I’ve been writing for, but I first got into that movie as a teenager and have watched it more times than I can remember. It’s been a while though, so maybe I should check it out again . . .

 

Q: If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

Are you saying I can have a pet dinosaur!? Then I want that, of course!

But more realistically, I love dogs and cats, and I have both. Stevie’s cat Ossie in my Minecraft books is based on my cat, Sarah, who is a Siamese mix. Whenever I get my author copies in of my books, I like to take picture of them with my pets. And Sarah likes to be the center of attention, so that works.

sarahminecraft

Q: Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

Milk, please!

 

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?

I love Halloween! Every October I read nothing but scary horror books to get in the mood. I love how Halloween lets you safely play with the scary side of life and you can dress up and pretend to be different things.

In the fifth book of my Minecraft series, The Armies of Herobrine, I have Herobrine crash a Halloween party at Maison’s school and unleash a pack of zombies. I can’t give too much away, but I chose to do this because I’ve been wanting to write about Halloween for a while. When I was a kid, I’d write a different scary story every October and bring it into school to share.

 

Q: What’s your favorite emoji?

They have a unicorn emoji now, right? I’ll go with that!

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Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were 12?

A writer! When I was twelve I was writing novels and sending out letters to agents and editors and getting millions of rejections. I kept getting turned down because they told me I was too young, but that my stuff was good. I’ve never given up my dream to be a writer, and I want to thank all my readers for helping my dream become a reality.


 

9781510700048-frontcoverManga Art for Beginners: How to Create Your Own Manga Drawings by Danica Davidson

With titles ranging from Attack on Titan to Pokémon, manga is a billion-dollar industry with millions of fans worldwide. Readers will love this step-by-step guide to drawing characters that resemble the Japanese comics and anime they love. In this book, fans can learn how to draw their own manga characters and join in on the fun. Manga Art for Beginners explores the basics, like how to draw faces and eyes, and gradually shows how to get into more complex drawings.

Readers will learn to draw the following character types in easy, detailed steps:

• Hero/Heroine
• Schoolboy/Schoolgirl
• Male and Female Ninja
• Butler/Maid
• Bishonen
• Gothic Lolita
• Shrine Maiden
• Magical Girl
• Chibi

Down into the Nether by Danica Davidson

Down into the NetherStevie and Alex thought they defeated Herobrine completely, but they soon discover that he’s still on the loose. He has returned to Stevie’s nightmares, taunting him with threats to now destroy the human world.

The prophecies on music discs suggest that only Stevie and Alex, plus Maison, Destiny and Yancy, their friends from the human world will be able to defeat Herobrine. But the prophecies also warn that one of the friends will betray the rest, putting all the worlds at risk. Tensions run high as the group must figure out how to save the world while they try to discern the traitor in their midst. Maison, It isn’t long before the traitor is discovered.

Stevie and Alex find themselves separated from the others and must first journey into the Nether to find a special treasure that will enable them to confront Herobrine. The clock is ticking as they put their heads together to survive in the fiery depths of the Nether. Monsters are waiting for them around every corner and it won’t be much longer before they come face-to-face with Herobrine, who has become more powerful than ever.

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Ask Sky Pony!

Live Blog Ask Sky Pony
 Today is our “Ask Sky Pony” Day! We’re taking questions about children’s literature, publishing, and all of your favorite Sky Pony books! Chime in with your questions!

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Hacks for Minecrafters: Featured Hack

In honor of the release of Hacks for Minecrafters: Mods, we’re featuring one of our favorite hacks on the blog today!


 

Once you’ve tried our favorite Minecraft mod, you’ll never want to play without it again! The mod is JourneyMap by TechMap, and we think you’ll love it.

JourneyMap adds a small map to your Minecraft game window and a large map screen you can access by pressing J. The maps show not only where you are, but also any mobs that are nearby. Underground, it will show features like lava and water. You can configure JourneyMap heavily, from the map size and zoom level, to what mobs it shows.

Img 1_Featured Hack
JourneyMap adds a small map to the top left. It also lets you add waypoints, which appear on your screen as beams of light.

Best of all, you can add waypoints, a type of in-game bookmark, to your world. A waypoint places a colored beam of light in the world at your choice of location, and you can name the waypoints to remember what they mark. To quickly set a waypoint, press B. You can see waypoints from far away, and labels show the waypoint name and how far away they are. This is perfect for marking your portal in the Nether.

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Press J to see JourneyMap’s full-screen map, where you can also adjust settings and access the list of waypoints you have created.

 


Hacks for Minecrafters: Mods by Megan Miller

9781510705937-frontcoverMinecraft was designed to allow other people to modify it. And while there are several successful game guides on the market already, this book is the first unofficial “hacker’s” super-guide dedicated to adding mods (modifications) to your Minecraft game.

Mods add content to the game to alter gameplay, changing the creative feel of the game or giving the players more options for how they interact within the Minecraft world. Mods can make your game run faster, they can add new mobs, mechanics, and quests, and even entirely new dimensions to play in. Change the rules of your world with each mod you add—anything is fair game! This book explores today’s range of modded Minecraft play, from the must-haves to the fanciful—from utilities like Inventory Tweaks and JourneyMap, to full-fledged gameplay extensions and modpacks, like Thaumcraft, Twilight Forest, and Agrarian Skies.

Written for seven- to twelve-year-old Minecrafters this is the ultimate guide on Minecraft mods—keep your game new and exciting with all these expert tips and tricks.

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A Day in the Life: Sky Pony’s Publicist

 Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work at a publishing company? There are many different jobs that one can do in book publishing. Today our publicist, Cheryl Lew is sharing what a day in the life of a publicist is like. Check it out below!  

 


What is Publicity?

To be honest, before I chanced into it, I had no idea the role that publicity played in book publishing. Simply put, the job of a publicist is to secure media coverage, help set up signings and events, and promote authors in any way they can. While social media generally falls under Marketing—not Publicity—since we are a small company, I am also in charge of Skyhorse’s Instagram account (@skyhorsepub).

 

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Here at Skyhorse, I’m lucky enough to work primarily with children’s and young adult authors and the extremely talented Sky Pony Press team! In Publicity, each day is different, but here are a few things that happen on a typical one:

Weekly Publicity Meeting: Every Tuesday morning, the Publicity team gathers for a meeting where we share important media hits, ask questions, and brainstorm current events that we can to tie our books to. These current events cover all different topics—election coverage, the Oscars, National Oreo Day, #damndaniel, etc.—and since we publish so many different kinds of books, we often have a title to suggest for each one! We recently welcomed a couple of new members to our Publicity team, so this is also a great opportunity for us to all get to know each other and pick each other’s brains for new ideas.

Author Meeting: Last week, I was fortunate enough to meet author and illustrator Richard Fairgray, who has written three picture books with us so far: Gorillas in Our Midst (Spring 2015), My Grandpa’s A Dinosaur (Spring 2016), and That’s Not the Monster We Ordered (Fall 2016). Since Richard lives in New Zealand, I had never met him before, and it was very exciting to finally put a face to a name. The majority of our authors/illustrators live in different states—and even different countries—so it’s always a treat when they come in to the office for a visit!

Sky Pony Press Blog Meeting: Once a month, the Sky Pony Press team meets to discuss the schedule for the next month’s blog posts. It’s a time where we can discuss which books, both upcoming and backlist, to feature in each of our posts and how to creatively do so. Since the team gets along so well, it’s always a great time, and we all get really into suggesting fun and unique ways to feature our favorites!

Media Outreach: Arguably the most important part of my job is media outreach, which entails emailing or calling editors of magazines, newspapers, TV shows, radio, and online outlets to see if they are interested in doing a feature, review, or author interview for our books. In my experience, interacting with Mommy/Daddy and YA bloggers is the most fun because they are so passionate about what they read and are always excited to receive a copy of a book in exchange for an honest review!

ARC Mailing: About four months before the pub date, certain books receive ARCs (advanced reading copies), and it’s my job to send them out to long lead outlets—such as magazines and large newspapers—that want books several months ahead of time. On this particular day, I sent out three Sky Pony Press young adult novels to reviewers: A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride, Life Before by Michele Bacon, and Feathers by Rose Mannering. How gorgeous are those covers?

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My favorite parts of this job are being able to meet with authors I have previously worked with and members of the media from outlets that I’ve grown up reading/watching. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet with editors at The Today Show, Good Morning America, The New York Times, SELF, School Library Journal, and several others. I’ve also been given the opportunity to travel to and work trade shows like Book Expo America (BEA) and ALA (a bi-yearly conference for librarians) where I was able to meet and talk with both media and consumers directly. It’s always exciting when children at these shows run over to our booth to look at our Minecraft or other kids’ books!

When I chose publishing as a career path, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I’ve definitely found a home in publicity at Sky Pony Press!

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Welcome to Camp Pikachu—Favorite Pokémon

Welcome to Camp Pikachu by Alex Polan hit shelves yesterday. To celebrate the release of our Unofficial Stories for Pokémon Collectors series, the Sky Pony team decided to share our favorite Pokémon with you. Check it out below along with the new book! Don’t forget to leave a comment with your favorite Pokémon!


Welcome to Camp Pikachu by Alex Polan

Welcome to Camp Pikachu_coverWelcome to Camp Pikachu, where kids can act out adventures from their favorite Pokémon games and cartoons, battling other teams to earn points and badges and, if they’re lucky, make it into the Summer Camp Hall of Fame!

During their first week at Camp Pikachu, Marco and his friends on Team Treecko find the perfect secret base: a tree house straight out of Fortree City. They proudly post their team flag out front. But during a game of capture the flag, someone vandalizes their base. Who did it?

Marco thinks he knows: Team Fennekin, led by Stella and her brother, Sam. Sam is always up to no good. And his big sister is as mean as Meowth, the cat that prowls the camp.

During the next round of capture the flag, Team Treecko bands together and tries every Pokémon trick they know. Logan makes mud balls and Pitfall Mats. Nisha creates a catapult inspired by Clemont. And Maddy? Well, she’d help, too, if she weren’t so busy making Poké Puffs.

But when Sam gets hit by a stone mixed in with the mud balls, the game comes to a screeching halt—and Team Treecko discovers that Sam may not be quite the bully they thought he was.

Just as Pokémon can Mega Evolve with Mega Stones, can a bully change his ways? Team Treecko is about to find out!

The first book in an exciting new series for Pokémon fans full of adventure, friendship, and summer fun. You’ll want to collect them all!


Team Sky Pony’s Favorite Pokémon:

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Julie’s favorite Pokémon is Jolteon because “it looks a bit like a lion (which is one of my favorite real-life animals!). And it’s an electric-type Pokémon, and I think that’s pretty cool.”

 

 

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Adrienne’s favorite Pokemon is Seadra because “Seadra looks like it could take on just about anything (and is still adorable and hilarious).”

 

 

cubchoo

 

 

 

Alison’s favorite Pokémon is Cubchoo because “he’s resourceful when he has a cold and can be evasive in a hailstorm. We all need those skills during a brutal winter.”

 

 

 

 

fire pony

 

 

Rachel’s favorite Pokémon is Rapidash because “I wish I had some kind of deep, symbolic reason for this—but seriously, she is just the prettiest pony, and I really, really like pretty ponies. For obvious reasons, Ponyta was a close second in my heart.”

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0997bulbasaur_by_elfaceitosoKylie’s favorite Pokémon is Bulbasaur because “he is a polite, caring, and loyal Pokémon and I admire those qualities in both people and Pokémon.”

 

 

 

 

 

vulpix

 

 

Cheryl’s favorite Pokémon is Vulpix because “I always wanted a pet fox, and she seems like the sweetest and cuddliest of the original Pokémon!”

 

 

 

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Joshua’s favorite Pokémon is Luxray because “I love electric types and he is black and stylish just like me. I always love big cats, the fiercer the better. Luxray’s yellow and red eye are also really cool along with having x-ray vision.”

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Q & A With Minecraft Author, Mark Cheverton

 To celebrate the release of the first book in a new Minecraft series Mark Cheverton answered our Sky Pony Q & A! Learn what Mark Cheverton’s favorite emoji is, below!

 

Don’t forget to check out the first book in the Herobrine’s Revenge series, The Phantom Virus on shelves today! 

 

The Phantom Virus by Mark Cheverton

9781510706835-frontcoverHerobrine has crafted an evil game for Gameknight999 to play.

Herobrine, the artificially intelligent virus, was deleted. The computer it resided in was completely destroyed. Without their leader, the few survivors of its evil army were cast away into the shadows. It looked as if there would finally be peace and happiness throughout the servers of Minecraft.

But suddenly, and mysteriously, software began misbehaving. Sheep fell from the sky. Snowballs appeared out of nowhere. What seemed at first like harmless glitches quickly became dangerous. Pigs begin walking backwards, it starts to snow in the middle of the desert, and sheep are falling from the sky.

Gameknight999, the User-that-is-not-a-user, has no choice but to investigate. But the odd yet harmless pranks are turning deadly, and it’s not long before entire villages are completely destroyed. Examining the arrogant clues, Gameknight is no longer so sure that Herobrine was destroyed after all. Is it possible he escaped? Everything points towards a deadly trap far worse than anything that


Q: Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?

I actually ended up in the middle grade genre purely by accident. I started writing my Minecraft series of books because my son, who was 7 at the time, was cyberbullied while playing the game. So I wrote my first Minecraft novel, Invasion of the Overworld, strictly as a teaching tool, to try to explain to him why it wasn’t his fault that he was bullied. So I wrote to his age level at the time. I actually had no plan on publishing the book, but self-published it just for fun . . . the rest is history.

Q: What are you reading right now?

I am re-reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons. This series is, in my opinion, a science fiction masterpiece.

Q: If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?

I think I’d want to be Hazel from Watership Down. Hazel is incredible clever and brave and a great leader, and always willing to help someone in need. Those seem like incredible traits to strive for.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to write?

I go to a local coffee shop to write. They have a coffee shop on one side and a pizza place on the other. I sit on the pizza side in the morning, in the dark with my headphones on, and write. They keep bringing me coffee which keeps me happy, and at lunch time, I’ll grab something to eat and then write a few more hours. Below is a screenshot from a video I made while at the coffee shop. You can find the video here.

Mark Cheverton

Q: What’s your favorite classic movie?

I think my favorite classic movie is North by NorthWest. It really shows how Hitchcock can control the pacing and suspense of the movie to keep the viewer engaged and hooked into the movie. I’ve spent a lot of time studying this movie as well as other Hitchcock movies, to try to incorporate what he does into my writing. In a nutshell . . . it seems impossible.

Q: If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

I’m a boring cat fan. We have three cats, and they hate it when I’m sitting in our office, writing, instead of paying attention to them. One of them, Tiger, will frequently sit next to me on a spare office chair while I write. He’d prefer to be on my lap, but that makes writing difficult at times, so he gets banished to the adjacent chair.

Q: Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

Dark for sure!

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?

My favorite holiday is of course Christmas. My wife and I spoil our son too much, I’m sure, but I love getting him stuff and surprising him with a gift he didn’t expect or hadn’t thought of.

Q: What’s your favorite emoji?

I guess my favorite emoji is either the typical and boring smiley face, or the thumbs up

Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were in middle school?

When I was in middle school, I wanted to be an astronaut and walk on the moon.


Check out more Mark Cheverton titles here!

9781510709935-frontcover

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Sky Pony Books for March!

Here’s a list of the Sky Pony titles you can look forward to this month!


 

March 1, 2016:

Hypnosis Harry by Catherine Bailey, illustrated by Sarita Rich

9781634501712-frontcoverNo pajamas at the park. No toys in the toaster. Harry’s parents say no to everything! That is, until Harry learns about hypnosis.

With a little practice, and Grandpa’s watch, Harry puts his parents in a trance and envisions a future full of fun and yes’s!

Comic books by the crate, night-vision goggles for his teddy bear, a pet monkey (or two)—no request is too big or too bizarre. Harry loves his new freedom and, not to mention, all that bacon. So what if his robot goes rogue and playmates are hard to find? But when his ninja moves result in a playground pile-up, Harry starts to wonder if he really wants his every wish granted.

Hypnosis Harry is a wildly funny, sweetly silly look at the real meaning of the word no. Children will delight as little Harry answers the delicious question: What would you do if you could do anything? This charming romp is perfectly captured in the lively, layered illustrations of Sarita Rich. Each read reveals clever new details, making this the perfect reread for parent and child.

Beyond the Red by Ava Jae

9781634506441-frontcoverAlien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.

When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

Hacks for Minecrafters: Mods by Megan Miller

9781510705937-frontcoverMinecraft was designed to allow other people to modify it. And while there are several successful game guides on the market already, this book is the first unofficial “hacker’s” super-guide dedicated to adding mods (modifications) to your Minecraft game.

Mods add content to the game to alter gameplay, changing the creative feel of the game or giving the players more options for how they interact within the Minecraft world. Mods can make your game run faster, they can add new mobs, mechanics, and quests, and even entirely new dimensions to play in. Change the rules of your world with each mod you add—anything is fair game! This book explores today’s range of modded Minecraft play, from the must-haves to the fanciful—from utilities like Inventory Tweaks and JourneyMap, to full-fledged gameplay extensions and modpacks, like Thaumcraft, Twilight Forest, and Agrarian Skies.

Written for seven- to twelve-year-old Minecrafters this is the ultimate guide on Minecraft mods—keep your game new and exciting with all these expert tips and tricks.

The Unofficial Holy Bible for Minecrafters: Old Testament by Garett Romines and Christopher Miko

9781510702257-frontcoverMinecraft has swept the world by storm. More than one hundred million games have been sold. Parents of children who play Minecraft will love this fun, educational collection of Bible stories. With the world of Minecraft as a backdrop using vivid, full-color screenshots, children will experience the Bible as never before.

Authors Garrett Romines and Christopher Miko are teachers who have used Minecraft to create imaginative worlds in their classrooms. Now, they have created Bible stories with virtual blocks to produce vibrant, 3-D worlds filled with adventure and astonishing imagination.

 

 

March 8, 2016:

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

9781510701717-frontcoverSeventeen-year-old Riven comes from a world parallel to Earth, a world that has been ravaged by a devastating android war. As a Legion General, she is the right hand of Prince Cale, the young Prince of Neospes. In her world, she’s had everything: rank, responsibility, and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to rescue his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Armed with the mindset of a soldier and racing against time to bring Caden home, Riven must learn how to blend in as a girl in a realm that is the opposite of all she’s ever known. Will she be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

 

Welcome to Camp Pikachu by Alex Polan

Welcome to Camp Pikachu_coverWelcome to Camp Pikachu, where kids can act out adventures from their favorite Pokémon games and cartoons, battling other teams to earn points ans badges and, if they’re lucky, make it into the Summer Camp Hall of Fame! During their first week at Camp Pikachu, Marco and his friends on Team Treecko find the perfect secret base: a tree house straight out of Fortree City. They proudly post their team flag out front. But during a game of capture the flag, someone vandalizes their base. Who did it?

Marco thinks he knows: Team Fennekin, led by Stella and her brother, Sam. Sam is always up to no good. And his big sister is as mean as Meowth, the cat that prowls the camp. During the next round of capture the flag, Team Treecko bands together and tries every Pokémon trick they know. Logan makes mud balls and Pitfall Mats. Nisha creates a catapult inspired by Clemont. And Maddy? Well, she’d help, too, if she weren’t so busy making Poké Puffs.

Just as Pokémon can Mega Evolve with Mega Stones, can a bully change his ways? Team Treecko is about to find out!

Zombie Invasion by Winter Morgan

9781510705944-frontcoverOne fateful day, Lucy is invited to study at the prestigious Overworld Academy. The Academy offers her the opportunity to learn all of the secrets of the Overworld—and it’s an opportunity she can’t miss. She’s sad to leave behind her friends Henry and Max, but it’s time for her to have an adventure on her own. At Overworld Academy, she meets two new friends, Jane and Phoebe. Jane is an expert fighter, and Phoebe is a talented alchemist. With Lucy’s own knack for treasure hunting, the trio makes an incredible team. And when the school is attacked by zombies, the three girls are going to have their skills put to the test.

Together they prove that they can take on almost anything, but when Lucy overhears the school headmaster conspiring to take over the Overworld, Jane and Phoebe don’t believe her. As a newbie at the academy, Lucy hasn’t gained their trust yet. Her new friends turn against her and she gets kicked out of school. When she goes back home to get help from Henry and Max, she’s shocked at what she finds waiting for her in town. Will Lucy and her friends be able to work together to fight the evil rising in their world?

This is the first book in a new three-book series spin-off of the original Unofficial Gamer’s Adventure series with its bestselling book, Quest for the Diamond Sword. Fans of Minecraft won’t want to miss this new adventure.

The Phantom Virus by Mark Cheverton

9781510706835-frontcoverHerobrine, the artificially intelligent virus, was deleted. The computer it resided in was completely destroyed. Without their leader, the few survivors of its evil army were cast away into the shadows. It looked as if there would finally be peace and happiness throughout the servers of Minecraft.

But suddenly, and mysteriously, software began misbehaving. Sheep fell from the sky. Snowballs appeared out of nowhere. What seemed at first like harmless glitches quickly became dangerous. Pigs begin walking backwards, it starts to snow in the middle of the desert, and sheep are falling from the sky.

Gameknight999, the User-that-is-not-a-user, has no choice but to investigate. But the odd yet harmless pranks are turning deadly, and it’s not long before entire villages are completely destroyed. Examining the arrogant clues, Gameknight is no longer so sure that Herobrine was destroyed after all. Is it possible he escaped? Everything points towards a deadly trap far worse than anything that Minecraft has seen before. Will Gameknight solve the puzzle before the Overworld is destroyed?

 

March 15, 2016:

My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Sara Sanchez

9781634501781-frontcoverInside, outside, climbing up the stairs, or jumping into bed, your shadow may be following you! He may even be one step ahead as you run down the street! Complete with a cast of the whole family, a cat, a dog, and a teddy, this story is for everyone. Little ones who are just discovering their shadows for the first time will find inspiration between these pages, while older, more experienced kids are sure to learn new ways to play with their shadows. Get ready to laugh and giggle and then find the nearest light source and try out some shadows of your own!

Sara Sanchez has created soft and inviting illustrations to creatively interpret Robert Louis Stevenson’s original lines from the poem “My Shadow,” which was originally published in his classic for children, A Child’s Garden of Verses. Sanchez’s pictures are filled with humor and help propel this timeless poem into the twenty-first century. My Shadow is sure to become a bedtime favorite for the whole family.

Hattie Peck by Emma Levy

9781634501705-frontcoverPoor Hattie Peck simply loves eggs, but she has only ever laid one egg—and it never hatched. Eggs are all she thinks about, all she dreams about. No egg is too big; no egg is too small. So if she can’t lay another egg, she’s going to have to go out into the world to find one.

Hattie embarks on a journey in search of all the abandoned eggs. She dives to the deepest depths of vast oceans. She soars over gigantic cities and climbs up mountains towering above the clouds. Through gloomy dark caves, deep below the ground, Hattie searches. And she doesn’t find just one egg. There are so many abandoned eggs, just waiting for her to find them!

With her newly gathered eggs in tow, Hattie Peck returns home. Sitting on so many eggs at once is quite the task, but Hattie doesn’t mind. Days and weeks pass, until one day, finally, there’s a Crack! Scratch! Tap! But what will happen when all those eggs hatch together?

Divah by Susannah Appelbaum

Divah 9781634506748Seventeen-year-old Itzy Nash is spending the summer at the exclusive Carlyle hotel in New York City. But the hotel harbors more than the rich and privileged; it is host to a gorgeous fallen angel, reclusive movie stars, and—Itzy soon learns—demons of the worst sort. When the Queen of the Damned checks in, all Hell breaks loose. Itzy is called upon to save herself—and all of humanity—from the ravages of the Underworld. There’s only one problem: Itzy’s possessed.

Part gothic thriller, part historical fiction, the novel straddles the Upper East Side and the lush trappings of the Carlyle hotel, and Paris during the Reign of Terror in 1789. Marie Antoinette is the Queen of the Damned. Marilyn Monroe is an expert demon hunter. To kill a demon, Hermès scarves, Evian water, and a guillotine are the weapons of choice.

For anyone who loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this has an epic battle between angels and demons with a doomed love story at its core. But it’s also darkly funny, for fans of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and more than anything it’s something original—dark, funny, clever, and glamorous.

The ORVIS Kids’ Guide to Fly Fishing by Tyler Befus

9781634503389-frontcoverKids can fly fish, too! Fifteen-year-old Tyler Befus loves to fly fish. He has won awards and traveled all over the world to fish in different places. In this guide, Tyler shows that any kid can learn to fly fish. Discover fascinating information about where fish live and what fish eat, and learn tips about what equipment you’ll need, casting techniques, and much, much more to get you started on your own fly-fishing adventure. Fly fishing is an awesome way to spend time outdoors with your family, and with this book, any kid can become an expert!

The ORVIS Kids’ Guide to Beginning Fly Fishing is filled with a personal collection of photos and drawings done by Tyler himself. Because it has been written by an actual kid, this fully revised and updated book is a one-of-a-kind guide that kids can understand and easily learn from. Filled with all kinds of great tips and tricks, this is a valuable resource for any kid who wants to know more about fishing. After all, fly fishing isn’t just for the adults!

For fishing enthusiasts ages 8 and up, this is the perfect first stop shop for learning all you can about fly fishing. The pefect gift for those who love to fish and want to teach younger kids the skills behind fly fishing or for that kid who just loves reading about the outdoors.

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