Friday, July 30, 2010

Editor Panel: Brenda Murray

Before joining Scholastic, Brenda was an elementary school teacher. She's edited over 250 nonfiction books so far, titles suitable for Pre-K to 8th grade, in a wide range of nonfiction topics as well as reference books. She is really good at Trivial Pursuit.

Below are Krista Marino's questions to the panel and Brenda's responses.

What two books in the last ten years have inspired you personally or professionally?

Brenda: IN ME OWN WORDS, A Biography of Bigfoot. No, really, it's hilarious. I also loved NBA winner CLAUDETTE COLVIN: TWICE TOWARD JUSTICE, and PHOTO BY BRADY: A PICTURE OF THE CIVIL WAR is a beautiful book of black and white photos of Civil War soldiers all by Matthew Brady.

Do you find inspiration for new works/idea outside of children's books?

Brenda:  Yes, especially for the nonfiction world. Scholastic has some loose tie-ins to Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel, so I look at TV shows and look to see what kids are watching that might make a great picture book.

Final thought from Brenda:

If you have a good idea about something, if it's well-written, don't discredit the book even if the subject matter has been done, like if it's about dinosaurs or sharks, a fun spin on how you present the information is what I want to see.

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