Indie Next Selection


It'll stick in your brain long after you've read it, this one, and you'll be glad that it's in there. -Fuse #8 blog

Hear a sample here.


Button Down

Short chapters, simple yet meticulous language, a wholesome feel and the universal story of a boy with a dream combine to give this one widespread appeal. -Kirkus

Details and a sample chapter here


The Curse of the Buttons

Ike Button, 11 and an endearing combination of credulous and cranky, is a high-energy wannabe hero who is constantly getting knocked down. And that's what makes him such fun. ... The characters charm, and the material is enhanced by the author's well-realized rendition of time and place. -Kirkus

Details here.


Winner of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award

A boy, his dog, a raft, a river, the falls...


Booklist Top Ten Youth First Novel

Can writing a letter mend a heart, unite a family, help a girl grow up?

Teachers and Book Groups


If I had to answer in one word the question

Where do ideas come from?

I'd say 


It's all about the wondering

read more


Ylvisaker = ILL vi soccer

News and Guest Blogs


Poems and Sketches

Friday May 3 / 5-9 pm 

CSUMB Salinas Center for Art and Culture 

1 Main Street, Salinas, California

exhibit runs through August


Ike's hometown newspaper in 1861 was the Keokuk Daily Gate City, so it's fun to have that same paper featuring an article about The Curse of the Buttons.


For their quirky celebrations feature, celebrates National Button Day with an interview about The Curse of the Buttons.


How setting inspires story, a Curse of the Buttons guest post on the blog of marvelous Elizabeth Dulemba. 


Thanks to the Monterey County Weekly for this feature article, including an excerpt from Button Down. 


I'm honored to be November's Star Author for Christchurch New Zealand Library's Kids Blog. Find writing tricks and treats, ideas for using pictures as story starters, and small collections any writer can start. Tiny Collections and Growing a Story: The art of doing nothing are also posted here on my website. 


Just Launched is the Children's Literature Network's spot to read the behind the scenes scoop on newly released books. Here's my contribution about Button Down


Marvelous Middle Grade Monday's Barbara Watson and I chat about the writing process in a post she calls Buttoning Down


In the Children's Literature Network's Bookscope, I look back at how Little Klein came about. I've made some lucky mistakes in my day, and this is the story of one of them. 


Novel and Nouveau is Barbara Watson's excellent blog about writing and reading middle grade lit. She generously reviewed The Luck of the Buttons recently, and asked me to write a guest post about process as well. 


Bruce Black, author of Writing Yoga, interviewed me about process on his wonderful blog wordswimmer. Thanks, Bruce!


To celebrate The Luck of the Buttons release, there was a pie party on Amy Alessio's excellent Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts blog! Read and bake here: Memory PieIt's All About the CrustPie Worthy, and Launch Day Pie. Then try Amy's excellent pie craft


Children's Literature Network interviewer Tom Owens asks me, What's right with children's literature today? Libraries, that's what!

Find books at:



  • Button Down
    Button Down
    by Anne Ylvisaker
  • The Luck of the Buttons
    The Luck of the Buttons
    by Anne Ylvisaker
  • Little Klein
    Little Klein
    by Anne Ylvisaker
  • Dear Papa
    Dear Papa
    by Anne Ylvisaker
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Independence Day 1929 to 2011

A fun Luck of the Buttons review appeared online today, written by a twelve-year-old reader who retells a bit of Tugs’s Independence Day 1929. Thanks, Faith McPhee!

It’s hard to believe that it is already mid-summer and Independence Day 2011 is upon us. The Fourth of July is one of my favorite days of summer because all over the country, communities are gathering in celebrations similar to ones I participate in as well as the fictional celebration in Goodhue eighty-two years ago.

The image I had in my head when I first sat down to write a scene of what would become The Luck of the Buttons was of the community Fourth of July event that takes place in the neighborhood where I lived for many years, St. Anthony Park in St. Paul, Minnesota.

There is a parade down Como Avenue. Convertibles carry various local dignitaries and veterans march with flags. When I was a kid, my Grandpa marched with the World War I vets. A vintage fire engine rolls down the avenue followed by a lawn mower brigade, a group that choreographs steps with lawn chairs, clowns of course, school groups, musicians, and more. When all the paraders have passed, children join in on decorated bikes and trikes, then all the spectators follow the parade down the hill to Langford Park. Families claim spots with blankets. Kids wander. Everyone eats. Patriotic essays are read. There are races for all ages, and ribbons.

I dropped Tugs and the Buttons into a Fourth of July like the ones I’ve known and felt immediately at home in Goodhue. Check out the chapters Independence Day, Ribbons, and Click to read about Tugs’s Independence Day.

Enjoy your community celebrations this Fourth of July and may you have many lazy hours for reading this month! 

Just a note: I will be away from the internet until late July, but will respond to your comments and emails when I return. 

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Reader Comments (3)

What a great review! Have a great summer ... can't wait to hear how it goes. :)

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

The Independence Day scene in The Luck of the Buttons is wonderful! My kids and I just finished reading the book tonight! They love it as much as me. Enjoy your holiday.

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Watson

Thanks Becky and Barbara! So glad your kids liked The Luck of the Buttons, Barbara! I will report in when I return.

July 4, 2011 | Registered CommenterAnne Ylvisaker

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