On shelves now!

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.

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


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.


 

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

Y?

If I had to answer in one word the question

Where do ideas come from?

I'd say 

WHY

It's all about the wondering

read more

Ylvi...what?

Ylvisaker = ILL vi soccer

News and Guest Blogs

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, Kidsreads.com 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:

IndieBound

Amazon

  • 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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Tuesday
Apr052011

Aggie, Felicity, Mary Louise...Tugs?

The countdown is on! The Luck of the Buttons launches one week from today.

This is the story of twelve year old Tugs Button, a girl born to a luckless family. The Buttons are content with their lives of misfortune until the summer of 1929 when Tugs decides to become the first lucky Button.

Where does the name Tugs come from?

Several springs ago I was on a picnic with writer friends in a rare tall grass prairie that happens to be in a rural Iowa cemetery. While searching for wildflowers we stumbled across this Civil War era headstone.

Tugs! I said. Now there's a name with scope for the imagination!

I went home to try to write a story about a boy named Tugs who fights in the war. By the time I got to my notebook I remembered the last name as Button, not Britton as on the tombstone, perhaps because I'd recently been to the Pearl Button Museum in Muscantine, Iowa.

But Tugs was elusive, and the Civil War story just didn't emerge.

The next spring we went back for another picnic and I looked at the stone more closely. Not only was the last name Britton, not Button, but the first name was actually THOS, short for Thomas, not Tugs at all. 

Hmmm...I thought...what if someone else made the same mistake? What if...

Tomorrow: how I met the Button family.