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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Entries in Librarian (1)


Thank you, Librarians!

Miss Lucy, the librarian, was the most exotic person of Tugs's acquaintance. Unmarried, yet not a widow or an old maid, taller even than Uncle Elmer, with wavy sunset-orange hair skimming her belt, and a warm whispery voice, she seemed completely unaware of Tugs's lack of academic prowess whenever she chose books for her. (The Luck of the Buttons, p. 44)

It's book launch day for The Luck of the Buttons and it's also National Library Workers Day. I know Tugs would want to say THANK YOU to Miss Lucy and I'd like to thank librarians everywhere for the work they do to connect readers with books and information. 

I grew up going to the Roosevelt branch of the Minneapolis Public Library where my own Miss Lucy, Lucy Selander, seemed to have magical powers. She would stand in front of the shelves of books, look over at me with a long pause, maybe ask a question or two, then turn back and peruse the shelves while I held my breath, wondering what treasure she'd retrieve. 

Lucy was also the librarian behind the counter when I signed up for my first library card. Because I had an older sister, I knew that in order to get my card I had to be able to print my full name. Anne was easy, but my middle name, Elizabeth, seemed an endless stream of letters. I practiced and practiced at home and was so proud to walk into the library that day and ask for a card.

Lucy passed a card and a pen across the counter. I remember sounding out Elizabeth as I wrote: Eliz za beth. Elizzabeth. I passed the card back for approval. Lucy praised my neat printing then asked me if I was sure that my middle name had two z's. Yes, I said. I'm sure. I pronounced it out loud for her. To her great credit, Lucy did not dampen my big moment by correcting me. She simply smiled, congratulated me, and handed me my card. I've been proud to carry a library card ever since. 

 Thank you, Lucy!