National Recognition

It was a shining moment for Ruta Sepetys, author of the YA historical novel Between Shades of Gray (Philomel, 2011), which tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who is deported from Lithuania to Siberia in 1941. The author was honored with Lithuania’s Cross of the Knight of the Order during a ceremony at the presidential palace in Vilnius on July 6. Sepetys, the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, received the award in recognition of her efforts to draw attention to Stalin’s genocide of the Baltic people, both through her novel and in her educational outreach. In response to receiving the honor, Sepetys said, “As writers, we try to give voice to those who will never have a chance to tell their story. My goal is that through studying these tragic parts of history we can learn from them, and create hope for a more just future.”

Shall We Dance?

Though Tim Federle (Better Nate Than Ever, S&S) and Jesse Klausmeier (Open This Little Book, illus. by Suzy Lee, Chronicle) have mutual friends from the publishing and dance worlds (Federle is a Broadway musical veteran and Klausmeier danced professionally while living in Los Angeles in her 20s), the two had never met before both attending a Simon and Schuster party at ALA earlier this month. Klausmeier described their immediate connection: “We decided that we loved each other on sight and needed to do dance poses for all of our pictures together.” But that wasn’t the end of the performance: shown here, the two danced in the lobby outside the conference’s Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet. “Being the self-conscious and attention-adverse dancers we are – ahem – we took up a lot of floor space for our poses,” Klausmeier said.

Vampires on Set

Richelle Mead (l.) recently sunk her teeth into an experience that many authors hunger for: on July 6, she visited the London film set of Blood Sisters, which is based on the first book in her paranormal Vampire Academy series (Razorbill). During her time on set, she viewed a montage of scenes from the film-in-progress, met actors, and visited with the film’s director, Mark Waters (r.). On her blog, Mead enthusiastically described how it felt to see her book transformed from page to screen: “You guys, it was amazing.… I’m just blown away at how much thoughtfulness and detail goes into this process.” The Weinstein Company-distributed movie stars Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovskiy, and Gabriel Byrne, and will be released on February 14, 2014.