Greetings from Tanglewood headquarters!
Greetings from Tanglewood headquarters!

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Into the Woods Newsletter | January - February
Greetings from Tanglewood headquarters! In this issue of the newsletter, we welcome our new editorial intern, celebrate 19 years of Tanglewood Publishing, and share our recent events and reviews. Please read on and enjoy!

Launch Party Success

Tanglewood celebrated the release of How to Change the World in 12 Easy Steps on October 16, 2021 at the Biltwell Event Venue in Indianapolis. The launch party was attended by 120+ friends; authors and illustrators, including the book's illustrator Marie Letourneau; the director of Eva Kor's CANDLES Museum; people from the Indiana Historical Society, which is developing an exhibit on Eva's life (debuts March 2022); along with admirers of Eva Kor and those who attended her Auschwitz trip. Speakers included publisher and author Peggy Porter Tierney, and Ted Green, filmmaker of Eva: A-706.
Publisher and author, Peggy Porter Tierney Ted Green and attendees
How to Change the World Reviews
Kirkus Reviews, starred review (9/1/2021): ★ "Letourneau draws racially diverse children thoughtfully engaging with the world. Her bright, charming illustrations amplify each step. While the simple text speaks directly to readers, the illustrations extend it. A touching and beautiful guide to consideration and kindness."
School Library Journal, starred review (10/1/2021): ★ "The simplicity of the 12 easy steps in this book is disarming and deeply moving. This no-fuss guide counts on children's humanity for its force, rather than spirituality or any whiff of religious thought, and in doing so, its impact is immense."
Good Reads with Ronna featured post (12/15/2021): "While a fast read, How to Change the World in 12 Easy Steps is also an important and timely one. The caring messages Tierney conveys, coupled with Letourneau's diverse and emotive characters would make this book a welcome addition to any bookshelf. What a wonderful book to share with and inspire children as we approach the new year."
Tomorrow's Child magazine/Montessori Foundation by Lorna McGrath (1/1/22): "This delightful book was inspired by Eva Mozes Kor, a child survivor of Auschwitz. The author put ideas into simple terms on how we can all 'be the change' we would like to see in our world....The illustrations are realistic, fun, and relatable. Great for children ages 4-8 years old."

How to Change the World in 12 Easy Steps was also featured on KidTime StoryTime. The video has more than 25,000 views, and it's still climbing!

KidTime StoryTime Video

A Love for Books

Editorial Intern, Shannon Kucaj
Hi, everyone! I am Shannon Kucaj, the current Editorial Intern at Tanglewood. I am a junior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) studying Creative Writing with minors in Psychology and Professional & Public Writing. At IUPUI, I work as a Senior Editor for our literary magazine, genesis, and as a Writing Consultant for our University Writing Center. After graduation, I aspire to work as an editor for a publishing house as I strongly value supporting writers in their efforts to publish important and meaningful pieces. Writing is a passion of mine, too, and I would love to publish my own poetry collection in the future. You can find my poem "Cobweb Words" in the Spring 2021 issue of genesis.

My love for reading started at a very young age and, for as long as I can remember, I always had my nose in a book. I was amazed by an author's ability to transport me into their world with just words and pictures on a page–and this all started from the children's books I was introduced to as a child by my local librarians and elementary school teachers. 

One book I remember being a huge hit in my elementary class was the picture book titled Tuesday (Clarion Books) by David Wiesner. My class and I would race to my school library and see who was lucky enough to grab the book first. One day, I was lucky enough to have it. I sat in the cubby in between two towering bookshelves trying to stifle my laughter because it was quiet time. With only six words, Wiesner's illustrations made the book come alive. The progression of frogs flying on their lily pads in a town made all my classmates and me giggle–especially the ending. This book showed me how fun and joyful reading can be.
Another book series I loved was Junie B. Jones (Random House) by Barbara Park because it was told from a perspective I could relate to. I was thankful for its discussion on navigating the hard challenges of growing up and learning. I liked it so much that I wrote a letter to Barbara Park and received a letter back from her team–I shared it with my class, so they would be able to reach out to her, too!
The Boxcar Children (Albert Whitman & Company) by Gertrude Chandler Warner was another top book on my list due to its discussion of important themes and its ability to capture me within the story through meaningful dialogue and description. This story still stays with me today as it taught me about different perspectives I hadn't known about yet (such as adoption).

My introduction to children's literature catapulted me into a love for the wonderful world of reading and writing. My teachers started recommending other books to me (such as the Harry Potter series, and the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke), too, because they noticed my admiration for it. This laid the foundation of the importance of books for me, and I strive to introduce others to this wonderful world, too.

Celebrating 19 Years of Tanglewood Publishing

Shannon Kucaj Interviews Publisher Peggy Tierney
Anna Peggy
For the past 19 years, Tanglewood has striven to inspire kids and teens to be avid readers, who read for pleasure. During this time, we published the NYT best-selling title The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (discussing the importance of love and support), Surviving the Angel of Death by Eva Mozes Kor (detailing Kor's moving story of endurance and survival as a 10-year-old in Auschwitz during the Holocaust), the Ashfall series (noting survival and strength in the midst of disaster), and many more. Tanglewood looks for  authentic characters and engaging stories  that accurately reflect a young reader's spirit and experience in our world. I sat down to talk with President and Publisher Peggy Tierney further on Tanglewood's impact.

SK: What have you liked most about working in children's/YA literature over the years?

PT: I think YA books are pleasurable to read at any age. One reason is the style. There are a lot of times that adults might want to read something light, something fun, whether on a beach or a bus. YA stories move a bit faster, and the characters have to be true and authentic. I personally love reading books for children and teens. I was a literature major, and I liked difficult literature, but YA is fresh and easier to read and often funny; a sense of humor draws readers. Even in books for very  young children, I look for  humor in the story and I look for illustrators and illustrations  that have humor, whether slapstick or subtle. You can do anything in a children's book!

SK: What have you learned from these 19 years at Tanglewood?

PT: Obviously, I learned how to publish books, the whole system that a book goes through to end up on a bookseller's shelf. Most of my early years in publishing was as an editor, though I gained  limited experience in marketing and distribution over time. I then was given the chance by a well-respected author to publish a  manuscript she had written, because she knew I loved the story. That book was what started Tanglewood. I had to learn some publishing lessons the hard way, but I learned more over the years,  about what catches people's eyes, how to create better covers, marketing, and always talking to kids about what they are reading, what books they have liked, what they are looking for. I read a lot of popular kids' books. Besides the pleasure of reading the book, it keeps me closer to what kids enjoy and want to read

SK: What are you excited to offer in the future with Tanglewood?

PT: I think more of the same--trying to find manuscripts that would be fun to publish, would have an audience, and kids would enjoy. We have to work at staying  in touch with how readers are currently wanting to read; formats rise and fall. When eBooks came along, there was a time of worrying about the effect it would mean for paper books and bookstores. Kids and teens like to look at entertainment on screens. But we found that readers of all ages still love books on paper. So the new formats are not taking away from the books; our books go out in all the forms available. There could be a new format coming down the line that might draw kids away from paper, but  we have to adapt to technology changes, providing all our books in all the forms that readers look for.

Surviving the Angel of Death on Italian Bestseller List

Tanglewood's Italian publishers, Newton Compton, shared with us that their edition of The Twins of Auschwitz (the Italian title for Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz) by Eva Mozes Kor is #1 on the Italian bestsellers chart for non-fiction! Che meraviglia! (How wonderful!)

Congratulations--your box of books is on the way!
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