Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Book, a Blog Tour, and a New Blog

I'm so excited to announce that I've got a new book coming out in February. It's the first in the Becoming a Better You! series that deals with character traits for kids. Are You Confident Today? discusses various situations that kids may or may not realize creates self-confidence or confidence in others. The other four books will discuss respect, honesty, empathy, and gratitude. I'm so happy to be part of this project with my co-author Marian Nelson. Both of us are parents who are concerned about raising character-filled kids.

Plus...I just love the artwork! Jeff Covieo, a local illustrator, has really created some wonderful characters! Just take a look at the cover. Isn't it cute? :)

I'm setting up a blog tour to promote this 32-page picture book. I would love to stop by yours! I'll send you a digital arc and would love to do a giveaway on your blog. Drop me a note at kris @ krisyankee dot com or leave a comment below and we'll set it up!

Marian and I have also created a new blog for parents and caregivers to discuss all things character! You can find us at Stop by, look around, and let us know how you raise character-filled kids!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cracking the Code Wins Mom's Choice Book Award

Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors has been named among the best n family-friendly media, products, and services by the Mom's Choice Awards®! It's a Choice Awards® Silver Recipient!

Wow - this has been an amazing week for my middle-grade book. I've just received notice that it's won a Silver in Juvenile Level 2 (Ages 9-12) Books: Fiction - General. I'm so thankful to my publisher, Marian Nelson and Ferne Press, for seeing something in this title.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teachers and Students LOVE Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors!

I'm so excited! Even though I didn't win the Teachers' Choice Awards for 2014, I did receive some excellent comments from teachers who read Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors to their students.

Here's what they said on their evaluation forms:

Learning® Magazine
20th Annual
Teachers' Choice Award for Children's Books 2014

How would you recommend using this book in the classroom? (Read aloud? Independent reading?
Whole class teaching unit? Reference material?) Please explain:

This book is so versatile! It is easily integrated into the classroom however you would want to use it. This would be a great read aloud to try and figure out what happens to TK through out the book. I would recommend this as an independent read for high level students or a whole class teaching because there are components that can easily be tied with texts.

I did this book as a read aloud so that way we could discuss everything that was happening in this book and make connections with the students who may have gone though something like this or will in middle school.

I read this book aloud to my students as part of a character education unit of study. This seemed to work well and keep my 5th graders interest.

Did you find this book interesting or motivating for students to read? Yes. No. (For instance is the
topic kid-friendly? Are the chapters short for the reluctant or young reader? Does it contain
realistic conversation?

This book had incredible flow. It was so easy to read in class and the short chapters allowed for great stopping points as a read aloud. This book was read to a group of fourth graders at an elementary campus getting ready to transfer to an intermediate school. This was great for discussion purposes and opened up so many questions from my students.

This book was amazing and easy for students to read due to making real life connections. This book is something that I have been on the look out for for a long time.

The topics are very kid friendly and relate to today's students. The chapter's are of average length, but the topics and figurative language is enough to keep the readers engaged. My students often wanted me to read the next chapter when I was finished with my excerpt for the day. The book is written as if middle school students were talking their "slang" their language. My kids often call each other "Dude", so they perked up to hear the book speaking their language. My boys and girls found the book entertaining and could relate to the events.

What kinds of curriculum skills could you teach using its content? (Language Arts, Social Studies,
Math, Science, Character Education) Please be specific in your suggestions

This would be easily integrated in language arts class or character education. This books lends itself to endless writing opportunities, discussions that make the reader think and predict, tons of problem and solution, all with material the students can relate to. This book ties in the sports, popularity, and making friends category for character building. I did not know what to expect from this book when I was reading it with my kids, but the possibilities are endless. The students truly enjoyed this read and it is something I will integrate in my classroom for many years to come.

Character education-students really struggle with rumors and how to treat other people. It would be wonderful with my 5th grade students and then sharing what to do with rumors by books or by reading parts of the book to younger grades.

I used this book and suggest using it as supplemental material for language arts which just happens to support the character education program. It could simply be used as a read aloud for students modeling expressive language that also impacts students with a character message.

If funds were available, would you recommend this product to a teacher at the appropriate grade /
age level? Please explain why or why not.

Yes. This is a must read for any student getting ready to experience a big change. 4-8 grade age group with a main focus on the 5-6 graders. This book could be used with almost any teaching style and would also be great for school counselors to use as a read aloud to small social groups or guidance lessons for students who are fearful of the change in schools, and making friends. This book really allows room for discussion and is a book that the students are excited to lead the discussions. I look forward to having this book available in my classroom library.

Yes, this book was good and I'm sharing it with other teachers at our school. This also makes connections that students can struggle with as they grow up.

Maybe, for the right student. My students were disappointed that there were no illustrations, especially with some of the really funny scenarios. With younger students, such as in 4-5 grades they need/enjoy that visual connection. With the type of student this seems geared towards, that would be a great addition. Maybe even graphic novel style.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Wow! Another great review for Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors

I was so excited to find out that Readers' Favorite ( gave Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors a 5 Star review. Here it is:

Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite

Nice guys may finish last but it's hard to keep a good kid down. Kris Yankee in Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors tells a delightful story of 11-year-old Toby Karlson who suffers from a bad reputation. Toby or TK lives with his Uncle Jack since his parents were killed in a car accident. Uncle Jack has a life code of conduct to help guide young Toby. One fateful day at the 6th grade orientation, Toby is pushed into the registration table and he makes old Mrs. Hadley fall on her bottom and lose her gray wig. Toby is wrongly blamed for "hip checking" Mrs. Hadley like in a rough and tumble hockey game. Toby is a nice guy and pretty down-to-earth if the truth is told. But malicious gossip and rumors turn Toby into an outcast.

Kris Yankee writes Toby's story in the first-person and she captures the realistic and humorous kid's point of view. There are experiences with the cool kids, nerds, barfing, moldy cheese breath, camping, canoeing, and the ebb and flow of friendships. Sometimes Toby feels as if he is the only kid in the world who has these kinds of problems. Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors isn't just a life lesson but a fun experience. All in all, this story should be very entertaining for both kids and adults.

They even gave me a cool shiny sticker! It's pretty, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Busy start to the school year: 2 book signings!

If you're like me and have kids in school, you're probably breathing a sigh of relief that we're almost to the end of the first month. Our house has been chaotic due to a hockey injury (thankfully he's fully recovered) and the start of pneumonia (thankfully that one's on meds).

Me? I've been busy with my editing job and book signings. My next one is this Thursday and I'll be on a YA panel with a few other local authors.

If you're in the Lansing area, please check this out!