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Yoga helps me become more embodied as a writer, and writing helps me become more poetic as a yogi.


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Leza Lowitz
Leza Lowitz is feeling thankful at Malvern Middle School.12 hours ago
Photos from Leza Lowitz's post
Malvern Middle School
Writing a book is a solitary act, but publishing it and sending it out into the world takes a village. My MG/YA novel Up from the Sea, about Japan’s 3-11 quake and tsunami, ended up in Arkansas, in the classroom of the amazing Claudine Sanders James, recipient of the 2018 National Sanford Teacher Award and the 2019 Inspiring Teacher Award from the Arkansas School for Math and Science and Arts, for her "outstanding dedication, motivation, and inspiration to ASMSA students.” This summer she was accepted into the Library of Congress Teachers’ Summer Institute—and she just became a Grand Prize Winner in Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards. She just keeps crushing it, and it’s easy to see why. Each year, she centers her English Language Arts lessons around a central theme, and each spring, she leads and assists her students in constructing an exhibit to share what they've learned with all students throughout the district. She is so inspiring—she used some of her award monies to make sure every student had proper professional attire to wear during the week. She said "My heart is full for being able to help students who could not afford the required dress." Ms. James sent me pictures from the exhibit in which my novel, Up From the Sea, was featured. The theme was HOPE. This dedicated, selfless, inspired teacher and her incredibly motivated students give me just that, and I wanted to share their story. Thank you to Tyra and Holton, shown here, and to all the 7th and 8th grade students at #MalvernMiddleSchool in #Arkansas for their hard work, and to their amazing teacher Claudine Sanders Jamesand to fellow verse novel writer Margarita Engle, whose book #LionIsland was also featured. May all of the kids in America (and the world) be so lucky to have a teacher like Claudine. Thank you to my agent Kelly Falconer of Asia Literary Agency and to my publisher Random House Children's Books, and to SCBWI Japan without whom there would be no book.

#STORIESOFHOPEMMS #KidLit #MultiCulturalBooks #WorldLit #YAnovels #MGNovels #NovelsinVerse #Japan #March11, #Tsunami #SCBWI #SCBWIJapan #SakuraAwards #UpFromTheSea