Pamela S. Turner, "Crow Smarts/Samurai Rising" (HMH, 2016)


Award-winning author, Pamela S. Turner discusses two new books, Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the Worlds Smartest Bird (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2016), and Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune (Charlesbridge, 2016). In Crow Smarts, Turner introduces scientist Dr. Gavin Hunt and provides a fascinating account of how his team in New Caledonia is investigating the mysteries of crow smarts, exploring the questions: How do New Caledonian crows learn to use and make tools? Is it possible that crows are improving their tool technology and passing the improvements on to the next generation--an achievement long thought unique to humans? Where is this tool use driving the crow brain, and what can crows teach us about the evolution of intelligence? Then, in Samurai Rising, Turner takes readers back to twelfth-century Japan to recount the dramatic story of Minamoto Yoshitsune, the child exile and teenage runaway, whose military genius made him a legendary samurai warrior and whose story has been told in books, manga, film, kabuki theater, and incorporated into a number of video and online games. At first, Yoshitsune had little going for him. Exiled to a monastery, he had no money, no allies, and no martial training. He wasn't big or strong or good-looking. His only assets were brains, ambition, and a dream. But childhood dreams can change history. At the age of fifteen, Yoshitsune escaped. Blow by painful blow, he learned the art of the sword. Fall after bruising fall, he mastered mounted archery. He joined his half brother Yoritomo in an uprising against the most powerful samurai in Japan. This is the story of insane courage and daring feats, bitter rivalry and fatal love. Based on one of the great works of Japanese history and literature, Samurai Rising takes a clear-eyed, very modern look at the way of the samurai--and at the man who became the most famous samurai of all. Learn more at:
Susan Raab is president of Raab Associates, an internationally recognized agency that specializes in marketing literature, products and initiatives that help improve the lives of young people. Clients have included National Geographic, Scholastic, the International Board on Books for Young People, and bestselling authors and illustrators. Susan is marketing advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She's also a journalist reporting on publishing, education and human rights. Her work as a broadcast correspondent has been hosted by the University of Connecticut, and by the University of Florida's Recess Radio, a program syndicated to 500 public radio stations. Her many interviews, including with Art Spiegelman, Jon Scieszka, Norton Juster, Laurie Halse Anderson and many others talking about art and literature can be heard here. Follow Susan at:

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