Oregon Spirit Book Awards Presentation

You may have heard that SMASH: TRIAL BY FIRE won the 2013 Oregon Spirit Book Award for Graphic Novel. Sticker

On Saturday, October 4, SMASH writer Chris A. Bolton attended the awards ceremony at Wilsonville High School. Sponsored by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, it was a wonderful day that kicked off with a rousing keynote speech by author Brian Doyle.

Then the winners were each presented a beautiful plaque onstage and given a few minutes to speak.


Afterward, they had a chance to sign books and mingle with teachers and other nominees. Chris heard from several teachers who were phenomenally excited to introduce SMASH to their classroom.

Chris and His Award

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank the OCTE for this honor. Their award highlights a variety of children's books from Oregon writers and helps introduce the value of stories to young minds that crave them. We are deeply grateful for this award and a wonderful ceremony!


Chris and Karen

And, if you'd like to watch Chris's acceptance speech:

Happy 1st Anniversary, SMASH!

Today marks one year since the publication of Smash: Trial by Fire! And Smash brought some cake to share with all of you... Smash Cake

Uh, hmm, sorry about that. We'll get that mess cleaned right up. Anyhoo...

Our graphic novel has had a remarkable first year, earning rave reviews and prizes like the 2013 Oregon Spirit Book Award and a Children's Choice Book Award.

Kyle and I have made appearances at classrooms, bookstores, and comic conventions, where we've gotten to meet enthusiastic Smash fans and introduce our 10-year-old superhero to some eager new readers, as well.

From the bottoms of our hearts, we want to thank all of our readers and fans for making this first year so fantastic. Thanks for reading! And huge thanks to everyone who's helped us get the word out about Smash — we couldn't have done it without your support.

We're excited to see what the future brings!

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To celebrate our first anniversary, here's the blog tour we took to kick Smash off:

Random Chalk Talk — Guest Post on the evolution of SMASH from webcomic to book.

Powells.com Book Blog — Guest Post on the birth of Smash, featuring the scandalous true story how we designed and created the character.

Who R U Blog — Q&A with Kyle and me talking about what it's like to work together as brothers and other titillating tales.

Book Bitch — Exclusive interview with none other than Smash himself! (Plus a surprise guest.)

Cynsations — Guest Post, "Graphic Novel 101" — how we make the comic.

Green Bean Teen Queen — Guest Post about the magic of libraries and how they helped create a certain pint-sized superhero.

Charlotte's Library — Guest Post featuring a comic titled "The True Origin of the Brothers Bolton." Yes, it's all true!

Hooked On Books — Guest Post featuring the SMASH playlist, for the perfect soundtrack to accompany the book!

Bildungsroman — Q&A with Kyle and me.

— Chris A. Bolton

SMASH Picked by the Children's Choice Book Awards!

Children's ChoiceIt's been nearly a year since SMASH: Trial by Fire was published by Candlewick Press. And what a year it's been!

In just nine short months, we've received a flurry of fantastic reviews and numerous award nominations, including winning the 2013 Oregon Spirit Book Award.

And now comes word that SMASH is a winner of the 2014 Children's Choice Book Awards! From their website:

The reading list kids pick! Each year, 12,500 children from different regions of the United States read newly-published children's and young adult trade books and vote for the ones they like best!

The Children's Book Council has overseen the awards for over 70 years.

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Kyle and I couldn't be more honored to be selected by the most prestigious group of judges in the world — actual kids!

Huge thanks to the Children's Book Council for promoting such a worthy endeavor — and, of course, to all the young readers who voted.

If you haven't gotten a copy of SMASH: Trial by Fire for yourself or a young reader in your life, click on one of the links in the right-hand margin and order now. It's the perfect summertime read. And if you don't believe us, just ask the kids who voted!

SMASH Reading This Saturday!

Writer Chris A. Bolton will read from SMASH: TRIAL BY FIRE this Saturday at the magnificent Green Bean Books in Portland, Oregon! Green Bean

It's part of Green Bean's epic Superhero Weekend. The reading starts Saturday at 2 p.m., but you won't want to miss out on any of the festivities all weekend-long:

Sunday is Superhero Day! The line-up of events is SUPER — with make-your-own mask and cape activities, a Kryptonite scavenger hunt, and plenty of superhero stories to share! It's only $10 per child to participate. Register now by calling 503-954-2354.

Walk In

Green Bean Books is an amazing bookstore! One glance inside means instant love. If you live in Portland and you have kids, you owe it to yourself — and your kids! — to check it out.

SMASH Wins the 2013 Oregon Spirit Book Award!

We are thrilled to announce that SMASH:  Trial  by  Fire  has  been  named  the  winner  in   the  Graphic  Novels  category  of  the  2013 Oregon  Spirit  Book  Award  by  the  Oregon  Council  of   Teachers  of  English.

  The  Oregon  Spirit  Book  Award  is  given  yearly  to  the  author  of  a  distinguished  contribution  to  picture   books,  middle  reader,  young  adult,  graphic  novels,  or  non-­fiction  literature...reflecting  the  spirit  and  values  help  by  Oregonians.

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This is a tremendous honor for us. Kyle and I are hugely flattered, and want to thank the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, as well as all our wonderful readers. We couldn't have done it without your support!

SMASH Nominated for Oregon Spirit Book Award!

We've received wonderful news — SMASH: TRIAL BY FIRE is on the shortlist in the Graphic Novel category for the 2013 Oregon Spirit Book Award. The Awards are presented by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English. Kyle and I are hugely thrilled and want to thank the Oregon Council of Teachers of English for this honor.

Smash Cover

The Oregon Spirit Book Awards are given to Oregon authors who make "a distinguished contribution to children's literature or young adult literature that engage and encourage readers' imagination, discovery, and understanding, reflecting the spirit and values held by Oregonians."

Winners will be announced on June 1st. As SMASH appears to be the only title nominated in the category, I have to admit... I like our chances!

Great Review: SMASH "Made My Day!"

Smash: Trial by Fire earned a wonderful review from the blog Kiss the Book:

I am always on the hunt for a great graphic novels for elementary students. The catch is that they must have quality artwork and a quality story, all while staying G rated. It’s a tricky bill to fit and this graphic novel does a fantastic job. The cover art itself is so great that students are going to be fighting over this. The illustrations are top notch: bright, fun, action packed, and creative. The story will relate to any student who would like to try to their hand at superhero powers. Hooray, this book made my day! A must have for any graphic novel collection!

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To order your copy of Smash, click on any of the links in the margin to the right!

SMASH Is a Top Ten Most Circulated Book!

The school librarian blog 100 Scope Notes has compiled a list of the Top 10 Circulated Books of 2014:

As we approacheth the end of the year, I like to take a look back at the books that really moved in my K-4 school library. These are the books that my students couldn’t get enough of during the 2013-14 school year.

And guess which book is #10? We'll give you a hint:

Smash Cover

We're honored to sit right next to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Amulet on the list!

We like to think Smash, Wimpy Kid, and the Amulet heroes all hang out on school library shelves, swapping wild tales about how excited kids get when they read them.

SMASH Is a Black-Eyed Susan Nominee!

The Black-Eyed Susan Award is presented each year by the Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) to "authors and/or illustrators of outstanding books chosen for the award by Maryland students." The list of 10 nominees for the 2014 Black-Eyed Susan Award has been posted — and we're thrilled that Smash: Trial by Fire is one of them!

Smash Cover

We've made the list alongside such fantastic titles as Nathan's Hale's Big Bad Ironclad, Rob Harrell's Monster On the Hill, Jake Parker's Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3, and Dave Roman's Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity.

Click here to see the full list of nominees — there's a ton of great reading to be found here.