Clone Codes Conclusion

March 28, 2012

Author Patricia McKissack’s latest book came out last month! The third book in her series, Clone Codes, is called The Visitors. You don’t want to miss out on the trilogy’s conclusion!

Product Details
Reading level:
Ages 8 and up
160 pages
Scholastic Press (February 1, 2012)

Fans of science fiction should definitely pick this one up! “The McKissacks blend a futuristic world with events from world history to create a gripping sci-fi adventure.”


From the Archives…

June 14, 2011

McKissack Book: Black Hands, White Sails

originally posted March 3, 2009

We’re going to start featuring assorted books from the Fred and Patricia McKissack collection; the first one we’re showcasing is Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and is a 2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

In an article with Scholastic, Pat shared, “We’ve written extensively about slavery in America, but I never realized how important free black sailors were to the Underground Railroad and to the abolitionist movement. They’ve helped in more ways than we can imagine.”

From Kirkus Reviews (on
…a well-written, historical account of African-Americans who sailed on whaling ships off the East Coast between 1730 and 1880. The whaling industry provided great opportunities for free black seaman (and runaway slaves), many of whom could not find jobs elsewhere. The McKissacks note that during the “golden age” of whaling in the early 19th century, African-Americans comprised one-quarter of the crews; after the Civil War, their ranks swelled to half of all whalers… Another thread of this fascinating history is the story of the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad for the Nantucket and New Bedford whalers.


  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590483137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590483131
Posted by Rebecca Morrison

From the Archives…

May 26, 2011


originally posted September 12, 2008

According to Barnes&, these are their 10 top selling books authored by Patricia C. McKissack:

What is your favorite on the list?

Posted by Rebecca Morrison

Filed in Books ·Tags: , , , , , ,

From the Riverfront Times blog: “Here’s your weekly St. Louis bestseller list for the week ending May 1, as compiled by the St. Louis Independent Booksellers Alliance and based on sales at Left Bank Books, Main Street Books, Pudd’nhead Books, Subterranean Books and Sue’s News. This week’s St. Louis bestseller list is packed with books by actual St. Louisans.”


1.   You Are My Little Cupcake by Amy E. Sklansky
2.   The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3.   The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
4.   Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
5.   Who is Coming? by Patricia McKissack
6.   My Daddy and Me by Amy E. Sklansky
7.   Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama
8.   Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
9.   Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
10.  Ana’s Story by Jenna Bush

The next addition of Patricia McKissack’s Clone Codes was released in February 2011! In the first book of the trilogy that came out last year, “cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom.”

Clone Codes, The #2: Cyborg tells the story of Houston, a cyborg in the year 2130, and how he is considered less than human. Co-written with her husband Fred and her son John, “The Clone Codes sci-fi adventure trilogy continues with this [second] book that blends a futuristic society with pivotal moments in world history.”

Both Clone Codes books will be discussed in Pat’s upcoming Science Fiction-Creative Writing three-part videoconference series. (See previous posts). To register for any of Patricia McKissack’s interactive K-12 videoconferences, contact Cooperating School Districts.


Mrs. McKissack connected to 5 schools today via videoconference to talk about ber book, The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll

Patricia McKissack welcomed schools from Canada, Tennessee and Louisiana today during her story hour videoconference on The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll. She said it was a delightful group of students from across North America- in addition to talking about the story, they discussed their regions. At West Haven Elementary in Alberta, Canada, it was negative ten degrees- but a warm up for them! The kids in Louisiana from the Tangipahoa School District were experiencing temps in the 40s, and the students at East Side Elementary in Shelbyville, Tennessee, like us in St. Louis, had mid-20s and light snow.

St. Louis author Patricia McKissack teaches students how to write via interactive videoconference. During hands-on and highly interactive sessions through Cooperating School Districts’ New Links to New Learning, students discuss plot, themes, character development and more.

This spring is the Creative Writing-Science Fiction workshop.
Dates and times (always central) for this three-part series are:
4 p.m. on 4/13 – teacher meeting
11 a.m. on 4/27 – student meeting I
11 a.m. on 5/11 – student meeting II

In a series of three videoconferences, Mrs. McKissack customizes for any grade level and any part of the writing process. In the first videoconference, the author meets with the teachers to discuss the goals of the author visit and the science fiction book she will be presenting, The Clone Codes.

In the first videoconference with students, Mrs. McKissack introduces herself and gives a brief biographical background including how she came to be a writer. Then, she goes into a lesson, which could focus on brainstorming, revision, or any other area that the teachers have agreed upon. Time is left for questions and answers from the students. The author then makes a science fiction writing assignment to the students. When they get back together in the last videoconference, she gives them feedback about their writing.

Don’t forget that in addition to her three part writing series and story hour sessions, Pat McKissack still offers her “talk shop” videoconferences on historical fiction and science fiction.

These one hour programs are for middle school and high school students, and will be available upon request. During the videoconference, Pat will talk with students on the ins-and-outs of writing either historical fiction or science fiction. Where does the writer start? What kind of brainstorming techniques does she find most useful? How does Pat research for her books? These questions, plus more, will be discussed between author and students.

This videoconference is $200* for New Links to New Learning members and $250* for nonmembers.

* Register for 2011 dates before December 23rd and receive 20% off your program!

Click here to register.

As part of her 60 minute Story Hour videoconference series through New Links to New Learning, author & storyteller Patricia McKissack will read her story The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll.

Elementary teachers, if you’d like to sign up for this holiday-themed videoconference on December 15, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts by email: The cost of this once a year program is $200 for New Links members, $250 for non-members. Please sign up for this program no later than December 6, 2010. There are three spots available for this session; as of November 5, two of them have been filled with classes. Please limited class size to 40 students or less.

On December 15, 2010 at 10 o’clock CT, Pat will share The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll with connecting children. This book is for students ages 5-8; “It is Christmas, and Nella is beside herself with excitement! She and her sisters have been given a real gift – a beautiful Baby Betty doll. But it’s hard to share something you’ve waited your whole seven-year-old life for, and Nella grabs the doll for herself. It isn’t long before she discovers that a doll can’t do the fun things she and her sisters do together. So, as Christmas day fades, Nella shares it with her sisters. Set in the Depression era South, here’s a heartwarming story that captures the essence of the holiday.” (

This videoconference meets the following Missouri Standards: Communication Arts
In Communication Arts, students in Missouri public schools will acquire a solid foundation which includes knowledge of and proficiency in:
1. speaking/writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, capitalization)
2. reading and evaluating fiction, poetry and drama
5. comprehending and evaluating the content and artistic aspects of oral and visual presentations (such as story-telling, debates, lectures, multi-media productions)

Storyteller and author Pat McKissack will read from her acclaimed book Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt and participate in an interactive discussion with participating students over videoconference on November 17, 2010. For more information, including costs and times, email Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis.

This book is for students ages 9-12; “Mother and daughter, grandmother and granddaughter, aunt and niece, friend and friend. For a hundred years, generations of women from Gee’s Bend have quilted together, sharing stories, trading recipes, singing hymns—all the while stitchin’ and pullin’ thread through cloth. Every day Baby Girl listens, watches, and waits, until she’s called to sit at the quilting frame. Piece by piece, she puzzles her quilt together—telling not just her story, but the story of her family, the story of Gee’s Bend, and the story of her ancestors’ struggle for freedom.” (

Program Format:
1. This program begins with Mrs. McKissack introducing herself and her book.
2. Mrs. McKissack will read the book.
3. Mrs. McKissack will take questions from the connecting sites

Here’s what a past participating teacher said of this videoconference:

“…the conference was incredible!  The kids and I really appreciated the fact that Patricia took the time to answer the kids’ questions.  They were intrigued by the fact that her husband is the researcher, and she is the writer.  I thoroughly believe the time with Patricia, hearing her voice, reading her own words, and discussing her own experiences were extremely beneficial for the kids and me.  I like the fact that she spoke of differences and similarities between people, no matter what the background, color, race, etc.  She emphasized the appreciation of family and love and making memories together. Beautiful.”