I am delighted to announce that my book was selected for the Florida Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award for 6-8 graders! They made a very cool video, too. With music! And fancy graphics!
If you watched the video, you discovered precisely WHICH book they selected.
Not this one:
And not this one:
BUT THIS ONE!!!
Yes. The creepy, sinister book that was my debut novel in 2012. WOW! I am utterly delighted that kids all over Florida are going to be reading about the food, the witches, the mysteriously hypnotic playground sand…. What an honor, and what a surprise! I’m tempted to trot off and finish that scary manuscript I secretly drafted last November. Maybe they’ll be hungry for MORE.
In other news, the Chinese edition of Wish Girl arrived! It’s titled Thank You, Dear Valley (in Chinese of course) and it’s got illustrations! Glorious ones, and I am in love, and desperately wish I could read Chinese so I could see what the translation is like. The whole book looks like art. Annie would approve.
And now, I’m heading off to the big TLA conference in Houston. The world is full of rainbows today. I hope it’s that way for you, too!
I’ll be there on Wednesday, April 20, signing books at the Overlooked Books booth and fangirling all my favorite author and librarian friends. On Tuesday, you can snag a FREE hardback copy of Wish Girl at 2-3 pm in Author aisle 5. YES, FREE.
Of course, I’ll be doing some other smaller party-type things, too, so I might see you at some of those. I hope so!
If you’d like to see the full listing for my schedule and for all of the other Texas Sweethearts, click here! We’ll be giving away one of the ultra-talented Akiko White’s cakes on Wednesday… you want to win this.
Wow! There’s a lot going on this spring for me, so much that it’s hard to do it all, and find time to write all the books and keep the kids fed and alive… I’ve pretty much given up on make-up and wearing anything other than pajamas. The kids have learned to cook, and we’ve all decided not to mention the dirty laundry piles.
Frightening? Yes. You might consider staying far away.
But if you are looking to say hello to me on a date I’m guaranteed to have on real clothes and possibly even makeup, come by one of my signings at the huge TLA Librarian’s Conference on April 20-21 (more detailed times to come), or at the Austin SCBWI’s annual writing conference on May 14-15.
I’ll actually be presenting a talk there, titled Unforgettable Settings in YA/Children’s Literature: How to create them, and why we must. It will be unforgettable and mind-blowing and potentially life-changing.
And I’ll also moderate a panel on Poetry with the illustrious and eternally lovely Liz Garton Scanlon and the whip-smart and truly lovely K. A. Holt.
So, fun times! And speaking of fun… although I have a few more school and library visits coming up, I have to post some photos from the ridiculously fun day I spent at Galindo Elementary this week. The always-charming Diane Collier knows precisely how to make an author feel loved, from the sign in the parking lot (glitter!) to the projects lining the hallways. What a wonderful way to welcome the springtime!
And, you know, with enough flowers around, even the dirty laundry piles smell a little fresher.
I presented alongside Carmen Tafolla, Jon Scieszka, Steven Weinberg, Diane Bertrand-Gonzalez, and more fabulous authors and illustrators of books for kids.
Steven Weinberg and Bear.
Diane Bertrand Gonzalez giving out books to happy kids!
This is an initiative put together by the Texas Book Festival, where authors partner with the TBF and other major sponsors to visit schools in underprivileged schools or areas, and provide every single child in the school with a free, signed book.
Every kid. For many, it’s the first new book they’ve ever had.
It’s mind-blowing and heart-melting and makes the hard days of being an author worth every second.
The first thing on our schedule is a meet-up at the huge TLA conference in Houston this April. Librarian friends, I promise you’ll want to stop by the booth… the Sweethearts always make it worth the trip. 🙂
One of the newest Sweethearts just had her debut picture book launch yesterday. Congrats, Carmen Oliver!
Her Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies is funny and wonderful. Buy it, or I’ll think you’re a scoundrel. 🙂
I have this great friend named Lynda Mullaly Hunt, who writes the most phenomenal books, and who knows pretty much ALL the other MG authors out there, and once a year holds a contest for librarians and teachers to win ALL THE BOOKS!!!
So, it’s that time again. She’s giving away a TON of books to one lucky winner, and my book Wish Girl is one of them…
Wow. Want to know how to make an author cry with happiness?
I ran a contest to give away five paperback copies of Wish Girl to a librarian or teacher, and asked those commenting on my blog to post their wish for their students. Reading those comments brought happy tears.
I already knew librarians were some of the finest people of my acquaintance, but just look at these snippets from the comments, listed below. These are the deep wishes of caring librarians for their students. It gives me great hope for the future when I think of these people nurturing young readers. What gifts they are to their students!
My wish for my students is…
“that they always find that one person they can talk to and feel safe with when they are having a not so great day. Having that connection is so important.” -Deb
“that they have access to books that stretch their minds and lead them to glorious futures.” -Veronica
“that they can overcome the tragedies and bad experiences that they’ve lived through, and not allow those things to hold them back. Overcome those obstacles and continue forth in life and become successful with the things they want to achieve. Some have it much worse than anyone could imagine and they have to work harder in getting there.” -Kelly
“that my students find comfort in books, and that they feel safe, secure, and loved in our library.” -Erin
that “all of my students could find that one place during their lives where they can just escape to and where people get them.” – Mikela
“for my students to have great books to read in their hands so that they can read and relate to them!” -Ronnie
“for my students to get excited by amazing literature” – Steffanie
“for my students is that they are not held back by those who intentionally or unintentionally try to silence them or keep them from growing” -Stacey
“that everyone of them understands & realizes that each of their voices matters and that they can each make a difference in the world.” – Becky
“to be brave enough to dream big! I also wish that they can learn to love and find comfort in books the way that I have.” – Jessica
“that each of my 356 students is able at some point to find a book that swallows them whole, refusing to spit them back out.” – Susan
“that they will realize how very special and unique they each are.” -Rita
“for all children to feel valued for being their authentic selves.” -Diane
“that they read to see the world through another person’s eyes creating a new understanding and compassion for the book characters as they vividly come to life.” -Cara
“for my students to continue to ask amazing questions when interacting with literature. ” -Lisa
“that they all discover a love of literature at some point in their lives. ” -Susie
“that they become kind people who honor and respect themselves and others.” -Margaret
Thank you to all those who posted their wishes, and congratulations to the randomly chosen winner of the 5 copies of Wish Girl… Jessica Samuel. I wish all of you could have won… and I hope ALL of your wishes come true. I have a feeling you’re working every day to make that happen.