So excited to share this news (from Publishers Weekly Children's Bookshelf):
Janine O'Malley of Farrar, Straus & Giroux has acquired world rights for Wish, a novel by Barbara O'Connor. Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has made the same wish since fourth grade, hoping that someday it will come true. When her irresponsible parents cause her to be sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains to live with family members she doesn't know, she needs that wish to come true more than ever. Publication is planned for fall 2016; Barbara Markowitz of Barbara Markowitz Literary Agency did the deal.
And every once in a while, I get a special letter....
...one that reminds me that what I do is important and appreciated and might make a difference to someone.
Recently, I received one of those letters.
With the permission of the sender, I'm printing it here in its entirety.
I love my job.
up I noticed that I had trouble reading. I was born dyslexic and so I had
trouble understanding how to comprehend the words that I was reading, so not
long after the second grade I decided I was not going to read unless I really
take long after I made the decision to not read unless I found a good enough
reason that of course I found one. My older brother had a dog named Roscoe. He
was my brother’s best friend they did everything together, but one night Roscoe
went outside without my brother and he got hit by a car passing down our street
very fast. My brother stayed up for days so sad and he refused to go to school.
Soon after, my mother asked me if I knew anything that could help him cheer up,
and after thinking about it for a while I couldn’t really think of anything
until I went on a class trip to the library and my librarian asked me what kind
of books I was interested in and I immediately thought of my brother and I told
my librarian that I wanted to LOOK at books about dogs so maybe I could show
him cool pictures of dogs that looked like Roscoe to cheer him up.
looked up the key word Dog and the only book that she found in what was
supposed to be my reading level was your book How to steal a dog. Without even
opening it I came up with the perfect idea to cheer up my brother.
that your book would teach me how to get or steal a dog for my brother so he
would not be sad anymore (I want to remind you that I was only nine years old
and didn’t fully think through what I was planning on doing.) So I found the
perfect reason to read my very first big girl book as I called them (with
chapters). I figured that if I skimmed through it I could figure out fairly
quickly what I wanted to know.
So I started flipping through the pages and I
couldn’t find a list of ways to get a dog, so I figured I would sort of start
reading the book to find out where in the book it gave me the steps that I was
looking for. Of course I could not find them so then I thought I should just
try to actually read it and maybe I could figure out what I wanted to know.
started reading the book I became fascinated with Georgina and her family. I
guess I could say that I sort of felt connected to Georgina and I became
interested in her and her family. So I started reading the book because I was
interested in it instead of my original meaning.
finished the book I was so proud of myself for actually reading a book that
didn’t have just pictures in it. I bragged to my family and friends and even
teachers. I was so interested in your book that I wanted to read more of it, I
was sad that the book was over and that I would never get to know what had
happened to Georgina and her family after the book ended. I tried to Google
books that had similarities with your book and I couldn’t find anything that
seemed fascinating to me. So I never really read another chapter book again
after your book.
your book very much. When I was in my English class at school I was telling a
story to my friend about how I would like to become an author when I got older
but I thought that I would be a hypocrite if I wrote books but did not read
them because of my difficulties with words.
While I was telling my story my
instructor, Ms. White overheard me and asked what I was talking about. After I
explained everything that I was saying before, I told her that I have only read
one real book my whole life and that I loved it. When I told her that the book
was How to steal a dog she immediately knew what book I was talking about and
remembered that her mentor was your best friend and told me she was going to
try to get a hold of her mentor through Facebook and tell her about my story
and she was hoping to get in contact with you.
my challenges with reading I am actually very good with writing and grammar. I
just have trouble while reading words because the letters mix match and change
up and the words seem to look different.
I’m not really sure why I let it defy
me so much. I guess it could be because it seems like a good excuse to not try
hard enough or to be lazy. I don’t know, but I’m guessing that since I thought
of those assumptions that maybe they could be true, maybe.
I am so
enthusiastic about writing you this letter. I really hope you find my liking of
your book interesting. I hope you can find time to write me back with
everything you have going on.
Fourth grade teacher, Saul Ruiz, at Carver Academy Elementary in
Amarillo, Texas, organized a wonderful project with his students after reading How to Steal a Dog.
"You have inspired us to take our eyes off ourselves and realize that someone else always has it worse than we do," Mr. Ruiz told me.
"We are teaming up with a local homeless shelter for mothers and their children. We are making 'After Dinner Bags' for the kids who show up to these shelters. Just like Georgina, they sometimes just arrive with a plastic bag full of only a few of their belongings. We are making bags full of snacks and activities for children to do after dinner…the most boring part of the night for kids at the shelter."
How great is that?!
And I love that they are calling this wonderful activity Project Georgina in honor of the main character.