Monday, October 24, 2016

Kate the Great and a Giveaway

Suzy Becker must be a ten-year-old girl disguised as a grown-up because she NAILS her adorable character Kate in her new book, Kate the Great: Winner Takes All.

Kirkus says: "A zippy little visit with a likable 10-year-old"

ZIPPY is the perfect word.

Reading this book gave me so many flashbacks and stirred up happy memories from my own childhood.

Like speaking ubbi dubbi. Anybody remember that? The kids on the TV show, Zoom, used to do it. 

Dubo yubou ububbi dububbi?

And the egg thing!

Someone breaks an imaginary egg on your head. Remember that?

From the book:

I sit on the edge of her other bed.  "I'll do the egg thing." After three imaginary eggs, I'm feeling very sleepy.


Do NOT read this book if you don't want to laugh because it is so dang funny.

You WILL laugh. 

A lot.

But the best, best, best parts of this book are the hysterical drawings and handwritten notes.

Here are some of my favorites:

Gene is the school bus driver

This book has kid-appeal written all over it.

Kate is definitely great. 

And so is Suzy Becker.

Because she's GIVING AWAY A COPY!!

Just leave a comment below by 10/27. (I'll also be asking for retweets on Twitter.)  

Kate the Great: Winner Takes All is the sequel to Kate the Great: Except When She's Not, published by Crown Books. Available in stores November 1. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cover Reveal!! C.M. Surrisi's New Book!

 Look, y'all!!!!

The cover for Vampires on the Run

The second Quinnie Boyd Mystery is coming soon!
If you liked The Maypop Kidnapping (and who didn't?)
you'll love Vampires on the Run.
It's deliciously fun and just the right amount of spooky. 

Coming this March from Carolrhoda Books

Monday, October 3, 2016

Rewards and Blessings

Some folks work hard all day and their only reward is a paycheck.

But writers of children's books are rewarded in many ways besides money. 

(And, um, there are children's writers all over the internet right now reading this and sputtering out their coffee and saying, "Money?" But, I digress...)

We approach a school with a large banner taped to the door that reads, "Welcome, Author!"

We walk down the hallways of that school and admire the students' artwork about our books taped to the walls.

We open a manila envelope and a pile of letters and drawings spills out, each one letting us know how much that student enjoyed our books.

We Skype with classrooms and book groups full of excited students and answer their questions about our books.

But sometimes, we get one of the finest rewards of all: a note letting us know how our book has directly affected a reader and given him or her a mirror to see themselves.

I recently received such a note about my new book, Wish.

In the story, the main character, Charlie, meets a boy who has, in her words, an "up-down" walk - a limp that often prompts his classmates to tease him in unkind ways.

Here is the note (with permission from the sender): 

Hi Barbara.

My daughter Sofie and I finished reading Wish last night.  We both loved it.  

That is no small thing as Sofie doesn't always love to read.  

She was first interested because of her love of How to Steal a Dog and because Wish also includes a dog.  

When reading, however, she was especially interested in Howard and his up down walk as she has cerebral palsy and her own kind of up down walk.  

Thank you for writing about a child she could relate to in a book with a girl and a dog.  It really matters to her.  

On a related note, she is curious about Howard. If there is anything you can share about why you included him, she would love to know.

All the best,

Let me repeat two lines:

Thank you for writing about a child she could relate to in a book with a girl and a dog.  It really matters to her. 

Let me repeat one more line:

It really matters to her. 

That line was not just a reward.

It was a blessing. 

It was a blessing and a reminder of the importance of writing books that serve as both windows that give readers a glimpse into the lives of others and mirrors that reflect and give value to a reader's own life experiences. 
Thank you, Patricia and Sofie, for that blessing.