This month has been Skype month.
No, not an officially designated celebration, it just happened that way in my world.
I love talking to kids about writing, reading, history, genres, characters, the truth or not the truth. So many great questions. Skyping has given me the chance to spread book love to places I've never been.
(In my flipflops.)
But I got a question yesterday that truly stumped me.
Sixth Grade Boy in Wisconsin, to me:
"Who would you recommend your book to?"
Now see, the librarian in me should be all over that.
But I stammered and hemmed and hawed.
Finally I mentioned a few authors I love, as in "If you liked THIS book, you'll like THAT book."
I think I mentioned kids who like books that take place in the past.
But that's so not true.
(True confession: My first draft of THE WAY TO STAY IN DESTINY wasn't even set in the past!)
Maybe I mumbled something about Books With Heart.
Because really and truly, one of my favorite tweets in the whole world had recently taken my breath away:
And just like that, my book had become
Be still my heart.
But the librarian in me still wasn't happy with my answer to that boy in Wisconsin.
And the writer in me didn't want to leave it at that.
There's been a lot of discussion recently about Boy Books v. Girl Books.
And judging a book by its cover.
What does the cover say to a reader about to choose a book?
Is that old adage about boys not reading books about girls while girls will always be okay with reading boy main characters hold?
I doubt it. I've had tons of boys who love GLORY BE.
At a recent Book Fair, a student told me he'd read DESTINY five times already. He wasn't a baseball fan and he can't play the piano.
Had some wise librarian or teacher had handed him that book because she knew his reading taste?
Do we need to stop pigeonholing books and kids' book choices?
Will all young readers eventually find those HeartPrint books for their own hearts?
Are kids' books just for kids anymore?
Based on this guy who has discovered and loved a few middle-grade novels, I'd say no.
I'm still thinking of a good answer to the question that sparked this blogpost. Who WOULD I recommend my own books to?
Writers- Have you been asked that question?
Do you have a perfect answer?
I used to think I was pretty good at Readers Advisory.
But when it's your own book, something feels different.
You might also like these posts about Skype:
Fun Skype in Georgia
Skype 101: the View from Here
And these about some of my own Heartprint books:
Kwame Alexander's Crossover
An Abundance of BOOKS
Hound Dog True