Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Mr. Schu's Summer Road Trip

Hey, John? Remember when you had time to leisurely enjoy your summers? Read a ton of books? Travel around sharing them?

(Okay, you still do that last part!)

But a big thrill of my writing life was when you traveled to Mississippi on a summer roadtrip with GLORY BE on board.

Here's what popped up in my social media memory today.


CLICK HERE for lots more photos of Mr. Schu tripping all over Mississippi, including stops at the University of Southern Mississippi and the Welty Library. Cool beans!

(There's a Cactus Museum in Mississippi?)

Monday, July 16, 2018


It's Monday and what am I reading?
I've been re-reading a review copy of my friend Janet McLaughlin's new book. It's available for pre-order (see link below) now and will be published in August.

I think middle-grade readers will find this novel so very appealing. 
What's inside may surprise you-- and them. I don't know of many books for kids this age about Tourette Syndrome.

This is such an important book. But it's also fun and complicated and beautifully written in Izzy's appealing and spot-on voice.  

Books written from the heart can take a long time to percolate, get written and revised many times over!- and find a home. Janet was not about to give up on this book. I'm so happy that DIFFERENT is now ready for the world.

Here's a little of what she says in her very helpful Author's Note about what inspired her to write about Tourette Syndrome-- a family member she's calling Madison:

What was going on in Madison’s head when she couldn’t walk down the street without stopping and touching the ground every few minutes? When she couldn’t leave a room unless she flicked the light switch on and off at least three times. How did she feel when she lost control and went into a screaming rage? I could only guess.
And that’s what I wanted to contribute to the world with this book. I wanted to let the world know about this neurological condition on an intimate level— what it’s like to actually live with the condition.

This is the link to the publisher's website. You can order the book, read more about it, and see this great endorsement from a long-time educator:

“As an educator for more than thirty years, it is wonderful to find a text that promotes an understanding of differences. I have had several students with Tourette Syndrome... This book lends itself to class discussions about what it means to be ‘Different.'”
Lora Netherland
M.ED Special Education Teacher

JML Author Photo 2.17.17.jpg
You can contact Janet for Author Visits, Skype sessions, or to ask her about her this excellent novel, via her website HERE. 

(I love the It's Monday! What Are You Reading? meme, and I usually am reading a ton of middle-grade books. But now I'm on vacation in a very quiet place and I've also been reading a bunch of grownup books for a change. I'm particularly loving Anne Tyler's newest novel, hot off the press, CLOCK DANCE.)