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

Monday, August 27, 2018

My MONDAY READING: Barbara O'Connor and Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

 It's Monday, my favorite book sharing day!

 Tomorrow lots of things happen. Okay, voting. Let's all get out and vote!

But also, it's the birthday of two of my favorite middle-grade novels of the year.

My friend, Barbara O'Connor's newest book, WONDERLAND.

And a book I've had a lot of fun reading and figuring out, THE STORY COLLECTOR by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb.

(Sharing my favorite photo from recent Facebook posts. Barbara loves dogs!)

WONDERLAND is told from several points of view, including the retired racing greyhound pictured on the cover. Barbara has that illusive thing called "voice" nailed, in all her books. But to write from that many different characters' voices? My friends, you need a special talent and a lot of skill to pull that off. 

This one's a winner! 

Barbara O'Connor is the champion of Author Visits. She'll be doing a bunch of them to celebrate her newest book, but if your school isn't one of the lucky visits, contact her via her website to see about bringing her to you. 

Teachers and librarians, she has some truly excellent tips for hosting an author, HERE.

HERE'S A LINK to various places to buy the book.
You can also read the first chapter and see some great reviews. 
I'll add my two-cents worth. This is a super book to read aloud. So many things to discuss in all of Barbara's books. 

My second book recommendation on this glorious Monday? 

Okay, I'm a former librarian who loves to visit the New York Public Library. So the bits about raising pigeons on the roof, snooping around after hours, climbing up a card catalog drawer by drawer, tickled me a lot. I love a good mystery, and I know kids do, too. Historical fiction's also my thing. This book was a total win for me, and I bet for lots of middle-grade teachers, librarians, and their readers.

Betsy Bird, former children's librarian at the NYPL, wrote a great piece for School Library Journal. HERE'S THE LINK. 

I couldn't possibly say it better than Betsy.

If I still lived near NYC, I would find a young reader to take to this event. Can you imagine your book having its own scavenger hunt at the New York Public Library?  
 Check it out HERE.  

There are a whole lot of other fun activities listed on Kristin's blog- including a launch party at what must surely be a totally cool bookstore, Parnassus Books. (My goal is to visit one day!)
(I bet you can call ahead and pre-order a signed copy.)


What say you, fellow #IMWAYRers? I know you've been busy this week, but for those of you savoring the last days of summer with a book, I can't wait to hear what you're reading.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Making Friends With Billy Wong

(And the winner is...  Janice Raspen!  Congrats and let me know your mailing address.)

My book is TWO years old!
This week is the anniversary of MAKING FRIENDS WITH BILLY WONG's publication.

To mark this book birthday, I'm giving away all three of my books, plus an assortment of bookmarks, etc.

(Hardback copies= perfect for your library!)

If you'd like to enter, please comment here on my blog or my social media accounts.  
This giveaway is for teachers and librarians only.  
(Mailing to US school or library address)

I'll draw a name in just two days, on Thursday, August 23, 8 PM.

Good luck. 
And for those of you who've read and shared MAKING FRIENDS WITH BILLY WONG since August 2016, Billy, Azalea, Grandma Clark and I thank you.

 (Elvis popped over from the pages of GLORY BE to thank you, too.)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Ghetto Cowboy

I'd never heard of Greg Neri until I moved to Tampa Bay.
Truthfully, maybe a lot of people hadn't heard about his books then. He was just beginning to be published. But Greg became a big advocate for the Tampa Bay writing community. Workshops, support, encouragement--he did it all. And he did it while writing, learning, and working hard to publish his first book.

Before I really knew who "G. Neri" was, this book really touched me. I reviewed GHETTO COWBOY for the Christian Science Monitor. 
You can read my review HERE.

Now one of my absolute favorite actors has joined the team to make GHETTO COWBOY into a movie. IDRIS ELBA! (Yes, that would be Luther of TV fame, among a lot of other fabulous roles.)

Here's the link about the movie: 

And the cover of the book, in case you somehow don't know it. It's a quick read and a perfect discussion about so many things.

(All my Philadelphia friends and family are going to love this one!)