Hands down the BEST #bookmail of my life. Thank you, thank you, Simon Kids! And to the amazing Emma, the artist who created the cover. I’m still gaga for the chicken!
I’m so thrilled to share this early review for Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge which appeared in Publisher’s Weekly yesterday:
Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge
In this sensitive and uplifting coming-of-age journey, nine-year-old Vilonia Beebe wants two things: a dog and for Mama to recover from the depression brought on by the death of Vilonia’s grandmother. When she learns that pets can help cure depression, she begins the Great Pet Campaign, combining the two goals. Because Vilonia’s parents are concerned that she isn’t responsible enough for a pet, she volunteers to care for her classroom goldfish over spring break. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anyone, she has also taken over her mother’s job writing obituaries for the local paper, and in so doing finds the perfect puppy: the runt of a litter whose owner has died. When Vilonia accidentally kills the class goldfish, she has to come up with a new plan before the puppy is adopted by someone else. Debut author Gray brings Vilonia’s small Mississippi town to vibrant life, creating a cast of warm, eccentric inhabitants and traditions, including the annual Catfish Festival. Vilonia’s amusing scrapes serve to counterbalance the seriousness of her mother’s condition. Ages 8–12. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)
March 7th will be here in a blink! Thanks for celebrating with me.
Mailing Vilonia postcards. The stamps match!
Looking for new novels for kids to kick-start your year? Here’s a great chart of new books and the dates they release. I love this crew and their books so much. I hope you’ll check them out. Happy Reading!
I had my kids move their stuff off my desk last night, so it is clean!
I have new project to draft, and I’m hoping, hoping, hoping I can make it as awesome and hilarious as it is living inside my head.
Coffee is brewing and the dogs are behaving, so off to work I go. Happy Monday, y’all.
I was lucky enough to interview debut author Victoria Coe on the Swanky Seventeens about her delightful middle-grade novel, FENWAY & HATTIE, in stores now. It’s written from a dog’s point of view and is tons of fun. Perfect for ages 8 and up! Click here to read.
The great folks at Casper informed me that today is National Young Readers Day. To celebrate kid readers everywhere, I thought I’d share with you what my family is reading now. I’m always a sucker for seeing what books occupy friends’ shelves and nightstands, so here’s a little peek into what my crew (ranging in age from 8-14) is reading now before lights out.
I’m over the moon to announce the sale of my debut middle-grade novel to Simon & Schuster’s Paula Wiseman Books. Look for Vilonia in Spring 2017. She’s warming up her pitching arm as we speak. 🙂
Is your children’s or YA manuscript ready to share with the world? The SCBWI Work-in-Progress Awards are now open! Click here for more information.
If your holiday shopping includes giving books, and I hope it does, you may like these handy flowcharts created by Tracy Lopez. (You can click on the images to enlarge them.) The We Need Diverse Books campaign celebrates stories of varying backgrounds and cultures, most different from my own.
- Heather Alexander, Pippin Properties
- Stephen Fraser, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
- Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency
- Tricia Lawrence, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
- Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
- Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency
- Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
- Jodell Sadler, Sadler Children’s Literary
- Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
- Kathleen Rushall, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency