Saturday, January 23, 2010

Scholastic's Instructor Magazine Best Books of 2009


I used to get this publication when I was a teacher. So you can imagine how thrilled I am to have the editors at Scholastic's Instructor Magazine choose The Year the Swallows Came Early as one of their favorite middle grade novels for 2009. Here's the link:


Mostly, (and in keeping with a When You Reach Me state of mind) I keep wondering what I would have thought of the book as my old teacher self, looking through the magazine as I always did back then. I hope I would have recognized it somehow as my own, maybe because of the title, or the description of what happens in the book. I wonder if your old self can see glimpses of who you might become when confronted with something that might feel familiar, if it's possible to see a trace of something that would make you stop and think.

It might be kind of like reading a line from my book, and thinking, that, that, is exactly what I was trying to write, but she beat me to it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Upcoming event at the Los Angeles Central Library

I am especially excited to have been asked by FOCAL, (Friends of Children and Literature) to come to the Los Angeles Central Library on February 21, 2010, from 2-3pm to present the reader's theater from a chapter of my book, The Year the Swallows Came Early. The event is free to the public, and will take place in the beautiful children's library, which I've talked about before on my blog.

Here's the address of the library: 630 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles.

I'll be taking six children from the audience who would like to participate and read a part from their script. I hope to see you there.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Denver Public Library

When I was a teacher, my favorite thing to do was read aloud a book to my class. I always had great parents who would donate class sets of books. For example, one parent gave me 30 copies of Island of the Blue Dolphins. Another gave me 30 of EACH of the Little House books. My students and I were so grateful for their generosity. We'd read them together, and then we always held a class vote on which book was our favorite of the year. One year it was Al Capone Does my Shirts. One year it was The Tale of Despereaux.

I'm delighted to see The Year the Swallows Came Early in some of these mock trials around the country. I can imagine the conversations the students are having, what they liked best about the book, what they didn't like, and why.

The Denver Public Library, among others, has put Swallows on their list of books to vote on. Here's the link:

http://kids.denverlibrary.org/fun/DPLmockawards.html

Thank you to all of the teachers and librarians who have emailed me these last two months to tell me they're reading the book in their own mock trials. I am thrilled the book is being included with so many outstanding books. It means the world to me.