Monday, October 1, 2012

#WONDERschools Blog Tour: My Favorite WONDER Experience

Hi, everybody! I know it's been CENTURIES since I've posted here (you can always find me on Twitter, though!) and SO MUCH has happened--book events and festivals and tons of terrific BOY + BOT stuff--and I want to tell you about all of it...
But not today. Today, I want to talk about the #WONDERschools Blog Tour, and my favorite experience with this absolutely amazing book.
Teacher pal David A. Etkin started the #WONDERschools initative to get schools and libraries to collaborate on how they teach WONDER. Random House thought that this was way cool. Together, David and RH brainstormed the #WONDERschools blog tour--nine days of schools and libraries posting about how they're using WONDER and its lessons in their school, library, or community. WONDER author R.J. Palacio will post on October 10th, "Unity Day" (and Auggie's birthday!). The blog lineup and all the good info is here:
I know you're saying, "But, Ame! You're not a school! You're not a library!"
THAT'S WHAT I SAID! But David knows how much I LOVE this book, and encouraged me to write a post anyway.
I'm happy I did.
Hope you are, too.
Here we go!

My Favorite WONDER Experience

            Before this morning, if you’d asked me what my favorite WONDER experience was—not counting when I first read it and the #SharpSchu Book Club discussion—I would’ve said this:
            Even though I already owned a copy of WONDER, and even though I’d already read it several times, when a copy was re-shelved in the “New Books” display at my public library while I was standing right there, I had to pick it up and have a peek. 
            Of course the book opened to One Of The Eight Parts in WONDER That Makes Me Cry.
            Was it one of the heart-achingly sad parts?  Or the heart-achingly beautiful parts?
            Doesn’t matter, does it?
            “Shut the book!” my head commanded.  “We’re in public! 
            But I didn’t listen to my head.  Even though I knew what was coming.
            Tears.  Streaming tears.  And those nose sniffles—the ones that are way too loud in the library.
            I prayed no one would notice.
            Of course, someone noticed.
            “What’s wrong, hon?” another patron asked.
            I couldn’t answer.  I just pointed at WONDER.
            Her face lit up in recognition.  “Oh.  I know, right?”
            But this morning, during The Weekday 7:35 Frenzy, I got a new WONDER favorite moment:
            The Kid came up to me with WONDER in her hand.
            “Can I bring this to school?” she asked.
            I stopped.  The Frenzy stopped.  Everything stopped.
            Then I smiled and said, “Sure, hon.”
            I waved from the window as Husband Guy and The Kid—her backpack a little heavier than usual—made their customary dash to the school bus stop.
            And yes, there were more (happy) tears and sniffles.
            You know, right?
            Of course.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Great News and Book Signing Tomorrow!

Hi, everybody!  EEP!  I've posted gobs on Twitter but not so much here!  There's been lots of incredible BOY + BOT stuff from a review in The New York Times to inclusion on the Summer 2012 Kids' Indie Next List, and the Daily Candy Kids and Huffington Post Parents Summer Reading Lists!  Dan Yaccarino and I had our first event together at the fabulous Greenlight Bookstore, and tomorrow at noon, Dan and I join 7 other amazing authors and illustrators for a group event at the legendary Books of Wonder!  Read all about it here!  HOORAY!  Am I over-the-moon excited and grateful and happy about all the BOY + BOT love?  Affirmative!  Hope to see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Signing Tomorrow!

Hi, everybody! Tomorrow, at the Barnes & Noble in Exton, PA, I'll be participating in a terrific group signing with 7 other Apocalypsies--fabulous 2012 debut author friends! Come meet Dianne Salerni (WE HEAR THE DEAD), Elisa Ludwig (PRETTY CROOKED), Monica Carnesi (LITTLE DOG LOST: THE TRUE STORY OF A BRAVE DOG NAMED BALTIC), Amy Garvey (COLD KISS), Beth Kephart (YOU ARE MY ONLY), K.M. Walton (CRACKED), E.C. Myers (FAIR COIN), and me! (I'll be signing BOY + BOT!) The event runs from 4-6 PM. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


(laughing) I wasn't REALLY hiding! I started posting my MUST READ reviews--LOTS of them!--on Twitter a few months ago. I just... um, forgot to say that here.

Also, Dan and I have been working REALLY hard on BOY + BOT's book birthday stuff (SO exciting!), so do check back soon for updates on B+B news and events, okay?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MUST READ: TIME FOR A BATH by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

The illustrations in TIME FOR A BATH (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011) are SO spectacular, you'll run around your house/neighborhood/state showing them to people. ("You've GOT to see this!") Via amazing torn- and cut-paper collage, Steve Jenkins and Robin Page show some of the more unusual ways some animals take a bath. From spit (BLEAH!) to mud (BLEAH!) to nibbling cleaner shrimp (SUPER BLEAH!), suddenly water and suds don't seem so bad! Fun facts + INCREDIBLE paperwork = MUST READ!

Monday, October 17, 2011

MUST READ: 999 TADPOLES by Ken Kimura, illustrated by Yasunari Murakami

I admit I've been a terrible Book Hog with this one. I MUST return it to the library so other people can see how wonderful it is, too! 999 TADPOLES by Ken Kimura, illustrated by Yasunari Murakami (North-South Books Inc., 2011) is a hysterical "finding home" story. When their 999 tadpoles grow into young frogs, Mother and Father Frog realize their pond is now too small. But how do you move your 999 children safely? Funny, exciting story + funny, expressive illustrations = MUST READ!

Monday, September 26, 2011

MUST READ: THE GREAT BEAR by Libby Gleeson and Armin Greder

I just read the most amazing PB! (It's vastly past my bedtime right now but I just to tell you right away.) THE GREAT BEAR by Libby Gleeson, illustrated by Armin Greder (Candlewick, 2011) is unlike any other PB I can remember. Halfway through the achingly sad story of a mistreated captive circus bear, the text simply stops--leaving Greder's magnificent illustrations to tell the rest of the tale. The resulting ending feels... MORE that way. (A cautionary note: some of the illustrations of the--brilliantly rendered--angry crowd may be disturbing for very young readers.) Beautiful story + fantastically unique artwork = MUST READ!