Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


When The Whistle Blows

I am excited to recommend a debut novel by Fran Cannon Slayton, a fellow member of the Class of 2K9. Fran celebrates her West Virginia railroad heritage in WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS (Philomel/Penguin), a coming-of-age story about Jimmy Cannon, who discovers his father's membership in a secret society. School Library Journal's Diane Chen compares the book to Richard Peck's A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO, calling it "fresh, smart, witty, warm, well-written, funny . . . an amazing novel."

This engrossing story is told on one specific day, All Hallows Eve, over the course of six years in the 1940s. I will be posting an interview with Fran on her launch date of June 11th (please visit http://community.livejournal.com/classof2k9 ), in which, among other things, she'll talk about her inspiration, writing from the point of view of the opposite sex, and how she made the yearly transitions flow smoothly.

Enjoy this wonderful read!


"Rosanne Parry's first novel is something to celebrate" Washington Post

"Powerful, unique coming-of-age story" Publishers Weekly

"At once a gripping coming-of-age novel and a celebration of rural life, quiet heroism and the strength that comes from spirituality the first novel is an unassuming transcendent joy" Kirkus

Horn Book Starred Review.


Anxious to read...

The next book on my "to read" list is REGARDING THE FOUNTAIN by Kate Klise. It looks like it will be a fun, light, middle grade novel, told in a clever format of notes, newspaper clippings, and pictures. I'm especially looking forward to reading this because it was recommended by my dear friend Julie Reimer, amazing elementary school librarian and baker extraordinaire. Other books that I've discovered because of Julie include HOME OF THE BRAVE by Katherine Applegate, WORTH by A. LaFaye, and THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows.

Julie is one of the finest school librarians I have ever met. She brings in multiple authors to her school each year, organizes "Books and Brownies" meetings for faculty where she highlights new books while treating the staff to her delicious baked goods, heads an after school book club for the teachers, and along with her library partner Lynn, reads every single book she buys for the media center. No wonder she is always ready with a personal recommendation for any student (or adult) who is looking for something good to read.

Her passion for books and her dedication to children are a great inspiration to me. She's a treasured friend that brightens my life in many ways.


Harriet’s Had Enough!

I am eager for a copy of friend, Elissa Haden Guest’s new book, Harriet’s Had Enough! illustrated by Paul Meisel and published by Candlewick. The launch party is at Cover to Cover Books in San Francisco this Saturday at 10 am. Stop in, buy a book, say hello to Elissa, and get your face painted like a raccoon!

Elissa is the author of the award-winning Iris and Walter Early-Reader series. I wish I had discovered these books earlier. My daughter, Kate was in first grade when we uprooted mid-year after 9/11 and like Iris, moved away from the much-loved city. The first book of the series echoes Kate’s struggles precisely as Iris transitions to a new home. Elissa Haden Guest is always respectful and tuned in to the concerns of the early elementary school child. Her work has the sweet trueness of all the best friendship books, like Frog and Toad or George and Martha. I can’t wait to meet Harriet in Elissa’s new book!


Can't wait to read...

I have a good friend who drives to Canada whenever John Irving has a new book, because bookstores there release books a couple days earlier than in the US. Sound crazy? Well, there are definitely some books I would do that for, in theory. One I am dying to read is The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A few years ago I picked up his novel Shadow of the Wind. Wow. Probably the best book I've ever read, definitely in my top five.

He is a Spanish author with several young adult novels, but they have not been translated into English yet. Although I read last year that would be happening soon. Until then, can't wait to read this one.