Monday, October 5, 2015

On the road

The last few days have been a sweet reminder that we are all incredibly lucky that the U.S. has independent bookstores, devoted teachers, hero librarians, and kids who aren't too self conscious to shout their passion for books. And I am so crazily grateful.
(Gorgeous cupcake from the Tweensread festival created by Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston.)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Goodbye Stranger - Fall Events

Happy September, everyone! Here's some of what I'm up to this fall. 

(MANY of these events include wonderful writers such as Ali Benjamin, Katherine Applegate, Gennifer Choldenko, Louis Sachar, Jenni Holm, Chris Grabenstein, Alice Hoffman, Jeanne Birdsall, R.J. Palacio, Mariko Tamaki, Paul Acampora, Valynne Maetani and Bruce Coville. 

I always BEG to do events with other writers because I think the conversation tends to be more authentic and interesting. Instead of one person saying the same thing she usually says, you get several people crashing their ideas together and, with hope, laughing a little. Please click on links for details.)

September 26 @ 2pm
Rhinebeck, NY

September 28 @ 6pm
Porter Square
Cambridge, MA

October 3rd
w/ Blue Willow Bookshop
Houston, TX

October 5th
Naperville, IL

October 15
NCIBA Trade Show
Children's Author Tea
San Francisco, CA

October 17-18
Austin, TX

October 19
Seattle, WA

October 21 @ 7pm

October 24
Boston, MA

November 8 @ 3pm
New York Society Library
New York, NY

November 19 -20
Minneapolis, MN

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Goodbye Stranger

Goodbye Stranger is officially published today! It's been a long wait, and I am crazily indebted to the family members, friends, and widely scattered, much loved "book people" who have supported me, and this book, for the past three-ish years.

This morning my mom left hydrangeas and a tuna noodle casserole at my apartment door. The day is made.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer. And then after that, Fall.

This will be a pretty quiet summer.

I'll be at the Sharon Summer Book Signing on July 31st. Please come if you're around. This event supports a beautiful town library with a wonderful and dedicated staff.

This FALL, however, will be unquiet. Fall holds many things, including (tentatively) trips to Boston, Seattle, Houston, Kansas City, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Dallas, and Minneapolis.

Many of these events will be with writers of books I admire enormously. Obviously these are the best kind of events. I'll provide details as soon as I can.

My new book, Goodbye Stranger, will be published on August 4th - many of the reviews are in. (You may need to scroll down.)

I hope your summer is off to a glowing start. Today I caught my first whiff of what I call "urban summer garbage." Not pleasant, but it's part of the deal.

Fun fact: At one point during the writing of Goodbye Stranger,
I became very interested in this chicken phone charm.
I still consider it a sad failure of imagination that I couldn't get it into the book. 

Luckily, I did get a lot of other weird stuff in.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A brave elf, a new book cover, talented people.

Created by the genius Schuyler Hooke*

Are you familiar with Hermey, the elf who wants to be a dentist? Friend of Rudolf?

Here he is reading Goodbye Stranger, my next book (on shelves August 4th).

If you read this blog, you are a saint, and you may also be wondering what's up with the cover of the book Hermey is holding. It doesn't look like the one I showed you a mere two posts down.

Like text, cover art is often a subtly changing landscape, but I believe we now have the real deal.


Like the last cover, this one features art by Marcos Chin and the talents of Random House 
art-department crackerjacks Kate Gartner and Isabelle Warren-Lynch.

What do you think?

*This gorgeous Hermey figure was commissioned by my wonderful editor, Wendy Lamb, and created by editor/artist Schuyler Hooke, one of the best book folks around. Do you know how hard it is to make a ceramic Hermey balance properly? His head is much bigger than his legs! And look at that perfectly rendered book! I don't know how Schuyler did it. Thank you, Wendy and Schuyler. I will treasure this guy until my last day.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Being Twelve

Do yourself a favor and spend a little time with the Being Twelve Tumblr.

Being Twelve is a project of WNYC (

I love the Tumblr site because it's just the kids, with no analysis:

(Photos and videos by Amy Pearl and Jennifer Hsu)

Monday, January 5, 2015


My main piece of news is that I have a new book out this year, on August 4th. (Librarians and other special people will be able to read it this month: I'll be at ALA Midwinter in Chicago, along with a bunch of ARCs.) I'm experiencing the usual mix of pre-pub emotions - excitement, dread, pride, looking at the cat and wishing I were a cat, etc.

Here's the cover, drawn by the artist Marcos Chin (

And here's a link to the book description: link 
Please note that I did not call my book brilliant. But I do like the part where it says the book is about the bonds - and limits - of friendship. Though to be honest, I didn't write that either.

Other news! I'm teaching an evening writing workshop at the 92nd Street Y from mid-February through the end of March (link). It's a true workshop, which means that we'll spend most of our time discussing student work as a group. Some of my happiest hours have been spent in writing workshops. There's something magic about them. To apply, send in your work by January 16th, which happens to be my birthday. And, believe it or not, it's also my cat's birthday:

Happy New Year.