Sunday, July 18, 2021
Sunday, June 13, 2021
This September 11th marks a staggering 20 years since many of us watched in horror as the iconic twin towers fell, and our nation was under attack. Many of us still grieve the shock and trauma of that day even while students in desks become ever more removed, not yet born in 2001, and, thus, without any first-hand understanding.
Now those students are experiencing shared trauma of their own: constant gun drills and mass shootings, political unrest, and, yes, even quarantine and a pandemic.
How do we cope with such trauma? How do we find new understanding through the lens of history?
Nora Raleigh Baskin's award-winning NINE, TEN: A SEPTEMBER 11 STORY; Tom Rogers' ELEVEN (both for ages 9-12) and my award-winning THE MEMORY OF THINGS (ages 12+) are all stories about growing up, coping with tragedy, and so much more, each set against the unforgettable terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Watch this brief video, share it with friends and colleagues, and invite us into your classrooms to help you help your readers step into that moment and truly understand.
To never forget, #ReadAndRemember
Sunday, April 4, 2021
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Saturday, March 6, 2021
When my editor read a rough draft of my most recent YA novel, JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME, before she bought it, when we knew it needed revisions, she asked me this question, "But what is it really about?"
Of course, it's obvious from the book jacket what it's about on the surface: an almost-sixteen year old girl, JL, who, abandoned emotionally and physically by her mother and father, respectively, and judged and ditched by her longtime bff, Aubrey, turns to an older boy, Max, who isn't all that great for her.
Sunday, February 7, 2021
What if girls lifted girls?
Might everything be different?
This simple question has plagued me for a long, long time.
In high school, I was badly bullied by other girls. In repeat instances. I was threatened, physically harmed and slut-shamed before I'd ever even "lost" my virginity. For two years of high school, I lived in daily terror.
To this day, I honestly don't know why.
Were they jealous?
Did I appear too self-confident or aloof?*
Was I unwittingly cruel to them first?
Did I play a role in my own torture? Did they, too, play a role in their own simultaneous pain?
You can read more about that if you'd like to know the specifics HERE.
**I'm also making the original Google Doc I drafted for that feature public with this link and invite you or your readers to have a conversation with me about all of this any time with me there. **
For sure, I am the better for it.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
How I loved scavenger hunts as a kid! And my kids loved them too! So it's no surprise that, eventually, I wrote a children's book that centered around one, the book that came to be known as SEVEN CLUES TO HOME.
Joy Fonseca is dreading her 13th birthday, dreading being reminded again about her best friend Lukas’s senseless death on this day, one year ago — and dreading the fact he may have heard what she accidentally blurted to him the night before. Or maybe she’s more worried he didn’t hear.
Either way, she’s decided: she’s going to finally open the first clue to their annual birthday scavenger hunt Lukas left for her the morning he died, hoping the rest of the clues are still out there. If they are, they might lead Joy to whatever last words Lukas wrote, and toward understanding how to grab onto the future that is meant to be hers.
Booklist called SEVEN CLUES TO HOME, "a modern day Bridge to Terabithia" and Kirkus Reviews, "a heartfelt tour de force."