In September I have a new story, “The Gunslinger,” forthcoming in Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns, edited by Michael Cart, with other stories from the likes of Joyce Carol Oats, Walter Dean Myers, Chris Crutcher, and Francesca Lia Block. These are very powerful stories about a problem that continues to haunt our […]
I had a great visit to the YA reading club at Cumberland Library last Saturday. The kids read The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez. They had great questions about the book and about writing in general. After the Q & A we did a writing exercise on beginnings. A lot of talented writers there, […]
Last Thursday, over 300 7th graders read The Amazing Adventures of John Smith Jr., aka Houdini at Dartmouth Middle School in Dartmouth, MA. Literacy coach Karen Babbitt and so many others made the visit special. But the kids stole the show, making posters and just really responding to the book on a very […]
*Starred Review from Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books
“Benny copes with [his many problems] the same way most readers will cope with their own—by keeping one eye on his many assets while juggling everything at once. Mom teasingly calls him Mr. Negativity, but readers who are privy to Benny’s inner workings will […]
A shout-out to Guysread.com for choosing Benny as their Book of the Month. The Guys Read collections, edited by Jon Scieszka, are best anthologies of short stories out there for boys, and Jon himself has worked tirelessly over the years to advocate for guys with his own books..
Benny will be published on June 24th, and Houdini will be in paperback. here are some excerpts from early reviews for Benny:
“This slice-of-life novel portrays Benny and his entertaining family and friends with just the right balance of angst and humor; Benny’s narration is a spot-on mix of the sharp wisdom and utter befuddlement […]
My 11 year old and I just finished Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis. What an amazing novel. As funny and profound as Huckleberry Finn. I realize that sounds like hyperbole, but it isn’t. More important, the book proves that middle-grade fiction can be profound.
Here are excerpts from some early reviews of Out of Eden:
A family vacation goes asunder amid notes of Deliverance, religious delusions and frighteningly plausible violence….It’s the inexplicability of cruelty that makes this horrifying page-turner so effective. A compelling portrayal of inevitable, realistic violence and evil personified. —Kirkus Reviews
As for Out of Eden, I […]
Had a great visit to St. Michael’s elementary school in Fall River, MA. The 7th and 8th graders read Houdini, while the 5th and 6th graders had some great questions about writing. In fact, the questions the kids prepared for both sessions were some of the best I’ve ever had. Kudos to their teachers. In short, […]
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