I am really proud of this video that Scholastic produced to promote CURVEBALL:
OK, so it has taken me a while to write a new book. It’s also taken me a while to write a new entry here. The good news is that now that I’ve started writing, I am on a roll! So: I’ve got a new book called Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip coming out from Scholastic in only TEN DAYS! I am super-duper excited. My author copies came in the mail today, and they look great.
As for the “on a roll” comment, after a long dry spell, I am almost done writing my next book, which will come out in the fall of 2013. I am not allowed to tell you much about that one yet, but hey … at least if you want to know whether there’s something else in the pipe after Curveball, the answer is a definite YES!
On Monday, the American Library Association announced this year’s children’s literature awards, which are basically the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmy Awards in my profession. I hadn’t given even a passing thought to winning anything this year, because I have been trained by a lifetime of non-winnerhood. But then, on Sunday, while I was frying up some parsley potatoes to go along with dinner, the phone rang. My son answered, and told the person on the other end that I was too busy to come to the phone. She replied, “Your Dad will want to take this call …”
She was right — I did want to take that call, because she and the rest of the Schneider Family Book Award committee were there on speakerphone to tell me that After Ever After was this year’s middle grade winner of the award:
which is given to “honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” Thrilling for me, because it gets right to the heart of what I was trying to do when I wrote the book.
I’m not kidding about the non-winnerhood, by the way. I mean, I have never found anything larger than a one-dollar bill on the sidewalk. I’ve never won even a measly buck on a scratch-off lottery ticket. And when I was a kid, I went to a small summer camp that had maybe 60 campers. At the end of the summer, the counselors gave out something like 40 trophies to the campers who were good at anything from archery to waterskiing. I was a camper there for six years, and became probably the only long-term camper in the place’s history who never won a trophy.
Hence, my excitement at this phone call. Now and forever, I have won a national award. Bestowed by experts. For something about which I care with a burning passion. The best part? I didn’t even burn the potatoes.
I should be blogging about the forthcoming release of the third and final DODGER book, Dodger for Sale. I am really psyched about this one, partly because it’s dedicated to my two beloved godchildren, and partly because it has environmentalism themes that are very important to me. Plus, I just think it’s really funny. School Library Journal agrees (warning – you have to scroll way down to find the review):
BUT I have to write about something else, because this is just too weird.
See that (excellent and well-reviewed) book called Shade, by Jeri Smith-Ready? See how it’s shelved right near several of mine? Well, Jeri and I studied abroad at King’s College London together 20 years ago, and both went on to be published authors. We hadn’t seen each other in a couple of decades, and neither of us had any idea that the other even wanted to be a writer, until we met up randomly at Book Expo America two years ago. Now our books will be neighbors forever. Kind’a cool!
Hi All -
Here’s a picture of me and Dodger on the first day of our Fifth Grade World Tour! It’s Children’s Book Week this week, and the third DODGER book is coming out this month, so I wanted to celebrate. Between now and Thursday, I am using Skype and iChat to have video conferences with 15 groups of students from all over the country. I will “meet” kids fro IL, VA, VT, TX, NJ, FL, and MN. This is a really fun, environmentally friendly way to connect with readers — and my wife and kids are thrilled that I don’t have to leave the house to do it!
My wonderful publisher, Feiwel and Friends (a division of Macmillan) helped to make this tour happen, and even sent me a really nice goodie package that arrived during a chat this AM. The kids in Illinois really liked the rainforest-themed candies, and their teacher, Mr. Moylan, really liked the environmentally-friendly coffee.
OK, I know that in the post below, it might _look_ as though the front row of students fell into a coma during my classroom visit at Sacred Heart School in Bethlehem, PA yesterday. But really, the student in the photo was just leaning to the side to avoid blocking the photographer’s view.
Anyway, this was my first visit since the release of AFTER EVER AFTER, which just came out on Monday. I was so excited to talk about the new book! It’s gotten great press from both the usual book-review periodicals, including the nicest review I’ve ever gotten:
It’s also gotten written up glowingly in several important blogs:
Anyway, it’s really nice to be appreciated. Between the magazines, the bloggers, and that obviously fascinated boy in the front row, I am thrilled by the reception AFTER EVER AFTER has gotten already!
I’m going to try to keep everyone updated with frequent blog posts.
For those of you who are techies, use your RSS reader to subscribe to my blog. I recommend Google Reader, but any ol’ RSS reader will do.
Hi all -
But I have a really good excuse for not updating this blog: I’ve been writing! In fact, I have two books coming out in the next 9 months.
AFTER EVER AFTER — the long-awaited sequel to DRUMS, GIRLS & DANGEROUS PIE — will be published by Scholastic in February 2010.
Hi all -
I just got back from my first-ever official book tour (see my publisher’s blog here for details: http://feiwelandfriends.typepad.com/feiwel_and_friends/2008/05/jordan-and-dodg.html ).
While I was gone, DODGER got a rave review in the Kirkus ALA/BEA Big Book Guide:
“Dodger and Me is a love letter to my late father, my dear
son and our almost sacred love of baseball,” says Jordan
Sonnenblick. The book is also a magical tale of affection,
family and a boy’s imaginative (imaginary doesn’t do it justice)
friendship with an inspired, demented blue chimpanzee,
Dodger. Willie has a few wishes, a couple ill-considered:
That that girl Lizzie would leave him alone, that his
mother would trust him with his own safety and that he
would be a baseball star. “I can relate,” says Sonnenblick,
“not to the chimp part, but to baseball and the desperate
wish to succeed on the field. I was a miserable little leaguer;
I just could…not…hit…a…fastball.” Dodger has
lots of smart patter and perhaps a few wishes to grant. With
cool style and throat-tightening panache, Sonnenblick
sends a screamer Willie’s way.