Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Sorry about the all-capitals header, but I’m pumped up.  My newest book, DODGER AND ME, hit stores last week.  Also, the past few weeks have brought a flood of good news about my first novel, DRUMS, GIRLS & DANGEROUS PIE.  It turns out that DRUMS has won the state book awards for both Illinois (Rebecca Caudill Award) and Minnesota (Maud Hart Lovelace Award)!  Really, really exciting.

Also, I just got the details of my first-ever official multi-city book tour:

Please come and visit if you live in Seattle, Portland, Denver, or Chicago, OK?

Happy new year!

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Hey, I hope all you website-visitor types are having a good 2008.  I’ve been super busy.  Just finished writing the sequel to my forthcoming middle-grade novel, DODGER AND ME (Feiwel and Friends, April ’08). Dodger and Me Cover Check out the cover for the first book — I love it!

I am really, really excited about these books — now I can’t wait for the first one to come out so I can start telling everyone in the world about the second one.

In other news, I’m currently doing heavy research for my next young adult novel for Scholastic Press. I can’t spill any beans about the plot, the title, or anything. However, I will tell you that the research for this book has entailed interviews with a child-abuse expert, a criminal-defense lawyer, and a gravedigger.

Hmmm . . . I think I’m getting mysterious in my old age!


Oh, one last thing.  The Italian translation of NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER recently won a big children’s literature award there: The Premio Cento.  AND there was a cash prize in Euros, which means a family trip to Europe is in my future.  The Italian version’s title is UNA CHITARRA PER DUE (A Guitar for Two).  Cool, huh?  The translator, Roberta Magnaghi, was awesome.  She contacted me several times during the process to ask me subtle questions about my intent.  Her hard work really helped me out, obviously — mille grazie, Roberta!!!

My third book is coming out next month!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Wow, is this turning out to be a busy school year!  My third novel for teens, ZEN AND THE ART OF FAKING IT, will be published by Scholastic next month.  The first major review, from Kirkus Reviews, said this book is, and I quote, “Hilarious and heart-wrenching.”

So I’m traveling far and wide to promote the release.  You can see my calendar page for the details, but basically I’ll be visiting at least 11 states between now and the end of June, including FIVE different trips to Texas.  Yikes, that’s a lot of frequent-flyer miles.  Of course, it’s also a lot of carbon emissions, so I’ll be planting a ton of trees to offset the pollution.

I also have another book coming out in the spring.  It’s called DODGER & ME, and it will be published by Feiwel & Friends.  I’ll write more about this project as the release date gets closer, but for now I’ll just say that I am REALLY, REALLY proud of it.

_Notes_ goes international!

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

As of this writing, _Notes_ will be published in Italian and Korean, which is really great news for me. Seeing a copy of one’s book in a language one can’t even read is an amazing feeling.

It’s hard to believe that something I typed up in my kitchen has travelled around the world . . .

_Notes_ reviews are here, and a video cameo with Muhammad Ali

Monday, December 4th, 2006

Holy moley! _Notes from the Midnight Driver_ has received starred reviews in the following publications: Booklist, Horn Book, Kliatt, and Publishers Weekly. PW also ran a really nice interview with me.

Also, my best friend from high school called the other day to tell me that Muhammad Ali’s wife held up a copy of _Drums_ on national TV:

She was being interviewed by Katie Couric about a new literacy initiative that she and her husband are sponsoring with Scholastic, and — BAM! — she held _Drums_ up in a close-up shot. The other book she brandished about during the interview was the excellent _Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time_, by my friend Lisa Yee (, so I was in good company.


Friday, December 1st, 2006

I’ve been super-lucky with the reception that _Drums_ has gotten out there in the world. It has been published in eleven languages (!!!), and was a BookSense pick for both fall 2004 and fall 2005, a Booklist Editors’ Choice for 2005, and a Borders Original Voices pick; it also placed fifth on the American Library Association’s Teens’ Top Ten list for 2005. So far (because state book award lists usually wait for a book to be out for a year or two), _Drums_ has made it onto the teen book award lists for the following states: TX, TN, UT, NE, SD, and PA. I keep waiting for somebody to pinch me!