{new book cover! coming 1/23}

The HarperCollins Children’s Books winter catalog goes live next weekend, so ahead of the rush, I get to show off my next cover! Brittany Jackson is the artist, and Kathy Lam is the designer, and I feel like together they’ve created a cover that’s just — *chef’s kiss* — perfect.

I think I like best the sense of uncertainty in Henri’s eyes. So much of what she wants – to conquer math, to make friends, to get her sister to see her as something other than a total nuisance – seems out of reach. What does it take to make things happen like you want them to? Like everyone else, she’s got to figure it out…

I can’t wait for you to enjoy this book.

{odds & ends}

Happy Friday, friends!

Poetry Peeps who need some “overheard” snippets for the January poetry challenge next week can find scuttlebutt from either coast, hat tip to Sara Holmes for the DC stuff.


Librarian and social justice change-maker Edie Campbell interviewed me this week on her blog on being “included” in the incredibly long list of banned and challenged books in the state of Texas. As many others have, Edie noted the number of marginalized authors included in this list, and has invited each of us to speak on the topic. Don’t miss her interviews so far with Adib Khorram, with whom I had the privilege of serving on the NSK Neustadt Prize jury in 2020, and the inimitable Nikki Grimes, and stay tuned for more.


Meanwhile, the Newbery is turning 100 this year, and everyone has an opinion. If you just want to watch the show, tune in Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, at 8 a.m. CT.


We’ve suddenly had the fog clear here, so looking forward to some nice hikes this weekend in clement weather. I wish the same for you. Happy Weekend.

{slowly we begin}

My little sister texted me to ask what we were doing for Thanksgiving.

Ugh.

Writing a novel that has a deadline Wednesday, December 1 means that you don’t want anything to do with NaNoWriMo, nothing to do with Thanksgiving, and panic at the idea of Black Friday. I really don’t have time to do this! And yet, Thanksgiving 2020 didn’t happen at all, except in terms of a series of phone calls and waving at each other briefly over Zoom (which is its own special level-of-hell annoyance).

Thanksgiving has always been our family’s one holiday. Growing up poor, we didn’t do Christmas, which requires an outlay of funds to buy things – and we didn’t get that much into Easter. Our extended family is made up of very religious and very anti-religious people, so Thanksgiving – and, oddly, Labor Day – to us the least religious holidays – have always been the time for the biggest family get-togethers. Courtesy of Covid, our big Thanksgiving do will likely for many years be a thing of the past, so this year, a much smaller holiday-esque mystery party thing might have to happen.

AFTER Thanksgiving. Say, maybe December 12th?

Baby steps. We’ll get things back to some version of “normal” eventually, right?

At least that’s the dream…


P.S., Just in case my editor is reading this: I WILL FINISH. I’m fine. No worries! I’m going to make that deadline! Really! Promise!

P.P.S., Just realized looking at the picture I found for this that I really miss babies. All my book nieces and nephews are either not yet born or toddling/running, so their little thighs are no longer quite so pillowy. Bittersweet! But, they chew and drool much less, and are differently destructive with books, so that’s a win? Progress. Baby steps, as it were…

{pinned post: book events in september}

Thanks for your interest in my book events!
(This post will be continuously updated.)


Essay • “Checking the Weather” Teen Librarian Toolbox Blog @SLJ

Interview • “Writer Q&A” @NerdDaily

Interview • “Author Q&A” @Confessions of a YA Reader

Interview • Author Q&A @ at Karen B. McCoy’s

Interview • Conversation @ Edie’s Cotton Quilts

BOOK GIVEAWAY • from September 16th – 21st: CLOSED Recipients have been contacted on Twitter and Instagram. If you were contacted, please use the drop down the menu on the left “About This Site” and leave your address in the contact form. Thanks!


ICYMI: View the Crowdcast of my book launch with Janae Marks here.


View the Shelf Stuff conversation with Saadia Fauqi and Shanthi Sekaran, and educator, Dr. Dawn Bolton at Brave & Kind Books here.


View the Princeton Children’s Book Festival’s Book Jam with Damian Alexander, Kathryn Erskine, Lee Durfey-Lavoie and Veronica Agarwal here.


{#JLGSELECTION}

SO many of the books I read when I was a kid had affixed the little gold seal that read “A Junior Library Guild Selection.” I wasn’t quite clear on the details, but I knew it was shorthand for A Good Book. That’s why it’s really special to me that PARTLY CLOUDY is A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection! Yay!

{revealed: PARTLY CLOUDY, coming 2/16}

Ta-daaaah!

IT’S A CLOUD!


It’s a rainy Monday, and I’ve got clouds, folks!

I haven’t historically made a fuss over my covers, but my HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books book covers are so lively I’ve been unable to stop myself. And the upcoming PARTLY CLOUDY (coming SEPTEMPBER 7, 2021!) has got to be my favorite cover this year so far. Illustrated by the splendidly whimsical Geneva B (Dragons in a Bag, The Dragon Thief, Beyoncé: Shine Your Light, Curls) PARTLY CLOUDY somehow looks like it was done both in chalk pastels and digitally (how?) and captures all the heart and emotion of its main character, Madalyn.

Come back and see it tomorrow! Until then, enjoy your President’s Day, and… have some clouds.

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAYS TO…

…THE ENIGMA GAME, and to Elizabeth Wein, whose book shares the excellent timing of having a book emerge on Election Day. THE ENIGMA GAME is a WWII mystery featuring a Jamaican-Scots girl, and it’s for older readers, and is All Good Things. Go, read it!

And, of course, Happy Book Birthday to SERENA SAYS!

Reviews so far talk a lot about this as a very happy book – which, with this year as it has gone, is a hopeful, helpful thing. I hope Serena’s very ordinary frustrations and celebrations remind older readers and younger readers alike of how very much the same we all are – no matter what makes up the bits that make us who we are. Here’s to having that to celebrate today, if nothing else.