I spent the past week in Washington state visiting my Keenreaders co-founder Tony Dirksen (and his wife Elva) and Theresa Bateman, Keenreader's U.S. book reviewer extraordinaire, who is also a children's writer. Theresa cranks out an incredible number of middle-grade/young-adult book reviews for Keenreaders each month, and it was fun to finally meet her. We discovered we're both from big families, though she has me beat me by several siblings. (I'm one of only six.)
It was the first time I'd spent time in scenic Port Ludlow, where Tony lives (and which is therefore the official "U.S. headquarters" of Keenreaders). He and Elva generously chauffeured me around the peninsula showing me the sites; we ate clams and other Pacific Northwest fare, and visited lots of used book stores. More importantly, Tony and Elva have a
hot tub in their backyard, from which they occasionally glimpse black
bears who wander about this quiet, wooded region. I spent lots of time in the hot tub -- only to increase my chances of a bear sighting, of course, but no such luck .
I also visited friends and relatives in San
Francisco (including my nephew's wife ZhengZheng, who works for Facebook
and helps Mark Zuckerberg practice his Mandarin). Also visited Brenda
Knight, publisher of Cleis Books (http://www.cleispress.com/index.php), which is publishing my forthcoming book (fall of 2013) on boys and literacy. And learned during my travels that my latest young-adult novel just garnered an award (so I thought I might be allowed to mention it here).
Here's a full recap of the awards and mentions that First Descent has garnered:
Silver award for young-adult fiction, 2011 Book of the Year Awards
(BOTYA) by ForeWord Reviews, announced at the American Library
Association conference in Anaheim, California June, 2012:
2012 Silver award for 2012 mid-grade/teen fiction, Nautilus Book Awards, "better books for a better world":
Fall 2011 Junior Library Guild Selection designation:
Feb. 2012 honorable mention for a young adult book in the Ontario Library Association list of "Best Bets":
Hope that helps it reach more readers, and makes them keener readers. All the sites above, of course, are great for scouting quality middle-grade and young-adult books.
Have a good July!