Monday, October 15, 2012

Love letter & surprise phone call

Love letter
I was touched by a recent blog from a librarian who used to snub “reluctant reader” books, but now realizes the value of short, high-action, low-vocabulary books aimed at hooking middle grade and high school kids into reading. Her new insight inspired her to write a "love letter" to Orca Books, a publisher of reluctant-reader books, on her blog:
“You know that not every 15-year-old can read above a third grade level, and even a lot of those who can, think reading an actual book is equal to pulling out all of your teeth.”
Three of my own novels are aimed at “reluctant readers” – Camp Wild, Breathless and Daredevil Club – all published with Orca Books, whose Orca Currents and Orca Soundings series(among others) specialize in such material (
Here’s the rest of that blog entry I’d like to share:
Surprise phone call
Just a quick note regarding my most recent young-adult novel First Descent (Tundra Books), even though it’s not a reluctant reader book: I got the phone call a few weeks ago, only to be told I had to keep it hush-hush until today! Well, I’m honored to announce that as of this morning, the Ontario Library Association has officially released a list of books nominated for its “Forest of Reading” awards, and First Descent is up for the Red Maple Award. Thank you, Ontario Library Association! Here’s more information about them:

That means I’ll be in Toronto May 15-16, 2013. Coincidentally, just two weeks later I’m due to sign advance reading copies of my sister’s and my forthcoming book for parents, about getting reluctant-reader boys to read (more about that in a future blog) at the Book Expo America conference in New York City (May 30 and June 1, 2013). So in between, I’ll be doing presentations in Ontario, in Washington D.C. and in parts between. (Here’s where I insert a little plug; hope no one minds): Anyone interested in booking a presentation, feel free to contact my speaking-tours agent Chris Patrick, 1-866-413-9216, jcpem (at) More information on my presentations is below.
presentations for schools:
presentations to adults:

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