A WORK IN PROGRESS Update: Educator’s Guide, Another STARRED Review, and More

I just returned home from the final out-of-state school visits of my A Work in Progress tour, and have some news to share, in case you missed my posting about it on social media.

First, this website now has its very own A WORK IN PROGRESS page. On it you’ll find some general information about the book, a list of accolades (with links), and — drumroll please — the Educator’s Guide! This IS deserving a drumroll, because this guide: it’s EPIC. And you can trust me on that, because it wasn’t me who made it.

The Educator’s Guide was made by award-winning middle school media specialist Carrie Friday, and she did SUCH a fantastic job. Using both carefully crafted questions and thoughtful extension activities, Carrie has not only created a resource that will help educators ensure their readers get everything out of A Work in Progress that I could’ve hoped and dreamed, but has found so much more in the book. Her experience and brilliance as a librarian really shine through, and I’m amazed by all the ways she has found to use the book as a launchpad for meaningful discussion and productive exploration. Again: you can find the Educator’s Guide at the A WORK IN PROGRESS page of this site, or by simply clicking HERE.

In other A Work in Progress news: the book received another STARRED review. This time, it’s from Shelf Awareness, and the reviewer (Cade Williams) really got what I was going for. In addition to calling “earnest and inspiring,” Williams says:

Lerner’s novel is striking, sincere, and sensitive to the very real problems of bullying and ostracization. Visually, the book recalls a middle-schooler’s notebook, with a font reminiscent of penciled handwriting and striking cartoonish doodles that illustrate the novel’s events and Will’s emotional reactions to them. Throughout the novel Lerner uses repetition, emphases (such as bolding and capitalization), and free-verse forms to illustrate feelings of chaos and disorientation, anxiety, and oppressive self-loathing, and–eventually–determination and self-acceptance. A Work in Progress conveys a resounding and empowering message of self-love.

THANK YOU, Cade, for the kind words — and for that shiny star!

On top of touring to do school visits and bookstore events to share about A Work in Progress, I’ve also been doing lots of interviews, as well as guest posts at various websites. Only a portion of these posts and interviews have been published or aired. But you can find all of those that have — and keep an eye out for more as they are released — at the PRESS page of this website. Click HERE to head over there. As more interviews and filmed appearances are made public, they’ll be linked on that page.

Thanks to all of you who have already shown A Work in Progress so much love and given it so much support. The book has only been out for a few weeks and it’s already been such a wild, enjoyable ride.

~ Jarrett

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