A Work in Progress Preorder Giveaway!

I’m excited to announce the A Work in Progress Preorder Giveaway!

Here’s how it works:

If you choose to preorder my illustrated novel in verse, make sure to send proof to AWIPpreorder@gmail.com.

If you are one of the first 100 preorder-ers to do this, you’ll be sent one of my vinyl decal Ask Me What I’m Reading Stickers (see the image above to check out what that looks like!).

And even if you are NOT one of the first 100, you will still be entered to win a FREE virtual visit with me.

Even more awesome, for every single preorder, $1 will be donated to the wonderful First Book. (Don’t know about First Book? Click HERE to learn more about them and their incredible work.)

And as always, if you want your copies of A Work in Progress signed (or signed AND personalized), you can order from my local indie, the Silver Unicorn. Click HERE to do that!

Also as always: THANKS!

~ Jarrett

COVER REVEAL: A Work in Progress

If you follow me over on social media, you’ve surely already seen the cover for A Work in Progress, my illustrated novel in verse. But I have yet to share this important bit of artwork here. So, without further ado…

A Work in Progress publishes six months from today (!), on May 2nd, 2023. The book is very different from anything I’ve published so far. It’s in verse, for one thing. In order words, the story is told in poems. But not just poems. Art, too. As you might’ve been able to surmise from the cover art, the book is structured as a kid’s notebook. That’s the whole conceit. That you are opening and reading a notebook belonging to that kid drawn there on the front cover, Will Chambers. It’s his personal, private space for recording, recollecting, and reflecting, and he does this with both words and pictures.

But the book is different for me in other ways, too. The protagonist, Will, is a bit older than any of my other characters, and his story is much darker and more serious — much of it based on my own struggles with things like body image and disordered eating.

Like Will, writing and drawing are how I make sense of the world and my experiences within it. And for years, I’ve tried to use words and pictures to tell a version of this story. It started in college, when I made my first attempts to craft stories about characters much like Will Chambers. I could never make much headway with those stories, though. They just never felt right, and I always ended up setting them aside. But months later, I’d find myself coming back to them — trying to inject new life into what I’d previously abandoned, or starting from scratch with a new twist on the old idea.

This happened, again and again and again, for over a decade. It wasn’t until, one day toward the beginning of 2020, that I had a breakthrough — that I decided, during the same writing session, to frame the novel as my protagonist’s notebook, and to write it in heavily illustrated verse. Maybe that sounds a bit like a too-good-to-be-true moment straight out of the movies, but remember: it came about after more than a decade of difficulty, frustration, and dozens (if not hundreds) of false starts. And I don’t believe that lightbulb flash, that lightning strike of inspiration could’ve come about without all those years of stumbling through the dimness and fog. But it came — it finally came — and I poured out 50 or so pages of a manuscript. I sent it to my agent — feeling, at last, like what I had down on the page was right — and asked her what she thought. She wrote back as soon as she’d read it and told me that I had to finish it.

I knew that my agent was right (she almost always is). But I didn’t know that it’d take me two more years to finish the book (it’s actually still not done… I’ve got until the end of the year to finalize all of the artwork, which there is a lot of). I didn’t know that the book would pose a whole host of enormous challenges that I’d never grappled with before as a creator. And I definitely didn’t know that the story would continue to elude me — that I’d go through several accelerated versions of that cycle I’d spent the previous decade-plus going through. And that, during one such cycle, I’d get close to giving up, to calling my agent and editor and letting them know that I couldn’t figure it out, I couldn’t get this story out of me, couldn’t manage to put what I needed to put on the page and couldn’t bear to publish something that I didn’t feel to be authentic and accessible and productive and true.

But I did it. Thanks to my wife, to my agent, to my editor, to my art director, I did it. It took me fifteen years — and took all the growing and thinking and learning and failing that happened during that decade and a half — but I finally got this story out of me in a form that can now be shared with others. It’s a relief. And it’s exciting. But it’s also terrifying. The thing I keep telling myself, though — the thing I’ve been telling myself throughout this entire process — is that this book can do some good. Maybe a whole lot of good.

That belief has sustained me, and I know it will continue to sustain me as I share more about the book over the next six months. And once the book is out, I’m hoping it doesn’t need to be a belief anymore. I’m hoping that I’ll get to actually see the good that the book can do. And seeing it, being able to be a part of that good, whatever form it takes — that right there will make all the difficulty and frustration and terrifying feelings totally worth it.

~ Jarrett

NAT THE CAT TAKES A NAP is Named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection!

Did you hear?! Nat the Cat Takes a Nap, my first early reader, was recently named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection!

Learning this, you might have some questions…

What’s the Junior Library Guild? It’s a hugely popular, highly influential subscription service that is used by tons of librarians. It’s been around for more than 90 years, and is known as “the librarian’s secret.” The Guild is basically a highly knowledgeable editorial team that reads pretty much EVERY SINGLE children’s book before it gets published. Books that are deemed essential additions to school libraries are given the Guild’s seal of approval, and that Gold Standard stamp means they really like it.

What happens next?

The Guild buys up a bunch of copies of their selected books and ships them out to subscribing libraries who have noted their interest in titles like it. So, when it comes to Nat the Cat Takes a Nap, librarians that have said they are looking to add more early readers to their collections are likely to receive copies right around the book’s release date.

One more pretty awesome thing about the Guild: nearly 95% of their selections go on to win awards, honors, starred reviews, and industry accolades. So not only does this honor mean that Nat the Cat Takes a Nap will end up in the hands of more readers than it otherwise might have, it means that it bodes well for its chances to receive favorable feedback from other sectors of the industry. All good news for Nat!

You can learn more about the Junior Library Guild by clicking HERE. And just a reminder: Nat the Cat Takes a Nap hits shelves on January 17th, 2023, but can be preordered TODAY wherever books are sold (as can the second book in Nat’s series, Nat the Cat Takes a Bath, which comes out on May 2nd, 2023). If you want your copies signed by me, you can, as always, preorder from the Silver Unicorn. Click HERE to access my page at the Silver Unicorn site. And also as always: THANKS!

~ Jarrett

COVER REVEAL: Nat the Cat Takes a Bath

If you’ve been following along, you know that, in January, I’ll be launching my first early reader series as part of Simon & Schuster’s Ready-to-Read line. I’ve already shared the cover of the series’ first book, Nat the Cat Takes a Nap, and yesterday, I got to share the cover of the second, Nat the Cat Takes a Bath. Check it out!

Nat’s first adventure, Nat the Cat Takes a Nap, hits shelves on January 17th, 2023, and this second installment of the series comes out just three and a half months later, on May 2nd, 2023! You can learn more about each of the books below. Preorders, as always, are HUGELY appreciated — they are one of the best ways to support creators and their work. Also as always: copies preordered and/or purchased from my local indie, the Silver Unicorn, will be signed. Click HERE to check out my page at the Silver Unicorn’s online shop.

~ Jarrett

Nat the Cat Takes a Nap

From Jarrett Lerner, the powerhouse creator behind the EngiNerds, Geeger the Robot, and Hunger Heroes series, comes a hilarious new Pre-Level 1 Ready-to-Read series about a grumpy cat and a long-suffering narrator!

Nat the Cat is taking a nap. Or he would be…if only the narrator would stop interrupting his sleep! This witty story, where Nat’s words keep getting turned upside down and inside out, is sure to make readers laugh out loud.

Nat the Cat Takes a Bath

It’s bath time for Nat the Cat in this second book in the hilarious, fourth wall–breaking Pre-Level 1 Ready-to-Read series about a grumpy cat and a long-suffering narrator from powerhouse creator Jarrett Lerner!

Nat the Cat must take a bath. But first, he wants his toys. Then he won’t get in the tub without bubbles. And of course, he’ll need a towel. As Nat the Cat keeps coming up with excuses to not get in the bath, the narrator can’t help but wonder if he’s hiding something—like a fear of water.

THE HUNGER HEROES: SNACK CABINET SABOTAGE pub day!

Finally, at long last, after multiple delays due to supply chain and shipping issues, Snack Cabinet Sabotage — the second volume of my Hunger Heroes series of graphic novel chapter books — has arrived! If you preordered a copy, it should be landing on your doorstep (or the doorstep of your local independent bookstore) very soon, if it hasn’t already. And if you didn’t preorder the book, you can now find a copy wherever books are sold — or, in the case of libraries, loaned. As always, if you order copies of the book (and/or any of my others) from MY local independent bookstore, the Silver Unicorn, I’ll sign them for you and, if you want, personalize them, too. Click HERE to get to my books’ page at the Silver Unicorn site.

If you want to learn more about the book and see some of its interior, go and find me on social media (@Jarrett_Lerner on both Twitter and Instagram). I’ll be sharing more about and from the book there in the coming days.

Now excuse me while I go celebrate my superheroic crew with a taco or two!

~ Jarrett

Cover Reveal: GEEGER THE ROBOT GOES FOR GOLD!

Eager for more Geeger?!

Don’t give yourself a fever!

Take a breather — and check out this cover reveal-er!

Geeger the Robot Goes for Gold, the fifth book in my Geeger the Robot early chapter book series, hits shelves April 11, 2023, but is available for preorder now wherever books are sold!

As usual, if you want YOUR copies of Geeger the Robot Goes for Gold to be signed by me, place your orders through my local independent bookstore, the Silver Unicorn. Click HERE to visit the store’s page for Geeger the Robot Goes for Gold.

And, of course, if you ever want copies of any other of my books signed, you can order those through the Silver Unicorn, too. Want them personalized? Make sure to include a note with instructions (at the very least, a to-be-signed-to name) along with your order, and the fine booksellers at the Silver Unicorn will make sure I see it. Thanks!

~ Jarrett

The ROGUE ROBOT COLLECTION — Now in Paperback!

Do you know a young reader who might like a series of books about farting robots? What about brilliant, problem-solving kids? Or maybe epic, world-saving water balloon battles? What about canine-worshipping extraterrestrials?

If any or ALL of these things sound up that young reader’s alley — or if you think they just might like some action-packed, mystery-tinged stories told with a whole lot of humor and heart — you should know that as of today, the boxed set of my EngiNerds series of Middle Grade novels — the Rogue Robot Collection — is now available in paperback! You can get your set wherever books are sold. And if you don’t see it on the shelves of your local independent bookstore, ask a bookseller to order it in for you. They can, and will — and may even order some extra sets for other customers to consider picking up! As usual, if you want your copies signed and/or personalized, you can order from MY local indie, the Silver Unicorn. Click HERE to do that.

EngiNerds, the first book in the EngiNerds series, was my first published book. It’s been out for about five years now. It was my introduction to the kid lit world, and allowed me to meet so many people, many of which have become dear friends. It’s also the book of mine that I most often hear was responsible for turning a kid into a reader — and turning kids into readers is the main goal of my career. And so, while I’m here, I’d just like to take another opportunity to thank every single human being (educator, librarian, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, etc.) who put EngiNerds and its sequels in the hands of a kid, and to thank all the kids who gave the books a read. I hope today’s release of the paperback boxed set helps me turn even more kids into readers, and offers me the possibility to make even more friends.

~ Jarrett

COVER REVEAL: Nat the Cat Takes a Nap

In case you missed it over on social media, I’m thrilled to share here the cover of my very first early reader, Nat the Cat Takes a Nap.

What’s the book about?

Here’s how my publisher describes it:

Nat the Cat is taking a nap. Or he would be…if only the narrator would stop interrupting his sleep! This witty story, where Nat’s words keep getting turned upside down and inside out, is sure to make readers laugh out loud.

If you know anything about me and my work, you probably know that I’m passionate about growing readers, and try to do so in a number of ways throughout my work. By entering this early reader space, I’m getting a chance to not just grow readers — but create them!

I hope Nat the Cat Takes a Nap is the sort of book that kids will love to have their parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, and siblings read aloud to them, and that their enjoyment of the story and artwork will ultimately encourage them to try to read it themselves (if they don’t start off by reading it themselves).

Nat the Cat Takes a Nap will be out January 17th, 2023, but is available for preorder now wherever books are sold. If you order copies from my local independent bookstore, The Silver Unicorn, I’ll sign and personalize them. You can order the book from The Silver Unicorn by clicking HERE.

Stay tuned for more news about this book — and more news about Nat’s continuing adventures, too!

~ Jarrett

Draw the Author Contest: Part 2 — The Winners!

In case you missed the announcement on social media, I wanted to share here that I have, after much difficult deliberation, chosen the winners of my second Draw the Author Contest!

What does this mean?

It means that Jacob and Josh will have their portraits of me published in Books 5 and 6 of my Geeger the Robot early chapter book series — becoming, as elementary schoolers, PUBLISHED ILLUSTRATORS. I can’t wait until they get to walk into a bookstore or library, pick a book up off the shelf, and see their artwork printed inside of it. It’s such an honor and pleasure to get to help make that moment happen.

Thank you, thank you again to the hundreds of kids who entered the contest. Every single drawing brought me a great deal of joy. And they were ALL wonderful in their own ways. Choosing just two was, truly, extremely challenging.

If you want to see the winning portraits from my last Draw the Author Contest, check out the first four Geeger books — Geeger the Robot Goes to School, Geeger the Robot: Lost and Found, Geeger the Robot to the Rescue, and Geeger the Robot: Party Pal. You’ll find a portrait drawn by a different kid in each book.

Congratulations again to Jacob and Josh! And stay tuned for more news about the next two books in my Geeger the Robot series!

~ Jarrett

Jarrett Lerner’s Creator Club Summer 2022

Did you hear?

Last night, I officially opened registration for Jarrett Lerner’s Creator Club Summer 2022!

This summer, I’ll be hosting a six-week “course” geared toward young creators between the ages of 6 and 12.

Sessions will be held LIVE on Wednesday mornings at 10 am EST starting June 22nd, though registered attendees will also have access to recordings of the sessions.

Here’s a quick overview of the sessions…

  • Week 1: Drawing
  • Week 2: Comic-Making
  • Week 3: Character Creation
  • Week 4: Story-Building
  • Week 5: Digital Drawing and Book-Making Tour
  • Week 6: Bonus Week

In addition to these 90-minute sessions, attendees will be given access to exclusive activities, videos, prompts, and other bonus materials.

For more information — including more detailed descriptions of each week’s session, how they will be structured, and cost — click on the Creator Club page in the menu above (or just click HERE).

~ Jarrett