Robots, Clouds, Stars… and Farts

Good morning! Revenge of the EngiNerds comes out in a little more than a week, and I’d like to share with you a few things about it…

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Because yes, the book IS about a rogue farting robot and the hunt to find it before it does some SERIOUS damage.

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But the book tackles some other, “bigger” issues and ideas, as well. It tackles several questions about friendship. Such as:

If you care for someone, do their problems become your own? What do you do when a friend is set on doing something wrong? How do you navigate a disagreement that splits a group of friends? Can two people grow up without also growing apart?

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There are also a lot of clouds in the book, as well as a relatively extended discussion of the vastness of the universe, and what the contemplation of that vastness does to the contemplator.

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Why?

Because clouds and the universe are things I often think about. And by including them in these books, I hope to encourage kids to think about them too—to appreciate the beauty and wonder available to them every day, free of charge.

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I viscerally remember the first time, as a kid, that I actually attempted to mentally grasp the inconceivable hugeness of the universe. It made me giddy, and filled me with equal parts fear and awe.

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It also fundamentally changed the way I thought about myself and my life—this itsy-bitsy blip of time I get to spend on our cosmic speck of a planet. For some, these thoughts lead to nihilistic conclusions. For me, they inspire the opposite.

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They make the miracle of life all the more miraculous, our uniqueness all the more precious. They can also inspire a hefty dose of humility, and empathy for the billions of miraculous, precious lives we get to spend our time here with.

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And so, I hope Revenge of the EngiNerds inspires readers to take a second every now and again to ponder the clouds drifting overhead, and that they sometimes try to do the impossible, and fit the universe in their heads.

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And I hope they enjoy all the fart jokes, too.

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~ Jarrett

. . .

The images above are either stock photos, available for free use, or taken from NASA’s archive. The cover of Revenge of the EngiNerds was illustrated by Serge Seidlitz, and the black-and-white interior illustration is from the Dutch edition of EngiNerds, titled RoboNerds, illustrated by Kees de Boer.

Happy World Read Aloud Day!

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Today — February 1st, 2019 — is the 10th Annual World Read Aloud Day! But because reading aloud is worth celebrating for more than just one day, I’ve been celebrating all week, and will continue to celebrate next week, too! How? By virtually visiting classrooms and libraries all across the country (and also up in Canada!) and reading aloud to kids. All told, I’ll be visiting more than 60 schools!

You can — and SHOULD! — celebrate World Read Aloud Day, too. Just grab a friend, family member (pets included!), coworker, neighbor — or, hey, even a total stranger — and read them something. A picture book. A poem. Whatever! Why? Because reading aloud is fun, and it makes us smarter, stronger, kinder, and about a hundred other awesome things besides.

Happy reading!

~ Jarrett

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Get to Know… Traci Sorell!

My name is… Traci Sorell. Actually, that’s my pen name. But it’s easier to pronounce and less to write than my entire last name!

I am a… Cherokee citizen, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, first generation college graduate, traveler, former attorney, advocate, educator, wife, mother, and author.

As a kid, I… wondered about how the world works especially in the United States – why some grownups were in charge instead of others and why children and other vulnerable people had so few protections from those grownups.

Writing is… challenging, exhilarating, and what keeps me stretching myself to grow beyond my comfort zone.

Reading is… one of my lifelong loves. I would never trade the adventures, aching belly laughs, silent sobs, and wonder I’ve experienced through books.

Books are… powerful. They can uplift, harm, instruct and entertain. Those creating and publishing them need to be mindful of that always.

Did you know… that I only started writing for young people a few years ago? My debut nonfiction picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga illustrated by Frané Lessac came out in 2018. My debut fiction picture book, At the Mountain’s Base illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre, will be published in September 2019.  It’s never too late to pursue a different line of work—just be prepared to put in the time and effort!

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You can find me… at www.tracisorell.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Kids Need Books of All Kinds posters!

A lot of people expressed interest in purchasing poster-sized copies of my Kids Need Books of All Kinds illustration. Well, ask and you shall receive!

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I just had a batch of these printed up. They’re 18″ x 24″ and have a matte finish. You can purchase yours through the ART/STORE section of my site, or simply by clicking here. And I’ll be throwing in a set of signed EngiNerds bookmarks with every order!

Thanks, all, for your interest and support!

Get to Know… Alison Goldberg!

My name is… Alison Goldberg

I am a… writer, blogger, parent, organizer, artist, and aspiring rock climber.

As a kid, I was… really into making things, whether art projects, neighborhood newspapers, or plays. Once my friend and I spent a whole weekend building papier-mâché chairs that were strong enough to use.

I still love making things. Last year, my daughter had a fourth grade assignment to work on a family project inspired by Kate DiCamillo’s The Tiger Rising. Our family got a little carried away, and our tiger grew to eight feet…

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Writing is… so often about details. I like to write non-fiction and research-inspired fiction. I find that one specific detail about someone’s life or an animal or a historical fact can set a whole story in motion.

Reading is… immersive.

Books are… journeys, taking us to many worlds.

Did you know… the board book edition of I Love You for Miles and Miles will be on shelves soon! Here’s a photo of my picture book’s adorable new little sibling, releasing on December 31st!

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You can find me… at www.alisongoldberg.comwww.misformovement.org (where I blog about activism in children’s literature), or on Twitter @alisongoldberg.

Geeger the Robot!

Last week, I signed the piece of paper pictured below, and so am now finally, officially allowed to share some exciting news with all of you! My next series, GEEGER THE ROBOT, will launch in 2020 — Book 1 will be out in the spring, and Book 2 will be out in the summer.

These early chapter books feature Geeger — a kind, well-meaning bot with some not-so-school-friendly tendencies who nonetheless enrolls at an elementary school.

More info coming soon!

~ Jarrett

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