ENGINERDS in California, Nerd Jersey, and Illinois!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here, but there are two pretty good reasons for that. The first reason is that I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on Revenge of the EngiNerds, the sequel to EngiNerds. The second reason is that my farting bots and I have been crisscrossing the States, visiting schools and bookstores all over the place!

Back at the end of March/beginning of April, I was out in California, where I visited a couple of great schools in the Los Angeles area.

While I was out there, I also had a chance to grab coffee with two California-based MGers — Dana Middleton (author of The Infinity Year of Avalon James and Open If You Dare) and Danielle Davis (author of Zinnia and the Bees).

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After that, it was on to New Jersey — or should I say NERD Jersey. I was heading there to attend nErDcampNJ, but went a few days early to do some school visits. The visits were excellent — and were so even before one amazing fan gave me a box of EngiNerds-themed cookies and chocolates she’d had made!

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Like all nErDcamps, nErDcampNJ was simply incredible. I learned so, so much, and left feeling more fired up and inspired than ever.

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The morning after camp, I stuck around to visit a local Barnes & Noble with fellow authors Sally J. Pla, Melissa Roske, and Rob Vlock. The event was educator-focused, and our panel was moderated by one of the best educators out there: 5th grade super-teacher Nicole Mancini.

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My time in New Jersey served as a powerful confirmation of the fact that authors and educators are colleagues, and that at the end of the day, we’re all working toward the same goal: to get the books that kids both want and need into their hands when they want and need them most. The more that authors and educators connect and collaborate, the better it will be — both for us and, more importantly, for the kids we serve.

After New Jersey, I was back home for just a couple days before I was on the road again — this time to Illinois. I visited schools in Northlake, Elburn, and Lisle, and also met up with some bookish friends in Chicago.

Next up is nErDcampVT, brand new this year! After that I’ve got a couple of events here in Massachusetts, and then I’m off again — first to Kansas for nErDcampKS, then to Denver for that city’s ComicCon, and then on to Michigan for nErDcampMI! It’s going to be a busy, nerd-filled summer. After which it’ll be time to gear up for the launch of Revenge of the EngiNerds!

Stay nerdy, friends!

ENGINERDS is a 2018 Global Read Aloud Finalist!

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Inspired by a story she heard on NPR, educator/author Pernille Ripp began the Global Read Aloud in 2010. Her idea was simple, but bold and beautiful: to get as many kids, in as many classrooms, to read the same book, and then connect with one another in order to share their thoughts and discuss.

The GRA began small — but quickly became enormous. Check out these participant numbers:

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Last year, in 2017, it’s estimated that more than FOUR MILLION kids participated. The connections made — between kids and kids, between teachers and teachers, between human beings and BOOKS — are priceless, and are doing an enormous amount to help make the world a better, brighter, more hopeful place.

It is a tremendous honor to simply have my book nominated for such an awesome project — and the honor is all the greater considering the five other nominees are from some of my all-time favorite creators. If you haven’t read books by the other authors, I encourage you to do so. Like, today. Like put them on hold at your library RIGHT NOW or go out and buy them (or, in the case of THE UNICORN RESCUE SOCIETY, preorder it — that one pubs April 10th).

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If you want to vote, you have until March 20th, and can do so here. And once again: a big, giant, enormous THANK YOU to Pernille Ripp for everything she does to help turn kids into lifelong book-lovers and readers, including creating and growing the Global Read Aloud.

Interview on the Books Between Podcast

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Last month, I had the honor of being interviewed for one of my favorite podcasts — Books Between, hosted by the brilliant Corrina Allen, which focuses exclusively on Middle Grade literature and the people writing and reading it. I’ve been a devoted fan of Books Between for a long time now. It is the place to go to learn about all the hotly anticipated upcoming releases and to hear in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers of the MG lit community. To be featured on an episode is a special treat.

You can listen to the episode (and all past episodes of Books Between!) on any device you normally use to listen to your podcasts. You can also find it here. Give it a listen to hear me chat with Corrina about EngiNerds, its sequel, the power of the perfect metaphor, Project Runway (seriously!), the Middle Grade Book Village, the Kid Lit Mentorship Project, what I’m working on now, and more!

Enjoy!

Signed Copies of ENGINERDS at Porter Square Books

 

It’s officially the holiday season, and for me that means time with family, fun with friends, lots of delicious food, and — wait for it — BOOKS! Books make the best gifts all year round, but they are especially great to give for the holidays, when everyone’s got a little time off from work or school and can actually sit down and get some reading done.

If you’re buying books this holiday season and want to gift someone a copy of MY book, you can now make sure it’s signed by yours truly thanks to the awesome humans at one of my local independent bookstores, Porter Square Books.

To do so, simply order your copy of EngiNerds here. As soon as you do, the wonderful folks at PSB will send me a note letting me know, then I’ll swing by the store, probably buy a bunch of books, maybe (definitely) have a scone from Cafe Zing, and sign your book (after washing my scone-y hands, I promise). PSB will then ship the book wherever you want it sent.

And should you want a signed copy of EngiNerds after the holidays, don’t worry — this isn’t a temporary offer. You can use the link above to get signed copies any time you want. And while you’re there, don’t forget to browse some of the other great books PSB offers signed copies of.

Happy holidays!

And happy reading!!!

EngiNerds at the Mini Maker Faire

Have you ever wanted to spend a whole weekend tucked away in a cozy bookstore? Well, that’s basically how I spent this past weekend, as I participated in BOTH days of Barnes & Noble’s 3rd Annual Mini Maker Faire.

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I was lucky enough to be at the Framingham, MA location, which is one of the bookstores I frequented as a kid, making this weekend especially special for me. Saturday was spent being part of the Author Scavenger Hunt and signing books alongside Susan Tan, author of the remarkably excellent Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire.

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Sunday I took part in the STEMlit panel alongside a handful of Middle Grade lit’s absolute finest: Kim Harrington, Katie Slivensky, Monica Tesler, and Rob Vlock.

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We did demonstrations, answered questions, signed books — and left behind a bunch of additional autographed copies.

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So get to the Framingham Barnes & Noble and get YOUR signed copies of these great books while you still can!

Thank you Barnes & Noble and my fellow MG authors for a fantastic weekend! I hope to see you all next year at the Faire!

The EngiNerds Invade the Empire State!

What a week!

The EngiNerds and I invaded the Empire State! First for a bookstore event with four of the best MG authors around . . .

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Event at Book Culture bookstore in NYC. (Left to right: me, Melissa Roske, Karina Yan Glaser, Alyson Gerber, and Jodi Kendall)

. . . then some classroom visits with a whole bunch of incredibly creative and inspiringly awesome kids . . .

. . . followed up by a fantastic day of learning and book-loving at #nErDCampLI!

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Panel on humor in Middle Grade literature. (Left to right: Barbara Dee, Tommy Greenwald, Denis Markell, Booki Vivat, me, Kara LaReau, and Lauren Magaziner)
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Signing books at the meet-the-author portion of nErDCampLI.

Thanks, New York! I’ll be back soon!

Belmont Books Grand Opening

Yesterday I had the honor and pleasure of being a part of Belmont Books’s Grand Opening Celebration!

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It was a great day, and a wonderful way to celebrate an excellent new independent bookstore. I ate some cake, bought some books, and signed a whole bunch of copies of EngiNerds. I also slipped some bookmarks and stickers into each of the books. When I left the store, there were still a handful left, but I’ve already gotten pictures from fans letting me know that they went and snatched copies up!

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This is eleven-year-old Lena. Her mother assures me it was the busy day — and NOT my book — that put her to sleep.

Hurry to Belmont Books and get your signed, sticker-filled copy of EngiNerds while you still can!

You can also find signed copies of books by the other local authors who made appearances at the store yesterday — including kid lit superstars Josh Funk and Victoria Coe!

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Happy Grand Opening once again to Belmont Books — an independent bookstore I feel very fortunate to have in my community.