EngiNerds is a Blue Nile Book Award Nominee!

This morning I got a note from a librarian in Lusaka, Zambia informing me that EngiNerds has been selected as one of four nominees for the Blue Nile Book Award! Here’s a screenshot of a tweet that went out shortly after:

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As you might be able to tell from those glimpses of the other book covers, my bots are keeping some mighty fine company — Ben Clanton’s Peanut Butter and Jelly (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #3), Elana K. Arnold’s A Boy Called Bat, and Aaron Blabey’s The Bad Guys (#1).

And here’s a little more info about the award itself:

The Nile Book Awards were started in 2009 between the librarians Clare Kybird, from the Khartoum International Community School, and Cathy Kreutter, of the International School of Uganda. For a number of years it was just the two schools but then in 2015, Jeanette Brooker (who had replaced Claire as librarian at the Khartoum International Community School) invited schools who touched the Nile to participate. Since then, the Nile Book Awards have continued to grow past the borders of the Nile with a number of schools in east and southern Africa participating. We hope to include more International Schools in other regions of Africa join us in the coming years.

THANK YOU to the readers, both young and old, who nominated EngiNerds!

~ Jarrett

The EngiNerds — err, ROBONerds — Head to Holland!

Did you know that the Dutch love farting robots?

Well, I’ve got PROOF:

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That right there is the cover of the Dutch edition of EngiNerds! As you can see, they changed the title to RoboNerds and made the bot a little more sinister-looking than the one on the American cover. I love that illustrator Kees de Boer left some of the EngiNerds’s tools lying around, that he so perfectly captured Kitty the dog’s nervous obliviousness — and, of course, that he installed an air horn in the robot’s backside. That is NOT a detail from the book, but I couldn’t be happier that Kees took some artistic liberties and included it.

Seeing a foreign cover for the first time is hugely exciting — sort of like experiencing the thrill of watching your book get closer and closer to publication all over again. Only this time, obviously, you can’t understand a word of it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go ask my editor if we can add a line about the bots’ bullhorn bums in all future editions of EngiNerds.

~ Jarrett

Are Farting Robots Allowed on YouTube?

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A few nights ago, Sarah McGuire (author of The Flight of Swans, which hits shelves this coming Monday!) hosted a truly excellent #MGBookChat. Her topic was “Teacher-Librarian-Author Collaboration” – something YOU all certainly know is a passion of mine. Here’s a look at the questions Sarah used for discussion:

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I was particularly interested to see educators’ and librarians’ responses to Questions 2 and 3. They shared TONS of wonderful ideas and suggestions, but one thing definitely stood out: nearly every single educator and librarian who participated in the chat mentioned, among other things, how both they and their students/patrons LOVE videos.

Now, I’m well aware of the popularity of YouTube and its stars – I couldn’t hang out with kids as much as I do and not be aware of it – and I know how tremendous a resource Flipgrid has become. But I guess I just never made the connection between all of that and my author website – a place that, I must admit, doesn’t have all that much to excite the KIDS I write for.

All of which is to say that . . . I’ve started a YouTube channel! And I’ll be sharing all the videos I post over there here on my website, too (I know educators like to use these videos in school, and some schools block sites like YouTube).

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are my first two (very low-budget) videos — an EngiNerds booktalk and a read aloud of the book’s first few chapters:

Booktalk:

Read Aloud:

I’ve got some ideas about what else I’ll be posting – peeks at my rough drafts, discussions of my process, drawing demos, etc. – but if any of YOU have ideas about what sort of videos I should be making, LET ME KNOW. You can contact me using my Contact form, which you can find in the Menu at the top of this site, or, of course, you can find me on Twitter (I’m probably hanging out over there at this very moment). And if you want to make sure not to miss any of my future videos, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Thanks, as always, for reading — and thanks, in advance, for watching!

~ Jarrett

. . .

Check out the archived version of the “Teacher-Librarian-Author Collaboration” chat here. And find past #MGBookChat discussions to read through here.

Don’t know what Flipgrid is, or just want to learn more? Listen to this episode of the Books Between podcast, during which host Corrina Allen interviews Flipgrid MASTER Nicole Mancini about both it and how to use it to inspire readers.

More information about Sarah McGuire and her new novel, The Flight of Swans, can be found at her website, here. Also find her on Twitter at @fireplusalgebra (a handle which makes more sense if you know that Sarah, in addition to being a novelist, is a high school math teacher!).

ENGINERDS Turns One!

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One year ago today, a dream came true and my silly little book about kids banding together to save their town from a horde of endlessly hungry, dangerously flatulent robots was released into the world.

The past year has been, in a word, incredible.

A big, huge, gigantic THANK-YOU to every single person who supported me and ENGINERDS in any way. To celebrate (and to further thank you all), I’m doing a giveaway on Twitter. Head over there to check it out!

And THANK YOU again!

~ Jarrett

REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS pre-order giveaway!!!

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Pre-ordering books is an AWESOME way to support authors and illustrators you love. It signals to publishers that you’re excited about their books, and lets brick-and-mortar bookstores know how many copies they should order ahead of time and then expect to keep in stock.

To show my appreciation for such support, I am doing a Revenge of the EngiNerds pre-order giveaway! All you have to do is send proof of your pre-order to ROTEpreorder@gmail.com, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a class set (that’s 25 copies!) of the paperback edition of EngiNerds when it hits shelves in February!

And guess what? If you pre-order from an independent bookseller your name will be entered into the drawing TWICE!

Questions? Feel free to reach out here, via my Contact form, or on Twitter!

THANK YOU for the support!

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!