Get to Know… Ann Braden!

My name is… Ann Braden. (Or if I’m going to sign my name the way my 8-year-old son does: Ann Braden!!!!!!!)

I am a… MG author, a former middle school teacher, a lover of spreadsheets, and a community organizer (first about gun laws, then about love, and most recently about getting kids books)

As a kid, I was… so shy that I wouldn’t play on a playground if other kids were on it.

Writing is… something that I used to never think I could do, so I didn’t do it. But now I need to do it to stay sane.

Reading is… a way to live so many lives with just our one.

Books are… something every kid should have easy access to.

Did you know… my cats will eat entire plates of broccoli if left unattended? They’ll each grab a big piece of broccoli and run off with it (growling to protect their catch), devour it somewhere in the shadows of our house, and then repeat until the plate is empty.

You can find me… on Twitter at @annbradenbooks, on Instagram also at @annbradenbooks, and on Facebook at ann.b.braden.

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Ann’s debut novel, The Benefits of Being an Octopus, hits shelves next week, on September 4th! Below, check out some of the stellar reviews it’s garnered so far, and don’t miss the book’s trailer, made by the talented students of Brattleboro Area Middle School!

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 4.39.15 PM.png“This heartbreaking, beautifully written book about finding one’s voice will offer some readers a relatable reflection and others a window that can help build empathy and understanding.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

The Benefits of Being an Octopus is a beautiful, layered look at the courage it takes to stand up to and stand up for the people you love–including yourself. Braden’s story captivated me and carried me along, leaving me changed for the better. — Elaine Vickers, author of Like Magic and Paper Chains

“With grace and heart and words masterfully woven, The Benefits of Being an Octopus captures the quiet and loud masks of domestic violence. Braden navigates the complexities of choice and power and the meaning of courage. And how sometimes together, we can find our voice and our strength.” — Elly Swartz, author of Finding Perfect and Smart Cookie

“This wise book knows we can’t always keep the people we love safe. But it also knows that courage and compassion can sometimes turn lives around. You will care so fiercely about Zoey — the octopus-loving, truth-telling young heroine that you’ll want to wrap all eight of your own arms around her.” — Anne Nesbet, author of California Book Award winner, Cloud, and Wallfish

“You are seen. You are heard. You are loved.” In a perfect world, every child would know these three absolutes. Ann Braden shares this message with her readers in a funny, poignant story about Zoey, her siblings, their mother, and one very special teacher. An octopus might be the most clever creature, but it can’t hold a candle (or eight) to Braden’s masterfully constructed prose.” –– K. A. Holt, author of House Arrest