Catching up

Holy cow, it’s December.

I’m way behind on updates but highlights from this fall mostly revolved around THIS IS JUST A TEST, my middle-grade novel with Wendy Shang. They included:

-A review in the New York Times. This was huge because: New York Times.

And also because of this story, which I related via ephemeral twitter but will tell again here:

For the past few years, my father has had memory problems. He didn’t always know what I was working on, but he would always say: “If I look in my New York Times, will I find you in there?” He would say this whether I had a new book out or not. And the answer was always, “no.” My father died earlier this year. But when the review came out, I could still hear him asking me the question. It meant a lot to finally be able to answer: “yes.”

– THIS IS JUST A TEST was also reviewed in the Christian Science Monitor. It was named a Junior Library Guild book and a PJ Our Way book.

– Wendy and I appeared at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. We got to meet Dav Pilkey! We saw Roz Chast! We ate sparkly cotton candy. There are pictures someplace. If I find them, I will add them in. There is video of our talk, and though I’m a little hesitant about this (I haven’t screened it myself, as I never watch myself on video) here’s a link.

– We did a panel in November at the Virginia Association of School Libraries with Ruta Sepetys and Lamar Giles, moderated by Meg Medina. This was easily the best panel I’ve ever been on, anywhere, ever.

– I’ve heard from a few teachers whose classes are reading THIS IS JUST A TEST in school. If your class is and your students have questions, please let us know! We’re glad to answer them!

– I’ve also heard from parents who have been giving THIS IS JUST A TEST as a bar or bat mitzvah gift. I love this idea!!

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