Monday, February 24, 2014

A few things

I was just going to post a pithy title and a fun picture, but I have two pics to post and they are not related. 

The first photo was sent to me via a friend by her brother.  It's FLYGIRL, in the wild!  At the Huntsville-Madison County Library Bailey Cove Branch in Alabama, to be precise.

Courtesy of Dave McDaniels
I love seeing my books in their natural habitat, knowing that, any minute now, someone could pick them up and give them a good reading. Thanks, Dave, for the book safari shot. And hooray for Huntsville! Ida Mae's keeping good company with Ruta Sepetys' OUT OF THE EASY peeking out form behind, not to mention the unrelated Andersons!

The second picture is from my President's Day weekend.  It speaks for itself, really.  But suffice to say, this little sweetie is one week old.  Holding a baby goat is like holding a cat that is wearing stilts.  Which is to say awesome!

Totes ma goats!

Ah, and one last thing to report!  ORLEANS was nominated for a 2015 Magnolia Award
The Magnolias are Mississippi's children's choice awards. Books are suggested by adults, read by the kids, and voted on at the end of the year. Many thanks to the kind reader who put my hat in the ring!

Monday, February 10, 2014


I'm pleased to announce FLYGIRL is a Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults selection!  Each year YALSA chooses from books nominated at their midwinter conference, highlighting relevant timely and timeless topics.  FLYGIRL falls under their "Conflicted:  Life During Wartime" heading.  As the website says, "Today’s U.S. teens have lived most of their lives in a country at war. These books address direct combat as well as life in a war zone, across a broad swath of locations and historical periods."

Amazing to think how many people today have never known our country without war.  The windows of peace have been small (or tense-- I was a Cold War kid and wept when the Berlin Wall came down).  I wonder if reading about conflict can help us learn to avoid it, or if war is simply in our nature.  There is a value to "never forget," but that same sentiment can be applied to holding grudges.  My mother used to say, "forgive, but never forget," which is a bit tricker, but maybe that's the way to go.

Woo woo, I went deep for a second there. 

Thank you to the Popular Paperbacks Young Adults Committee for continuing to remember and support Ida Mae.  I must go back to a crazy writing marathon, so I will be (and have been) MIA from here for a week or so.  But I'll be back!

In the meantime, go watch the Olympics!  GO TEAM USA!