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From today's mailbag

Your Name: keira p.

Subject: more books?

Message: dear erica, do you have any more books for 9 year olds?

i have read a few of your books, and here are the titles: When life gives you O.J.,and Aces wild.

i thought they were AWSOME!!!!! i loved 'em! so i was wondering, maybe you could write 

another book about Zelly and Ace? or more books for 9 year olds? 

you don't have to it's just a suggestion, 'cause you're the author.

Thank you for your books!


3rd grade

Dear Keira,

Thanks so much for your email.  It made me so happy to hear that you've read and enjoyed both WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU O.J. and ACES WILD!  I have exciting news for you:  I am working on a new book that I think will be great for 9 year olds.  Hopefully, it will also be excellent for 11 or 12 year olds, because the way things work, even if I finish writing it in 2014 (which is one of my New Year's resolutions, along with drinking more water), it won't come out for a few years.  I would suggest that, in the meantime, you read lots of other great books and maybe even write one yourself -- after all, who knows more about 9 year olds than a 9 year old?

Best wishes,



A Bounty of Books on the Kojo Show!

Today I had the pleasure of talking kids and teen books with Heidi Powell, Edie Ching and Kojo Nnamdi.  As a fan of Kojo's and a total book nerd, it was kind of a dream come true (I've listened to this very show - he does it ever holiday season, angel that he is - and wished I was on!).  We covered a LOT of ground and talked about a lot of deserving books (not every book we planned to talk about, due to time constraints, but the full list can be found here).  And if you happened to miss it, you can stream the show here.  Happy listening!


Kojo Nnamdi Show!

On Wednesday 12/18/13 at 1 pm on @kojoshow I will have the pleasure of talking kids and teen books with the lovely and well-read Edie Ching and Heidi Powell as well as the fabulous host of The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Kojo himself. 

As I mentioned via social media, nothing I have done in life thusfar has impressed my husband as much.  Nothing.  Not giving birth without anesthesia.  Not running a half-marathon.  Not having ten books published in ten years (OK, I haven't done that yet, but with Goatilocks and the Three Bears, next year I will).  Nope - it took Kojo to get him to raise the Impressed Eyebrow.

What will I say when I take to the airwaves?  Which books will I gush about?  Tune in tomorrow!


Kid Journalists in My Bathroom!

To be fair, most of our interview was conducted in other parts of the house. But when I finished the tour in our "drawing room", these fabulous fifth grade writers - Max, Emma, and Olivia - could not resist making their mark. Look closely - even Olivia's little brother got in on the fun.

Who could blame 'em? We'd just been talking about seizing the moment to write and here was a nice black surface and a bowl of chalk. I was honored to be the subject of their profile and can't wait to read all about our conversation in the Blue and Gold!

Junior journalists, take a page from these kids' book: have your advisor email a writer and set up an interview, do your homework (go to a book store or library and read her books in advance), come with a list of questions, notebooks, a recording device and a camera, and be great guests and good listeners. Bonus points for you: some authors (myself included) provide cookies to their interviewers!


@NPR Best Books!

On the negative side, I am home sick and workmen outside are making it impossible to sleep. On the positive side, NPR put ACES WILD on their fabulous 2013 Best Books matrix.  Top row, fifth from the right! Sitting (and staying, good book!) with some fabulous company including Counting By 7s, Boxers and Saints, and Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great.  As you might expect, NPR's "book concierge" is a very cool interactive thingee - much more fun than a list - so please click through and play with it to your heart's content.