I love this cover. I especially love how the artist has drawn even the supporting characters with such detail and understanding—from Monica’s haughty expression and high heels to Cassie’s blue glasses and determination, to Vijay’s lanky confidence and Drew’s nonchalant hands-in-pockets attitude. I’m still incredulous, and thrilled, that kids halfway around the world are reading and responding to my books.
The Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival
was such a joy! Maybe the best part was when kids stopped by to tell me they’d read one of my books. Some got them from the school librarian, some through the PJ Library Book Club, and one was a camper at the Thalia Kids Book Club Camp at Symphony Space in NYC. The world of children’s books is a great place to be.
And what a lovely surprise to find that Sidetracked
was included in a list of “Best Back to School Books” in THE NEW YORK TIMES! The list was compiled by Karina Yan Glaser, whose debut novel, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street was an ABA Indies Introduce title in 2017, along with Sidetracked. Karina has followed up with five sequels and a stand-alone novel, which would make me incredibly jealous if I didn’t remember the lesson that Joseph learns in Sidetracked: Strive for your own “personal record.” It’s about your own accomplishments, not anyone else’s. Kudos to Karina, and many thanks for being a fan of Sidetracked.
On a personal note, I lost my mom in July. She was 96 and so diminished in body and mind that it was not unfair or untimely. Still, it was hard. But it makes me happy to remember how she loved seeing that Sidetracked was dedicated to her. I remember how she glowed, saying that long after she’s gone, kids will know that this author had a mother, and she was loved.