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About Devine Intervention

"Frequently hysterical ... devastatingly honest writing that surprises with its occasional beauty and hits home with the keenness of its insight." 

—Kirkus Reviews, starred review


"So much fun... an insightful story about seizing life for all it’s worth while you have the chance."

—Publishers Weekly

"It is a pleasure to read a writer who so delights in language, and who writes so captivatingly in a teen voice with such imaginative description."

— Los Angeles Times

“This is a love story. Not a romantic love story, but a story of the development of a deep caring relationship with another being. Humorous and sad at times, it brings us to ask ourselves what we think about heaven and how we get there. Believable and fast-paced, it keeps us reading to the end.”

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Entries in Scholastic (4)


A great review from Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews bills themselves as "the world's toughest book critics," which is why this review of THE DINOSAUR TOOTH FAIRY makes me feel raptor-ous today. Thanks, Kirkus!:

It is tough being a tooth fairy to dinosaurs when all your sources of new material are extinct.

All the Dinosaur Tooth Fairy can do now is flit around the museum and reminisce about the good old days when “the world was hot [and] the teeth were huge.” But one day, a little girl loses her tooth—“PLIK!”—right inside the dinosaur hall. The tiny fairy (who looks a little like a small T-Rex) will do anything to add that tooth to her collection. She just needs to defeat the modern-day machines that get in her way—like the giant, yellow monster with swoopy lashes (the school bus) or the ferocious and frustrating one-eyed doorknobosaurus. And of course, her main rival—the Human Tooth Fairy—isn’t about to let that tooth go without a fight. The tiny, lime green, bulbous dino (complete with ruffled skirt and crown) gets into many amusing scrapes, but she just might end up making a new friend. While the concept is not quite as obvious as the now-familiar dino-train combo, dinosaurs and loose teeth make for a surprisingly fun read. (Ten percent of the author’s royalties will be donated to Kids International Dental Services.)

Debut picture-book pair Brockenbrough and Sanchez are millions of years ahead of their time. (Picture book. 3-6)


Robert Brown at Scholastic: How to reach 35 million kids

We have just a few weeks before the annual Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators conference in New York City kicks off. It's going to be an incredible career boost, featuring the likes of Shaun Tan, Meg Rosoff, Mo Willems, Margaret Peterson Haddix--not to mention some of the best editors in the business.

So a word about the SCBWI: I've never been a joiner. Quit the Brownies. Did not do the sorority thing. Have never owned any team booster uniforms. I don't do reunions. As a committed member of Club Unaffiliated, I hope I have some measure of authority when I say that the SCBWI is the best thing going for anyone wanting a career in children's literature. You'll learn what you need to learn and meet people you need to meet to get started (and in this category, I include your fellow writers and illustrators). I would not have my career without this group.

If you're serious about your writing and illustrating, joining this organization and attending its conferences are the best investments you can make. There are still a couple of spots open in the winter conference. You can sign up right here.

One thing Team Blog does in advance of these conferences is post interviews with faculty so you can get a sense for who they are and what you'll learn from them. Today I'm featuring an interview with Robert Brown, the national sales and program manager at Scholastic Book Fairs. Bob has long been a friend of children's book writers and has dedicated his career into turning kids into readers. And it's a lot of kids ... 35 million and their families each year. Especially in an age where bookstores are in peril, this way of reaching young readers is vital.

We have a rare opportunity to hear from Bob about how his job works and how we can best position our books for inclusion in the fairs. Here's a glimpse:

First, some background about you: How long have you been at Scholastic, and what led you to the fairs?

In 1987, I founded Cornerstone Books Incorporated (d/b/a Books, Bytes & Beyond), located in Bergen County, N.J. I joined Scholastic Book Fairs in August 2012 because of our shared mission to help children become lifelong readers. I have more than 20 years of experience bringing quality children’s literature to children, parents, teachers, and school administrators through a variety of literacy events.  

How many schools host them, and how many readers do you reach?

Scholastic Book Fairs, working in partnership with schools across the county, hosts more than 120,000 book fairs each year providing more than 35 million students and their families with access to thousands of books.

What's your process for choosing books, and what kinds of books tend to do best with kids?

Scholastic Book Fairs and Scholastic Book Clubs team of book experts, which includes former educators, booksellers, and book fair and book club veterans, review thousands of titles from dozens of publishers every year.  Every book fair and every book club flyer features a wide assortment of age-appropriate books, including the newest and most popular children’s books, as well as a selection of tried-and-true classics, numerous national and state award-winning titles, multicultural books, high-interest nonfiction and other books that will help instill in young children a love of reading and keep them reading for the rest of their lives.

What are the all-time bestsellers?   

Series are generally the popular books for young readers. These include Captain Underpants, Pete the Cat, Skippyjon Jones, Pinkalicious, Fancy Nancy, Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, If You Give A…, Llama Llama, Clifford, Hank Zipzer, Goosebumps, Percy Jackson & the Olympians, and the Origami Yoda books. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, and the Hunger Games series are some of our all-time bestsellers.

As kids and families increasingly adopt technology, what new opportunities will arise for books and authors through the book fairs?

We have Storia, Scholastic’s exciting new teacher-recommended ereading app that is designed specifically for children.  Storia ebooks are available for every age and reading level and many come enriched with functions to support kids’ reading development, including, comprehension quizzes, vocabulary activities and read-aloud for the younger readers.  There are currently thousands of Storia ebooks, and the list keeps growing. Our book fair materials and displays also include digital enhancements such as QR Codes, where families can access more information about books on the fair, including author videos, book trailers, and reading tips for parents. We also offer an online book fair for families who are unable to attend the in-school event in person.

More information about the Scholastic Book Fairs
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Notes from the Road

As I type this, I am in a Houston hotel room feeling Very Fancy, Very Fancy Indeed.

Hotel pillows must be filled with feathers from angel wings, and while this might make you worry that angels are somewhere being denuded of their down, rest easy. Angels shed. Worse than werewolves even.

No, but seriously. I'm here with Jeff Hirsch and Eliot Schrefer as part of Scholastic's This Is Teen program, having an absolutely outstanding time.

Jeff is author of The Eleventh Plague and the forthcoming Magisterium, about a girl living in a deeply polarized world who discovers in a shocking way that the other side isn't what she'd always been told.

Eliot is author of, among other books, The School for Dangerous Girls, and the forthcoming Endangered. This one's about a girl in war-torn Congo, trying to survive along with a rescued bonobo. If you're not hip to bonobos, these are great apes (see illustration below by one of my kids, made when she was 6; it's an unintended preview of a quartet of ape books Eliot plans to write.) 

Last night, after sandwiches that included something called "redneck cheddar," we visited Blue Willow Bookshop, and while I thought I'd never find another store as much as I love my Seattle favorites, I was mistaken. Blue Willos is a great shop and the three of us even got to sign the wall (I tried not to mess up Cornelia Funke's masked Venetian).

I'm on a ladder!

We also met authors Varsha Bajaj and Christina Mandelski, both delightful and talented. And I got to see my cousin David and his wife Cathy.

Today we're off to Austin to sign books in advance of the Austin Teen Book Festival, which will feature more than 30 authors and something like 6,000 readers.

I'll post from Twitter and FB as I can. I hope you follow along! Meanwhile, here are more Twitter feeds to check out:

This is Teen

Eliot Schrefer and Jeff Hirsch

Blue Willow Books

Austin Teen Book Festival