1) A lovely review from Melina at Reading Vacation–a blog by a reader who’s actually the target age of my book! Melina is in middle school, and I’m so impressed by the way she’s become a fixture of the kidlit blogging community. She’s very up-front about her age (and the fact that she can only Tweet with her mom next to her), which I think is courageous; if I’d been her, I would have probably tried to hide those things, but she obviously understands that hiding your true self is a complete waste of time and so charms everyone. A general brava to Melina and a link to her review of N&M:
My favorite part: “As much as I didn’t care for Marina and her meanness, I liked getting into her thoughts and trying to understand WHY she was the way she was. In the end, I think Marina was insecure and drunk with power. Sachi, on the other hand, became a doormat because her parents planned her every move.”
See what I mean about the good writing? I wish my former students had been able to whip off book reviews as craft as those!
2) On Wednesday evening, I had my live web-chat with readers at New Moon Magazine! The girls asked fun questions, and I can’t wait to get the transcript so I can post some of it here. But I thought I’d also include New Moon’s review, also by a middle-school reader, Rachel. (Isn’t it funny how one review was by Melina–which is pretty close to the name Marina, the “mean” in Nice and Mean–and the other is by Rachel, Marina’s frenemy? Are there any Sachis in the house?) Here’s Rachel’s review.
I love this part: “I think I think I’m most like Sachi’s friend Lainey in this book — we both have *odd* styles, and are totally comfortable with being different and not dressing like everyone else.”
Little-known fact: I first created the characters of Nice and Mean in a novel about the character of Lainey! It was my first novel and it wasn’t good enough to get published, but I do have a soft spot for Lainey, so I’m tickled that Rachel mentioned her here.
Finally, the cover of Nice and Mean, illustrated by Linzie Hunter, was featured on Jacket Knack, a great blog by my grad school friend Carol Brendler and my former grad school advisor, Julie Larios. As you might guess, Jacket Knack contains “thoughts on the covers of kids’ books,” and as you might expect if you know Carol and Julie, it’s innovative and funny and always points out something about covers that I’ve missed. I’m thrilled that the cover of Nice and Mean caught their attention, and here’s what they have to say about it.
Soon, I hope to show you these amazing scrapbooks that the kids at Community Prep School in Rhode Island made of Nice and Mean. Wow. Now when people say, “What was the best part of getting published?” I’ll have an answer. You’re gong to love ’em.
Happy Halloween, by the way!!