Tuesday, September 27, 2011
When your child's school calls
Smile, a 2011 Children's Choice Book Awards finalist for 5th-6th Grade Book of the Year. I have blogged about it before and will likely do so again. It's a great upper elementary and middle school comic book/graphic novel that tells the story of a twelve-year old who trips, falls, knocks out her front teeth and embarks on a miserable orthodontic adventure requiring her to wear all sorts of devices, including but not limited to a retainer with fake teeth attached. All this while she's trying to deal with being 12 and anyone with a child who is close to 12, 12 or past 12 remembers that 12 is tough on its own. The story is fantastic and the images are spot-on. I happen to love that the author's website is GoRaina.com because as you read the book, you really can't help but shout "Go Raina" on a regular basis.
Kick by Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman. This book about a thirteen year old soccer player headed for juvenile detention who develops a meaningful relationship with a cop is notable both for being a compelling story and for being a unique collaboration. The back cover says it all:
Here is the email that started it all:
Subject: Email from a Big Fan
Date: Mon., 3 September 10:07 AM
Dear Mr. Myers,
One of the reasons that you're my favorite author is that your characters seem so real and genuine. You're the only author I know of who doesn't sound like an adult when you're writing about kids.
Sincerely, Ross Workman
Subject: Re Email from a Big Fan
Date: Mon., 3 September 2:38 PM
Okay, let's write a story. 80 pages with alternating voices. I do the first ten, then you do the second, etc.... What do you think?
Walter Dean Myers
Hundreds of emails and three years later, Kick is a published book.