April News & Updates

Here’s how I know it’s really spring:

  1. The sun is out. In Pittsburgh, that’s a big deal.
  2. Yesterday, I bought a 3-month supply of allergy medicine.
  3. My yard is basically paved with robins. They must be having some sort of convention. (That would explain the nametags around their necks and the little drink vouchers tucked under their wings.)
  4. I finally sent my pirate book revisions back to my editor. And then I slept for 13 hours straight.

So! Now that I’m no longer buried under a pile of manuscript pages, I have a bunch of things to catch up on. First off, I wanted to let you guys know that I’ll be participating in Crits for Water this year. Organized by author Kat Brauer, Crits for Water raises money for charity:water by auctioning off manuscript critiques with authors, agents, and other publishing professionals. The auctions have already started, so check out the list of guest critiquers and bid on a critique of your own work if you feel so inclined. I’ll be offering a guest critique of a middle grade or YA fiction excerpt on June 17th, along with fellow debut authors Peggy Eddleman and Stephanie Kuehn, so please keep an eye on the Crits for Water site if you’re interested.

Second, I have a couple of blog post mini-series planned. Over the next few weeks, I’ll tell you a bit about the books that inspired me to write Magic Marks the Spot. Then, in what will probably be a longer-running series, I’d like to share the love for classic and new middle grade fiction by recommending my favorite middle grade reads and asking for yours. If you have a favorite middle grade book that you think I should read, please let me know in the comments!

Happy spring, and remember to watch your step when you go outside. It would be a pity to squash the robins.

5 Responses to “April News & Updates”

  1. Sarah Prineas

    Favorite MG’s! This is hard. I’ll choose two. For classics, A Wrinkle in Time. For new, The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet.

    • Caroline

      Oh, wow, great choices! I love both (and have been meaning to get the Wrinkle in Time 50th anniversary edition).

  2. Brandy

    Can I suggest a very old book? You may have already read it, but one of my very favorite MG books from childhood is Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You by Barthe DeClements. I reread it at least once a year (well, whenever I’m home and have access to my childhood books). I also love Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade (same author) but more people seem to have read that one.)

    • Caroline

      Brandy, I remember those from my elementary school library! I can’t remember if I actually read them–I should see if I can find copies around here or online.

      I love hearing about people’s beloved middle grade books from a long time ago (do the ’90s count as a long time ago? Hmm…). So many of them are fantastic but aren’t even in print anymore. I did find one of my old favorites, Laura’s Luck by Marilyn Sachs, on Amazon, though.

      • Brandy

        Ooh, I’ll see if the library has that one! Another one I thought of (and reread often) is You’ve Been Away All Summer by Sheila Hayes. It may actually be younger YA, now that I’m thinking about it. I’m almost sure that one is out of print. So sad.

        Let me know if you end up (re)reading the Barthe DeClements books! I’m so glad you at least remember the titlesI feel so strongly about her work, but it seems like most people I know haven’t read them. She was so influential to my writing. She wrote a few YA books that I loved, too, but if I ever wrote MG, I think it would share a lot of similarities with her style.