The reason I'm greeting the state of Louisiana in today's blog entry is because I read another moving review of my new book Miracleville; this one was written by Brenna, who's 15 and goes to school in Jefferson. Like some of the other teens I've mentioned lately, Brenna has been taking part in the American Library Association's Teens Top Ten Galley Review -- which explains why she was able to read an advance copy (known in the publishing business as a galley) of Miracleville.
I got Brenna's permission to quote a little of what she had to say, so here goes:
"When tragedy hits the family, secrets are uncovered that Ani may not have been ready to handle. In this small, Canadian town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, old lives die hard, but lead to greater hope than ever imaginable."
Once again, I am really struck by what fine writers some of these teens are. I just love what Brenna says about "old lives [that] die hard" since, though I never thought of it in quite those words (if I had, I would have used them in my book!!), it is exactly what happens to Ani, the book's protagonist. Circumstances force her to surrender her vision of what her life once was. And I'm also delighted that despite the book's tragic elements, Brenna felt it was still hopeful ("greater hope than ever imaginable").
So, Brenna, if you're reading today's blog entry, please know that your words have affected me. And you know what else? It's a busy time of year for writers who, like me, are also teachers, but your words gave me a little extra "oomph" the last few days... and encouraged me to keep writing in the little, precious blocks of time I have to fight to find for myself come April.
Thanks, too, to Elizabeth Kahn, library media specialist at the Patrick F. Taylor Library. Over the past week or so, Elizabeth and I have struck up an e-mail friendship -- and I can tell what a dedicated and fun librarian she is. No wonder Elizabeth won the Louisiana 2011 School Library Specialist Award!
Have a great rest of the week wherever you are... it's wonderful to feel a sense of connection to readers like you!
Thanks for the kudos. I can't wait to share this with Brenna. She told me that she never considered herself a writer. Our students don't have much opportunity for creative writing, just non-fiction writing. So I try to be the one to encourage the reading and writing of fiction.
Hi Elizabeth, Just time for a quick hello since I'm supposed to be at a party in seven minutes -- not at my computer, writing back to you!! (But I can't resist!!) Will check out that link to your blog after school tomorrow... but I did want to say that I think it's so important to encourage creative writing in our students. I was just telling a class today that when I was in high school, college and university, I got to be very good at writing term papers, but you know what? I lost my old pleasure in telling stories for the sheer joy of telling them and making things up. It took me until I was about 30 to find the courage to start writing fiction again. And like I always tell young people, if there's something you love to do then FOR GOODNESS SAKE, DON'T EVER STOP!! Okay, off I go to that party. Thanks for posting those comments. Let's definitely meet up for lunch one of these days, okay?!!
Great idea! That will be ALMOST as good as meeting up for lunch. Let me know when your library book group meets and we will make it happen. I smell two more blog entries -- one's yours and one's mine!! Have a great weekend in Louisiana. Wish I were there! Mo(nique)