Tuesday, November 17, 2015

NCTE 2015

Later this week I'll be attending the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention in Minneapolis. I've never been to NCTE before, so I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be there from Thursday until Saturday, but Friday is my big day for events. Here's where I'll be:

Friday, November 20

11:00-12:15 Convention Center Room 103: I'll be presenting with my editor, Katie Cunningham, as part of the "Guiding Writers: Bringing the Author/Editor Relationship to the Classroom" roundtable.

Session Description: Attend this roundtable session to discover how the editor/author relationship can be applied to the teacher/student dynamic to improve the art of writing instruction. You will hear from four of the author/editor pairs learning insights, methods, techniques, tips, and strategies for guiding student writers in your classroom.

1:00-2:00 signing Growing Up Pedro at the Anderson's Bookshop, booth #950

4:00-5:00 signing Growing Up Pedro at the Candlewick Booth, #727-729

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 2, 2015

My next book...

...comes out April 12, 2016. Here's a peek at the proofs.

I'm busy right now working on my next next book, so... back to the drawing board!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

LLEGAR A SER PEDRO available today!

LLegar A Ser Pedro, the new Spanish edition of Growing Up Pedro, is officially available today!

When I set out to write about Pedro Martinez, I always hoped it would be published in Spanish. So I'm grateful to my publisher, Candlewick Press, for making it happen. I'm really excited to know that Spanish-speaking kids will now have access to this story of brotherhood, perseverance, and baseball.

I was truly honored to have my story translated by renowned Spanish translator Teresa Mlawer, who has written the Spanish versions of some of the all time classics of children's literature, including Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are.

A Junior Library Guild selection, Llegar A Ser Pedro is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or an independent bookstore near you.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Let's Get Busy Podcast

I'm honored to be today's guest on Matthew Winner's excellent Let's Get Busy Podcast. We talk about Growing Up Pedro, Candlewick Press, kickball, and more.

I often listen to Matthew Winner's podcast while I'm painting, and really enjoy it. If you like children's books and have never listened to this awesome podcast, you're in for a treat. I hope episode #166 lives up to the awesomeness of the other 165. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Growing Up Pedro Boston Public Library Tour

July is going to be a very big month for Pedro Martinez. On July 26, he will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Then on July 28, his number 45 will be retired by the Red Sox. To celebrate, I'm spending the following three days (July 29-31) visiting nine branches of the Boston Public Library. Each event will include a presentation about my book, Growing Up Pedro, followed by a fun art project for kids. And here's the best part: every participating child will get a free hardcover copy of Growing Up Pedro!

This is all part of the Boston Public Library's excellent Read Your Way to Fenway program, which I am honored to a part of. Registration is required, and space is limited. Contact your local branch for details.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thanks for another great school year!

As another school year comes to an end, I just wanted to say a great big THANK YOU to all the people who made this such an enjoyable year for me. I've gotten so much great feedback from teachers, librarians, parents, and students, and I really appreciate all of it.

I did over one hundred presentations at over thirty schools during the 2014-15 school year. Here are a few pictures I took along the way:

Nothing like walking into a school and seeing student artwork inspired by my books. It floors me every time.

Nice Gingerbread Pirates window art, with a hand-painted baseball bulletin board in the background!

How awesome are these baseballs!?! The shading!

Well done, Lily!

Even after doing this for over fifteen years, it's always a little surreal to walk into a building and see stuff like this.

...and this.

Sometimes they even give me cake! I had a nice big slice of this one (because it would have been rude not to, right?)!

Then a few days later at a different school... another baseball cake! And chocolate chip cookies. Nomnomnom.

Love this student drawing of me giving a presentation on Growing Up Pedro. Not bad!

School visits often lead to me getting some really awesome mail!
Hey, anything I can do to help! :)
It takes a lot of hard work from a lot of people to make a successful school visit. So thank you to the parent volunteers who organize the book orders, and to the librarians and teachers who share my books with their students leading up to the big day, and to all the teachers who follow up my presentations with fun writing and art projects. And of course, thanks to all the kids for being great listeners, and for their interesting questions, their thoughtful letters and their awesome artwork.

I've said this before but I'll say it again- when I set out to be a children's book author-illustrator, I had no idea I'd end up spending so much time talking in front of large groups of people. And as someone who used to dread getting up in front of the class to speak, I never imagined how much I would enjoy it.

So thanks! Looking forward to another great school year in 2015-16. I've already got trips planned to Utah, Texas and Minnesota! Can't wait.

But first... SUMMER!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

2015 Red Sox Summer Reading Game!

Pedro Martinez, 2000 MTA Red Sox Summer Reading Game spokesman

When the Massachusetts Teachers Association first launched their Red Sox Summer Reading Game back in 2000, their very first spokesman was the reigning Cy Young Award winner, Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez.

Fifteen years later, Pedro is on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Red Sox Summer Reading Game is still going strong. I'm happy to be teaming up again with my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, my pal Wally (the coolest mascot in baseball), the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and this year's spokesperson, Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow, on the 2015 MTA Red Sox Summer Reading Game.

In the coming weeks, 15,000 posters and 500,000 entry forms will be distributed in schools around the state. This year's materials feature Craig Breslow and Wally reading my book, Growing Up Pedro, at Fenway Park! I'm thrilled that the MTA chose Growing Up Pedro as this year's featured book, especially given the vital role Pedro played in getting this excellent program off the ground back in 2000.

So teachers, librarians, and students in grades K through 8 should be on the lookout for the posters and entry forms. In the meantime, you can visit readingmatters.org to download an entry form and print a free poster.

To enter, students simply need to list nine books they pledge to read over the summer, for a chance to win two free tickets to a Red Sox game in September! 100 students will win tickets, so it's definitely worth entering!

Good luck, happy reading, and GO RED SOX!

The 2015 MTA Red Sox Summer Reading Game poster