Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's been a while since I checked in, so I wanted to give you an update on all things My Life with the Lincolns related.

You have another chance to win a copy of My Life with the Lincolns (one of five, actually!) To find out how, visit my KidsBuzz page.

I was delighted to hear from Sharon Hrycewicz, a librarian in Downers Grove, where my characters live in My Life with the Lincolns. She has passed the book around to several people in town, including John Mochel, whose hardware store is mentioned in the novel. I am so excited that I'll get to visit Downers Grove in a couple of weeks and connect with readers there in person! In the meanwhile, I did an interview with Sharon, which you can read here.

I will be doing a few Midwestern book events and school visits soon. Here are the ones that are open to the public; if you're in the area, please come say hello!

Thursday, April 8

9:30-11am, discussion of The Book of Dead Birds, Wisner Center at the Cascade Township Branch of Kent District Library, Grand Rapids, MI

4-5pm, Writers Talk, Grand Valley State University, Room 2263 Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus

Sunday, April 11

4pm, reading/book signing, My Life with the Lincolns, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Tuesday, April 13

7pm, reading/book signing, My Life with the Lincolns, Barbara’s Bookstore, 1218 South Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60607

Wednesday, April 14 (my birthday!)

7pm, reading/book signing, My Life with the Lincolns, Anderson's Bookshop, Downers Grove, IL

I so look forward to returning to my home town and seeing people I haven't seen in years. Hopefully Asher will be patient with all the traveling!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A few years ago, I did an event for The Book of Dead Birds right before Self Storage came out, and I remember feeling a stab of sadness over the fact that I wouldn't be giving readings from that book any more, since my new novel was stepping into center stage. Turns out I didn't have to worry--The Book of Dead Birds seems to have a strange little life of its own, even on the cusp of yet another book coming out. I will be reading from Dead Birds this Sunday (edit--it's actually this SATURDAY, the 13th, at 2pm) at the La Quinta Museum as part of their Salton Sea exhibit (and will be discussing it in Michigan next month--more on that to come.) If you're in the desert, please swing on by! :)

Monday, March 08, 2010

You can read my very first interview about My Life with the Lincolns, and even win a copy of the book, over at my friend Tricia (I know her as Pat) O'Brien's wonderful blog, Talespinning. If you blog or tweet about the contest, you have an even greater chance of winning!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A great review from School Library Journal... :)
It's the summer of 1966, and sixth-grader Mina has her work cut out for her. Her overactive imagination has convinced her that because her father's initials spell "ABE," the Edelmans are the Lincolns reincarnated. Now she must save her family from their fate. This means making sure that she doesn't die of bilious fever, that her dad doesn't get assassinated, and that her mother doesn't go crazy. Mina is unclear what bilious fever is, but frequently sprays herself with OFF!, just in case. Her father, inspired by the history of discrimination against his Jewish heritage, decides to take her, without her mother's knowledge, to civil-rights protests in nearby Chicago where they participate in an all-night vigil and get involved in real-estate testing to prove racism in rentals. Mina's parents grow apart, and her father forms a friendship with a fellow protester and African American, Carla. At the end, Mina is ready to let go of her notion of reincarnation and wrestles with issues of injustice and discrimination. Brandeis seamlessly intersperses serious topics with laugh-out-loud humor. Mina is a budding journalist, writing a newsletter full of Lincoln lore to promote her father's furniture store, Honest Abe's. Her voice is clear and unique; her view of life's confusions is endearing and funny. The setting is perfectly captured, from Johnny Carson on television to bouffant hairdos. While the book's humor may be the first attraction for young readers, this is also a solid addition to historical-fiction collections.—Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School Library, South Portland, ME