Monday, October 27, 2008

Reader Monday - What's Your Savvy?


One of the best parts about my recent tour has been talking with kids about not just what they imagine their dream savvy to be, but what they believe that their real, every day savvy truly is. At some schools, the kids had even written these ideas down and I was lucky enough to be able to take them home with me!

Here are a few, chosen at random, from kids in Illinois. I'll post even more next week!



For more reader savvies, click on the What's your savvy? label here on the blog. And check back weekly for Reader Savvy Mondays, where I post what real kids have to say about what their savvy know-how might be. Or to write to me what you imagine your savvy might be, click HERE to be directed to the Contact page of my website.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pictures from Austin

Check out this fantastic diorama that one of the students at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin created for his book report on Savvy! Awesome work!


I wish I could have spent more time in Austin. I'll definitely have to go back! What a great town! And I talked to so many terrific kids!



I was hosted in Austin by the amazing folks at Book People. They were so much fun and so passionate about what they do. Thanks guys!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Tour Fun

Here I am signing books at Central School in Lake Bluff, Illinois, after a wonderful event. I got to present to a gym full of great kids, all of whom knew the book! The teacher of every class attending had done Savvy as a read aloud--WOW!

Today I had great fun at Loves Park Elementary in Loves Park, Illinois. Again, an amazing group of kids and teachers, and I couldn't have had more fun. I didn't get any pictures but I did get to bring home all of the kids' own savvy ideas; the kids wrote about what their 'dream' savvies might be, as well as what their 'real, everyday savvies' are!


Other stops today brought me to Woodstock, Illinois, and to Creekside Middle School and Northwood Middle School. It was a very busy day! Tomorrow I'm off to Austin, Texas.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chicago Area School Visits, Oct 20

I had a great time talking to the kids at The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools today!

I was also welcomed at Central School in Lake Bluff, Illinois, where the kids filled the entryway with their own talents, answering my favorite question: What's Your Savvy?



"My SAVVY is being good at Cursive."















"My Savvy is the piano"

Reader Monday - What's Your Savvy?

Today's Savvy comes from Derek L. in Arizona.

It was already bedtime, and no savvy. I was disappointed. I'd spent the whole day waiting. It was my thirteenth birthday and nothing had happened.

Instead of going to bed like I was supposed to, I climbed out my window. I decided to sleep on the roof instead. I don't know why. I just felt like it. But boy was it a good thing that I did! Because just before midnight I heard the sound of wings. It was a giant owl!

The owl picked me up and carried me over the city. I could see everything! I discovered that the owl could talk. No, that's not quite right. I discovered that I could understand the owl.

From that night on I'd ride on that owl every night. My mom and dad never knew that I'd got a savvy after all because they were always asleep! I was never tired in the morning no matter how late I flew with the owl because that was part of my savvy too.

The End


For more reader savvies, click on the What's your savvy? label here on the blog. And check back weekly for Reader Savvy Mondays, where I post what real kids have to say about what their savvy know-how might be. Or to write to me what you imagine your savvy might be, click HERE to be directed to the Contact page of my website.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

On the Radio . . .

You might have to let this video buffer before trying to watch it...
Grandma Dollop caught a radio interview I did on Friday with Mario at WHPK 88.5 fm Chicago on Friday. I'll be visiting schools in the Chicago area next week.

From Savvy (Penguin/Walden, ©2008):

The top of the picnic table was covered in Grandma’s clear glass jars, each one with its own white label and metal lid. She’d given us kids the job of labeling the jars as she filled them. But it wasn’t peaches, tomatoes, or pickles that our grandma canned, it was radio waves. Grandma only ever picked the best ones—her favorite songs or stories or speeches, all broadcast by the local stations—but still, our basement was crowded with high shelves of dusty jars filled with years and years of radio programs. How Grandma Dollop put the radio waves into those jars and got them to stay there was a mystery to me; she just had a way of reaching out and plucking them from the air like she was catching fireflies. Then she’d stuff the invisible things into the jars and tell us what to write on the labels. After that, all anyone had to do was crack the lid on any jar in her collection to hear what was inside. But you had to be careful not to take the lids off all the way, or the sounds and songs slipped out and away, lost for good unless Grandma was there and could catch them again in time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Writing Marathons and Tour Prep

I probably shouldn't be taking the time to post today, but I needed to do something to jump start my brain and remind my fingers that yes, they can keep typing . . . see fingers? You're doing it now.

I leave for the first half of a book tour on Sunday afternoon and I promised my editor that I'd turn in work to her Friday . . . oh, that's right . . . tomorrow!

I've been working very hard on the manuscript for SCUMBLE, (That's the name of my next book, in case you are wondering). And I've been writing, writing, writing. It's been a week of those really, really big cups from Starbucks, and of working until 2 a.m. only to get up again at six or seven to get started again.

But as soon as I turn my new work in, I can take a tiny breather. All I'll need to do is pack and prepare for my trip on Sunday. Here's the low-down for that one:

Monday, October 20th

Chicago, IL
9:00 am
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
Hosted by 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL (See photo)

Lake Bluff, IL
1:30 pm
Central School
Hosted by Lake Forest Books, Lake Forest, IL

Tuesday, October 21st

Woodstock, IL
9:00 am
Creekside Middle School
Hosted by Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock, IL

Woodstock, IL
10: 15 am
Northwood Middle School
Hosted by Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock, IL

Loves Park, IL
1:15 pm
Loves Park Elementary
Hosted by Wonderland Books in Rockford, IL

Wednesday, October 22nd

Austin, TX
1:15
St. Andrew's School
Hosted by Book People, Austin, TX

I will also appear at Book People in Austin for a signing from 3:30 - 4:15.

The second half of my tour will be in early November and I will post more about that trip soon.

By the way, the picture at the top of this post is of me in my Old Quarry Warriors shirt, given to me by the kids and staff at Old Quarry Middle School in Lemont, Illinois, when I visited their school a couple of weeks ago.

Okay, so no more excuses. My fingers are warmed up and it's time to get back to working on SCUMBLE.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reader Monday - What's Your Savvy?

Today's savvy story comes from Annie T. in Illinois.

If I had a savvy it would be that when I wanted something I could stomp my feet and tap on the wall. There it would appear.

I got home from school and plopped my backpack down on the floor. I took my shoes off then shoved them into the closet. I could not believe it. Today was my 13th birthday. I was antsy sitting through school all day long anticipating what it would be.

Even though it was a HUGE day for me, I still had homework. I want to get started right away so I wouldn't have to do it later. It's 3:30 and mom gets home at 4 o'clock. I need to get my homework done before that. Mom usually has a huge surprise for us on our birthdays.

I sat against the wall on a pillow. I started on math. I'd been working on a huge word problem all day. I couldn’t figure it out! I groaned. I stomped one foot each time on the floor and hit my head against the wall. I heard a click. And there on the wall was the answer to my word problem. I sat there astonished.

Before I knew it, it was 4. Mom walked in. I ran to her and showed her my savvy. I told her I was in the mood for a fry. I stomped my foot twice and hit my hand on the wall. Out popped a French fry, nice and warm. Mom just stood there her mouth hanging open. As
the minutes passed I saw a huge smile forming her face.

The End

For more reader savvies, click on the What's your savvy? label here on the blog. And check back weekly for Reader Savvy Mondays, where I post what real kids have to say about what their savvy know-how might be. Or to write to me what you imagine your savvy might be, click HERE to be directed to the Contact page of my website.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Want to hear? or Watch?

All of the speeches at the Boston Globe - Horn Book Awards can now be heard online! Click HERE to be directed to the Horn Book's website and the audio files from last Friday night's award ceremony.

**Updated 10/10/08... you can now watch the video of the ceremony as well by clicking HERE.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reader Monday - What's Your Savvy?

Today's savvy comes from Danae C. in Illinois:

If I had a savvy, I'd wish it could be going anywhere I want with a snap of my fingers.

Mama shuffled into my room, with an exciting look on her face.

"Amanda, what is it!"

I stretched my body and sat up in my bed, still adjusting to the bright sunlight shining through my bedroom window. I was confused. What was what?

"What's your savvy, silly!" Mama reads minds. I cant believe I had forgotten my 13th birthday!

"You forgot!" Mama gasped. "Well, what's your savvy?"

I shrugged.

Mama sighed. "Come into the kitchen for breakfast."

I sighed. I didn't want to get up at 6. It was my birthday. But, I still had to go to school. I got out of bed, swinging my legs, intended to reach the floor. But my dog was lying at the end of my bed and I didn't realize it. I accidentally stepped on her tail, still wishing I was in the kitchen now.

"Oh...SNAP!" I yelled as Minty whimpered. I added a tiny snap of my fingers when I said "snap." Suddenly I wasn't in the kitchen, sitting at the table, a plate of pancakes in front of me. Mama walked in.

"How'd you get here?"

I gasped. My savvy is going where I was thinking about with a snap of my fingers!

"Really?!" Mama had read my mind. I smiled.

"Mama, " I said happily. "I'll never be late to school again."

The End


For more reader savvies, click on the What's your savvy? label here on the blog. And check back weekly for Reader Savvy Mondays, where I post what real kids have to say about what their savvy know-how might be. Or to write to me what you imagine your savvy might be, click HERE to be directed to the Contact page of my website.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Photos from Boston

I got to spend my nights in Boston staying at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. It was beautiful! And so close to such amazing things, like the Boston Public Library, and some beautiful churches. I also got a chance to walk up and down Newbury Street.


Here I am surrounded by the awesome kids at the Haggerty School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We are joined by Karen Kosko, the school's amazing librarian!

Here me, Randy Testa (from Walden), Dan Lazar (my agent), and Kellie Celia (also from Walden) show off the rocking posters the kids made as we leave the Haggerty School Friday morning.

Here I am with a couple of strange new friends from the Narnia movies at a visit to Walden Media's new offices. It was great seeing everyone from Walden again!

Here's me with the fabulous Dan Lazar at the Boston Globe - Horn Book Awards!
And, of course, my shiny award!

Here I got to pose for a picture with the charming Roger Sutton, the editor in chief of the Horn Book, who presented me with my award.

Here is a picture of my entire posse at the Boston Globe - Horn Book Award Ceremony Friday night. From left to right: my agent at Writers House, Daniel Lazar; Deborah Kovacs from Walden Media; my editor at Dial, Alisha Niehaus; me with the shiny engraved plate; Scottie Bowditch from Penguin Young Readers Group; my publisher, Lauri Hornik; and Kellie Celia from Walden Media. It was so great to know I had such an awesome cheering section, and it was fun to see everyone in Boston.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Brief Boston Update (hopefully more pictures soon)

I'm too tired to write much anymore tonight and I've got more great pictures coming, but I just wanted to post briefly to commemorate tonight's event.

It was such a pleasure to share the podium with such amazing authors tonight at the Boston Globe - Horn Book Awards, and to have a whole posse of people there supporting me, from my agent to my editor and publisher, folks from Walden and from Penguin.

This morning I had a fun visit with some of the students at Haggerty School in Cambridge, hosted by the wonderful Karen Kosko. The kids asked great questions and I really enjoyed visiting with them. They drew all kinds of posters, presented me with a jar filled with my own savvy powers, and gave me a laurel wreath to wear...

After Haggerty, I got to visit the Walden offices in Burlington! It was so much fun to see where my pals at Walden work, but even more fun to get to see them all again. And I got another new hat!

The Boston Globe - Horn Book Award ceremony was delightful. I met and chatted with so many people, gave a short speech, signed some books, and got to see the beautiful Boston Athenaeum. After the ceremony, I enjoyed dinner with two lovely ladies from the Horn Book, as well as my publisher and editor from Dial, my agent, and Penguin Young Readers Group's school and libraries marketing director who helped put me in the running for this award.

It was a really great day and I hope to post more pictures soon!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a special day, and Congratulations to all of the Boston Globe - Horn Book authors!