Go to this link to play the official Winnie trivia game. Programmed by me, Al. You can also go to my website at www.al-the-nerd.info and al-the-nerd.net although those have nothing to do with my mom (Lauren Myracle)
Hi this is Al,
I have had a lot of homework but the Winnie game that I asked for questions for a while ago should be done by tomorrow!
Oh, I am lame, I know. Lame, lame, lame, cuz I haven’t blogged in, what, a year? Okay, maybe not that long. But here’s a quickie! Went to the Nat’l Book Fest in DC this past weekend, and it was mucho fun-o. Hung out with fab authors Lisa Yee and Jarret Krosoczka…
met some super cool readers (Julianna–thanks again for the earrings!!!!)…
had some much needed girl time with the luverly Sarah Dessen…
and put out an all-points bulletin for sad Aimee, begging Maureen Johnson to break her silence and finally confess what the heck she inscribed in Aimee’s book…
And then…then! Today I get home and find out that someone in my signing line VIDEO CAMERA STALKERED ME! I had no idea, and I mean NO IDEA I was being filmed, and I still can’t figure out who the elusive mrs.rattyratterlman (who posted the vid on YouTube) is.
Luckily, I was in my usual ivory tower mode and was caught waxing eloquent on…um…the theory of mutlivalenced lapasarian theology? *smiles hopefully* I mean, thank goodness, right?! What if I’d been caught talking randomly about, ya know, some…random randomness? *smiles hopefully again, with just a touch of desperation*
My darlings! My cupcakes! The e-book version of How to Be Bad, the mostest funnest book that I ever wrote-est (cuz i wrote it w/ my BFFs E. Lockhart and Sarah “Smoochie” Mlynowski) is available for a limited time for $1.99! $1.99, I say! For that, you could buy:
*three cheese curds,
*an old sock,
*my husband’s toenail clippings, OR…
A BOOK! A REAL LIVE E-BOOK, WITH REAL LIVE WORDS, WRITTEN WITH *YOU* IN MIND! (If you’re cool and sweet and kind, and you enjoy an awesome and funny friendship story, that is.)
What’s super cool is that our editor went to a fair amount of trouble to make this happen FOR Y’ALL, cuz it’s a total summer-friendship-road-trip book, and we all want y’all to read it (and not have to pay out the wazoo to do so).
Why Sarah, Emily, and I think you’ll like How to Be Bad: It has boys! And alligators! And boys! And those awesome late-night talks you have with yr besties. Oh, I hope you give it a look (can you tell I’m excited?) cuz I’m SO DANG proud of it.
Also? Jesse (my girl) throws a Coke can at Vicks (E. Lockhart’s girl). And Mel (Sarah’s girl) kisses a VERY yummy brown-eyed, brown-skinned, naughty-sweet boy, and it is all quite…well, summery. Oh, and did I mention that the girls are in Florida? And they, um, kinda accidentally stole Jesse’s mom’s car, and no one knows where they’ve run off to? Yeah, that, too. So what are ya waiting for?
You have an e-reader, right? If not, you have a computer, right? If not, your bestest bud has one or the other, right? I *think* certain libraries are even checking out e-readers these days, just to sweeten the pot even more. So walk, don’t run–AG. I mean, run, don’t walk, to your nearest e-book seller place thing! And help us spread the word, would ya please? If peeps take advantage of deals like this, then editors will be motivated to offer them more often, which creates a win-win for everyone.
Go go go! Enjoy enjoy enjoy!!!!!
Hi this is Al. Earlier I asked for questions about the Winnie books so I can make a Jeopardy-like game and I haven’t gotten many questions. Isn’t that horrible??? I NEED MORE QUESTIONS!!!! Don’t be lazy and pretend you didn’t read this post because I know you did! So if you want to play a Winnie Jeopardy game then send me more questions and remember the question cut off date is this Friday at the end of the day. Oh by the way email the questions to email@example.com. Also THANK YOU SO MUCH to the people who already sent me questions.
Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal, in which the author says, in her own words, that pretty much all books written for young adults suck. If you’ve got time, go on and read her essay, because along with making your head spin, you might get a good chuckle out of it.
As I’m one of the YA authors criticized in the article, School Library Journal dude of the year, Rocco Staino (don’t you wish you were named Rocco Staino?) emailed and asked my response, which I gave. SLJ then responded to the Wall Street Journal opinion piece, and they included a quote from my email to Rocco. Yay! You can read School Library Journal’s awesome article here.
But for you die-hards who want more, you got it! Here’s my response to the Wall Street Journal silliness in its entirety:
Anyone who is reading this is most likely a YA fan already, so I’m not going to reiterate the true and valid responses we all had regarding Mrs. Gurdon Cox’s…well…idiocy, to be blunt. Anyway, the magnificent Laurie Halse Anderson has already done so in her recent blog post, and she’s done it far more beautifully than I could.
So here’s what I have to add to the conversation. Unlike Laurie, I don’t feel compassion toward Mrs. Gurdon Cox. I do–usually–feel compassion toward the multitude of parents of tweens and teens struggling with how best to raise their children, although I’ll admit that the emails I receive accusing me of being Satan’s handmaiden just make me roll my eyes. But Mrs. Gurdon Cox has written an essay so blatantly one-sided that she is, in effect, formulating an argument not just against “dark” YA books, but against the very act of reading itself. Mrs. Gurdon Cox is pandering to the culture of fear which already has a stronghold on America: By claiming that all contemporary YA novels are pathological, gruesome, depraved, and smutty, she is saying to parents, “Give up, because there is nothing in the YA section for your kids. So, for your young men, pass along True Grit, and for your young women, give them A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” (I love both of these books, for the record. I also love Speak, Thirteen Reasons Why, The Hunger Games…etc., etc.)
Mrs. Gurdon Cox’s sensationalization of “gloom and doom” YA literature is irresponsible, unprofessional, and reprehensible. She knows better. I feel it in my gut. She knows what a one-sided argument she presented, and she presented it anyway, with the goal of inciting fear and inflaming the indignation of parents who want to do right by their kids, just as I want to do right by my kids, just as every single author I know wants to do right by their kids, if they have kids, and certainly by their tween and teen readers.
Another reason I feel no compassion for Mrs. Gurdon Cox (other than the pitying compassion I feel toward her for having locked herself into a worldview that is so limited) is because she accuses people I love–my editors, and the many editors I know–of offering teen readers “hideously distorted portrayals of what life is like” in a desperate bid to sell books, make a profit, and perpetuate their own “aesthetic coarseness” by slinging it willy-nilly at young adult readers. She couldn’t be more wrong.
The editors I work most closely with, Susan Van Metre of Abrams Books for Young Readers and Julie Strauss-Gabel of Dutton Children’s Books, are two of the most principled, dedicated, warm-hearted people I know. Integrity oozes from their pores (and because of that, sweat and blood ooze from my pores when I receive their we-demand-nothing-less-than-the-best editorial letters). Susan and Julie love books, and Susan and Julie care deeply about the readers of books. They are unequivocally committed to ensuring that the books they edit and publish are meaningful, relevant, and vital.
No doubt Mrs. Gurdon Cox is a multifaceted person with both good sides and bad. When it comes to her Wall Street Journal article, however, she is–and I will say the word–full of shit.
Hi! This is Al and I need help. I am going to program a Winnie jeopardy game for my mom but I have one problem. I need questions for the game. So, think about the Winnie books, think of a question (and the answer) and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. I will post a link to the game when it is done and the cut off date for the questions is Friday June 10th which is when I will delete the email address.
Some kids–like you, and you, and you!–are just plain awesome, and that is the beginning and the middle and the end of it. And it is glorious! I got to meet one of y’all in…oh, where was it? DC? and then…Maryland? Virginia?…and it was such an honor that I asked her to write a guest blog about TEN. Why? Because:
a) she’s adorable (see pic below),
b) she’s an AVID Winnie fan,
c) she herself is 10 right this very second, and
d) she’s just really cool and awesome and articulate.
With that said…drumroll, please…heeeeeere’s Oona!
Oh my goodness gravy, where do I begin? Ten is so, super, incredibly, unicorns frolicking, full of sparkly magic AWESOMENESS!!!!!!! It is filled with candy, letters, Coke, and more! If I could meet Winnie, I definitely would!!! She is full of super, incredibly, unique (we prefer that term) sparkly magic AWESOMENESS too!!!! This book takes you back in time before Winnie and Amanda……. I won’t tell if just in case you haven’t read the other books! I don’t want to give it away! So, if you have read the other books, there is some of the stuff that is briefly mentioned in the other books, in this book! (Haunted house party? Wasp down Amanda’s shirt? Letter and candy bar?) This book has duct tape too! Winnie also has some run-ins with mean girls and polka dots. What else should I say? There is sooooooooo much more, but I don’t want to give away the entire book!!! Winnie and I hope you will like Ten!!! Winnie wants you to have fun with her, and hopes you will enjoy her adventures!!! She can’t waits to have you guys meet her again, or have readers meet her for the first time!!!! Winnie hopes you will join her in the Land of Double-Digits!!!!!!!
So there ya have it. Hope you enjoyed Oona’s review as much as I did! And…ten diamond points for whoever guesses correctly who Oona is!
So perhaps you know or perhaps you don’t, but TEN is officially out in the world and available EVERYWHERE! Ish! It’s available everywhere-ish. Isn’t that exciting?
I mean, fine, it’s *not* in your fireplace, so don’t look there. And it’s not hidden behind your tonsils. I checked. And my own daughter had her tonsils out (for a delightful visual, go here), so I know it’s not behind her tonsils either. At least I hope it’s not, because do I really want sweet Winnie living in a medical waste facility? No way, Jose!
Where DO I want Winnie to live, you ask? (Admit it, Tina. You did ask. Maybe the rest of you didn’t, but Tina, you did.) Well, I want Winnie to live…+cue sappy music+…with you! In your heart. And you and Winnie will be besties, and she’ll have your back, and you’ll have hers, and don’t worry, she only has that teeny-tiny one mole underneath her left shoulder blade, so you’re getting the good end of the deal, I swear.
Enough of me and my silliness. Let’s have some of YOU and YOUR silliness, ‘kay? +claps twice, cheerleader style+ O-KAY!
Hannah from Webster City says, “Winnie’s family is so much like mine! Big sisters who ALWAYS think they know best, annoying little brothers (who you actually really love, especially when they need protecting from mean little pink-wearing-bossy-boots girls at the pool), and parents who love you for being just who you are. The Winnie books are awesome because they make me feel like other girls go through all the same weirdness that I go through. Or at least that Winnie does!”
MacKenzie from Boulder says, “OMG I have already read Ten ten times! TEN times, get it? Ha ha, I crack myself up. I loved that Winnie had a witch party in March when it wasn’t even Halloween, I loved how Lars snuck into the book (Mars Bar, LOL), and I super-duper loved getting to see Amanda and Winnie when they were totally BFFs and before they started heading down different paths. Are you going to write NINE? PLEASE WRITE NINE!”
Denise from Atlanta says, “For someone who is already well past the age of ten–I’m fourteen–reading TEN made me feel like I was that age again. It brought back all kinds of experiences. It also made me appreciate my family and how they’ve stuck with me through thick and thin, just like Winnie’s fam.”
Hillary from Oberlin says, “When I read the part about Winnie in the lamp box, I was, like, peeing my pants with laughter. Okay, not really, that would be WAY embarrassing! But I read it out loud to my sister and SHE peed her pants for real. (Okay, not really again.) Winnie being in that box was SOOO funny. It totally sounded like something I would do!”
I’ll end with an astoundingly cool acrostic that Lauren (yay, fellow Laurens!) from New York sent me, maybe because Winnie, in the book, makes an acrostic herself. As for me? Over and now, dearies, but thanks so much for all the Winnie-love. By all means, keep it coming!
If Amanda needs protection from bees, Winnie is there!
Never afraid of the Bathroom Lady (0kay, maybe sometimes…)
Nature Camp! Pooey on cheerleading, let’s build fires!
Excited for the World of Coke
Trouble with mean girls (and yucky Alex Plotkin)
Unicorns frolicking! Happy birthday to Winnie!
Reese’s cups inside a B-E-A-Utiful plastic container with a bee on it!
New York City, full of delicious pizza that requires folding
Sweet Sister Sandra
Ty, who laughs at poop
Even though you love being silly, sometimes you’re serious…but you’re
Never afraid to be yourself in all your silly, bubbly, weirdy-weird glory!
P.S. Did any of y’all watch the trailer for SHINE, my big-people book that also came out recently? If so, did you realize that a reader-girl made it? A reader just like you? Well…I think someone should make a trailer for TEN. Everyone who agrees, say, “Alex Plotkin is a poopy-head!!!!”
Oh, that Al. How I love him. He’s my darling son, and on my request, he posted a link to the awesome new Shine trailer while I was on the road without my computer. (I know. Without my pooter. Can you believe it?????) The trailer was made by an amazingly talented art student named Lauren Karbula, and I just…I just LOVE it. Thanks, Lauren K.! YOU ARE A GODDESS TO ME!
But sometimes links are…oh, too linky, so here’s the real thing in full breathing color! (Hot tip: click to “full screen,” and you’ll be able to see the vid without the distraction of the recent blog entry links, which I can’t figure out how to move…)
Hope you like. I’d love to hear your thoughts–and I bet Lauren K. would, too!