Category Archives: News

I Nearly Lost It!

Hey, remember when I wondered if the SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS puns would ever end? Apparently not. Because I’ve gotten some pretty amazing news about it lately, and I nearly lost it. No, I’m kidding, I did lose it. If ‘it’ is a bunch of emotional tears, because yeah, that happened. 

Bear with me, there’s a lot to tell you – it’s been an embarrassment of riches kind of autumn. 

First up, earlier this fall, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS won the children/youth category of the The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards.  Later this month, I will travel to Toronto to accept the award and I can’t wait. 

Second, earlier this week, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS was named as a finalist in The 2022 Governor General’s Literary Awards. This is a huge, huge honour and, well, I’m verklempt. See the full list of finalists here.

Also this week, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS has also been nominated in the OLA’s Forest of Reading in the Red Maple category.  From the Forest website: “The Forest of Reading® is Canada’s largest recreational reading program! This initiative offers ten reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 270,000 readers participate annually from their school and/or public library. All Canadians are invited to participate via their local public library, school library, or individually.”

This is an absolutely amazing program. I had the honour of participating a few years back when SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE was nominated, and I loved every minute of it. What a wonderful program to get kids reading and talking about books while elevating authors to rock stars! 

Another great thing about the Forest is being nominated among so many talented authors, many of whom I call friends. Writing can be such a solitary endeavor (especially these past few years!), so being able to get together with other authors  in this way is a giant added bonus.

And if all that wasn’t enough, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS was offered up as one of October’s four monthly choices for PJ Our Way. If you’ve been around these parts, you know that I love PJ Library and PJ Our Way for many reasons (read the acknowledgements in the back of THE SUN WILL COME OUT to get a peek into why) but the biggest one is that they get books into kids hands. I especially love that the site posts kid reviews and kid reviews are the best reviews. 

Whew. That’s a lot of big stuff. Add that to the other great news that SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS has garnered, and, well, I feel like my cup of goodness overfloweth. 

To all of you who have reviewed it, contacted me directly to tell me it touched you,  who have handed it to a kid, or who have simply read and enjoyed it, thank you. There are a lot of amazing books out there and I’m beyond honoured that you chose mine.

 

The Book of Elsie is out now!

Great news! I have a book out today. *throws confetti*

The truth is that I wish I hadn’t felt the need to write a book about a kid who has to deal with antisemitism and other forms of prejudice but as long as there is hate out in the world, well, here we are. It hurt my heart to write this book and it hurt again to edit and reread it in preparation for release, but I hope it does a little good out in the world.

This book, my response to antisemitism, is also full of hope, a few laughs, and even a recipe that kids can try, lest you think it’s all doom and gloom.

More about why I wrote it can be found in my Teen Librarian Toolbox guest post here.

THE BOOK OF ELSIE is a book that I think all kids (and adults) can enjoy and learn from but don’t take my word for it:

“Strong first-person narration thoughtfully explores experiences of antisemitism and prejudice…Levy presents a realistic, gutsy, problemsolving youth navigating difficult situations with the love and support of community, friends, and family.” – Booklist

“Both Jew­ish and non-Jew­ish read­ers will be inspired by Elsie’s brav­ery while learn­ing about Jew­ish hol­i­days and com­mu­ni­ty sup­port.” – Jewish Book Council

“Allows readers to find the space to ask questions and have conversations about racism and antisemitism in society. Recommended.” – CM: Canadian Review of Materials

And my favorite review so far from the awesome E Train:

https://anchor.fm/e-train5/episodes/My-Book-Review-of-The-Book-of-Elsie-by-Joanne-Levy-e1kn8mu

p.s. Don’t miss my video interview with the smart and insightful E Train.

I hope you’ll check out The Book of Elsie and don’t forget to drop a review at retailers and/or Goodreads – that helps spread the word.

Get your copy: Your Canadian indie bookstoreBookshop.orgIndigoBarnes & NobleAmazon.comAmazon.ca

About the book:

Elsie Rose-Miller loves celebrating the Purim holiday and can’t wait for the annual costume party at her local synagogue.

Elsie plans to dress up as the fierce and smart Queen Esther, who saved all the Jewish people. But when financial hardship and a terrible incident of hate-inspired vandalism threaten not only the party but the synagogue too, Elsie, like Queen Esther, takes action to bring her entire community―Jewish and non-Jewish alike―together.

Read an excerpt here.

**Activity and discussion guide coming soon.**

 

Not SORRY to Share Some News!

Will the puns about the title for SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS ever end? Maybe, but not today. Because I’m very excited and not sorry at all to share a few exciting things that have happened to the book recently.

It was featured in The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens 2022 as a Starred selection.

It has been named as a 2022/2023 Red Cedar Awards Nominee. This is a kids’ choice award in British Columbia where kids get to read and vote on their favourite books.

SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS is also a 2023 Rocky Mountain Book Award Nominee. Another kids’ choice award but this one is for Alberta.

Yay for Western Canada! I’m so excited that these great things mean this book – the book of my heart – will find more kids who will enjoy and maybe even need it. I’m truly honoured and chuffed at these three amazing things.

And before you go, it’s just about two months until my NEXT book, THE BOOK OF ELSIE comes out in the world. There is so much packed into this little book about fighting prejudice and communities coming together. Not just serious stuff, but lots of funny moments too. I hope you’ll check it out.

Add to your Goodreads TBR.

More info about it here.

Listen! Small Medium at Large Turns Ten!

It’s been 10 years (!!!) since my debut, SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE came out in the world. Since then, a lot has happened – the book was a Red Maple Nominee, a MYRCA Honour, a Sydney Taylor Notable, and got in the hands of a lot of kids (the best part, honestly).

Since the book has been out for a while, I gave it a bit of a refresh and released it in paperback (links below for paperback and ebook versions).

But in today’s very exciting news – SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE is now available as an audio book. It’s read to you by MacKenzie Cahill and I couldn’t be more pleased. Want a sample? Sure you do.

Listen to a sample here.

The Small Medium at Large audio book is available wherever you get your audio: Google Play, Kobo, Apple, Audible and Amazon – also available at many libraries. If you don’t see it at yours, please request it.

Ebooks are available instantly and directly from me using this direct link (all formats) or at the following retailers: KoboGoogle PlayApple BooksBarnes & Noble and Amazon.

The paperback is available directly through me via my Etsy shop (signed and personalized!), Bookshop.org or you can ask for it to be ordered in at your local indie bookstore – they should be able to get it in for you. It’s also available at Amazon. This updated version also includes a teaser for the sequel, SMALL MEDIUM TAKES CHARGE which is coming soon-ish. Stay tuned for more news on that. Until then, happy listening!

Kid Reviews are the BEST Reviews Part II

Currently playing episode

If you’ve been around these parts, you know I love kid reviews and am always so thrilled when a reader takes the time to write/tape a review and share it with me. Well, in this instance, the amazing E Train reviewed THREE of my books in brief but really insightful podcast episodes that are part booktalk part review. Check them out below (the images are links that go to E Train’s podcast page).


THE SUN WILL COME OUT

SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

FISH OUT OF WATER

Thank you so much, E Train!

You can follow E Train’s podcast reviews and social media: Twitter and YouTube.

SORRY is a Sydney Taylor Notable Book!

Are you familiar with the word verklempt? It is a Yiddish word that people use to describe being overcome with emotion or feelings. It’s safe to say that I am currently verkempt over the news that SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS has been named as a Sydney Taylor Notable Book.

LOOK at that pretty seal!

From the award website: “The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.”

Now, I don’t want you to think that SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS is a book that only Jewish people can enjoy. I wrote this book for everyone. It has very universal themes: grief, loss, friendship, bullying, and what happens when we die. It’s told through a Jewish lens, due to the setting (a Jewish funeral home) but I hope that everyone can find something to enjoy (and maybe learn) in its pages.

But being honored this way means I got it right. People who aren’t even related to me, through this award, call the book outstanding and say that it authentically portrays the Jewish experience. This is such an incredible validation. I worked harder on this book than anything. I engaged so many beta readers and did SO MANY DRAFTS (Oy vey, so many drafts). All worth it. I’m so very proud of this book.

I share this honor with my dad who helped me with the details and who inspired so much of it with the important work he does.

Mazel tov to us.

You Won’t Be Sorry – to attend!

See what I did there with the title of this post? Another bad attempt at book jokes. I promise, my books are much better than my silly website puns.

Now that SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS is almost here, I’m excited to share some of the events around the book’s release! I hope you can join me at one (or all!) of the upcoming cool programs.

October 12 is the official SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS release day! HOORAY! That morning, I’ll be mustering up all my courage to appear on my hometown TV station’s morning show with my virtual friend and fellow cat person, Annette Hamm, to talk about the book.


October 14 – Triple Author Launch Extravaganza!

Click for ticketing! https://www.changinghands.com/event/october2021/lisa-mcmann-joanne-levy-dusti-bowling

October 14 at 7pm PST/10pm EST is the triple-author launch extravaganza in partnership with Changing Hands Bookstore.

Event details are here. If you purchase one of my books as part of your ticket, you’ll get a signed bookplate and one of these cool wood and paper bookmarks.

NOTE: Changing Hands Bookstore is in the US but they will ship anywhere. Ticket price includes US shipping.

If you are in Canada and would like to purchase a book and bookmark directly from me, please head on over to my Etsy shop.


October 20, 11:30am – I’ll be doing a virtual public reading from SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS and will then be discussing the book and doing Q&A with award-winning author and psychiatrist, Tziporah Cohen. Free but registration is required. Sign up here.


November 14, time TBD – author panel with Carol Matas and Kathy Kacer in partnership with A Different Drummer books. Details to come.

A Giveaway and a STAR!

We’re getting close to the release of SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS in October, but I’m hearing that it’s already shipping out to stores. Thank you if you’ve already pre-ordered – hopefully that means you’ll get your copy soon!

In the AMAZING news category, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS just got a starred review from Kirkus Reviews:

⭐️ “A heartfelt and expertly written tale of loss, family, and friendship that will have readers blinking back their tears…Beautiful and sincere.”

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet and are feeling lucky, you can enter this Goodreads giveaway for a paperback copy:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sorry for Your Loss by Joanne Levy

Sorry for Your Loss

by Joanne Levy

Giveaway ends September 18, 2021.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I have a few more things in the works to celebrate the release – some fun online events and giveaways. Stay tuned for more details to come.

SORRY (not sorry!)

Hello! When I started writing my next book, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS, it had a different title: TREE OF LIFE. I had carefully chosen that title because it works on many levels in the book (once you read it, you’ll understand) but as often happens, book titles change. I love the new title, but the funny thing about it is that when I post about it or send emails about it, I realize it’s not a good idea to use the title as a subject line. Anyway, I say that because as I’m writing this post, I realize using the title for a blog post header might cause some alarm.

What I’m NOT sorry about is some bragging I’m going to do about the book. I’m thrilled that the book has already gotten some amazing advanced praise.

Amazing, right? Speaking of research, I have added a page that outlines some of the research I did for this book, including some behind-the-scenes photos from a real funeral home. I’ve also added links for further reading and research, should you be like me and want to know even more about the fascinating subject of funerals and what happens to us when we die.

If you’re wondering what (and who!) inspired me to write this book, check out the cover reveal I did over at POP! Goes the Reader. I’ll wait here.

Now that you’re back, look at this:

“OF COURSE, humor”. Thank you to Lisa and Adam for your kind words about this book. Thank you for indulging me in a little bragging. I worked hard on this book and absolutely can’t wait until it gets out into the world. But before you go, I’d appreciate it if you’d add the book to your Goodreads TBR list. And if you’re inspired to do so, you can even pre-order the book from Bookshop.org, from Orca directly, your local Canadian indie bookstore, Indigo, or, you know, that other place.

Sorry For Your Loss – cover reveal!

Hooray! It’s time to share the cover reveal for SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS, my book set in a Jewish funeral home. Sounds dark, I know, but there’s a few laughs, crafts, and lots of hope in this book for tweens that will come out in the fall of 2021.

If you want to see the brand new cover and learn about the inspiration behind why I wrote the book (and who I credit for it) check out the exclusive cover reveal over at Pop! goes the Reader.

Check out the cover reveal at Pop! goes the Reader.

Before you go, I’d love it if you’d add the book to your Goodreads TBR list. And if you’re inspired to do so, you can even pre-order the book from Bookshop.org or from Orca directly. More retailers coming soon.