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:
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.
To celebrate the release of THE SUN WILL COME OUT, I will be holding a fun webinar in partnership with fellow author, Jennifer A. Nielsen. There will be discussion, Q&A, and lots of giveaways! For details, registration, and to ask questions in advance, click here. The event will be recorded and posted at a later date. Hope to see you!
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.
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.
SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE first came out in 2012 and while it’s had a great run as a hardcover, it’s time for a refresh AND a paperback version. Behold the brand new cover:
Don’t you just love it? A huge thanks to Megs McIsaac for the incredible original art. There’s also a little bonus and some exciting news: there will finally be a sequel. It’s called SMALL MEDIUM TAKES CHARGE and it will be out soon-ish. There is a teaser in the back of this updated version of SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE.
I’m still working on getting the paperback available everywhere but, so far, you will be able to get the paperback directly through me via my Etsy shop, 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.
Please check out my post over at the Nerdy Book Club where I talk about the origins of FISH OUT OF WATER. This was a tough post for me to write but it was important and necessary. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think.
It’s not just a hope for the future, but soon it will be a book! My next book, (formerly called Queen Bea Makes a Buzz) will release on April 13, 2021 and is called, as you may have guessed: The Sun Will Come Out. It’s sort of a play on the song from Annie but is also so perfect on many levels for this cute summer camp book about a very shy girl who finds herself going to camp by herself.
And my goodness, look at the awesomeness that is this cover:
A huge thanks to Orca Book Publishers and artist Brayden Sato for capturing Bea so, so, so perfectly.
What’s the book about? Mean girls, crushes, stress hives, betrayal, new friendships, Annie – it’s all in there!
Hooray! *throws confetti* It’s the official book birthday for FISH OUT OF WATER.
I realize the world is…less than ideal right now, but I’m trying to find light in small things. I also believe that my role in making it a little better is by putting positive words out into it. Thus I’m happy to say that today is the official FISH OUT OF WATER release day. This is a book about a kid who wants to learn to knit as a way to give of himself through his bar mitzvah project. But then he gets pushback from those around him who are supposed to love and support him most. Why? That’s the essential question. And in finding the answer, Fish learns what he knew in his heart already: that following your passions and dreams is always the best way to be your authentic self.
This book tackles gender stereotypes and toxic masculinity in an accessible way that (I hope) speaks not only to the kids out there, but to everyone. We can all use to check our biases.
Don’t take my word for it: “Though brief, this text masterfully connects the toxic masculinity to its roots in deep misogyny, making Fish a hero people of all genders can stand up and cheer for. All readers will appreciate this book’s nuanced messaging around gender roles and trusting yourself.”, Kirkus Reviews
“An excellent story about gender roles and growing up…Fast-paced, and the ending is both satisfying and heartwarming…An excellent read-aloud choice, and its contents would provide many opportunities for discussion. Highly Recommended.”, CM: Canadian Review of Materials
Happy reading, friends. I hope you enjoy FISH. And a big thank you to Orca Book Publishers for welcoming Fish into the pod. (See what I did there?)
p.s. don’t forget there are many ways you can support writers, many that are FREE:
Exciting news! FISH OUT OF WATER is available NOW as an ebook! If you’re too anxious to wait for the paperback (Out September 22) you can purchase the ebook at your local ebook retailer. See links below.
If you prefer to be able to hold paper books in your hand, or you’re ordering for a library or classroom, I encourage you to pre-order from A Different Drummer books in Burlington, Ontario. I will be going into the store to sign copies in September, so if you’d like a personalized copy, please pre-order and let the staff know how you’d like it signed.
“Highly Recommended” – Kirkus
“All readers will appreciate this book’s nuanced messaging around gender roles and trusting yourself.” – CM Reviews
“Definitely a must-have for my classroom.” – Laurie (Goodreads)
“It had great Jewish representation and a great takedown of toxic masculinity, while still being aimed at a younger audience. This book should go in every middle school classroom! ” – Hallie (Goodreads)
Add to Goodreads – don’t forget to review after you’ve read it!
AND NOW, because you are awesome, here is a downloadable beginner knitting project – a bookmark. This pattern assumes you know the very basics of knitting – casting on, the knit stitch, and casting off, but if you don’t, you should be able to find tutorials online to get you started.
There’s been a lot going on lately, between the OLA Superconference and the online events: Get to Know Hi-Lo and #IReadCanadian BUT I am super, SUPER excited to announce that I have more books coming, all with Orca Book Publishers.
First up is Fish Out of Water coming this August. Go here to read about it, but all you really need to know about it at this point is that it’s about a boy who wants to learn to knit as part of his bar mitzvah project but faces a lot of pushback, even from the people who love him the most. Do you love the cover? Yeah, you do. Ordering links coming soon, but until then, add the book to your Goodreads TBR.
Later, in Fall of 2021, the book of my heart, Tree of Life will release. This book has been a long time coming and is so, so, so important to me. Here’s my pitch for it:
Twelve-year-old Evelyn—Evie—Walman is not obsessed with death. She does think about it a lot, though, but only because her family runs a Jewish funeral home. At twelve, Evie already knows she’s going to be a funeral director when she grows up. Even if it means kids at school call her ‘corpse girl’ and say she smells like death. They’re just mean and don’t get how important funeral directors are.
Evie loves her part-time job at the funeral home. She cleans—dusting caskets, polishing pews, and vacuuming the chapel—and on funeral days, she dresses up and hands out tissues and offers her condolences to mourners. She doesn’t normally help her parents with the grieving families, until one day when they ask her to help with Oren, a boy her age who was in a tragic car accident that killed both his parents. Evie is to keep him company while they make the funeral arrangements with his uncle.
Evie knows all about funerals and is ready—even eager—to help the boy. Until it all goes terribly wrong. She quickly realizes that while she may know a lot about funerals, she doesn’t know very much about grief at all. She’s perplexed that her attempts to console and comfort the boy don’t work. He won’t speak, doesn’t care about her attempts at condolences, and even slams a door in her face.
Determined to make it right, and with a little help from her parents, Evie learns better how to deal with the grieving boy and they even develop a friendship. She’s committed to helping him heal as much as she can. Even if what he wants is for her to take him behind the scenes at the funeral home, showing him a side of the operation that few people ever see. And something she’s never seen—a real dead body.
TREE OF LIFE is a heartwarming, honest, respectful, and sometimes wry look at the inner workings of a Jewish funeral home through the lens of a tween who simply sees it as the family business.
What do you think? I’m so, so, so excited to share this book. Still early days so no cover or order links yet, but some kind soul has put it up on Goodreads so you can add it there.
More news coming soon, if you believe it, but until then, thanks for celebrating with me.