Happy news!

I am so thrilled to have When the Worst Happens included on the Silver Birch and Golden Oak lists for this year’s Forest of Reading in Ontario.

The Silver Birch is a middle-grade reader’s choice award and thousands (literally thousands) of kids read the books and vote for their favourites.

The Golden Oak is for readers in adult literacy programs. I visited with a few groups when my novel Truth was shortlisted, years ago, and they were some of the most inspiring readers I’ve ever met.

Thank you, Ontario Library Association!

In the trees!

I’m very excited to announced that 50 Body Questions has been nominated for a 2015 Silver Birch Award. These are readers’ choice awards voted on by Ontario students… which makes me even MORE excited about my TD Canadian Children’s Book Week tour to Ontario schools next May.

50BQ

In the meantime, big congrats to the other writers and illustrators on the Silver Birch non-fiction list, including Michelle Mulder for Every Last Drop, Stephen Shapiro for It’s a Feudal, Feudal World, and Helene Becker for Zoobots!

Its-a-Feudal-Feudal-World

Mailbag

I received an e-mail last week from a student reading 50 Underwear Questions as part of a Silver Birch club in Ontario. Here’s my response:

1. Did anything inspire you to write this book?
My husband has three questions, which he calls the “Min Kyi Personality Test.” One of the questions is: “If you won a free trip around the world, but every day that you took a plane, train, or bus, you had to wear your underwear outside your pants, would you take the trip?” He says there’s no right or wrong answer to this question — it’s just a way of seeing how shy or outgoing or downright crazy a person might be. But I say, of course there’s a right answer! An around-the-world trip, for free?!? You HAVE to take it. Who wouldn’t take it? (I think this answer might put me smack-dab in the “crazy” category.)

2. Is it actually true that people used to think bathing made them sick?
True story. My six-year-old son believes the same thing.

3. Why did you decide to write about underwear?
Everyone has them. But no one ever talks about them…. What writer can resist a mystery like that?

4. Do you like being a writer?
Yes, thank goodness, because I tried being a dishwasher and it was awful. And then I tried being a journalist, but I’m kinda scared of talking on the phone, so that didn’t work out. I tried working in a government office, and I was nearly petrified with boredom. (They had to chip me out with archeological chisels.) So, overall, I’m very blessed to be a writer.

Thanks for writing with your questions!

Everyone likes a forest

I am very pleased to say that 50 Poisonous Questions has been shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch non-fiction award. Public and school librarians make the Forest of Reading shortlists each year, then students read the books and vote for their favourites.

Pick me, pick me!

Just kidding. (Not really.) There are lots of other great titles on the lists, such as Cynthia Pratt Nicolson’s Totally Human. I met Cynthia at Celebrate Science last month, and her writing is captivating. As are the illustrations in her book!

Good luck to all…