Sunday, January 18, 2015

Locked in like prisoners . . .

they were forced to read until they could read no more. And why could they read no more? 
Not because they had given up the will to read, but because-

they had come to the end of the book.

Obviously this headline was a clever ploy to grab your attention. However, the facts happen to be true. This last friday at the Staunton library a group of sixth grade girls and their teacher Becky McKenzie allowed themselves to be locked into the library overnight for a read-in. Of my tween novel Coyote Summer.

I couldn't be more proud. In fact, if family matters had not necessitated my going out of state I would have locked myself in with them. 

A read-in. What a great idea. How I would have loved that as a young girl. In fact, I can picture the exact space we could have used in the Morristown TN library. The new one, that is; there wasn't even room for all the books in the old library, And besides, it was kind of creepy.

I had another great encounter with a young reader this month. While I was up north, one of my 10 year old first readers  brought me her edited version of my next book. 

I must admit, I had not expected her mother to print it out in its final mark-up state. Nor had I expected a line by line edit and critique from a 10 year old. I kind of thought she was going to read it as a PDF and tell me if she liked it or not. 

But my cousin's daughter's daughter (I have no idea what that makes her) Natalie doesn't do anything half-way. Not only did she comment, she commented on the comments. My personal favorites were a comment she made to me while we were going over her suggestions, "I don't think that comment is right. You might do it that way if this was a YA book, but not for kids my age," and of course my personal favorite,"I think the way Margo did it was better."

And - she changed the title. 
Thank you, Natalie. I agree with almost all of your suggestions.

Perhaps you can suggest a read-in at your local library when the next book comes out. I'm still thinking about that title.