First, I'm sorry for not being more active in the blogosphere. Have been working on different children's projects (stars are thanked every day) and didn't want to pop up a post for you guys that's rushed through.
So now that I'm more ready, I'd like to introduce you to Jeremiah Lopper, superstar protagonist of the latest Joan Bauer novel. (*Joan Bauer is the author of Almost Home, Tell Me, and more.)
Jeremiah is the world's biggest baseball fan.
His specific age is unknown, probably twelve. He doesn't know when his birthday is, or who his parents are. When he was a baby, he was left at a computer company, in the snack room, right by the coffeepot.
The guy who found him, Walt Lopper, is a computer geek. He took Jeremiah in.
So here we have a boy who knows he was "left" by his real mom, lives with a geek, and oh yea, has a weak heart. He's even had a heart transplant.
How do you think he's turned out?
Quiet? Unsure of himself? Don't know how he's going to face the world with a heart that isn't his?
Thank you all so much for weighing in on my cover revamp for Little Orchid! I've received very helpful feedback from you lovelies, and some more over on a writers-illustrators' forum (where the general opinion is that the new cover is okay but can be better). So back to the drawing board it is! I'll keep working on the elements ~ adventurous mood, font colours, taglines ... and whatever you've picked that I can't place on the front cover will most likely make it on the back for the print edition (to be expected later this year or the next).
Back to my regular book feature. This week, I have a good one on trusting your instincts and speaking up when you suspect someone is in trouble.
Did I see something?
Is a girl in trouble?
What can I do?
What should I do?
I mean ...
What should anybody do?
This is the story of what I did, along with
the amazing people who put themselves out there to help.
Anna McConnell, 12, is leaving her mom and dad, her dog, her best friend, Lorenzo, and her acting career (as a cranberry) back in Philadelphia. Mom and Dad aren't doing too great.
So Anna has been "arranged" to stay with her grandmother, Mim, in a small town blooming with flowers and bustling with energy for their upcoming Flower Festival.
Almost right away, Anna finds a gig playing a petunia, toughest flower in the garden.
Sounds like a sweet break for everyone, right?
Only, one day, Anna spots a girl with frightened eyes being dragged around by a nasty Asian woman and hollered at by a foul-looking driver. They screech out in their van and nearly crash into another car.
The side door opens.
The girl with the frightened eyes jumps out and tries to escape.
The foul-looking driver shouts, picks her up and stashes her back inside the van. They drive off.
And Anna is the only one who has witnessed all that.
What is she to do? That girl is in trouble! Or is she? Maybe Anna was mistaken? Maybe she remembered wrong? Who will believe her anyway? More importantly, who will help her help that girl with the frightened eyes?
Every lost girl needs to know someone is trying to find her.
Yes, slavery still exists in our generation.
A heavy subject. Yet that's not what this story is all about.
This story is about a young person sensing that something is wrong and choosing to speak up about it. We need more Annas. We need more toxic-fighting cranberries and tough petunias amongst us.
I wonder if you remember Almost Home? (The middle-grade story about a girl being sent to live with others because her mother couldn't get her act together and how she inspired the neighbourhood to paint their doors with their bravest colours? The one with an adorable dog on the cover?) Joan Bauer's heroines are independent and witty. They always do their best and keep their spirits strong in troubled times. Can't wait to get to her other books.
Have you ever witnessed something that didn't feel quite right and wondered if you should call the authorities? And did you?
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.