Book Travels

I’ve been thinking lately about how the world is constantly shrinking, figuratively at least.  Son Liam is in Bath, UK studying this term and sounds like he’ll have lots of opportunity to travel throughout Europe, thanks to lots of free time and cheap flights.  When I was his age, a trip to Europe was a HUGE deal; not so much these days.

A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk was released in the US on Feb. 1st, and it’s already well-traveled throughout the US.  Thanks to a site called WorldCat, you can track your book’s travels (at least to libraries that have their collections registered with the site.)  This morning, I found HARE in libraries in Wisconsin, California, Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, Washington, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Mississippi and Oregon. It’s also in libraries in all Canadian provinces by now, I think.  Before Rainbows in the Dark was published in 2005, I had no idea how far it would travel – all around the world in a few different languages!

I’m working on my tenth chapter book for JLS, a Korean English language school with an office in British Columbia – some of the books have my name as author; others have my pen names: Ada Pearson and Lynn Mingo.

The first of my JLS books

The entire curriculum in JLS schools is based on story – I love the idea that Korean children are using my books to learn English!♥

Before its release south of the border, HARE got some great publicity by receiving a starred Kirkus review and also being named to the 2011 USBBY Honor List of Outstanding International Books (this list was announced at the huge ALA conference in California in January). I’ve just finished writing an educator’s guide for HARE (it will soon be free to download from the Fitzhenry & Whiteside website) – hopefully some teachers somewhere will find it useful.  I’ve found out recently about two other awards HARE’s been nominated/short-listed for, but they haven’t been announced yet. Red Deer Press will be taking it to the Bologna  Children’s Book Fair in March, in hopes of selling some foreign rights.  Unfortunately, I don’t get to tag along…Bon Voyage!

CHILDREN’S WRITER Newsletter – Kindergarten Contest

If you’re looking for a writing challenge for February, Children’s Writer has a contest for you – write a 150-word story for a beginning kindergarten reader, age 5 or 6, on the subject of family or school life. Here’s the link:

I’ve entered these competitions before; they’re free for subscribers to Children’s Writer– I haven’t won, but sometimes it’s nice to have a concrete writing goal – and hey, how hard can it be to write 150 words? Kidding – writing 150 words for a primary student to read independently is tough! The story still has to have a beginning, middle and end, conflict, character development, setting, etc. – but be less than one double-spaced page!! I’ve been working on 1000-word English as a Second Language manuscripts lately, and I find it super hard to pack an entire story, in relatively simple language, into 1000 words.

Deadline for the contest is February 28th, and you can submit via mail or online. Good luck!