My delight that Fair Coin has been selected as a book for classroom discussion at a Bronx middle school is moderated by sheer horror–one of the things I learned in school is that nothing takes the joy out of a book and reading more than it being assigned as homework. Still, I am honored and intrigued; from what I can tell, what recommends Fair Coin most at the moment is that none of the class has read it yet, and probably hadn’t even heard of it before this.
I don’t know about how well Fair Coin will promote literacy, but I do know how thrilling it is to discover a new book and a new author, especially at a young age, and how much books have shaped the person I am today. I also know how difficult and challenging it is for teachers to get the texts they want for their students. When I was in high school, some of my teachers actually broke the law and photocopied some books at their own expense, because there was no room in the budget for classroom copies. I just can’t believe that schools and libraries have to cut back so much on books and reading programs when developing good reading and reasoning skills is so vital to lifelong success.
I do feel conflicted about personally advertising a Donors Choose project to raise money for a teacher to buy copies of my own book, since it seems a little self-serving. But it’s also, you know, for kids. So if you do have some money you can part with to get children excited about reading and young adult literature and science fiction, I hope you’ll consider donating. Or even consider giving to another classroom for a worthy cause; I’ve given to other projects at Donors Choose to purchase needed books, and the teachers and students have always been very appreciative–and I like knowing that my gift is having a direct impact on learning.
If you missed it on Saturday morning because you were sleeping or watching cartoons or out enjoying beautiful, pre-monsoon weather, my interview with Barry Eva of A Book and a Chat is now online for your listening enjoyment!
I really enjoyed this one. We talked a bit about books and writing, of course, but we also covered a range of topics from Back to the Future to Quantum Leap, two topics I can discuss for hours. Barry even slipped in a reference to the classic SF film Short Circuit! Given that the format for the program is “a chat over a cup of tea,” you might be wondering what my beverage of choice was throughout the half-hour interview.
It’s obvious, really. I was, in fact, sipping Earl Grey.
Please give the program a listen and leave some feedback. It’s short, it’s entertaining, and perhaps even enlightening. Many thanks to Barry for the great conversation!
While you’re at it, you can also check out interviews with my fellow Apocalypsies, Sarvenaz Tash (The Mapmaker and the Ghost, due out this Tuesday, 4/24!), J. Anderson Coats (The Wicked and the Just, just released!), and Lynne Kelly (Chained, due out 5/8/12).
Tomorrow morning (Saturday, April 21) at 11 a.m. EST, I will be talking with Barry Eva, author of the YA romance Across the Pond, on his radio show A Book and a Chat. I like tea and talking about writing and books, so I’m looking forward to this! If you’re awake that early on the weekend, you can grab your own cup of caffeine and chat with us too, by calling into the program at 347-237-5398. Call! Ask questions!
When words fail to describe how you feel, a screencap will do.
I had some other things I’d planned to blog about today, but when you find out that io9 has not only reviewed your novel, but given it a great review, that kind of distracts you from everything else.
I usually make many stops at io9 throughout the day (except for the one day I’m on it, apparently–Google Alerts, you fail), so I consider being featured there, with even the tiniest mention, as one of the ultimate, nigh unattainable achievements for a geek like me. Achievement unlocked. My book is on the front page! (I took a screenshot. It happened.)
But most of all, I’m thrilled that in her review, Charlie Jane Anders really gets the book in the way that every writer hopes readers will, and I’m so glad that she enjoyed it enough to recommend it to others. And call it crack. Well, don’t say she didn’t warn you.
There’s also a spoiler warning, so proceed with caution.
Wait… While technically true, that’s kind of an awful thought, isn’t it? In any case, all I mean is that the All Things Asian webstravaganza ended yesterday. *sadface*
Thank you to everyone who visited the three participating blogs and read all the great posts, commented, entered contests, and helped make this such an exciting, educational, and interesting online celebration. Big thanks to our hosts, who pulled this amazing thing off: That Hapa Chick; iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books; and My Words Ate Me. I was honored to be included in this.
I hope we can continue to think about, discuss, and promote diversity in young adult fiction, and in all areas of our lives. In the meantime, if you missed some of the posts, you can find links to all of them at the main website:
Many of the giveaways are still running through April 30. I’m looking forward to sending a Fair Coin prize pack to one lucky winner!