Now that the school year is winding down, I wanted to offer a heartfelt, personal thanks to all the teachers and librarians who have introduced my book THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY to their young readers:
Or, at least, Youtube…
I think all writers have been there: you’ve got this fantastic idea for a novel, when suddenly, you glance up from your laptop in time to watch a trailer from a movie that’s describing your current WIP to a T. Or, you take a break from your project to hit the library, only to pull an already-published work from the shelf that tackles the same subject you were hoping to explore (proving, perhaps, there are no original ideas).
I recently saw one of my own ideas on TV…only this time, it was a little different…
My MG ALEXANDER AND THE AMAZING WIDE-AWAKE features, in part, a made-up sport: Sockball. It’s a bit of a twist on dodgeball, and the most important rule indicates that no one’s allowed to wear shoes of any kind. Alexander, the MC, is in charge of getting his school’s team together. Prevent them from falling, as they always seem to, into an unorganized heap on the gym floor. (Try as they might, they just can’t seem to figure out how to stay upright in their socks!)
Enter Lexie Vaught, a local basketball player who lost her shoe during a game last month. The clip of what happened post-shoe went viral, as even the clip below says, for it’s “bloopery” qualities, but I could hardly believe it…What I’d envisioned when my fictional team played a fictional sport was actually happening in real-life!
Maybe that’s stranger than fiction…
I’m delighted to announce the release of my latest MG, a lightly illustrated new book that stars Alexander (one of the secondary characters in WORDQUAKE).
As some of you may know, I was once a music teacher, offering piano and guitar lessons from my home. ALEXANDER AND THE AMAZING WIDE-AWAKE was inspired by some interactions I once had with my students. Specifically, I had many students who came to lessons believing that whether or not they became musicians was entirely dependent on talent–not hard work. Their theory seemed to be that if playing music didn’t come naturally from the start, they would never learn to play well enough to join a garage band–or even enjoy the simple pleasure of playing for themselves.
We all know that while talent helps, it’s not everything. Students who show initial talent but no willingness to really work will soon be outpaced by those who are willing to put in extra effort.
With that in mind, I wrote ALEXANDER AND THE AMAZING WIDE-AWAKE. In this tale, Alexander has a magic hat–the greatest thinking cap of all time. With the hat on his head, everything is easy…until that awful day when–out of nowhere–the wide-awake breaks. Here, Alexander’s hat is a metaphor for talent. The point at which the hat breaks is the point at which mere talent stops being enough and Alexander has to dig deep and put his nose to the grindstone.
I hope this book (written with plenty of humor and featuring a fun “sockball” tournament) will help those of you who have students or children who are themselves faced with the monumental tasks of learning to study, learning an instrument, learning a sport. I hope this will help inspire them to discover the joys that accompany mastering a task that seems at first to be incredibly challenging or just plain scary.
ALEXANDER AND THE AMAZING WIDE-AWAKE can be purchased in paperback or read as an e-book exclusively on Amazon:
Also, I want to remind you all that I’m looking to make my newsletters more interactive this year. I want to know what’s going on with your own classrooms and libraries–what issues your kids are facing, what they’re interested in. As a hybrid author, I can release books quickly and help fill any holes you see on your shelves. Sign up to get in on the conversation. You can contact me at any point at hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.
Thanks as always–and happy reading!
I was hard at work over the holidays polishing my latest illustrated MG read. This one stars Alexander Gum, a character many of you met previously in my short illustrated MG WORDQUAKE. This new book was actually inspired by an issue I saw cropping up time and again while teaching music lessons (more on that a bit later). For now, a peek at the jacket and jacket copy:
Alexander Gum, the best inventor in all of Eastwood Elementary, is naturally good at everything. He never misses a word on any of his spelling tests, his shoelaces are always neatly tied, and he never colors outside the lines.
Actually, truth be told, Alexander is not naturally clever or talented—at least, no more so than any of his classmates. Alexander’s hiding a secret. He’s getting help from the most unexpected place…
Have you ever wished for a magical wand that could make everything in your life—homework and tests and pre-algebra and jumping rope in p.e. and drawing tigers for art class—as easy as flicking your wrist?
And what would you do if your magic wand broke?
I’m currently uploading the files; subscribe to my new MG-specific mailing list to be notified of the official release.
Also, I’m looking forward to making my newsletters more interactive. While I’ll of course be making announcements of releases via my newsletters, I also want to know more about my subscribers. At the MG list, many are teachers or librarians. I want to know about your students. What are they interested in? What issues are they facing? As a hybrid author, I can fill any holes on your classroom bookshelves quickly, getting new thought-provoking work into the hands of your young readers in a timely fashion.