It’s here! My first hardcover author copy of STEP RIGHT UP

Please join me for the official book launch party: Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 3pm. Book People, Austin.

In 2007, I had a first draft of this story. Today, the first hardcover author copy, along with a few f&gs arrived! But nobody was home to whoop and holler with me.


I gingerly pulled my book babies out of the stork envelope.


I had a private “Lookee, lookee, I have a book!” moment.


Then I had a proud mama moment.


I had a smoochy “welcome to the family” moment.


I had a goofy, giddy moment.


Right away, I hosted my first story time


and broke up the typical sibling squabble about who gets Mom’s lap.6

They had to take turns turning the pages.


A Kirkus Star for STEP RIGHT UP

On the last day of my VCFA summer residency, which was the first day of my final semester, I received a joyous surprise. Kirkus posted a starred review of STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS. A star! Imagine that!

Here’s how the review closes:

“An incredible story that ought to be widely known—a must-read.”

Daniel Minter’s art adds so much richness and character to this story. The book wouldn’t be the same without him.

Go ahead and read the full review here. Then join me in a happy dance!

And mark your calendar for the October 15, 2016 release.

Join me for the launch party October 23, 2016 at Book People in Austin.



STEP RIGHT UP has been named a Junior Library Guild Selection!

SRU went to print recently. Very recently! Behind the scenes at Lee and Low Books, pdfs and pre-f&gs were sent to select reviewers, then WHAM! An email arrived, letting us know that Step Right Up has been named a fall 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. I had to read the email multiple times. What an amazing honor, especially 5-6 months before the book will hit shelves. I’m so very proud! Folks, wait til you see how illustrator Daniel Minter has brought Doc and Jim to live through his art!


2015 SCBWI Book Launch Award


I had the loveliest weekend after receiving a Friday afternoon call from SCBWI National. Out of the giant pool of applicants, consisting of mega-talented authors I admire, I won the 2015 Book Launch Award with STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS, forthcoming from Lee and Low in 2016.  Wowzer!

I am honored, especially because SCBWI, through conferences, online resources, workshops, quality speakers, and an overall awesome and generous membership, has been on this long journey toward publication with me. They have been an invaluable part of my education as a writer. For years, I have been a volunteer with my local chapter, further cementing the organization as part of my family. This recognition is sweet indeed.
These award funds will be immensely helpful as we launch STEP RIGHT UP into the world.
Thank you, SCBWI!