March #okscbwichat – Special Guest Victoria Selvaggio

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I co-hosted this month’s Special Edition of #okscbwichat on Tuesday evening with our guest, Literary Agent Victoria Selvaggio.

Victoria Selvaggio

Victoria SelvaggioVictoria Selvaggio is an Associate Agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She has a strong background in business ownership, and she worked for over seven years as a volunteer and Regional Advisor for SCBWI: Northern Ohio. Drawn to the publishing scene first as an author writing all genres, with her most recent publication in the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, Vicki’s passion for honing the craft carried over into reading manuscripts for the agency in 2013.

Currently, she is excited to read compelling manuscripts that will resonate with her long after she’s done.

Her current wishlist:

“I am currently looking for all genres (lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction), but find I’m particularly drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me. On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.” (From agent’s website.)

Learn more about Victoria Selvaggio here.

Follow Victoria on Twitter here.

Victoria will be one of our fantastic speakers presenting at our OK SCBWI Spring Conference in April. To learn more about our conference and to register for this event, CLICK HERE.

During our Twitter chat, Victoria discussed what’s most important to her in a manuscript submission – what she wants to see and what she doesn’t. Since Victoria is also an author herself, she discussed how this duality gives her some advantages, and some insights in the publishing business that make her a better agent. She talked about one of her favorite authors, Stephen King, and his influence on her. She gave some important advice for beginning writers, and more experienced writers as well. She also discussed her agenting style, and much more.

*If you missed the chat, you can view the Storify version of the entire conversation here.

 

#okscbwichat

 

**We will be having another Special Edition of #okscbwichat next week  when our guest will be another  one of our OK SCBWI Spring conference speakers, Associate Editor Karl Jones with Grosset & Dunlap/ Penguin Young Readers. See you next Tuesday on April 5th!

To see a full list of our upcoming Twitter chats on #okscbwichat for 2016 CLICK HERE.

Be sure to check out the newly added FACEBOOK CHAT EVENT added for June! It’s our first Facebook Chat event ever and you won’t want to miss it!

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March Flash Fiction Prompt

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

Another month, another exciting edition of Flash Fiction Prompt!

As scary as I find these assignments, part of me really looks forward to the challenge. It feels a little like driving with a blindfold on. I’m so glad when the ride is over, and I hope I’m somewhere close to my destination when I crawl out of the wrecked vehicle.

Strangely, that doesn’t sound like I enjoy these challenges, but I really do. I have to remind myself of this when I’m banging my head against my desk, because stretching my creative brain can be painful. (She’s not that into yoga. Or exercise of any kind.)

Here’s the visual prompt for March…

 

Bible Boy
Photo Credit Samantha Sophia via Unsplash

 

 

Write a story inspired by this image in 1000 words or less.

If you’d like to share your story, email it to me at valerierlawson@gmail.com. Put Flash Fiction Prompt in the subject line.

I’ll share my story next month. I may post yours, too. If I have enough people participate, I’ll post the best one on the blog!

As promised, here’s my story from February’s prompt for your enjoyment:

 

Photo credit Scott Webb via Unsplash
Photo credit Scott Webb via Unsplash

 

ME AND MY HUMAN

You can’t even tell where we buried her.

The grass is so tall now it tickles my belly when I run through it. The smell gives her away, though. That sweet earthy scent with hints of peonies and lilacs that clung to her from spending all day in the garden is gone. Only the pungent odor of decay remains.

My human Todd wipes tears from his eyes.

I lick his face. “I’m here, Todd.” I remind him. His faithful companion. The one who never strays. The one who always comes when he calls.

Not like Lily.

Lily, the betrayer.

Lily, the breaker of hearts.

I still can’t find my favorite chew toy. The purple giraffe with best squeaker. It took me forever to get the tail chewed down the way I like it. I know Lily hid it somewhere. She hated when Todd played with me.

Todd scratches behind my ears. “Thanks, boy.” I thump my tail. “You miss her, too, huh?”

I stop thumping my tail.

Uh, NO. I do not miss that crazy hellcat. She was careful to hide her daily torture of me from him, so I understand his confusion. I’m always understanding of my human. He never saw how she always knocked my food bowl out of her way every time she walked by, how she would smack me in the nose every time his back was turned.

No, I don’t miss her.

It was that trusting nature of my human that led me to protect him. I saved his life from that evil Lily. My tail starts thumping again.

It was one morning at breakfast that I saw it, that look of evil contempt she had for me. This time it was aimed at my human Todd. While she gnawed on her smelly feast, and glared at him, a fear grew inside me that she would harm him. I had to act. I started following her everywhere. I am a good tracker. My human always says so.

Lily snuck out the garden by the back gate, past the tall grass that tickled my belly, and through the woods that smelled of wild things and danger. I had to slink around the towering oaks to avoid dry sticks and rustling leaves that would alert her to my presence. I am a sneaky tracker.

Lily led me to the back door of a strange dwelling in the middle of the woods. The hairs on my back rose up, warning of danger. Who lived in this house made of logs in the middle of nowhere? The smells musty and foreign. I didn’t like it. I wanted to warn Lily, yes, even Lily, that this didn’t seem safe, but then the back door opened and a strange hairy man came out. She ran to his open arms.

Betrayer! How could she do this to my human Todd? I’d seen enough. I barked at them to let them know they were caught and I didn’t approve. The door slammed in my face. In my face! Grrrrr!

I raced back home as fast as my legs would go to get my human. Boy, were they in trouble! But when I got there, he wasn’t home. I’d have to take care of it. Protect him.

I kept watch near the road all day, waiting for him to come home. Waiting so Lily wouldn’t get to him first. Then out of nowhere, she sprang on me. Claws in the air, teeth bared, fur flying, we tumbled right into the road. She went for my eyes, that nasty cat. I had no choice, but to throw her towards that oncoming truck, right? Right?

My poor human Todd thinks it was an accident. He still mourns for her like she was the sweetest cat. I’m a very good protector. My human Todd always says so.

 

#TBT Post – Tackling the Elevator Pitch

I wrote this #ThrowBackThursday post for The Great Noveling Adventure blog and it was originally published on May 18, 2014. 


 

Big City

READY TO PITCH IN THE BIG CITY? photo by Wojtek Witkowski via Unsplash

 

Back in March when I attended the SCBWI OK spring conference, some of you may remember that I won a couple of face-to-face critiques with speakers at the conference. During one of my sessions, I took the opportunity to ask Melissa Manlove, editor at Chronicle Books, what she thought of my 40-word pitch for my manuscript, which was included as part of the program. I’m fairly new at writing pitches and I knew that I could use some guidance. I’m very glad I asked. She was so generous with her time and her insights. What she said next really clarified the whole concept for me. I’ve been meaning to share that bit of wisdom for awhile, so here it is.

First of all she said my pitch was something to the equivalent of “Meh”.

Here is the pitch I submitted:

A childhood prank gone wrong leaves Will Harris crippled by fears and homebound. During an outing for his recovery, he witnesses a crime. No one believes him. He must find the courage to solve the mystery and prove his sanity.

I think by ‘meh’ she was being kind.

Next, she said, rethink the whole idea of trying to get the point of your story across in the length of an elevator ride. For a middle grade story, she said to try this:

Pitch your story like you’re telling it to a bored eleven-year old on an elevator.

Bored by Raul Lieberwirth via flickr cc

And then lightning struck my brain.

I got it. She expanded this thought to say you should tell your pitch to this eleven year-old with the idea of convincing him this is a book he’ll be so excited to read, he’ll want to grab it right out of your hand. Get to the good stuff; the action. Kids don’t care about the backstory or character motivation when you’re trying to convince them to read a book, they want the main events.

Hey, I know this story that you are going to love. It’s all about this kid who gets locked up in a museum at night and then he finds these thieves stealing some of the paintings. He sets off the alarms, but when the police arrive, there’s no sign of the crime and no one believes him. He decides to solve the crime himself and that’s just the beginning of even more trouble.

That pitch is a little less “Meh” if I do say so myself. Sure, it’s a little longer than it’s supposed to be, but now let’s put it into a more refined form and see if it still works when we distill it back down to a 40-word count. (Just FYI, pitch lengths can vary. I kept mine to this length because that was the guideline for this particular conference submission. It’s not a bad idea to have a few different pitches on hand of varying lengths – some even Twitter length as many pitch contests arise and you never know, that agent or editor you’re dying to pitch to may one day participate in one.)

Will Harris gets locked up in a museum the same night thieves break in. Will triggers the alarm and police arrive. They find no sign of crime. The trouble gets started once Will decides to solve the crime himself.

Much better than the first one. And who knows, we might get that bored eleven year-old to snatch that book out of our hands, yet.

See if keeping your audience in mind helps when you write your next pitch.


This is a timely topic as I just served on a pitch panel for this month’s meeting for our local Tulsa SCBWI group as our members prepare for our spring conference. I spoke about this same experience with Melissa Manlove before we got into the pitches. I still use this idea – that and knowing the stakes. If you can convey something about your character and what’s at stake for them, you’ve pretty much got your pitch nailed.

What do you think? Are pitches easy for you? Do you have a successful method that helps you write them?

Book Review – SUNSETS AND HAIKU by Una Belle Townsend

I received a copy of SUNSETS AND HAIKU from Una Belle herself, one of our most resilient and thoughtful SCBWI Oklahoma members, when she read about the reading challenges I am attempting this year. She saw that I could use a collection of poems to complete the Reading Bingo Challenge and sent me one of hers – so sweet!

Una Belle has published several picture books with Pelican Publishing Company, including GRADY’S IN THE SILO, for which she won the Oklahoma Book Award. This is her first book of poetry and her first book with Doodle and Peck Publishing, a new local publishing company right here in Oklahoma.

Sunsets and Haiku coverSUNSETS AND HAIKU by Una Belle Townsend

Published by: Doodle and Peck

Release Date: October 15, 2015

Genres: Poetry, Photography

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Plot Summary:

Ever-changing. Exotic. Thought-provoking.
In this exquisite photography collection, Una Belle Townsend, author and photographer, captures nature at its most elusive–when the sun, earth, clouds and atmosphere collide to create stunning tableaus from firecracker red prairies to picture-perfect pastel skies.  Famous worldwide, Oklahoma sunsets explode in a kaleidoscope of colors as the sun disappears beyond the horizon. Paired with her stunning photos is a Japanese poetry form, haiku, which traditionally calls to mind nature and its seasons. (Plot summary from publisher’s website.)

The gorgeous photographs, taken by Una Belle herself, are paired well with inspiring, and sometimes playful, poetry. I loved the variety of sunsets and the vivid colors and how familiar all the landscapes felt to me. What a challenge to select one subject of nature to pay homage to, and yet Una Belle takes it on with such deftness of skill.

Here is one of my favorite poems from the collection:

 

Vivid papaya

Luscious orange and melon clouds

Fruit for hungry eyes

 

This book is a lovely treat for the soul.

It left me feeling relaxed and content, and maybe wishing for a little more.

 

Learn more about Una Belle Townsend here.

Follow Una Belle on Facebook here.

Jodell Sadler – Agent Interview

 

JodellSadlerI’m excited to welcome another one of our conference speakers to the blog. Jodell Sadler with Sadler Children’s Literary and Kidtlit College will be part of our faculty for 2016 SCBWI OK Spring Conference on April 16th in Oklahoma City.

Jodell will be discussing the topic of pacing in picture books. The title of her talk is Pacing Picture Books (& Beyond) to WOW. “Attendees will walk away with oodles of editing options and a renewed excitement for just how fun crafting a story can be.”

About Jodell

Jodell wrote her critical thesis on pacing picture books and earned her MFA in Writing for Children & YA from Hamline University, 2009 and started agenting a few years later, and most recently launched Kidlit College.  She hosts workshops and presents on pacing with Writer’s Digest. At Kidlit College, she brings in editors and agents to present and offers participants direct critiques. The webinars span from picture books (fiction and nonfiction) to MG/YA.

She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and is passionate about helping writers pace their stories well because it allows writers the opportunity to enhance emotional resonance, tension, and find exciting ways to improve story arc with jumps and twists and pauses and stops that garnish editorial attention and help them get published.

 

The Interview

Valerie Lawson: Jodell, thank you for doing this interview. It’s a pleasure to speak with you, today.

Your agency is considered a boutique literary agency. Can you tell us more about what that means and why an author or illustrator would benefit from choosing it?

Jodell Sadler: My focus has been on craft, and, particularly, Pacing Picture Books (& Beyond) to WOW. I’ve taught and shared this material in libraries with young learners, in middle school classes, and from secondary education to graduate classes in picture books and publishing.  I come from a marketing/design background where deadlines were tight and I juggled multiple projects a week. I’ve worked with thousands of writers and students and have been sharing my pacing study since 2008.

As I started the agency, I wasn’t in a position to move, and really wanted to stay where I lived, so I also taught full time as an AP/Dual Credit English teacher as well.  Like writers, agents are not much different in that we do whatever it takes to achieve our goals. I started KidLit College for this same reason. I wanted to give back, celebrate editors and agents, and help them share their expertise, while also providing a great option for writers and illustrators looking for an agent or who would benefit from an editor’s webinar and critique.

VL: You come with a lot of teaching experience. That is excellent. We should all keep learning our craft.

What makes you stop reading a query?

JS:  Writers really do need to know that if they submit out a solid query and simply follows submission guidelines, that’s half the battle. So often I receive submissions for projects I do not take on, and they are addressed in a generic fashion: Dear Sir, Dear Agent, etc, and I no longer read these.

The ideal submission is one that focuses on the manuscript. It’s short and direct and gives me a glimpse at the author’s personality. Like most agents, I look for a short query that shares that connection and answered the question: why me? A pitch for that top-quality manuscript that’s been through a number of editors and has received favorable feedback from a critique group. And the ideal bio is simple and focused and screams you are serious about your writing and actively participating in conferences.

VL: Short, direct, and with a glimpse of personality. Got it. 

What hooks you when reading a manuscript? What doesn’t?

JS: Voice, direction, great pacing, and freshness: This gets the attention of most agents.

Some manuscripts I read, I love but cannot take on because I rep something similar, and there are manuscripts I love but I just feel I cannot sell well. I also steer clear of holiday books and much prefer the true story and narrative nonfiction book: PB or older.

VL: What manuscripts are on your wishlist?

JS: Nonfiction, narrative nonfiction picture books as well as author-illustrators top my wishlist right now. I am closed to submissions except through conferences and events like this one.

VL: Yes, conference attendees will be permitted to submit to our speakers, SO EVERYONE SHOULD COME TO THE CONFERENCE!!!

Besides being an agent, you also teach webinars about writing. Tell us more about this.

JS:  I teach. I teach. And I teach. I’ve been teaching since I completed my MFA in 2008, and I actually taught full time in order to jump into agenting, to even be able to afford that time to grow the agency. KidLit College is really a dream community I thought about creating back in 2010 when I started my doctoral studies.

I really wanted to make a difference, make connections, and create that way to share craft learning fun with other writers and industry professionals. We all have so much to share. I invite everyone to join us on our closed Facebook page  and visit our KidLit College website and just see what we have going on, including a writing retreat and cruise!

VL: Sounds like a wonderful resource. 

Speaking of teaching, I was fascinated by a discussion you had about the difference between using rhyme versus poetry in picture books, could you address this? 

JS: A quality rhyming picture book is one is 100% committed to quality rhymes. It often focuses on end rhymes and shares poetic forms in creative ways, but for me, poetry is a huge gift to picture book writing, and it’s one of the 20 tools I talk about in my Pacing Picture Books to WOW class.

Poetry lifts our writing through the power of enjambment, prosody, page turns, poetic devices, and it shifts the language to this contagious level. There’s nothing like that quality picture book that provides that beautiful poetic or comedic pause that suspends the emotion and lifts a piece to this loftier universal level. Nothing like it. When we write, we must write to mind, heart, and ear, and poetry is a big part of that. I will be discussing this more in my presentation and here’s a little overview of what I will share.

VL: Write to heart, mind, and ear. I love that. I think we could all learn to be better writers by studying more poetry.

Tell us what happens after an author or illustrator signs with you. What’s the next step?

JS: It differs and depends on a number of factors, but the first thing we do is meet online to really determine focus, discuss manuscripts, and plan next steps.  The clients I work best with are those driven to move their work out into the world, who are actively participating at conferences, and constantly providing me with updates and new work. That’s just such a gift.

Recent sales include Brunhilda’s Backwards Day by Shawna J.C. Tenney (Sky Pony Press, 2017)  Mr. McGinty’s Monarchs (Sleeping Bear Press, 2016) by Linda Vander Heyden, Snow Beast Want Play and Untitled (Roaring Brook Press, 2017) as well as the Friday Barnes MG illustration series project (Roaring Brook Press, 2016) by Phil Gosier, a picture book/board book (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan) by Ann Whitford Paul, as well as 5 NF MG projects, including my own (Rowman & Littlefield) and Medical Mavens (Chicago Review Press) by Susan Latta.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, today, Jodell. I look forward to hearing your talk at our conference! 

Learn more about Jodell and her agency here.

Learn more about Kidlit College here or on Facebook.

Follow Jodell on Twitter here.

**Jodell does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, however conference attendees will be permitted to submit to her for a limited time.

This is an excellent reason to come see her and our other fantastic faculty members speak at our conference in Oklahoma City on April 16th!

 

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To register for our 2016 SCBWI OK Spring Conference CLICK HERE.

I hope to see you there!

 

 

February Relaxed & Groovy Book Club

 

Relaxed & Groovy Book Club

The first discussion of the Relaxed & Groovy Book Club begins! I’m really excited to have an excuse to talk about my favorite stories. I hope you’ll tell me whether or not you like the books we’ve read. (It’s really okay if you don’t!)

February’s discussion is a bit late due to scheduling conflicts and my life being totally chaotic at the moment, but I wanted to give my full attention to this rather than slap something up half-formed.

February’s Relaxed & Groovy Book Club selection:

Please Ignore coverPLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King

Published by: Random House Children’s Books

Release Date: October 12, 2010

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

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Plot Summary:

—Is it okay to hate a dead kid?

—Even if I loved him once?

—Even if he was my best friend?

—Is it okay to hate him for being dead?

Eighteen-year-old Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, or even the police. But will she emerge and clear his name? Does she even want to? (Plot summary from author’s website.)

Learn more about A.S. King here.

Follow A.S. King on Twitter here.

King has become one of my must-read authors, and I am knocked out by each new novel she publishes. She is a master at using magical realism with astounding impact. This book is where it all began, and it won her a Michael L. Printz honor in 2011. She’s accumulated many more accolades since.

Let’s peek at the opening:

The Funeral

The pastor says something about how Charlie was a free spirit. He was and he wasn’t. He was free because on the inside he was tied up in knots. He lived hard because inside he was dying. Charlie made inner conflict looked delicious.

The pastor is saying something about Charlie’s vivacious and intense personality. I picture Charlie inside the white coffin, McDonald’s napkin in one hand, felt-tipped pen in the other, scribbling, “Tell that guy to kiss my white vivacious ass. He never met me.” I picture him crumpling the note and eating it. I picture him reaching for his Zippo lighter and setting it alight, right there in the box. I see the congregation, teary-eyed, suddenly distracted by the rising smoke seeping through the seams.

Is it okay to hate a dead kid? Even if I loved him once? Even if he was my best friend? Is it okay to hate him for being dead?

***

Dad doesn’t want me to see the burying part, but I make him walk to the cemetery with me, and he holds my hand for the first time since I was twelve. The pastor says something about how we return to the earth the way we came from the earth and I feel the grass under my feet grab my ankles and pull me down. I picture Charlie in his coffin, nodding, certain that the Great Hunter meant for everything to unfold as it has. I picture him laughing in there as the winch lowers him into the hole. I hear him saying, “Hey, Veer -it’s not every day you get lowered into a hole by a guy with a wart on his nose, right?” I look at the guy manning the winch. I look at the grass gripping my feet. I hear a handful of dirt hit the hollow-sounding coffin, and I bury my face in Dad’s side and cry quietly. I still can’t really believe Charlie’s dead.

I already love Vera after this first page, and know that I’m going to be utterly moved by this book before we go any further.

The Questions and Possibly Some Answers:

I love that A.S. King invited us to see the story from several different perspectives, different viewpoints, especially from Vera’s dad. How unusual to read a candid, flawed adult POV in a YA book.

What was the purpose of showing us the world through the eyes of Ken Dietz? What about Charlie, after he was dead? Or the Pagoda?

Ken Dietz talks about how he had no father figure to teach him to be a father and how he is an alcoholic and how he wants Vera to have self-esteem to avoid this same horrible destiny – complete with flow charts.

From Dead Charlie, we learn about his motivations while he was alive, and how he really felt.

From the Pagoda, we learn that this town monument was meant to be something grand when it was first built, but it never came to pass. It may be a symbolic place for some, but it is now a “sleazy spot to get laid”. No matter what people want it to be, the Pagoda sees what is.

“I nearly burned down in 1969. But they keep saving me because they know I stand for something. They’re just not sure what yet.” 

What goes wrong with Charlie and Vera’s relationship? Do you think it was doomed from the start?

Why does Vera drink? Is she simply coping as she claims or is it something more?

When her dad first discovers that she’s been drinking, his reaction is to make her call her mother whom she hasn’t seen or talked to in six years. He later makes her read a pamphlet on teen drinking. She comments to herself that:

“Nowhere does it say, ‘Alcohol causes your dead friend to show up in the form of inflatable two-dimensional aliens.’ Nowhere does it say,  ‘Alcohol numbs the pain.’ But I know it does.”

The culture of ignoring is so prevalent in this story, where does it come from? Why is it dangerous?

Vera’s parents ignore the abuse happening next door at Charlie’s house, and then when Vera dares to ask about Mrs. Kahn, her dad tells her to ignore it. Vera talks about how the older people get, the more shit they ignore. Or they pay attention to stuff that distracts them from the more important things that they’re ignoring. She admits that she ignores plenty of stuff, but says,

“There’s something about telling other people what to ignore that just doesn’t work for me.”

She talks about all the different types of bullying she observes throughout her day and how everyone ignores it or is told to mind their own business.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. If we’re supposed to ignore everything that’s wrong with our lives, then I can’t see how we’ll ever make things right.”

After hearing her thoughts on this, how do you come to terms with her own decision to want everyone to ignore her? Is it just because she wants to slip quietly through high school without being found out to be an ex-stripper’s daughter or is there more to this?

What do you think of the signs of Charlie that Vera experiences? From the grape jumping off of her wrap to the talking pickles to the full-on hallucinations of the 1000 Charlies; what purpose do you think these events serve?

Is this Charlie himself pointing Vera to clues or is this the manifestation of Vera’s guilt for not coming forward to clear Charlie’s name? Or is this simply Vera trying to come to terms with what happened to him?

At first, it may be hard to understand why Vera doesn’t go straight to the police and tell what she knows. But then, she talks about seeing Charlie everywhere, and we get a better sense of how much she’s grieving and maybe not really coping. The more he nags her with the 1000 Charlies, the more she hates him for leaving her with this mess:

“Or for leaving me, period.”

What are your thoughts on the book? Did the ending satisfy you?

I could talk about this book forever! I hope you enjoyed reading it and go on tostilllifewithtornado-683x1024 read all of A.S. King’s books. She has a new one coming out this fall, STILL LIFE WITH TORNADO, and the cover was just revealed last week! Looks amazing!

March’s Relaxed & Groovy Book Club selection:

Every Day coverEVERY DAY by David Levithan

Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Release Date: August 28, 2012

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy

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Plot Summary:

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a “wise, wildly unique” love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day. (From author’s website.)

I cannot tell you how much I love this book. I wish I could put a copy in every single person’s hand and watch them read it.

Too much?

David Levithan is amazingly talented and one of the funniest writers ever – when he isn’t smashing your heart into a thousand pieces. I do hope you’ll read this one and join us! The next meeting of this most relaxed and groovy of book clubs will be the last week of March. (Tie-dyed tees and funky shoes optional.)

Happy reading!