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Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters Blog Tour

airport1Ah, the book tour! All those plane flights, the delays and  missed connections, the pat-downs and X-rays, the packing and unpacking, the unfamiliar cities and lumpy hotel beds, the tricky interviewers and unflattering lighting….


Oh, wait. I’m going on a BLOG tour.



All those wonderful blogs! The charming and well-informed bloggers! The fast Internet connections and easy uploads! And no plane flights at all.


Here is where I’ll be, and when:


◊Tuesday, August 27: There’s a Book 



◊Wednesday, August 28: Bookalicious


◊Thursday, August 29: Manga Maniac Café


   ◊Friday, August 30: Icey Books



◊Saturday, August 31: GreenBeanTeenQueen



 ◊Sunday, September 1: Mundie Moms MundieMomsHeader1




So please, stop by and visit. Read reviews and guest posts, enter giveaways, and leave your comments!

Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters ARC Giveaway!

Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters won’t be published until August 27. But that’s such a long time to wait…

Well, it’s Children’s Book Week — and I have an ARC of Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters to give away to celebrate children’s books! 100_6501If you’d like to enter to win, post a comment stating which middle-grade children’s book is your absolute favorite and why. The contest is open until Friday, May 17, at 5 p.m. A lucky winner will be chosen randomly. U.S. entries only, please. So get those comments in — and good luck!

A Proud Taste for E.L. Konigsburg

konigs2Today I found out that one of my favorite writers, E.L. Konigsburg, had died.


Her first two books, the Newbery Honor title Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth and the Newbery Award Winner From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, were published when I was exactly the right age tkonigs1o devour them. I read them and read them and read them again. I wanted to be Claudia and run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And I wanted to be E.L. Konigsburg and write a book that made readers want to be my characters.

metI was 20 when I finally got to the Met, and I walked from room to room seeing it through Claudia’s eyes. A couple of years later, I wrote my first novel, about a girl who runs away to live in Central Park. Like most first novels, it was completely unpublishable (a lack of originality was not its biggest problem), but it just goes to show: the influence of a great story lives on in its readers. The desire to write E.L. Konigsburg’s actual book has evolved into konigs3the desire to write as good a book as E.L. Konigsburg did, and I’ll keep trying to do it for as long as I write.

Thank you, Elaine Konigsburg, for the stories and the inspiration.

Some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you  allow what is already in you to swell up and touch everything. 

— E.L. Konigsburg


We took a spring break trip to the Northern Neck of Virginia last week, searching for signs of Henry_Misty spring, birds, and the ponies of Chincoteague. Long ago I was a little obsessed with Misty of Chincoteague, though I am really, rhorseseally not a horse person. I loved it so much that I read all the other Marguerite Henry books (none quite lived up to Misty).

The National Seashore at Assateague Island, where the ponies live, is accessible from two states, Virginia and Maryland. We were staying the night in Chincoteague, so we went in from the Virginia side. There were lots and lots of birds, and finally, at a great distance, a pony sighting — a group of five roaming through the sandy scrub. Still, that wasn’t enough for me.  I was ready for a closeup.

In the morning we set out for the Maryland entrance to the park. It was freezing cold and snowing a little, so we weren’t feeling too hopeful. But…



Ponies sticking their heads into cars, sashaying across the road as if they owned it (which they sort of do), clipclopping down the bike path. Mistys here, Stormys there. It was a Marguerite Henry-lover’s dream.

100_6562.2(Spoiler fact alert: We learned, to my shock and consternation, that these are not really ponies. They are horses, stunted from their meager diet of scrub, and bloated from their excessive water-drinking because of the salty diet. And they BITE. But I still loved them.)



Just in case you were wondering, the Pony Swim and Pony Penning Days still happen. You can read about them here.

Hooray for the Bubonic Plague! (Not really. But sort of.)

In November, middle-school students Kathryn and Jenna interviewed me for a cv_082259076Xdocumentary on the bubonic plague outbreak of the 1340s. It’s their entry for the National History Day competition, which you can read about here.  They were knowledgeable and skillful interviewers. They gave me chocolate. And now…


They have won FIRST PLACE in the local National History Day competition! Let’s have a round of applause!


Plague-victims-from-the-14th-CenturyNext, they take their documentary to the state level. And then…well, I’ll keep you posted!