Category: Children’s Books

In Praise of Children’s Librarians

When I was a boy, elementary schools did not have libraries. We didn’t know what we were missing because our town had a Carnegie Library.

Oxnard Public Library

Beginning in 1889, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie built homes for books. Eventually his philanthropy erected 2,509 public libraries, two-thirds of which were in the United States. The one in my little California farming community was by far the grandest structure in our town. The stairway on the left led up to the adult library. I was not permitted to pass through those doors. But there was a entry Continue reading “In Praise of Children’s Librarians”

Cheesie Mack’s Second Book Is in the Bookstores!

Cheesie Mack Is Cool in a Duel is everywhere! It’s now available in bookstores and online in every format.

With a cast of hundreds at the greatest summer camp in the whole known universe, Cheesie and his best buddy Georgie are stunned to find out they will not be the oldest of the Little Guys (with all those privileges and special benefits), but instead will be bunking with a cabin of unfriendly Big Guys.

From champs to chumps before the summer even gets started!

The bullying and taunting Continue reading “Cheesie Mack’s Second Book Is in the Bookstores!”

Cheesie Mack in “Publishers Weekly”

My first book, Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything, was released by Random House Children’s Books almost exactly one year ago. Since then I have visited over 80 schools across the country…in Massachusetts (Cheesie lives in Gloucester), New York, California, Oklahoma, Nevada, Florida, Washington, Idaho, and I can’t remember where else.

Kids love the book (witness this comment on Cheesie’s website today from a girl in Florida: “This book is so great i finished reading it in 2 days!!!!!i just don’t want to stop reading it!!!!!!). Even better, teachers have told me the stealth educational content I slipped into the laugh-out-loud story ties right in with middle-grades lesson plans.

Laughing and learning…the perfect combo!

The paperback will be released in May, and the second book in the series, Cheesie Mack Is Cool in a Duel, comes out in June. Publishers Weekly noted all this in today’s issue and included the terrific photo above from a visit I made this month to Calusa Elementary School in Miami.

This is great fun. I am having a ball!

photo credit: Maggie Diaz

Celebrating the Holidays and Rewriting

My web design firm, Waxcreative Design, knows how to get authors noticed.

In addition to great aesthetics, they are expert at branding, marketing, and promotion. They are also good people. I am honored this Holiday Season to be featured on their New Year’s card.

photo credit: Ros Edmonds

About 100 school sessions ago, Continue reading “Celebrating the Holidays and Rewriting”

Cheesie Mack and the Reading Detectives

How do you get kids excited about reading?

My answer is to show them how reading a good book is an adventure in itself. I get them to ask themselves questions. Questions like: Who are these characters? Why did the plot take that turn? How did the author create this mood?

I call it being a reading detective.

And in that spirit, my school presentations consist of lots of questions. Using my middle grades novel, Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything, first in a series from Random House, I engage students, exhorting them to become reading detectives.

Here’s a short video that captures Continue reading “Cheesie Mack and the Reading Detectives”