Looking Back #25: Thank you, Readers!

Today is the day! I can’t believe The Unbreakable Code is now officially out there in the world. I started writing this book in earnest a couple months before Book Scavenger was published. My writing process for the two books was about as different as you can get. There were times I was so far outside my writing comfort zone, I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull it off, and then I’d meet Book Scavenger readers in person or via Skype, and it always left me reinvigorated, eager to return to the page, and determined to tell another good story for you.

I’m really proud of The Unbreakable Code, (I’m whispering now so I won’t hurt my first book’s feelings, but I might even like it more than Book Scavenger). For my last countdown post, here’s a look back at some of the readers I’ve been privileged to meet. Thank you for inspiring me. I hope you enjoy reading The Unbreakable Code, and here’s to sharing more stories and meeting more readers over the years to come.

 

 

 

In case you missed it:

Looking Back #1: Re-visiting my alma maters

Looking Back #2: Meeting my editor

Looking Back #3: Meeting Ann M. Martin

Looking Back #4: A Memorable San Francisco Trip

Looking Back #5: Steves and pencils

Looking Back #6: Atlanta Book Group

Looking Back #7: A Story Behind the Story

Looking Back #8: Battle of the Books

Looking Back #9: Detective Day

Looking Back #10: Hicklebee’s

Looking Back #11: All School Read

Looking Back #12: Launching the Game

Looking Back #13: Book Scavenger Launch Parties

Looking Back #14: Book Scavenger Walking Tour

Looking Back #15: Book Scavenger Birthday Party

Looking Back #16: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Ferry Building

Looking Back #17: San Francisco ALA Book Hunt

Looking Back #18: Youth One Book One Denver

Looking Back #19: Musical Cryptogram

Looking Back #20: A Dream-Come-True Day

Looking Back #21: Paperback Tour

Looking Back #22: Mrs. Petersen

Looking Back #23: Betabrain

Looking Back #24: A Book Scavenger-Themed Library Sleepover

Looking Back #24: A Book Scavenger-themed library sleepover!

I’m counting down to the publication of The Unbreakable Code with highlights from the past two years since Book Scavenger was published. So much has happened in such a short time, and I’ve been so busy trying to keep up, that I’ve neglected to share many of the big and small moments. So here we go, in no particular order . . .

*  *  *

Earlier this year I received an email from a librarian who coordinates an annual “Bring on the Books” event for five schools in her area. The fifth graders in this program are challenged to read as many books as they would like from a list of 30 titles, and this year Book Scavenger was one of those titles. As a reward for the students who read all 30 books, they hold a sleepover in the school library with fun games and activities. I was honored to learn the theme for this year’s sleepover was Book Scavenger. I Skyped with these great readers, and after our video chat their librarian organized a book hunt around their school, which looked like so much fun!

 

In case you missed it:

Looking Back #1: Re-visiting my alma maters

Looking Back #2: Meeting my editor

Looking Back #3: Meeting Ann M. Martin

Looking Back #4: A Memorable San Francisco Trip

Looking Back #5: Steves and pencils

Looking Back #6: Atlanta Book Group

Looking Back #7: A Story Behind the Story

Looking Back #8: Battle of the Books

Looking Back #9: Detective Day

Looking Back #10: Hicklebee’s

Looking Back #11: All School Read

Looking Back #12: Launching the Game

Looking Back #13: Book Scavenger Launch Parties

Looking Back #14: Book Scavenger Walking Tour

Looking Back #15: Book Scavenger Birthday Party

Looking Back #16: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Ferry Building

Looking Back #17: San Francisco ALA Book Hunt

Looking Back #18: Youth One Book One Denver

Looking Back #19: Musical Cryptogram

Looking Back #20: A Dream-Come-True Day

Looking Back #21: Paperback Tour

Looking Back #22: Mrs. Petersen

Looking Back #23: Betabrain

Looking Back #23: Betabrain

I’m counting down to the publication of The Unbreakable Code with highlights from the past two years since Book Scavenger was published. So much has happened in such a short time, and I’ve been so busy trying to keep up, that I’ve neglected to share many of the big and small moments. So here we go, in no particular order . . .

*  *  *

I love hearing from teachers and librarians when Book Scavenger has inspired their curriculum or class projects, so when an educator wrote to tell me Book Scavenger was incorporated into their school district’s annual betabrain S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) event–making it a S.T.E.A.M event with the addition of art–I was thrilled.

They wrote:

Thank you for the hours and hours you put into creating Book Scavenger! Our betabrain planning committee used it as our inspiration for our S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art & math) event for students in grades 6-12. Book Scavenger was the perfect way to pull literacy into STEAM!

Our betabrain mission is “to provide an innovative, high quality STEAM experience for any and every interested student.” We were reminded of the importance of our mission this year when an 11-year old 6th grader took two different public buses to get to Betabrain at 9AM on a Saturday morning.”

They shared this video with me to show what Book Scavenger inspired them to create.

 

In case you missed it:

Looking Back #1: Re-visiting my alma maters

Looking Back #2: Meeting my editor

Looking Back #3: Meeting Ann M. Martin

Looking Back #4: A Memorable San Francisco Trip

Looking Back #5: Steves and pencils

Looking Back #6: Atlanta Book Group

Looking Back #7: A Story Behind the Story

Looking Back #8: Battle of the Books

Looking Back #9: Detective Day

Looking Back #10: Hicklebee’s

Looking Back #11: All School Read

Looking Back #12: Launching the Game

Looking Back #13: Book Scavenger Launch Parties

Looking Back #14: Book Scavenger Walking Tour

Looking Back #15: Book Scavenger Birthday Party

Looking Back #16: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Ferry Building

Looking Back #17: San Francisco ALA Book Hunt

Looking Back #18: Youth One Book One Denver

Looking Back #19: Musical Cryptogram

Looking Back #20: A Dream-Come-True Day

Looking Back #21: Paperback Tour

Looking Back #22: Mrs. Petersen

Looking Back #22: Mrs. Petersen!

I’m counting down to the publication of The Unbreakable Code with highlights from the past two years since Book Scavenger was published. So much has happened in such a short time, and I’ve been so busy trying to keep up, that I’ve neglected to share many of the big and small moments. So here we go, in no particular order . . .

*  *  *

 

Today’s flashback is a shoutout and thank you to all the wonderful teachers who work hard every day to grow readers and thinkers and daydreaming achievers in their classrooms.

This is one of my teachers who did that for me. Mrs. Petersen was my first grade teacher. I have very fond memories of story time in her class, when we gathered in the back of the room cross-legged on the rug, and she sat in a rocking chair and read aloud to us. There was a small rocking chair next to her which the student-of-the-day got to sit in.

Mrs. Petersen held a contest where we wrote down the names of books we read on construction paper circles and attached them together to make our own bookworm. At the end of the project, she laid out all our worms end-to-end and created one long path of book titles that went out our classroom door and down the hallway. My bookworm was the longest, and I was very excited and proud to win a copy of Little House in the Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I still have that book, and last spring when I knew I’d be seeing Mrs. Petersen again at my Kepler’s store event, I brought it with me so I could show her and let her know what a difference she made in my life.

 

In case you missed it:

Looking Back #1: Re-visiting my alma maters

Looking Back #2: Meeting my editor

Looking Back #3: Meeting Ann M. Martin

Looking Back #4: A Memorable San Francisco Trip

Looking Back #5: Steves and pencils

Looking Back #6: Atlanta Book Group

Looking Back #7: A Story Behind the Story

Looking Back #8: Battle of the Books

Looking Back #9: Detective Day

Looking Back #10: Hicklebee’s

Looking Back #11: All School Read

Looking Back #12: Launching the Game

Looking Back #13: Book Scavenger Launch Parties

Looking Back #14: Book Scavenger Walking Tour

Looking Back #15: Book Scavenger Birthday Party

Looking Back #16: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Ferry Building

Looking Back #17: San Francisco ALA Book Hunt

Looking Back #18: Youth One Book One Denver

Looking Back #19: Musical Cryptogram

Looking Back #20: A Dream-Come-True Day

Looking Back #21: Paperback Tour

 

Looking Back #21: Paperback Tour

I’m counting down to the publication of The Unbreakable Code with highlights from the past two years since Book Scavenger was published. So much has happened in such a short time, and I’ve been so busy trying to keep up, that I’ve neglected to share many of the big and small moments. So here we go, in no particular order . . .

*  *  *

Last spring my publisher sent me on a tour for the publication of the Book Scavenger paperback. I was so excited they were doing this for my book, but I was a little anxious about all the travel and public speaking too. In seven days I traveled from Denver to the San Francisco Bay Area, Albuquerque, Washington DC, Atlanta, and North Carolina. It was a whirlwind, but it was also a lot of fun!

The fantastic librarian at this school had this welcome banner waiting for me. Isn’t it wonderful? The library walls were also lined with memorabilia from previous author/illustrator visits. What a wonderful reading environment for those students!

 

At Kepler’s in Menlo Park, CA.

Remember the amazing teacher I mentioned in the Detective Day post? She and several of her students drove an hour to see me at Kepler’s–on a school night!!–and brought a very special scrapbook as well. I <3 this class!

Everything travel-wise went smoothly, and the weather was beautiful everywhere I went, which definitely helped keep stress levels low. And it turns out spending a week meeting young readers, booksellers, teachers, and librarians is SO MUCH FUN. I loved getting an inside look at a variety of schools and libraries across the country, talking with different educators, and sharing stories with kids about my love of books and writing Book Scavenger.

This was a Monday morning at Politics and Prose where three schools came to listen to my talk. Also in this audience is a reader who didn’t go to one of those schools, but it was her birthday and because she loved Book Scavenger, her dad let her miss school to come listen to my talk and get her book signed. I was so touched that was what she wanted to do for her birthday!


 

Next week I leave on another tour for The Unbreakable Code, and looking through these photos and remembering these special days is getting me excited about the new readers of all ages that I’ll meet.

 

In case you missed it:

Looking Back #1: Re-visiting my alma maters

Looking Back #2: Meeting my editor

Looking Back #3: Meeting Ann M. Martin

Looking Back #4: A Memorable San Francisco Trip

Looking Back #5: Steves and pencils

Looking Back #6: Atlanta Book Group

Looking Back #7: A Story Behind the Story

Looking Back #8: Battle of the Books

Looking Back #9: Detective Day

Looking Back #10: Hicklebee’s

Looking Back #11: All School Read

Looking Back #12: Launching the Game

Looking Back #13: Book Scavenger Launch Parties

Looking Back #14: Book Scavenger Walking Tour

Looking Back #15: Book Scavenger Birthday Party

Looking Back #16: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Ferry Building

Looking Back #17: San Francisco ALA Book Hunt

Looking Back #18: Youth One Book One Denver

Looking Back #19: Musical Cryptogram

Looking Back #20: A Dream-Come-True Day