Congratulations to CAbiDeb, the next winner of my Countdown to Camp contest. CAbiDeb wrote about the time she went to a sailing meet at a boys' camp and there was no wind. She said, "We tied our boat to a boys boat, which was a big deal when you went to an all girls camp, and spent the day lazing on the lake and trying to finish the race!" Sounds like fun to me. And since she learned to sail at camp, I think she'll really enjoy reading about Jemma's sailing exploits in JEMMA HARTMAN, CAMPER EXTRAORDINAIRE.
CAbiDeb, please e-mail me at brenda at brendaferber dot com with your snail mail address so I can send you your prize package.
In other news, I've been busy busy busy lately with lots of fun stuff, most notably spring break in Florida, some other travel, and preparing for my son, Sammy's, Bar Mitzvah. In the midst of all this, my book will be coming out so soon! I've got half-finished to-do lists all over the house. It would probably be smart to consolidate them all to one list, but that would require cleaning and organizing, something that is definitely not on any of my lists. Oh well. I'm sure everything will get done eventually. At least I hope so!
In the meantime, I wanted to recommend three terrific books that I read over spring break.
3 WILLOWS by Ann Brashares. She's the author of The Traveling Pants books, and this book, about three girls growing up the summer after 8th grade, really touched my heart. Can't wait to read more about Ama, Jo, and Polly. (Plus, willow trees have always been my favorite trees, so I loved all the random facts about them sprinkled through the story.)
LOOSE GIRL by Kerry Cohen. Kerry writes young adult fiction, but this is a memoir about growing up as a promiscuous young woman. I so admire Kerry's courage to write her story. She sheds light on an issue that many women don't know how to discuss. This is a great book for mothers and teenage daughters to share.
PILLARS OF THE EARTH by Ken Follett. This enormous book is one of my dad's favorites, so I decided to take it on when I knew I'd have a lot of time on my hands. I don't read that much fiction for adults, and I certainly don't read that many 973 page books, but I'm so glad I read this one! I love stories that take place in the middle ages. Such an interesting time! Follett created the most evil character I've ever known... William Hamleigh. Ick. Gives me the chills just to type his name. But this book was filled with goodness and love, too. And I really want to go visit European cathedrals now!
And here's a bit of good news... One of my favorite children's lit blogs, Fuse #8 by uber-librarian Betsy Bird, actually mentioned JEMMA HARTMAN today. Check it out!