SLJ Article and some nice reviews for GIANNA Z

It’s less than a month until THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z will be released from Walker Books for Young Readers, and while my attention right now is mostly on revisions for my Fall 2010 book, SUGAR ON SNOW, I’m taking time out to share some cool bits of GIANNA Z news…and some thankfulness.

Some of you might remember this post about Authors Who Skype with Book Clubs and the list of those who do.  Well, through the magic of the Internet and Twitter, one thing led to another after that post, and I ended up writing a technology feature for School Library Journal, which thrills me to no end. I love School Library Journal and stalk it every month when it arrives at my middle school.  I have been known to stealthily sneak into the room and snatch it off the librarian’s desk before he’s even had a chance to read it (sorry, Russell), so having an article in SLJ is mighty exciting for me.  The feature is called "Met Any Good Authors Lately?" and you can read it online here.

Some people have started saying nice things about THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z, which also thrills me. 

From Booklist: "Laced with humor and heart…this is an insightful and affecting read, offering a compassionate portrayal of a family member’s illness and the discovery of beauty and inspiration in nature and poetry.

And Kirkus (which was very complimentary despite all my worries because they are…well…Kirkus): "Messner succeeds in creating an engaging saga….jazzing up the plot with a riddle-loving younger brother, making Gianna’s family proprietors of a funeral home and sprinkling in a hearty helping of references to art and poetry keep things interesting. An ending that’s hopeful without being saccharine is another big plus."

School librarian and blogger Stacy Dillon of Welcome to My Tweendom says:

Kate Messner has written a poignant novel about family, friendship, and change. Gianna is so close to her Nonna, and the possible onset of Alzheimer’s is a reality that many families face, but not many kids get to read about in a relevant way. Messner handles this weighty topic with grace. Gianna is a lovely mix of a dreamer, an artist, and an advocate.Read the full review here.

  listed GIANNA Z as a favorite on her Family Fun Together blog’s list of tween books  "because of the beautiful story, the wonderful science input (through Gianna’s tree project), and the poignant discussion of grandparents and aging."  Read more…

  calls THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z   "a sweet story of family and friendship featuring a likeable, energetic main character, who manages to be both realistic and funny…." Read more…

Thanks, Stacy and Robin and Brenda – and to everyone else who’s had a chance to read GIANNA Z a bit early and shared the title with friends. To an author waiting for a book to arrive in the world, those lovely early reviews and GoodReads posts and little notes on Facebook and elsewhere are like warm blankets and freshly baked brownies and big bouquets of flowers all rolled into one.

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