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.

23 Replies on “SLJ Article and some nice reviews for GIANNA Z

  1. congratulations!!!

    I’m so glad to hear all the great news. Waiting for the first words from readers can be worrisome, and I’m happy you’ve got all the warm blankets and brownies you deserve.

  2. Congratulations all around, Kate!! You’re right, all the notes are so lovely to get. I try to print all the nice things and I keep them in a folder with my book’s title. Then any time I read something not so nice I have something to lessen the sting. 🙂

  3. Congratulations on the good reviews! While I am not eager for summer to end, I am anxiously awaiting the release of the book so I can read it and then share it with my class! If only there was a way for September 1 to arrive without it also harolding the end of summer vacation!

  4. I do this, too – I have a folder in my Entourage file called “Really Nice Emails” and that’s where I head when something really stings and I need to remember the warm blanket feeling!

  5. Thank you so much! And by all means, if your class would like to chat after they read the book, drop me a note & we can set up a Q and A session via Skype if you’d like!

  6. You are most welcome 🙂 I just finished reading your article in the SLJ about author videochats. I do hope that we can do a Q & A later this year. Our school just bought a webcam and our tech person is going to work on getting it set up before school starts. I will definitely be in touch!

  7. Thanks for linking to that — I hope, hope, hope that tons of people pick up your book. It’s just so well done…you have a gift, Kate 🙂 (And I realize that many writers do, of course, it’s just that your book evokes a mood that not as many are able to — a really good, touching, beautiful mood.) I’m taking my extra ARC to D’s school today and leaving it with the librarian — I know she’ll like it!

  8. kudos

    Warm blankets…and brownies…and flowers….OH MY !! Congrats on all the compliments. Can’t wait for Gianna to hit the rest of the world. It makes me tingle all over (and cry a little). I’m excited.

  9. Wow Kate, so many kind words. So well deserved. The SLJ Article was terrific too. And how about that — you found a way to have brownies without calories!