Thankful Thursday: Auctions, Awards, and an Almost-Spring Contest

1. I’m thankful for the kind, organized people who have put together a couple great online efforts to raise money in the wake of the recent disasters in Japan. Right now, my books are part of two such auctions.

You can win signed copies of The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., Sugar and Ice, Marty McGuire (ARC), and Sea Monster’s First Day at the WriteHope auction here. Bidding ends at 1pm Saturday. And you can also bid on those same signed books, plus a 30-minute Skype session with me at the KidLit4Japan Auction here. The Skype session can be with your class or book club, or it can be a mentoring session for an aspiring writer.  This auction runs through Monday.

And please check out the full listings for both auctions – your money will be put to good use, and there are some really great opportunities, like these signed books from Jo Knowles (auction ends today!) and a poetry critique from Kelly Fineman (auction ends Friday!).

2. I got some happy news about SUGAR AND ICE recently.  It’s a finalist for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. If you’re an SCBWI member, you can vote on the Crystal Kite Award from your region’s home page after you log in to the SCBWI site.

3. I also found out that SUGAR AND ICE will be on Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award List for 2011-2012.  I love these state lists so much because I think they introduce kids to so many books they might have missed otherwise. Thanks, DCF Committee members!  And if you’re a Vermont librarian or teacher reading the DCF books with your students, please know that I’m always happy to chat with your kids via Skype, free of charge.

4. MARTY MCGUIRE, the first in my new chapter book series with Scholastic, launches in a little over a month. I’m working on line edits now for the second book in the series, MARTY MCGUIRE DIGS WORMS, which comes out in February of 2012. And I’ll be doing a special Skype tour for the first book’s launch in May.  If you work with kids in 1st-4th grade and would like your students to have “Lunch with Marty McGuire” one day in May, please drop me a note from my website. I’ll Skype into your classroom or library at lunch time, read a chapter or two aloud, share a few story-behind-the-story secrets, and answer your students’ questions.

5. It’s Spring!  (Or did Spring not get that memo where you live either?)

Lake Champlain is still very much frozen in front of my house, all the way to Crab Island. When do you think the ice will break up?

I have a couple ARCs of MARTY MCGUIRE left…and I’ll send one to the person who comes closest to guessing the date and time that the ice goes out.  Of course, this is very non-scientific, but we’ll define “ice out” as the day/time that the the solid sheet of ice is replaced by floating chunks between my house and the island, okay?  And if it happens while I’m sleeping or at school and can’t figure out the exact time, then we’ll put everyone who was pretty close in a hat and draw a winner.  Fair enough?  Enter your date/time guesses in the comments! All entries must be received by 9pm  EST Monday, March 28th. Good luck!