Monday, October 25, 2010

Fractions = Trouble!

When I write each book, I always think, maybe THIS is the one: the one to be my "breakout" book, my Newbery medal, my best-seller, my ticket to literary immortality. And guess what: so far, I've always been wrong. But each book ends up garnering some little honor, some small piece of recognition, appealing to some child somewhere.

Of all my books, the one that has sold the most copies by far is 7 x 9 = Trouble! When I get my royalty statements twice a year, I usually find that it has sold not only more copies than any of my other books, but often more copies than all the other books put together. I do love this little book, but I don't love it more than its brothers and sisters. So I have no idea why this one has proven to be the most popular of my books. It does have a cute title. It does have an adorable cover, with art by G. Brian Karas. It does deal with a childhood rite of passage - mastering the times tables - that hasn't been given a book-length treatment before. I'm sure all that helps. But it's still a mystery to me why this book of all my others has turned out to be the little book that could.

Now the sequel is coming out next year: Fractions = Trouble! Still a cute title, still an adorable cover, but this time Wilson is struggling with fractions, not times tables. Will that make a difference in its popularity? I'll know in a year or two or three or four.


  1. Claudia - I'm so excited about FRACTIONS = TROUBLE! 7 x 9 is one of my frequent re-reads because, to me, it's a perfect early middle grade in story, structure, character. I learn so much, while loving it over and over again. In my mind you've already earned literary immortality!

  2. Thanks, Carol! I've been feeling a teensy weensy bit low about writing-related things, and a message like yours suffuses me with wonderful new energy.

  3. I'm going to buy this book! Thanks for sharing it here.