Today is the birthday of a brand-new book. I thought maybe it was my 50th book for children, but it's my 48th; I just went back and counted. (I describe myself as the author of over 50 books for young readers, but I cheat a bit and count books once they are under contract and in the pipeline.) I sort of wish Kelsey had the honor of being the 50th, because the book is such a celebration of reading and readers. Like Kelsey, I entered reading contests as a child; I still remember the thrill of having my name in the Courier News as the third grader who read the most books in the North Plainfield Public Library summer reading program.
Here's the nice review for the book from Publishers' Weekly:
Kelsey Green, Reading Queen
Claudia Mills, illus. by Rob Shepperson. FSG/Ferguson, $15.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-374-37485-3When the principal of Kelsey’s school announces a month-long reading contest, Kelsey is positive she will lead her third-grade class to victory. Kelsey loves books like her best friends, Annika and Izzy, love math and running, and nothing is going to stop her class from winning—or stop Kelsey from reading the most books. Except, maybe, for Simon, who reads as voraciously as Kelsey, or Kelsey’s parents, who insist she miss reading time to attend her siblings’ various functions (“Her mother called it ‘being a family’ ”). Certain that Simon is cheating, Kelsey enlists Annika and Izzy to help spy on him. Single-minded and a tad selfish, Kelsey isn’t always the most pleasant of third-graders—but she’s 100% realistic. And although Kelsey’s excitement about the reading contest skews her priorities, she redeems herself (and shares her love of books) when she helps out a classmate who struggles with reading. Shepperson’s (The Memory Bank) lively pencil illustrations capture the upbeat mood of this excellent first book in the Franklin School Friends series.
Here's the "birth announcement" made for me by the book's brilliant illustrator, Rob Shepperson:
Welcome to the world, Kelsey!