Sunday, August 23, 2015


Sometimes life brings with it sweet moments where all the different facets of our existence come together in lovely, unexpected ways.

Yesterday afternoon I was babysitting for Kataleya while her parents had a movie date. Addicted as I am to progress, I decided to take Kat with me to the local branch of the public library to pick up a book I had on hold: the YA novel Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I had wanted to read it, anyway, as I had already read and enjoyed her Eleanor and Park, but now I actually needed to read it, as I've been asked to review an article on girl writers in Fangirl and Little Women, submitted to a children's literature journal. How delightful to have a double reason to spend an hour at the library: play time for Kat and Mimsie, and another item crossed off my long to-do list.

At the library, Kat was busy playing in the children's area, thick stubs of chalk clutched in each hand for scribbling on the chalk table, as I chatted with the parents of another little boy playing there as well. A mother and her two daughters approached us: "Excuse us for interrupting, but are you. . . Claudia Mills?" I spied a copy of my Kelsey Green, Reading Green in the huge batch of books they were preparing to check out.

Why, yes, I am Claudia Mills. And what is nicer than to encounter eager readers of my books? It turns out that Kelsey was being checked out for the younger sister; the older one had already read it, as well as Annika Riz, Math Whiz, and now had Izzy Barr, Running Star on hold for a future library checkout. Her mother recognized me because they read my blog - this blog! She had seen the picture of me by the world's biggest ball of twine. She's the kind of mom who not only takes her girls to the library every week for two bulging shopping bags filled with books, but devours author blogs as well to immerse them fully in the world of children's literature.

I told my young fan about my forthcoming Nora Notebooks series, mentioning the launch title, The Trouble with Ants, which tells of Nora's enthusiasm for her ant farm. "Nora, of the Mason Dixon books? she asked. Yes! I hugged her, overcome with love for someone who had read my books so closely and remembered them so well.

The parents of the first adorable little boy joined in the conversation. That dad is a third grade teacher, who now plans to look for my books to share with his students.

So as I was there at the library to check out Fangirl, I met my own young fangirl, and her wonderful family, and gained an opportunity to connect with yet more kids who might become future fangirls and fanboys. I ask you: What could be more perfect than that?


  1. I wish I lived close enough to meet you at the library! I would have burbled about Oliver, Maggie, and Sierra. But no, I live in Pennsylvania. At least I can promote your books in the school library where I work! I liked Fangirl a lot and would love to hear your opinion when you have read it. The article sounds intriguing too. I wouldn't have thought of comparing Cath to Jo March, but now I am thinking about it. Hmmm...
    Anyway, I've been happily reading your blog for awhile and am now officially following you. :-)

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment, Julie! I wish we could meet a library too and burble together! The article about Fangirl thought up many fascinating comparisons between the two books that I would never have thought of. I probably shouldn't reveal them here in this public forum as it's an unpublished piece and I don't even know the name of its author, as I was reviewing it in a double-blind process (where the author doesn't know the name of the reviewer and the reviewer doesn't know the name of the author). But if we could burble together, I would!