Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Stuff About My Books

Hi guys--

Brief blogpost today; I'm busy cutting out little horse-related photos and laminating them and making test sheets for the upcoming Old Dominion Region pony club Quiz Rally, which is a knowledge-based competition. This is the first year I've created any of the testing materials, and I'm really enjoying doing it.

If you count this year's, which I fully anticipate attending, I will have been to 13 ODRPC quiz rallies in a row, because my daughter will have competed in 13 in a row. She started when she was five, but because of when her birthday falls, her "pony club" age was 4. And yes, that's the youngest competitor I've ever seen at quiz rally in all those years, but her older brother was competing, and quiz that year was an 8-hour drive each way (our region is long and skinny; we're at a far end), and I had a choice between letting her join pony club and compete, or having her sulk and sob and hang on my leg the whole 3 days. Which would you pick? She did pretty well for a five year old. She also did pretty well for a six year old, seven, eight, and so on, up to being part of a team that finished in 5th place out of over 40 regional champions at a national championships when she was 12. She quit going to championships in quiz once she was old enough to compete at championships in eventing, but she still takes the regional competition pretty seriously, as does one of her very good friends. True story: this year we gave her a choice between a trip to Hawaii for spring break, and a shorter much less glamorous trip that would allow her to compete in quiz and she picked quiz.

ANYWAY, that is all just extra information. Here's what I really want to tell you:

Today I sold the Spanish-language rights to The War That Saved My Life. That means it'll be translated and sold in countries that speak (read) Spanish, and, to me, it's pretty exciting. My little nonfiction science books have been translated into Korean and Japanese (and sell like crazy in Korea) but this is the first time one of my novels is being translated into a foreign language.

Also today, I was emailed a copy of Dial's new curriculum guide for The War That Saved My Life. I was very impressed--lots of different ways to use the book with students in grades 5-7 to align with the common core for Language Arts and for History and Social Studies. You can like or hate the common core, but I can't find anything negative about this curriculum guide. I even like the font.

Actually, what I like most is the parts where it encourages students to reflect on how and why Ada transforms, and the parts where it asks students to write poems or dialogues expanding on how Ada feels. I've seen this type of assignment done on some of my other books, and am always tremendously impressed by the heart some students pour into their writing. I remember the last line of a poem about the opening of Halfway to the Sky, my book in which a grieving young teen runs away from home: "I hope my mother finds me." NOWHERE in the book did the girl actually state that. She repeatedly said she wanted to be alone. But of course she hoped her mother found her--it was the heart of the book, and the student understood.

So there you are. If you want the curriculum guide, send me an email address. If you want the book in Spanish you'll probably have to wait. I sent a PDF to the translator (not kidding) but I've no idea how long translation takes.

Two other points: I once met a boy who could read my book Energy Makes Things Happen in Korean. He could not, however, translate the Korean into English, so I have no idea how good the translation was. However my name was apparently given as "Kimberly Bradley-san." No Brubaker.

Also, I am allergic to cats and I do have three of them. But they live in the barn, and that doesn't matter, because I'm allergic to everything else in the barn too.