Monday, June 27, 2016


Lots of cool things have been happening to me! I attended the American Libraries Association Conference for the first time ever.

This is a photo of me signing with my friend and fellow Scholastic author, Augusta Scattergood. Several of our Florida SCBWI colleagues gathered to show their support, or maybe just to ham it up!

And I had to snap a photo of my new book beside Augusta's new book!

And this is a stack of our books ready for signing!

In other cool news, I toured the TRIO exhibit at ALA. I was especially interested because RUBY LEE & ME will be part of TRIO in 2017. That means my book will be given to a visual artist and a songwriter. Using RUBY LEE & ME as inspiration, the visual artist will produce a work of art, and the songwriter will pen a song, thus completing the TRIO. The exhibit will debut at the Southern Independent Booksellers' Conference in Savannah.You can learn more by clicking on TRIO.

And finally, I had the opportunity to meet a Louisiana family whose son has been assigned RUBY LEE & ME for summer reading. Here we are at Inkwood Books:

That's all the news that's fit to print. Happy Fourth of July and Happy Summer Reading!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger Now A Movie

I read and reviewed the book Greenhorn a couple of years ago so I was intrigued to see how the story translated to film. My verdict: brilliantly!

The film begins in 1981 at a medical center in Jerusalem. Two old friends are seeing each other for the first time in thirty-five years. One is a doctor; the other a rabbi. The rabbi asks a haunting question, "What about the box?"

The film transitions back to Brooklyn in 1946 when the two old friends were young students. Aaron's teacher tells the class that twenty boys will be arriving from Poland. The boys are refugees, displaced by the horrors of WWII. For the classroom full of American boys the war is over. It didn't really affect them, but not so for Daniel, the boy they taunt as a "Greenhorn."

Daniel carries a tin box with him everywhere he goes. One of his fellow students compares it to the way his three-year-old sister carries around her security blanket. Most of the other students torment Daniel, not in a sophisticated way, but in a way typical of middle school. They call him names and point out that he's different, but Daniel is not the only boy they bully. Aaron, a boy who stutters, is also a target. He's called "Gravelmouth."

The film and the book are about the friendship that develops between the Greenhorn and the Gravelmouth. Aaron, the stutterer, finds his voice and sticks up for his friend. We learn what is in the box: soap. It's all Daniel has left of his family. They were murdered by the Nazis and the fat from their bodies turned into soap.

The horror of that revelation brings us back to the beginning of the film, when the rabbi asks the doctor, "What about the box?" I highly recommend you watch the film to find out!