Tuesday, January 7, 2014

books and bake sales.

When I was in elementary school, these were a few of my favorite things:

- Art.
- Ice Cream after lunch. I don't think schools do this anymore. RIP, Creamsicles.
- Fridays, because we could drink Coke during recess. Also, I could sleep late the next day.
- Reading. And English. And creative writing, regardless of the subject.
- Recess. Because I could sit at the picnic tables and read.
- PE. Because I couldn't participate (I have brittle bones), which meant I got to sit in the bleachers and read.
- Library day. Because ... you know.
- BAKE SALES. Do schools still have these? Billy Miller's mom the best cupcakes.
- Parties. Especially Halloween parties. I would have worn a Halloween costume to school every single day if I could have.


(Which are no longer called "book orders"... I don't think. But they function in the same, amazing capacity.)

My BFF, who is a teacher, called me when our elementary school stopped selling ice cream and removed the pop machines. ("Soda" machines, is what some folks call them.) That was tragic. I'm sure kids are way healthier now, but woe. WOE! Some days, the only thing that got me through horrible fractions was knowing I could have a Creamsicle after lunch, ya know?

Time changes many things.

Time does not change the wonder that is ... a Scholastic Bookclub Flyer. (Book orders, if you're old school. But I much prefer the word "flyer".)

I remember being so happy on the day my class got book orders. Seeing what was new. What was on sale. Sketching pencil stars besides the maybe's and hearts beside the DEFINITELY'S.  My parents usually told me I had like $5-$10 to buy books and I took my budget very seriously.

I treasured the book order. And then came the excitement when the box arrived, and teachers doled out new books. The covers were shiny and the pages were crisp, just waiting for my Cheetoh fingerprints to fill the margins. Like smudged, orange snowflakes. Sigh. It was a beautiful sight.

Seriously though: please allow me a moment to be a dork:

Over the weekend I received this kind, wonderful tweet:


Thank you, Justin! 

And then, today, I saw A Snicker of Magic in a Scholastic book order (the one I saw is for 4th grade, I think). I had ... a moment. One of those strange and rare and wonderful moments when time folds a little bit. First came the echo-feeling the same joy I felt back when I got book orders. And then the WHOA moment.

I wrote a novel. And it's in the January Scholastic flyer!

Wayside School is Falling Down was one of my favorite books when I was in middle school. So there are no words for how this feels:

As Felicity would say, "My heard kicked yes inside my chest ... YES YES YES!" :)

I'm showing you this for a reason besides me getting sappy:

The copy of A Snicker of Magic sold through Scholastic Book Clubs is paperback, and it only costs $4. 

That makes me so, so very happy. Teachers and students who can't afford to splurge on a hardback right now (or have a tight book budget) might still be able to swing this copy, if they want one. Happy, happy day!

(Just so you know, the copy you pre-order, or wait and buy, at your bookstore or online retailer is a hardback copy. For now, this particular paperback version is exclusive to Scholastic Book Clubs.)

The most surreal part of all of this is knowing that maybe, maybe, somebody will like the book enough to put it on their shelf, and keep it in their heart for a while. A teacher might pull my book out of the Scholastic box in a few months. That's just nuts.

I'm so blessed to be any part of this story-world. So grateful I get to spend so much time doing what I love.

Hooray for new books. And big dreams that take root when you are very, very small. And Creamsicles, too. Hooray for those.

Hooray for sweet moments.


  1. Congratulations, girl! What an amazing moment...thanks for sharing it with us. :)

  2. This is so, so awesome! Oh my goodness, I was obsessed with the Scholastic book club orders, too (and don't even get me started on book fairs). When I was interning at the college daycare a couple of years ago, the absolute best part was that they handed out the book club flyers to parents and teachers, and we got the opportunity to order from them, too! It was like being in elementary school again. :) I ordered way too many picture books (if that's possible) during those two years of internship. Anyway...congrats! :)

  3. "For the Fans of Three Times Lucky". What a compliment! Oh friend, so excited for you! Keep scribbling down your stories! Can't wait to read this one!

  4. Yay I can't wait to read it!!! My mom is a children's librarian and I'm going to try to get her to display it so lots of kids will pick it up. I'm so excited for you!!!

  5. It's all just so wonderful, Natalie. Wild dreams...