Thursday, February 04, 2010

Newberry Winner Speaks!

One of the best things about loving books is that you have friends who also love to read. I’m always getting cool suggestions for what to read next from them. This week, my author friend Liz Gallagher, insisted I head on down to University Village Barnes and Noble to hear Rebecca Stead, who just won the Newberry for her book When You Reach Me. I can’t wait to read this book! It's set in NYC in 1978 - in Rebecca's childhood neighborhood. It has time travel and the $25,000 Pyramid. Apparently, Rebecca's mom really was a contestant on that show in the 1970's.

Rebecca is a former public defender, who spent years working on her first novel, First Light, with her editor Wendy Lamb. I mean years! And then this second book also went through several years of revisions and versions, each given to different people to read because the book has a bit of mystery and both editor and author wanted to see how a new reader would solve it.

There was a packed house for Rebecca’s reading and Q & A. So many of the audience members were young kids since this is a middle grade novel. They posed terrific questions. Rebecca, when asked why she enjoys writing for young audiences said, “because they pay attention and they are so smart.” I have to agree wholeheartedly

Have you read When you Reach Me? What did you think about this much lauded Newberry winner?


The Clearing – HMH April 2010
Never Cry Werewolf – Harperteen Sept. 2009


TinaFerraro said...

Yes, I read it and I loved it! And what an interesting tidbit to learn Rebecca's mom was on Pyramid! That explains how she knew all those details!

The thing that impressed me the most was how busy the plot was, yet how tight. Nothing was random, everything came together with purpose.

Becky said...

We are huge lovers of this book at the shop where I work. Way last summer, it blipped on the store radar and we just couldn't get enough of it. As I have said many times while hand-selling it... it's a perfect story, and as it tips on its axis and all the little pieces begin to fall together, it's truly amazing. As a reader, it's one of those rare occasions where everything fits perfectly and it's just completely and utterly satisfying.

Mrs. V said...

I just got it in the mail yesterday. I remember a teacher raving about it on her blog this summer and she has mentioned it multiple times since. It sounds like it will be great.

stephhale said...

I've heard so much about this book. I can't wait to read it.

Adele said...

I was almost depressed when I began reading this book because I realized I wouldn't get another thing done until i finished it. What a total and complete pleasure, and how fascinating that it went through so much revision, because there's a genuine first-draft exuberance on the page. But you also can sense that she's in total control of the mystery, too-- every chapter is so well-placed, every sentence is so clean. My cousins lived on the uws of nyc in the 70s, and it brought back incredible, personal memories of freedom and adventure. what a stellar book.