Friday, March 21, 2008

The Uber-Talented Simone Elkeles

I was lucky enough to get to spend some quality time with Simone last Friday. We were both invited to a special luncheon for Illinois authors. There were 45 authors in attendance and each author sat with a table of teachers and librarians. Local art classes even made posters depicting our books. It was super cool. But best of all, I got to catch up with Simone. If you have never had the pleasure of meeting Simone, I highly suggest it. She is hilarious and so full of energy. I swear I get a buzz just being around her!

Simone has had some very exciting news recently. First off, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English has named her the 2008 Illinois Author of the Year. They are having a big shin dig in her honor in October. As if that weren't enough, she recently sold her fourth (and personal favorite) book.

Author of Leaving Paradise and How to Ruin a Summer Vacation Simone Elkeles' ZERO TOLERANCE(changed to PERFECT CHEMISTRY), a Romeo and Juliet story about a gang member who wants to change his life for the girl on the right side of the tracks, but the consequences of leaving the gang are more than he bargained for, to Emily Easton at Walker, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency

Check out all the awards that Simone's first three books have gotten.

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation: ISBN: 978-0-7387-0961-1
Voted #3 on the Top Ten Teen book of the year (2007) by YALSA, the young adult division of the American Library Association (
Silver medal in the (IPPY’s) independent publisher book awards in the Multicultural Children’s fiction category
Finalist in the 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest
Finalist in the 2007 National Readers Choice Awards
Finalist in the 2007Aspen Gold book awards
Winner, Chick Lit Stiletto contest in the Young Adult category, 2005

Leaving Paradise: ISBN: 978-0-7387-1018-1
Book Sense (independent book stores) “2007 Summer Picks” List
Chosen for Barnes & Noble’s Popular Teen Reads table for September, 2007
Video trailer for Leaving Paradise a finalist in the Cameo Book Trailer Awards in the professional category (watch it at
Nominated, Cybil award 2007

How to Ruin my Teenage Life: ISBN: 978-0-7387-1019-8
Nominated, Cybil award 2007
An Association of Jewish Libraries 2008 Notable Book for Teen Readers

I know, right? Like how about leaving some awards for the rest of us? Just kidding, Simone. May your list of sales and awards keep growing for many years to come!



Me said...

So many accolades. Such a bright future. Congrats, Simone, and many more to come!

Marley Gibson said...

I'm in awe of you, Simone! And you know, I loved all three of these books. = )

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Wow, Simone! Your awards list is so amazing (and so are your books!)

This just proves what I've said all along, you're a mentor not just to me, but other YA authors, and readers as well!

Cannot wait for Perfect Chemistry to come out :)

Simone Elkeles said...

Thanks so much for this post, it makes me feel so good. In my girl scout troop, one of the favorite activities is one girl sits in the middle of the group and everyone goes around saying something nice about that person. You'd think at the age of 10 and 11 these girls would think it's stupid, but they LOVE it! I feel like a girl scout right now in the middle of the group. Thanks for the wonderful warm fuzzies!

By the way, Perfect Chemistry aka Zero Tolerance might get another title altogether. Boy, titles are hard to come up with!


Simone Elkeles said...

I just snowblowed my driveway just now. yes, over six inches here in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Simone! You deserved all the awards you got! I cant wait for Perfect Chemistry or Zero Tolerance to come out. I know the book will be as excellent as the rest.


Anonymous said...

Simone, the awards are well deserved indeed! You have a wonderful ability to bring characters to life on the page.

I loved both How to Ruin a Summer Vacation and How to Ruin my Teenage Life....just curious...will you be writing any more Amy Nelson-Barak adventures? I NEED to know what happens to Amy and Avi when his tour of duty in the Israeli army is over!!! I want see Amy, Nathan and Jessica get into more hilarious situations too. I couldn't stop laughing when they tried to kidnap Avi!

BTW, will you be making any bookstore appearances in Toronto, Canada any time soon?


TinaFerraro said...

Woo-hoo, Simone, it is so wonderful to hear about all these awards and your new sale! And so deserved. Can't wait for PERFECT CHEMISTRY to come out!