November 11, 2018

100 years since the original armistice day.

My new novel has a title: ALL HE KNEW. I was thinking the other day as I was writing an emotional part of the story, “I’m the first person to read this.” There will most likely be thousands of others, children and adults, who will journey through this territory I am mapping out. Janine O’Malley is my editor on this book–she was Frances Foster’s assistant when my first book (KEESHA’S HOUSE) was accepted at FSG, so Janine was a first reader of my first few novels-in-poems, before she became an editor of her own books. I marvel at my good fortune to be allowed to work with some of the very best editors in children’s books.

In other news, I tagged and released 37 monarch butterflies this year, more than the past few years. They are like beautiful old friends, flying in and bringing me great joy. Early in the “monarch season” I was standing beside a big milkweed plant, and a monarch flew by and laid an egg on one leaf, then circled around me and the milkweed for about five minutes, eventually laying eight eggs. I’m planting more milkweed this year, and encouraging others to do the same.

HELLO, I’M HERE, the picture book about Sandhill Cranes, illustrated with amazing photographs by Rick Lieder, will be out from Candlewick Press next April. Can’t wait!