It must be Spring-- new books are popping up everywhere! Robin and I could not be happier to be hosting a book launch for Miss Hysterical Pants Herself, our friend and Shrinking Violet tribeswoman, Donna Gephart. Way to go, Donna!
HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL
by Donna Gephart
Delacourte Books for Young Readers/Random House
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover, 256 pages
Eleven-year-old David Greenberg dreams of becoming a TV superstar like his idol, Jon Stewart. But in real life, David is just another kid terrified of starting his first year at Harman Middle School. With a wacky sense of humor and hilarious Top 6½ Lists, David spends his free time making Talk Time videos, which he posts on YouTube. But before he can get famous, he has to figure out a way to deal with:
6. Middle school (much scarier than it sounds!)
5. His best friend gone girl-crazy
4. A runaway mom who has no phone!
3. The threat of a swirlie on his birthday
2. A terrifying cousin
1. His # 1 fan, Bubbe (his Jewish grandmother)
1/2. Did we mention Hammy, the hamster who’s determined to break David’s heart?
When David and his best friend have a fight, David is lucky enough to make a pretty cool new friend, Sophie–who just (gulp) happens to be a girl. Sophie thinks David’s videos are hilarious, and she starts sending out the links to everyone she knows. Sophie’s friends tell their friends, and before David knows it, thousands of people are viewing his videos–including some of the last people he would have expected.
David may still feel like a real-life schmo, but is he ready to become an Internet superstar?
"Gephart maps the hormonal, emotionally torturous terrain of pubescent boyhood with realistic dialogue, well-developed secondary characters and age-appropriate humor and insight, placing this title in the same august league as Jordan Sonnenblick’s Girls, Drums and Dangerous Pie." --Kirkus, **starred review**
"Gephart crafts for her likable protagonist an engaging, feel-good transition into adolescence that’s well stocked with tears and laughter." -- Booklist
"This funny, tender novel . . . is relatable and compulsively readable." -- Publisher's Weekly
And I'd like to offer my own **starred** review to Donna and Hammy the Hamster for this smokin' video-- check this out! The little dude has some serious moves.
Donna enjoyed her official launch last week, and run-don't-walk to her blog and read about her day. Check out the wonderfully inventive gift baskets her friends brought and the sumptuous flowers. I'm writing my next book about hamsters, just so Robin will give me one of the muffin-stuffed hamster wheels. (I like chocolate chip muffins best, Robin, in case you forgot. Yeah, as IF I'd ever let her forget!)
Donna has a copy of How I Survived Middle School, still warm from the press, that she is dying to sign and give to one of our readers. Answer one of the following questions and you could win!
What is the name of Donna's agent's hamster? (Most likely that should be "was the name" since she had the little fella back in fourth grade, but I'm not certain on his current status. I'm a little deficient in my knowledge of Hamsterology-- no disrespect intended.)
Donna's Fleischman-Award Winning first novel has thirteen words in the title. What other middle grade novel has exactly thirteen words in its title? (Both Donna and I can be bribed with chocolate chips to give hints on this one.)
Best of luck to you all!
Donna Gephart's first novel, AS IF BEING 12-3/4 ISN'T BAD ENOUGH, MY MOTHER IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award. Her new novel, HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL, received a starred review from Kirkus. OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN recently sold to Delacorte Press/Random House.
Originally from Philadelphia, Donna now lives in South Florida with her husband and two sons, a number of animals, and some awesome friends, three of which Mary Hershey is plotting to kidnap and relocate.
You can get more esstential intel on Donna at at her website, or at her irresistably readable and soulful blog, Wild About Words.
Last Week's Contest Winners: Gregory K, Tanita Davis, Anonymous from Ellwood and Seranissima-- congratulations on winning copies of Robin's new book for your favorite library! If you'll head over to her blog and report in, she'll give you the details on how to collect your books.
Next from Shrinking Violets!
Monday, April 28th: Calling everyone to get yourselves ready for Buy Indie Day on May 1st. We hope to have updates from our three lovely 4-Ever Reigning Independent Booksellers of the Year Queens, Kris Vreeland, Alex Uhl, Hannah Schwartz.
Monday, May 3rd: An unforgettable interview with Kathleen Duey, author of Skin Hunger, a National Book Award finalist. Sneak peak: "At my first SCBWI conference (cold-sweat, walking out, forcing myself to go back in, dry-mouth-heart-thud nervous, standing by the doors the WHOLE time) I realized that the people who had the kind of careers I wanted were all good speakers. So I set about learning."
Pictured below: Hammy's cousin, Tammy, auditioning for Donna's next book.