SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY! Order Signed Books for Holidays :-)

THANKS TO Jack and Allie’s Bookstore for partnering with me to offer signed books for the holidays.


If you would like to order ONE FOR THE MURPHYS (hardcover or paperback) or FISH IN A TREE and have me sign and/or personalize it, please order by DECEMBER 10th to give Barbara at Jack and Allie’s Bookstore time to order books, get them signed, and shipped (Free shipping thanks to Barbara at Jack and Allie’s!)


Books available for personalization:


One for the Murphys Hi-res

~One for the Murphys (paperback)  $7.99

  • Puffin Books, Paperback, 9780142426524, 256pp.

~One for the Murphys (hardcover)  $16.99

  • Nancy Paulsen Books, Hardcover, 9780399256158, 224pp.



~Fish in a Tree (hardcover)  $16.99

Nancy Paulsen Books, Hardcover, 9780399162596, 288pp.


How do you order?

CALL Jack and Allie’s at 860-375-8465


E-mail  and please write BOOK ORDER in subject line


~~~~PLEASE SPECIFY if you would just like a signature or a personalization. THANK YOU!


FREE SHIPPING to USA and only $5.00 to Canada  (THANKS Barbara at Jack and Allie’s!)


THANK YOU. Wishing you all a blessed holiday season.

Categories: writing | Leave a comment

Runneth Over


I’m on deadline and should be writing my novel right now but I am just SO DARN GRATEFUL, it’s just spilling out of me. I woke up today to find this on the header of the NYT Best Seller’s page. WHAT?! This is crazy.


NYT Header with fish


Also, last week, I attended The American Library Association’s conference where I received The Schneider Family Book Award. This is an award that means a great deal to me as I have followed all of its winners since 2007 when RULES by Cynthia Lord won. I loved that book


Cropped Schneider


so much. Because it won the Schneider, I’ve taken note of the Schneider winners every year since and you know what? The list of winners are among my favorite authors EVER. I have learned so much from authors such as Leslie Connor, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Joan Bauer, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and Cynthia Lord. And, it turns out that these very talented writers are truly stellar people. Seriously folks. How did this happen?


If this wasn’t enough, I recently won the Crystal Kite Award, an award given by the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators). Again, this award means SO MUCH to me because it is won via votes from other writers and illustrators in one’s region. Crystal Kite seal on FIATAND this organization transformed my life. I don’t mean the writing thing. Yes, that was cool and a very welcome and amazing and unexpected treasure but it’s the people of SCBWI who I treasure most. The people who have stood by me through rejection and success. The people who are STILL my go-to people. I adore you. I have so many things to be grateful for in this career, but you top the pile.


So, I really want to give back today. I want to help other children’s writers who are trying to figure it out and who are still waiting for publishing lightning to strike. It’s a long haul, I know, but we really ARE all in this together. (You may be interested in this from my website about the vulnerability of writing)


SO WRITERS…In the comments section below, post your title, genre, and first line. Then include your Twitter name (preferred) or e-mail. I will choose a couple and reach out to those writers to send me the first five pages. I’ll read them and contact the writer with some feedback about character, beginning, pacing, etc.. It’s likely I’ll ask for a phone # as I’d rather have a two way chat rather than write an e-mail.

Also, please RT / share this to spread the word – I would very much appreciate it J

Yours truly,

the ever-grateful, I can’t believe all that’s happened, goofball,


Categories: writing | 86 Comments

Lifesavers Don’t Always Come in Rolls – Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!


Three years ago, I visited a class whose teacher told me that I “needed to speak with them.” She’d said she had a lot of “Carleys” from my first book, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS. I’d been scheduled to speak to them for 45 minutes. I was there for 2 1/2One for the Murphys Hi-res hours. And, yes, there were a lot of kids struggling with life’s circumstances. I could see it in their body language, their questions, and how some averted their eyes when stories relating to resilience came up. How I’d had to dig down and find my own when I was their age.

When I left, several followed me into the hallway. It was fun and lively and they made jokes as I walked backwards to face them. Then their teacher called them back and I turned to go. And then I heard my name.

I turned to look into the eyes of a boy as tall as me with dark, wide eyes. He took a deep breath and when he exhaled, his body sagged. He shook his head a bit and finally said, “I’ve been through an awful lot.”

I didn’t ask what. Instead, I gave him the room to share what he wanted. The little he did share broke my heart. One of the things that struck me was how his teacher had obviously been helping with far more than English, math and history. She was helping him lay a foundation to navigate the future. After we talked for about ten minutes, he said to me, “My teacher tells me that I can’t be thinking of myself as a victim.”

I held his shoulders and looked him in the eye and said “No. You will not be a victim. You will grow up and do great things in the world. You will use these experiences to help others. You will not be a victim. You…will be a conqueror.”

He nodded once and he swallowed hard. I could see he was already working on that.

I have since met several kids like this and as I think of them, I always think of their teachers as well. For every talk I’ve had with a child, there is an adult nearby. Circling from afar. Glancing over. Checking in. These kids have emotional safety nets in these teachers and I am grateful for them every single day. I wonder if these teachers realize that they are saving lives.

I’ve met teachers who buy books and food and jackets for kids in need. Teachers show up at author events two hours from their homes because their students couldn’t get there otherwise. And then they thank me—this always floors me. And then there are the teachers who are not able to do these things outside of school but do a darn good job of teaching and igniting curiosity in their kids. They take their calling seriously. They make kids want to come to school—which opens huge doors. I had such a teacher.

Having been a quiet, disheveled student whose standardized test scores said I was illiterate I showed up to sixth grade expecting to fail. Again. I had been in the lowest reading group since first grade and spent a lot of time looking around the room and wondering why I couldn’t do the things the other kids could do. I had begun to wonder what would become of me.   FullSizeRender(4)

And then I met Mr. Christy, my sixth grade teacher. He smiled when I walked into the room. He set high expectations and then ensured my success. He lifted me from one life path and set me on another. He changed the trajectory of my life by changing my perception of myself. He did this by focusing on the child rather than the student—and the student flourished. Regretfully, I didn’t have the words to thank him at the end of the year; I think eleven-year-old me was overwhelmed. Even though he has now passed away, I hope he knows that I’ve finally written him that thank you note. It’s 288 pages long and entitled, FISH IN A TREE.


Giveaway for teachers for Teacher Appreciation Day:

TEN winners will be chosen ~ I will give away one signed hardcover of your choice (One for the Murphys or Fish in a Tree) to ten different winners. Each winner must be able to provide a school address. After all, it IS a Teacher’s Appreciation giveaway.  I will happily personalize it as well.

To enter, please leave a comment below and/or tweet / Retweet with the hashtag #OFTM which will help me find your entry.

Giveaway ENDS on Thursday, May 12 at 11:59 PM.


Categories: writing | 75 Comments

Middle Grade Authors Love Teachers Giveaway #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers, 2016



It’s no secret to those of you who know me that I just adore and respect teachers and librarians teacherswho are out there every day with kids–reaching out to them with just the right book or just the right conversation and changing lives. As is often said in children’s literature circles, books offer both mirrors and windows to readers. We often discover things about ourselves and/or who we want to be through reading (mirrors). We also learn about the world–other cultures, ways of life, opinions and learn to empathize with others (windows). For some, a book offers a friend and the ability to revisit that friend as needed. Yes, we write the books. but YOU put those books into the hands of kids every day. We are a team.


So…to express this appreciation and love for ALL of you heroes/teachers/librarians out there, I have banded together with some author friends (THANKS to you all for your kindness and generosity!) to offer one GIANT giveaway for one lucky winner. The winner of this giveaway will receive a signed copy of every single book below–each mailed to you in separate packages. Several are new releases, so the winner will be ahead of the game reading-wise in 2016! You may click on each cover to see more information about the book and its author.


Directions for entering are at the bottom.



















Jennifer Richard Jacobson

51cLXQNvaQL51F4cG8J1HLCoe-Fenway and Hattie





So a pretty cool line-up of signed middle grade novels, huh?

Note: Ten of these books are 2016 releases. Therefore, there may be a delay in receiving a book that has not been released yet. When the author has them in hand, you will get one! Promise 🙂

Okay–so to enter the MIDDLE GRADE Giveaway to win ALL of these books:

1) Make a comment on this blog about anything book-related or kid-related. Or teacher/librarian related. Or anything-under-the-sun related. 🙂 *Please provide twitter handle or e-mail address with your comment* Also, if you share elsewhere online (Facebook, Google+, etc.) please let me know here.

2) Share to Twitter with the hashtag #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers  I know–long hashtag 🙂 But it will help us find your entry! Please include link, if possible!



Rules: ***Giveaway ends on Saturday, February 20th at 11:59. Winner will be announced Sunday morning.

1) This is to show our appreciation for teachers and librarians, specifically. Therefore, the winner must have a school mailing address and be presently employed at that school. (Sorry–only US and Canadian winners this time.)

***2) We know that teachers do not always get the appreciation they deserve. (They deserve parades and serenades and major awards.) This giveaway is a reminder that WE appreciate you. Yes—we write the books, but YOU get the books into the hands of our readers. Together, we are creating life-long readers. For that we are most grateful.

THANK YOU for visiting our giveaway!

Be well, read well,




Thanks for being fantastico


Categories: author, books, Giveaway, Love of teachers, middle-grade, writing | 407 Comments

Hope to See You at #NCTE15

NCTE logo 15Hey, Book Lovers and NCTE Adventurists!

I am SO excited to be attending NCTE15 in Minneapolis this week. Here is my schedule, just in case you’d like to attend something and say hello!




4:00 – 5:15  PANEL: “I HATE READING!: PEDAGOGY & ADAPTATIONS IN SHAME-RESILIENT CLASSROOMS” w/ Lisa Graff, Kara DiBartolo, Cheryl Mizerny, and Justin Stygles.   ROOM M100E






WOW! What a wonderful time we all have in store! I m SO hoping to see you at NCTE 🙂

cover with framebutton great minds no border 2One for the Murphys Hi-resHero badge

Categories: Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), NCTE, writing | 1 Comment

Lynda Reads FISH IN A TREE #GRAFIAT Chapter 51 and Answers Questions re: End of Book ~ Also Reads “Dear Readers” Letter at End

Categories: writing | 9 Comments

Please Share Your Questions for My Last #GRAFIAT Video

Hey, GRA Fish in a Tree Readers!!!

Thanks for being fantastico

So, I have not filmed the LAST GRA video for FISH IN A TREE, so let me have your questions in the comments section here! I’ll choose a bunch and film the last one to be posted on Wednesday. (I will also read the last chapter for you)

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am SO grateful for each and every one of you. You have each given me a Silver Dollar Month!


Categories: writing | 52 Comments

Lynda Reads Chapter 42 and Answers Questions on chapters 34-42 from FISH IN A TREE #GRA15 #GRAFIAT


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Lynda Reads Fish in a Tree Chapter 33 and Answers Questions re: Chapters 25-33

Categories: writing | 3 Comments

FISH IN A TREE En Espanol Giveaway

Hey! As promised, I have gotten my hands on a SPANISH version of FISH IN A TREE. It came all the way from Amazon Spain.

Usually, I choose winners randomly, but here I will ask entrants to tell me in the comments section why they would like this Spanish copy. Giveaway will end on October 30th at 11:59pm and will be mailed out the following morning.

Muchas gracias por entrar en mi regalo para COMO PEZ EN EL ÁRBOL 🙂

spanish FIAT2


Categories: writing | 22 Comments

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