Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And Now-- SHIFTY News

Cynthia Leitich Smith over at Cynsations interviewed my editor at Tricycle Press, Abigail Samoun. Check out the full interview at Cynsations.

I learned a lot about Abi, including that she shelves her books in an interesting manner...

Abigail says, "I prepared for this career by being a lover of books. I thought of favorite authors as kind of abstract friends---when I looked at my bookcases, it felt almost like I was looking at a family photo album. It was always reassuring and comforting.
I even shelved my books according to which writers I felt would get along. Margaret Atwood next to Gail Godwin, Italo Calvino next to Borges, Kundera next to Norman Mailer. It made complete sense to me."

And you'll see why my favorite of Cyn's questions (and favorite response) is below:

Cynthia: "If you had to pick just three, what are Tricycle Press's don't-miss titles of 2008? And why?

Abigail: Just three? Hmmm…

The young adult novel I mentioned above is a definite "don’t-miss." Shifty by Lynn E. Hazen (of Mermaid Mary Margaret and Buzz Bumble fame) (author interview), leads you through the emotional territory of a fifteen year old who has spent almost his entire life in foster care. The events of the book take place over the first few weeks of summer vacation and explore the developing trust and affection between Shifty and his eight-year-old foster sister, Sissy, who serves as both his conscience and his partner in a series of unlikely escapades.

Both Shifty and Sissy are drawn with sensitivity and nuance, I missed them after I shipped the book to the printer----but Lynn also brought to life characters that didn't even speak: Chance, an infant and the third child in the foster home, and Lester, a cat who, as Shifty says, "can’t even meow right."

Lynn here again. Wow, thanks Abi! And Abi is right--The cat says "meowp."

I think I mentioned last month that Allen & Unwin was publishing SHIFTY in Australia.

Indeed they are. Take a look at the Australian cover. I love the American cover (top of this page) but I love the Australian one, too. What do you think?

Each is so different and the Australian version has such wild colors and energy. Love the blues and green of the original American version, too. And I'm so excited that I got my first teen review of SHIFTY by Sam, 16.

'Witty, fast, makes you think.' - Sam, 16.

I couldn't ask for a better first teen review. Thanks Sam, whoever you are.

The ISBN, for the Australian "translation" of SHIFTY is 978-1-74175-590-9. You can learn more at Allen & Unwin's website. There is also an amazing free downloadable "Teachers Notes" pdf on Allen & Unwin's SHIFTY page, created by Dr. Susan La Marca, perfect for thoughtful classroom discussion, writing prompts, book clubs, homeschoolers and more. I really like what she has prepared for teachers, students, and readers. Take a look.

For more info and to read the first chapter of SHIFTY, go to:
The book will be available soon in both the U.S. and Australia. Of course feel free to pre-order from your favorite bookseller. Thanks for taking a look at SHIFTY.

Forecast: More reviews? Meowp!

1 comment:

Sundee T. Frazier said...

What a great endorsement from your editor, Lynn! Can't wait to see Shifty in print and get to know him and Sissy personally. Sundee