‘Whippoorwill’ chooses ‘Copyboy’

‘Whippoorwill’ chooses ‘Copyboy’

The new Whippoorwill Award goes annually to ten distinguished books of fiction for young adults that deal with rural people and places. The books chosen for the award should: • Address universal truths, problems, topics and issues. • Have an enduring quality that...
Fact or Fiction: Does It Really Matter?

Fact or Fiction: Does It Really Matter?

The question I am asked by readers most frequently is how much of my books come from events in my life. The simple answer is: a whole bunch. I’m queried further to put a percentage on it and I have come up with 90% for PAPERBOY and 50% for COPYBOY. I have no...
A New Twist for Video Chats

Students from Ms. Grady's class I video-chatted with from Hickory Creek Middle School in Frankfort, IL.

A New Twist for Video Chats

A video chat this week with students at Hickory Creek Middle School in Frankfort, Illinois, a community 35 miles south of Chicago, involved a new wrinkle for me. Students in three different English Language Arts classes at the school were asked by their teachers to...
Diving Deep into the Worlds Between the Words

Diving Deep into the Worlds Between the Words

A young reader sent me the above rendering of Mr. Spiro’s philosophy of life – “the quartering of the soul” from PAPERBOY. I love it when readers – young or old – make a deep dive into a book, any book. There are the words on the page and then there...
In Memoriam: My Writing Dog

In Memoriam: My Writing Dog

I don’t remember the date when Willie first joined me at the foot of my writing desk, but I know he was less than a year old. My writing routine, born out of working many years at afternoon newspapers, began around 3:30 in the morning. I would climb out of bed, make a...