Greetings at the close of an old year, the beginning of a new year, and a journey into the great unknown. As is every day.

We shepherded Anthem into print in 2019; it had a short moment in the sun, since it was published in October, so you’ll be learning more about that book here this year, along with the new book, Kent State, which publishes on April 21. I’ve started to show the entire jacket publicly, so I want to put it here, too, on the blog:

There are 67 “shots” on this jacket, signifying the 67 shots fired on May 4, 1970, and the four students killed, 9 wounded by the Ohio National Guard when they fired into a crowd of college students, some protesting the Vietnam War, and some walking to class or observing from a distance.

As we move toward April 21, I’ll publish some snippets, some process/history, and some reviews. Scholastic will send me on the road with the book this year; stay tuned for tour stops and festivals when we know more. In the meantime, here are some photos from Winter Institute with my Scholastic family in Baltimore earlier this month, working with booksellers, and some from ALA Midwinter, where I spoke to librarians on a panel about Truth and Bravery. In backwards order, end to beginning:

Jennifer Jacobson, Jane Kurtz, me, Nancy Werlin, Jim McCoy, Pam Ryan, Sharon Cameron after the Scholastic literary event

Some great books this spring from my fellow presenters. That’s Michael Strouse on the right, who put together a powerful audio clip and visuals of the Kent State audiobook for us to play during my presentation. Thank you, Michael.
We filled the room minutes after this shot was taken.
At Scholastic’s booth. Good company.
Outside the exhibit hall… what a surprise.
Arriving in Philadelphia by train with Sharon Cameron and Pam Ryan.
“What’s said on the train stays on the train.”
At Winter Institute in Baltimore. Happy Anniversary, Scholastic! 100 Years of Reading.
Galleys in the golden dark, at the dessert reception for booksellers at ABA’s Winter Institute
Rachel Feld and Erin Berger, Scholastic peeps extraordinaire, and an extraordinaire Nikki Mutch working hard in the background — such great partners to work with
More great partners. Clifford, Ellie Berger, and Pam Ryan. Ready to go to work.
David Levithan’s welcome to indie booksellers at the Scholastic after-party at ABA’s Winter Institute. David is my editor at Scholastic as well. One more good partner.
Publication date: April 21, 2020

I used Blogger for over 10 years and was very familiar with tools there; I’m still getting my feet wet over here on WordPress, so some of these shots are dark and I’m not good at spacing etc, yet, but I’ll get the hang of it. It makes me happy to have a way to preserve this year ahead, and I know I blog mostly for me. The website is a redesign by Cyndi Craven, who is amazing at what she does, should you need someone professional to help you bring your vision of an online home to life.

I got off social media from 2015 to 2019 — deleted all accounts! — so I could concentrate on my work and life and get grounded, so I’m a bit rusty coming back to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and blogging… we’ll see how it goes. I love that I have a ten-year archive at Blogger, in a couple of places. At some point, I’d like to move those posts over here, to my website, where I own my own content. For now, I’m just glad they exist.

Another story for another day, this whole social media and public thing. I’ll post about it soon. Meanwhile, I am very glad you are here, and that I am, too.

Happy new year!