Friends with Books

Lots of my friends have had exciting book happenings the past two weeks, so I wanted to share all the good news.
First: Happy Book Birthday to my critique partner Rebecca Petruck! Her middle grade novel Steering Toward Normal officially releases today. I joined her critique group after the novel was sold, so I sadly can’t claim any credit for its awesomeness, but the book is so fun and charming. There are pranks and bad horror movies and model rockets and cow poop. You know you want to read about the cow poop! 
If you live near Wilmington, NC, Rebecca is having her launch party on Saturday, May 17th at Pomegranate Books at 3pm. She’s going to have two actual steers there to greet people – how cool is that?!?
Steering Toward Normal
Eighth grade is set to be a good year for Diggy Lawson: He’s chosen a great calf to compete at the Minnesota State Fair, he’ll see a lot of July, the girl he secretly likes at 4-H, and he and his dad Pop have big plans for April Fool’s Day. But everything changes when classmate Wayne Graf’s mother dies, which brings to light the secret that Pop is Wayne’s father, too. Suddenly, Diggy has a half brother, who moves in and messes up his life. Wayne threatens Diggy’s chances at the State Fair, horns in on his girl, and rattles his easy relationship with Pop. What started out great quickly turns into the worst year ever, filled with jealousy, fighting, and several incidents involving cow poop. But as the boys care for their steers, pull pranks, and watch too many B movies, they learn what it means to be brothers and change their concept of family as they slowly steer toward a new kind of normal.
Second: Kami Kinard released her second middle grade novel The Boy Problem two weeks ago. It’s a companion to her first novel The Boy Project, which I adored, so I can’t wait to read this one. 

The Boy Problem

Kami’s going to be at the SC Book Festival in Columbia, SC, on May 16-18, so stop by to see her if you are in the area. Megan Shepherd is going to be there, too!
Tabitha "Tabbi" Reddy believes in signs. Like fortune cookies. Magic 8-Balls. Shooting stars. And this year, she hopes, looking for the right signs will lead her to the right boy! Inspired by her BFF, Kara (star of THE BOY PROJECT), Tabbi starts her own "project" in the hopes of finding a cute crush. With the help of a math lesson on probability, Tabbi tries to predict who the right boy for her might be! Where is she most likely to meet him? What is he most likely to look like? Full of fun illustrations, hilarious equations, and lessons in cupcake-baking, life, love, and friendship, this book has a 100% probability of awesomeness. A perfect "next step" for fans of DORK DIARIES.
Third: Medeia Sharif released a new YA novel a few weeks ago called Snip, Snip Revenge. With the recent discussions about the lack of diversity in kidlit, it’s great to see this book hit the shelves, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Medeia is participating in a blog tour all week, so catch her at some of the stops
Snip, Snip Revenge
Beautiful, confident Tabby Karim has plans for the winter: nab a role in her school’s dramatic production, make the new boy Michael hers, and keep bigoted Heather—with her relentless Ay-rab comments—at bay. When a teacher’s lie and her father’s hastiness rob her of her beautiful hair, her dreams are dashed. The fastest barber in Miami Beach has made her look practically bald. 
With all her pretty hair gone, Tabby doesn’t believe she fits the feminine role she’s auditioning for. Michael is still interested in her, but he’s playing it cool. Heather has taken to bullying her online, which is easier to do with Tabby’s ugly haircut. Tabby spearheads Operation Revenge, which proves satisfying until all of her problems deepen. After messing up, she sets to make things right.
25 RosesFourth: It’s cover reveal time for Stephanie Faris’s new middle grade novel 25 Roses. I think it’s adorable! It won’t be released until 2015, but I’m already looking forward to it. 
Valentine's Day means one thing at Stanton Middle School: students will send each other chocolate roses. Each year, Mia Hartley watches while the same group of students gets roses and everyone else is left out. This year, she decides things will be different. As the student assigned to write names on the cards, Mia purchases 25 roses and writes her own cards, designating them to 25 people she's personally chosen. But she soon learns that playing matchmaker is much more complicated than she thought it would be.
Congrats, ladies, on all these wonderful book happenings!