Barnes & Noble is challenging young readers to flex their mental muscle with a Reading Triathlon. Young readers can upload a reading journal or come into a store and to pick a copy. The more they read the more FREE BOOKS they earn. And I am blessed to have my book, President of the Whole Fifth Grade, as one of the prizes.
Well, a thing like that simply must be celebrated. So here’s the deal. I’ll be appearing at the Florida Mall B&N at 8358 Orange Blossom Trail on Friday, 4:30 p.m. What am I doing there? Well, glad you asked! I’m going to show young readers how I use sketches and doodles to help me visualize my stories. Another favorite way to spark my creativity is playing with LEGO. I use LEGO structures to help me physically connect with my stories. OK, I use them mostly ’cause they’re a hoot. Even so, deciding on the pieces and what they mean and where they stand and who they stand for requires a type of narrative. Assembling those same pieces for a stop motion mini movie demands even more storytelling skills. A great way to wile away an afternoon, a weekend or more!
I’ll be debuting my latest LEGO mini-movie based on characters in President of the Whole Fifth Grade and my yet-to-be-released novel, The Sweetest Sound.
Parents, caregivers and anyone needing to breakup the cries of “what’re we gonna’ do now” should come by and get ideas to use throughout the summer. I know, awesome, right?
To download your reading journal:
I want to thank everyone who participated in my gofundme.com/sherri-winston fundraising campaign. I was overwhelmed by how many of you reached out and helped me toward my goal of donating hundreds of books to needy young readers. Even though anticipated donations fell short or never came to fruition, I’m sill going to donate as many as I can–approximately 400 books–purchased with my own funds and funds raised and donated by you.
I want to give these children more than a book. I want to give them courage and inspiration. I want them to look at that book and realize it’s not just paper and cardboard, but a dream that lived in me when I was their age, eating square pizza and drinking not-quite-cold chocolate milk. I want them to understand that I came from the most improbable of circumstances for an author–low-income, working class, broken home, even though I never ever thought my home was broken. I want these kids to hold this book and study its shape and edges. I want them to know that even if they never read a word, that book has power. Its existence proves that you can start in a small, distant place; a place of poverty and struggle; and you can capture the light in that place and hold it against your chest and follow that light into more light until you are lifted.
All I ever wanted to do was to write and illustrate books. Maybe working as an illustrator is a ways away, maybe its around the corner. But for now, I will hold this precious book and thank the Lord above for blessing me with this opportunity. For all of you who cared enough to send checks or go online and donate, from the bottom of my heart, It hank you. Your support will allow me to share my dream with young faces. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make a difference in some child’s life.
I can’t wait to try.
Authors love, love, love it when reviewers say awesome things about their work. Check out this review for President of the Whole Sixth Grade courtesy of the American Library Association’s Booklist Magazine:
When we last saw Brianna Justice she was on top of the world, fresh off the victory of being elected president of her fifth-grade class. But nothing bursts her bubble faster than starting middle school, where no one really cares about things anymore and everyone is trying to be someone else. Worse, two of her longtime BFFs have started blowing her off to hang out with a pair of nasty “popular” girls (the Peas). To top things off, Brianna has to contend with a rival who is determined to see her middle-school political career fail, and she only has a limited amount of time to raise money for the class trip to D.C. But Brianna has never been scared of a challenge, so she gathers up other allies and her trusty clipboard and gets to work. Brianna’s determination and follow-through make her a great role model, but the true value here is the very real depiction of the ebb and flow of middle-school friendships and the difficulties that come with growing up. An important resource for anyone who’s ever been in Brianna’s shoes.
Brianna Justice and her friends have been pretty busy. Since President of the Whole Fifth Grade was named a Sunshine State Young Reader Award winner for 2012013, Brianna and the gang have been very busy. Author Sherri Winston, who happens to know Brianna very well, will head to Osceola County in Florida to visit several schools. The excitement is very HIGH. This is Big news!
Who knows, maybe after Ms. Winston talks to the students about Brianna, Sara, Lauren, Becks and Weasel, not to mention Mrs. Nutmeg and the lovely Miss Delicious, maybe some kid right there in Florida will decide, “Hey, I’m a good person. I want to be rich and famous. Hmm . . .maybe I can start my own business, too! I want to be a leader just like Brianna Justice!”
Or at least, maybe a few readers will enjoy being out of regular class for a little while talking about a pretty cool book and a great group of friends!
Want more Justice? Get your copy of President of the Whole Fifth Grade ($6.99, Little, Brown) at your local bookstore, online or through your schools book fair.
To find out how Brianna does in her latest school appearance, stay tuned! (That’s TV talk for please come back and read some more!)