News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Archive for September, 2011

Appreciation: The Ending of “The Bad News Bears.”

Friday, September 30th, 2011 Posted in Bystander, Interviews & Appreciations, the writing process | 1 Comment »


To be clear up front, we are talking the 1976 original with Tatum O'Neil, Walter Matthau, etc. By the way, a shout out to the names of these characters: Amanda Whurlitzer, Coach Morris Buttermaker, Ogilvie, Engelberg, Jimmy Feldman, Rudi Stein, Tanner ...

Raymond Carver: Quote of the Day

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 Posted in Around the Web, Readings | 3 Comments »


In this age of desperate self-promotion, of tweets and status updates and high-cost book trailers, of authors being told, over and over again, about the importance of having a web presence, and -- God help me, I've heard this -- ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #126 (Across Shared Solitudes)

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | No Comments »


Here's one from Matthew . . . Hello Mr. Preller. First of all, I love your books. I was wondering what inspired you to write your awesome books? How old were you when you began writing? I like the Jigsaw Jones ...

“One Book, One School” — One Amazed & Grateful Author

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 Posted in Bystander, bullying | 2 Comments »


Found this via Google Alerts today . . . Every student at Passage Middle School is reading "Bystanders," a novel about bullying by James Preller, during the school's "One Book, One School" initiative. The school spent about $5,360 to ...

Confession: I Finally Got Around to Reading “A Wrinkle In Time”

Monday, September 26th, 2011 Posted in Family, Readings | 2 Comments »


". . . one thing I've learned is that you don't have to understand things for them to be." -- Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle In Time. When I was a kid, growing up in the 60's, I didn't read many children's books. ...

Bullying: When It’s Emotionally Too Painful to See Oneself as Powerless or Abusive

Friday, September 23rd, 2011 Posted in bullying | No Comments »


Just passing along a link to an excellent op-ed piece in the 9/22 edition of The New York Times, written by Danah Boyd and Alice Marwick, titled "Bullying as Real Drama." By all means go to the link and read the ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #125 (further thoughts on bullying)

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 Posted in Bystander, Fan Mail, Readings, bullying | 2 Comments »


As part of a late summer assignment, I received a terrific letter from Zander in Brooklyn, including his answer to the question, "What will happen to the characters in Bystander after the story?" Here's an excerpt from that letter . . ...

Stay Home, Please. Don’t Celebrate Children’s Book Day at “Sunnyside” in Tarrytown, NY, 9/25

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 Posted in Around the Web, Current Events, Happenings | 6 Comments »


Just stay home. Please. Find something else to do. Each year I do this event, which features more than 60 amazing children's book authors and illustrators, and it's always such a disappointment. For starters, check out some of the people who'll be ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #124 (School Visits 101, Travel Required)

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 Posted in Along Came Spider, Fan Mail, School Visits | 1 Comment »


This isn't the sort of letter I normally share, but boy is it ever relevant to my life lately. This is the time of year when I field many inquiries about my availability for school visits. For educators who'd like help ...

In Case You Missed It: “Webcam 101 for Seniors”

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 Posted in Around the Web, Fun Clips | No Comments »


[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcN08Tg3PWw] This is one of those amazing viral clips that everybody on the planet absolutely has to see. I assume that some of you saw it already. For those that haven't, you can thank me later. Basically: An elderly couple tries to ...