Archive for jimmy

Fun Idea for Author Visits: Decorating Doors

You’ve heard of the Doors of Dublin? You know about Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception? This is like that, in the sense that, okay, there are doors.

But instead of Jim Morrison, you get . . . The Doors of James Preller!

To celebrate my recent visit, a grades 3-5 elementary school had a contest where classes could “win a classroom visit” with author James Preller. The idea, I gather, was to decorate a door by encouraging (innocent!) passers-by to read any one of my books.

Here’s a few highlights . . .








THE COURAGE TEST: Now Available on Scholastic Arrow Book Club (Only $5.00, Cheap!)

During a school visit earlier this week, a teacher showed me a copy of the March Arrow Book Club. 

This is a book I truly love, and I’m very glad to see it get out there a little bit. Hopefully it find some readers — or vice versa!



A Few Shining Samples of Student Art, via Texas!

It’s one of the nice things about visiting schools. After a presentation, teachers sometimes ask their classes to quick write “thank you” notes, which often include student artwork.

And, of course, who doesn’t love art created by young people? It’s so pure and open-hearted.

Let’s do this!

Scan 1

This is by Loyi.

Scan 4

From Bryant.

Scan 5

A self-portrait from Kevin.

Scan 6

Leonardo put us together in this one, both holding books.

Scan 7

Jennifer drew this one. Don’t you love the red hair?

Texas 9

Another smiling self-portrait, this one from Italiaim. (Hope I got that right.)

Texas 8

By Fernanda. So lovely.

And once again all I can feel is fortunate.

Blessed, lucky, honored, grateful, touched.

All those things and more.

Thanks guys, and thank you to anyone who has ever drawn a picture for me, or just said “thank you” after a presentation.

I carry these in my heart.

FAN MAIL WEDNESDAY #268: From Zoe, My New BFF from Littleton, CO


Ready? All buckled up? Hold on tight, because here comes Zoe . . .

Scan 1

My reply . . .


Dear Zoe,

Hey, hey, what a terrific letter -– a blast of pure sunshine stuffed in an envelope!

I don’t know how you did it, Zoe, but somehow you managed to include a lot of personality in a short note.

My favorite part? When you explained that Zoe is “without a y or any of that stuff.”

Because who needs a Y anyway? Z-O-E, that’s all you need, folks!

Of course, sure, I liked the part where you calmly observed that my Jigsaw Jones books are “the best books ever in the world.”

I’m sure glad you think so. Thanks for reading them, sweet Zoe.

I’m glad to be your BFF,

James Preller



FAN MAIL WEDNESDAY #267: A Letter in Braille



I received an interesting envelope the other day. 



A closer look . . .


And inside . . .

Scan (2)


If you look closely, you can see the raised dots under the lettering. Braille, of course. Here’s my reply . . .

Dear Jaquan,

Thank you so much for your letter. I am always grateful whenever a young person reaches out to me in kindness after experiencing one (or more!) of my books.

But your letter was unique, and it moved me. The truth is, I’ve never before received a letter in braille. Nor have I heard from a reader who knows my work only through audio books. Normal for you, but new to me.

By writing your letter, Jaquan, you opened up a glimpse of your world to me. I thank you for that. Running my own clumsy fingers across those little bumps on the page, my eyes closed, I can scarcely imagine how you have the sensitivity and skill (and brain power!) to decipher that extraordinary coded language. I bow my head to you in admiration and respect.

I don’t know which books you’ve heard on audio. To be honest, I’ve long been disappointed that the vast majority of my work has not made it to audio. I guess I’m not a big enough deal. A few Jigsaw Jones titles in the past, that’s it. I wonder if in your world there are people providing you with homemade audiobooks? If so, wow, that’s a generous thing for someone to do.

I am aware that our public service radio station has a service where volunteers can come in to read books for the blind. I’m sorry to say that in the past I’ve always concluded that I didn’t have the time. Or maybe I just lacked energy, or heart. Now you have me thinking about it again, wondering if that’s something I should be doing.

I wish you good health and happiness. Happy reading. And thanks, ever so much, for your note. You’ve inspired me.

James Preller