How Many Authors Fit On A Skype Tour Bus? Welcome and Win Tricia Springstubb, Bruce Hale, and Kathryn Erskine!

Nope. That’s not us.

Yep! That’s more like it.

The Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour Bus is ready to pull into your school, library, home… or where ever you are! To enter comment here by next Monday, October 3. Winners will be announced on October 4.

Who might be headed for a visit with your troop? We have a busload of authors including me Tami Lewis Brown (The Map Of Me),Erin Moulton (Flutter),Kathy Erskine (Mockingbird), Tricia Springstubb (What Happened On Fox Street), Sarah Aronson (Beyond Lucky),Uma Krishnaswami (The Grand Plan To Fix Everything),Jennifer Nielsen (Elliot and the Pixie Plot) and Bruce Hale  (Chet Gecko Mysteries)! Can you believe it? So many authors and plenty more time to tell all your friends and neighbors to enter for you and your classroom, library, troop, or group.

Today three authors are visiting to talk about their books and their Skype visits.

First up? National Book Award winning author Kathryn Erskine.

Hi Kathy! Please tell us about you and your books.

My latest book is The Absolute Value of Mike. I tend to write about tough issues but there’s always humor, too, because that’s what life is like.  I enjoy reading books where I learn interesting stuff painlessly — so that’s what I like to write for others, too. 

What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?

Middle graders are curious and open-minded which makes for a great group of readers!

What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?

The SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS series by Arthur Ransome because they were wonderful adventure stories about kids who got to camping and sailing and have adventures without any parents around!

I loved SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS, too.  And Ransome’s books have very cool maps as end papers, I might add. What makes your school visits special?

 I LOVE answering students’ questions — and asking them some questions, too — and they love seeing my dog.  :o)

A Skype visit with a dog! How cool!! You can read more about Kathy in Wendy Shang’s interview right here at From The Mixed-Up Files.

Oh look! Here’s Tricia Springstubb! Before you climb on the bus, Tricia, tell us a little about your books, especially your newest middle grade novel, Mo Wren, Lost And Found.

I’m a promiscuous writer—I’ve published fiction for kids of all ages, as well as for adults.  The language and complexity of my writing varies, but family is always at the center.  Family forms us, yet we have to wriggle free of it to truly become ourselves.  My stories explore that contradiction over and over.

What do you like about middle grade readers?

Readers this age just rock.  They demand great plot and character, but also appreciate nuance and beautiful sentences.  Their eyes are wide and their hearts are big!  A writer couldn’t ask for a better audience. 

Did you have any favorite books when you were that age?

When I was a middle grader, I loved, among many other books, Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames—those great girl heroines!  I read totally indiscriminately and insatiably. I wish I could still read that way.What makes your author visits special?After working forever as a teacher, librarian, and school volunteer, I’m now a full-time writer for the first time in my life.  This is an amazing privilege, but has one drawback—I’m not around kids enough!  I love school visits to keep in touch with my peeps!  

Tricia is a loyal (and very hardworking!) member of the Mixed-Up Files. You can read more about her and her darling protagonist Mo Wren here.

 Wow… here’s Bruce Hale, the author of about a zillion Chet Gecko books, too! Welcome Bruce! 


What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?
I love the sense of possibility — it feels like you could take those readers nearly anywhere, as long as you keep them entertained.  Mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, graphic novels — all genres are open for exploring.
What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?

I first got hooked on reading in 3rd grade, via Tarzan of the Apes.  That was my favorite series, but eventually I branched out to books like THE HOBBIT and WRINKLE IN TIME.

You can read more about Bruce, his wacky sense of humor, and his wonderful books here.

All right readers! Are you ready to jump on the bus? We’re saving you a seat and all you have to do is leave a comment right HERE!

Tami Lewis Brown wants to park the Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour Bus in your driveway. Enter HERE to win an author visit for your eager readers.


Tami Lewis Brown