Rare 7th Grade Photo Sighting

Today I spoke to the fabulous students at Union Middle School in Sandy, Utah. I showed them this photo of me from 7th grade.

I felt all nose–100% NOSE! 
Many years, and a few more nosey experiences later, I was inspired to write My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters.
Thanks again to all the great students, teachers, and media specialists at Union Middle School.  

Body Image Month

I’m really excited to be participating in Once Upon A Bookshelf’s Body Image Month. If you’ve read My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters, you already know how much I care about these issues. I try really, really hard to feel good about my own body (after years of hating my nose). But now I have daughters and I know that I have to be a good role model.

Popular teen radio stations in Utah regularly play ads for a liposuction company that promises to deliver the “body you’ve always wanted” in time for Christmas, Prom, Bikini Season… But here’s the thing: most of us will never resemble six feet tall fashion models, the ones sporting those bodies we think we want, in all the magazines and all over television.

Media images make it seem as if true happiness can be acquired through physical beauty. A few weeks ago I came across this article on CNN.com about a teen who regretted having a nose job. She thought that plastic surgery would help her overcome shyness. It didn’t. The cure for shyness is self-acceptance–flaws and all–not surgery.
These days I’m being bombarded with various procedures that will make me look “young.” I changed doctors when my gynecologist started offering in-office Botox and other beauty treatments. It’s bad enough to wear paper clothes and get weighed in the hallway. What would they do next? Make me look in a mirror for wrinkles? Now my hair salon is offering the same stuff. I already say no to hair dye, will I now have to say no to various injections?
I like being my age. As much as I love writing for teens, I’m glad that I’ve made it through those tough years. Now if I can just help my daughters and readers with their own journeys…
I’ll be guest posting for Once Upon A Bookshelf on July 29th, but please check out all the book reviews and posts starting today! http://onceuponabookcase.blogspot.com/

Books ARE Judged By Their Covers

You know that old saying about not judging a book by its cover? Well, my shelves are full of books I bought simply because I loved the cover. And I’ve heard from many people who have bought my book, My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters, simply because they loved the cover.

Today I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that the great design team at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has won the Novel Cover award at the Bookbuilders of Boston 53rd Annual New England Book Show for My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters. Yay!!!
Congratulations to Carol Chu, the book’s designer, Diane Varone, production and manufacturing coordinator, Sheila Smallwood, art director, and my editor Julie Tibbott.
Authors don’t have much say when it comes to book covers, but I’ve always been more than happy to put my stories in the hands of the capable design staff at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
So, go ahead, please judge my books by their covers!