As the judges submit their decisions about which books make it to the next round I have been trying to email or Tweet or Facebook the authors to let them know that their book has been nominated to move on. I have had some responses from the authors so far and just thought I would share them with everyone as I am still blown away that we can easily connect with these wonderful people. Nothing is more exciting than hearing back from the authors.
Here is what I have sent them via my message format
Good afternoon, my name is Aaron Maurer and I am a gifted education teacher for Bettendorf Middle School in Bettendorf, Iowa. I have operated a blog now for students for the last two years where I read and review books. This year I was awarded grant money to run a book tournament where students nominated books to be read, we paired them off as judges to read the books, and they had to make a decision as to which book is better and why. You can find all the details on my blog(posted below).
Anyways, I am contacting all authors that I can to let them know when their book makes it to the next round. Your book has passed Round 1 and is now in Round 2. Congratulations to you and your novel.
I also am contacting you for the fun aspect that if you would like for me to add anything on my blog to help promote your book that I would be glad to do so. The students would to have any author participation in any capacity that they can. I am leaving things open as I know that you are probably super busy, but just wanted to make you aware of what some amazing students and staff members are doing in the state of Iowa.
Have a great day.
Here is a response from Cynthia Lord, author of Rules
Thank you, Aaron. That's lovely to hear. What a great program. Best wishes with it!
People often ask me where the idea came for RULES and if I know someone with autism. The answer is a big yes! RULES was inspired by my children. My daughter is 20 years old, and my son is 18. My son has autism, just like David in RULES. Though the characters in RULES are not my own family, some of the small details in the book are true. My son used to love “Frog and Toad,” and he also used to drop toys in our fish tank (which is where the rule “No toys in the fish tank” came from).
Another part of the book that’s based on real life is we’ve had guinea pigs as pets, and I loved them! So Cinnamon and Nutmeg in RULES are based on guinea pigs we had at our house when my children were younger. The guinea pigs’ dialogue in RULES was very fun to write.
I wish you and your students all the best!