Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's Shaping Up to Be a Busy Fall....

It's shaping up to be a busy fall...with six - yes six! - new books out!

I'll be presenting at a wide variety of festivals etc. Here's a preliminary calendar if you want to come on out and say hi!

SEPTEMBER 14 - Telling Tales Festival

SEPTEMBER 21 - Word on the Street

SEPTEMBER 28 - Vaughan BookFest

OCTOBER 21/22 - Vancouver Writers Festival

NOVEMBER 15 INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Bang-Up Review from Kirkus!

It's not out until October, but Orca Books gave a sneak peek of Dirk Daring, Secret Agent to Kirkus. And they liked it :) 
Here's what they said, in part:

"Friendships are strongly tested throughout the novel, which is peppered with imaginative turns of phrase and bursts of energy. The book is an enjoyable and quirky read. The author doesn’t go overboard and turn her characters into swirling cartoons: These are real kids behaving with all the creativity and energy one would expect of them. But beneath all the play and humor is a genuine emotional core, exploring the trials and tribulations all friendships endure when moving from elementary school on to junior high. A stunning last-minute twist pushes the book above and beyond. A clever romp that’s enhanced, not lessened, by its message."You can read the whole review here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The National Reading Campaign - a great idea and a great review too!

So yeah. I google myself. Name me one writer who doesn't.

Today's google turned up my dream find - a super review. From the National Reading Campaign!

My newest novel, Gottika, got this review, in part:

"The masked creature with glowing red eyes that crawls over the cover of Helaine Becker’s new novel will fascinate fans of futuristic fantasy. Gottika is a modern retelling of the legend of the Jewish golem, a magical creature created from clay and mud whose very existence challenges how we think about ourselves....Becker’s fantasy stays true to the core of the legend, effortlessly drawing readers into the story... The juxtaposition of text and comics, combined with the talents of Becker and Griggs-Burr, ensure a broad audience for Gottika. Lovers of fantasy, myths and legends, action comics, a hero’s quest, and even Dungeons and Dragons fans will want to keep reading late into the night. And this story will continue to resonate the morning after.

To read the whole review, click here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Melissa's Recommended Reading!

It was one of those ggggrrrr of a days. You know. Everything. Going. Wrong.

I was in the car, just about to head out of town for an unexpected three hour drive up to my son's camp - followed immediately by the drive back.


Luckily I was listening to CBC's Here and Now. And they were about to talk about children's books - my fave!

Melissa Bourdon-King from Mabel's Fables, the fabulous children's book store right here in Toronto, started sharing her favorites. Naturally I listened with interest. Then with surprise. And  then with utter delight.  Melissa had started talking about my own book, Gottika! Good thing I was already sitting down. And still in a parking lot.

Grrr turned to hoorah! Thanks so much, Melissa, and Mabel, and Here and Now, for taking the time to read my book. And to talk about it too. I'm so glad you liked it! Now if I could only get my own kid to read it....(S'truth...)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dashing toward Christmas. Yes. Really.

And how much fun it is to ride this particular sled!

Dashing through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells, will be available on October 1st. May I humbly suggest you order your advance copies now??? ;)

The book's a long-awaited sequel to the bestselling A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, and is illustrated with the same verve and charm by  illustrator extraordinaire Werner Zimmermann.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Q and A with Dirk Daring and Me, Agent Helaine Becker

Dirk Daring, Secret Agent, will be published across North America this fall. To get a sneak peek inside the book, and into the scary workings of my own brain, check out this Interview done at a secret location, by an anonymous interviewer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So It's Funny. Shoot Me.

Not every book for kids has to be "good for them." Kids need a break too. Something light and fluffy. You know, a good beach book.

But that doesn't mean it should be dumb. I really hate dumb books. Books that talk down to the reader, or that are written by someone's foot. Clumsy writing is reason to throw a book at the wall.

So may I suggest Do You Dare?

For those of you who agree that kids need a) light, fun books too and b) books that, at the same time, don't insult them, you may find this latest book in my Scholastic Canada quiz book series is just the ticket. So pick it. (Snorf.)

 You can also read an excerpt from the book here.
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