Here’s to a book that’s still going strong.
- agents told me was good, but they didn’t know what to do with it.
- an editor said “today’s plugged-in kids” wouldn’t understand.
- a middle-school girl who’d recently immigrated from Korea gave to her mom to help her learn English.
- a PTA mom shared with her mother, an 85-year-old woman who, like May, was dyslexic and (also like May) whose difference was never identified.
- that’s taken me all over the country and on virtual visits around the world.
Earlier this month, I got an email from author Annette Simon who used to be a bookseller at The BookMark in Neptune Beach, Florida. Years ago, she’d recommended May B. to a visiting teacher. The teacher loved it, bought copies for her class, and sent a photo to her local newspaper.
That picture happens to be one I’ve had on my website for years.
This Christmas, Annette gave a copy of May to her third-grade great niece, Rylee.
I once heard an author use the term “book of my heart” with disdain. (I think she was against the idea of getting too attached to a manuscript.) I’m happy to say the first book I published was a book of my heart,* a book that has grown far beyond my imagination or dreams and has been welcomed into classrooms and libraries and homes everywhere.
Happy birthday, May Betterly. I’m so grateful I got to write your story.
*Perhaps this expression feels corny or overly sentimental? That’s okay! I’m both those things.