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September 2010
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November 2010

Nov 1, come see us

November 1, Monday -- Children's Book World in Haverford, PA!

7 pm

Me, David Levithan, Rachel Cohn, Sarah Mlynowski and Matt de la Pena.
We are road-tripping up from NYC.  Come out and see us!  The only night of the whole tour we're all together. 

All Hallows Read

Neil Gaiman is starting a new tradition: All Hallows Read. Buy a scary book and give it as a gift this Halloween. Support your local bookseller, literacy, and ...well... Neil Gaiman!


My dear pal Tanya Stone's new book is out: The Good, The Bad, and the Barbie. 

1) It is so pretty!

2) Stone won like every possible award in the nonfiction universe last year for Almost Astronauts, so you know she's a quality act

3) My 8 y.o kid read this cover to cover more than once and shared it with her friends. The only nonfiction book she's read voluntarily, unless you count The Secret Life of Mermaids, which I don't. 

4) It's a history of Barbie, plus all the controversies surrounding her.  Arguments both pro and con. 

5) So it seems to me a must-buy for libraries, for kids who play with Barbie, for kids who used to play with Barbie, for book clubs, esp mother-daughter ones.  

It is seriously a fantastic book and I think it will spark all kinds of great conversations.  




Barbie cover

Winners! Clever Comebacks and Boy Speak

The entries for the Real Live Boyfriends ARC contest were awesome. You guys are HILARIOUS. Plus very cynical about the opposite sex -- and able to snap the best comebacks ever. Beware, skeevy guys scoping ladies on the street!  We know what to say to you, now!

Anyway, thank you all for entering. It was great fun for me to read them all, and I'm so glad you're psyched for the book (which comes out Dec. 28 -- and make sure you've read Treasure Map of Boys before then!)

Click here to see  all the entries in the comments.  Lots of good stuff on Twitter too, not officially entered. 

And here are the winners!  There are ten, since that's how many ARCs my publisher has to send out. I am sorry to say that my they can't ship out of the USA, so alas, Canadian and UK entries, and any other foreign climes -- you could not be considered.  My error for not making that clear. 


Clever comebacks to catcalls:

Jen, for:
"Oh, I'm sorry but NEXT week is 'be nice to losers' week. Catch me then!" 

Tina for:
"Save your breath, you're going to need it to blow up your date." 

VLSimplicity for:
"I'm sorry, what? I was distracted by that mask you’re wearing."

Sam M for:
He says: Hey Honey, how did a pretty thing like you break your ankle?
Answer: Kicking Dumbasses. You should leave before I break my other ankle 

Boy Speak:

Dea, for:
What he says: I like that shirt on you. 
What's understood: It makes me look thinner! 
He means: Your boobs are looking amazing!

MsMikado for:
He says: You are really funny. 
You Hear: I like you. 
He means: I date hotter girls. 

Makena for:
Boy: lets c where we r in a few months
Girl thinks: he still wants 2 date me!
Boy really means: not interested  

Sab H. for:
What he says: She's just a friend.
What is understood: He's lying. 
What he means: She's way out of my league, I tried.

RamblingQuasi/Rachel Stupendous for:
what he says: i've never met anyone who thinks the way you do.
what she thinks he means: he really understands me and loves me for who i am!what he means: this girl is CRAZY! maybe if i back away slowly she won't notice.... 

If you won, send your SNAIL MAIL address in an email to me at elockhart at  If you are under 18, please ask your parents before doing this! Is not a good idea to send your info to strangers without checking with them, even benevolent un-crazy strangers like myself. 

I will forward your addy to my publicist, the charming Jessica, and she will send you an Advance Readers Copy!  Please do this by October 23!! So we can be organized.

Thanks again for entering. You guys are great. 

xxxxoo E. Lockhart

Battle of the Bands

The Battle of the Children's Book Bands was really really fun.  As you know, if you've been reading the blog regularly, I got to be a 'celebrity' judge for this New York Public Library fundraiser event.  The judges were me, Ann Brashares, Maureen Johnson and Jennifer Belle.  

Basically, there are three bands made up of people from the children's book world.  These bands -- The Effin' Gs (a pun on what early reader copies of picture books are called:  F&Gs), Mr. MacGregor (named after Peter Rabbit's nemesis) and Tiger Beat (named after a magazine that had, like, fold-out posters of Scott Baio that you could put up on your wall, and  --


Tiger Beat still exists!!!  I had no idea. Why don't we ever promote books in there, you publishing people?

(On a side note, I am ALL OVER this month's issue of Justine magazine.  Ruby's advice column and a big photo of me and all the Roo books!) 

Ok.  Back to Tiger Beat! If you don't know who Scott Baio is/was, that doesn't matter. He was the Justin Bieber of his day. Or the Joe Jonas. You get the idea. 

Back to the BATTLE. Tiger Beat is named after the magazine.

Über Librarian Betsy Bird (AKA Fuse  No. 8) was our hostess.  In the green room beforehand, she provided M&Ms and sorted all the green ones into a bowl in case we wanted to make wishes or have any of the other experiences green M&Ms have to offer.  
I ate THE MOST OF ANYONE.  (I hadn't had dinner. Or sleep. Also, I am greedy.) 

It was great to meet Ann Brashares, whose Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants needs no introduction; and also Jennifer Belle, whose (decidedly adult) novel Going Down is a great read.  Maureen Johnson is always exciting in her own way, but I totally know her.  She was wearing fishnets! 

Also lounging were various band members, a four month old baby, a 9 year old girl, various and sundry librarians.  (Yes, I ate more M&Ms than all of them.)

Then we judges trooped out into the audience and the Effin' Gs came on stage. One important thing, though: we judges didn't really know what we were supposed to do!  We were supposed to be amusing in between sets, and then JUDGE.  That's all we knew.  My plan was to judge based on tightness of pants. If that judging system had prevailed, Tiger Beat would have won, because Libba Bray (Printz-winning author of Going Bovine and spangle-jacketed frontwoman) was wearing some seriously excellent and tight ones. 

Okay, The Effin' Gs were great. My favorite song was about "that guy at the party you really want to take home -- and then you realize, everyone else at the party wants to take him home too" -- a song called Randolph Caldecott.  Editor Namrata Tripathi was the frontwoman, and she is beyooootiful and great. Editor Lynne Polvino on bass and vocals,  John Adamo on drums (I think) and another guy who was also in Mr. MacGregor on guitar (but I don't know which one! See below.  Sorry, dude!)  

Then I got up and chatted with Betsy about the band, and how they reminded me a little of Veruca Salt, another band with a kid-lit referencing name. She quizzed me on the contents of my iPod, which are too embarassing to mention here. 




Up next, Mr. MacGregor. The dudes in the band were Dennis Shealey, Mo Botton and Jim Thomas, but they didn't introduce themselves and I couldn't figure out which was which. They had a much more thrash-metal sound (as Maureen said later, they were nice and screamy) -- but their lyrics were very YA.  "Are You There God? It's me, Margaret!" was my favorite, but they also did a great love song to Grilled Cheese. 

Last, Tiger Beat. I've seen these guys before. They are awesome:  Libba Bray on vocals; Natalie Standiford on bass (her new book is Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters); Daniel Ehrenhaft on guitar (my fave of his is Friend is Not a Verb); and Barnabas Miller on drums and  (author of Seven Souls and Break the Surface and apparently website-free). 

Libba is a great performer. She struts around and dances and banters -- she's just amazing.  She's also my friend, so it was really sweet to see her in this element. Her voice was especially awesome on the "soul medley" -- which included Wishing Well and Baby, I Love You and something else awesome I am forgetting right now.  Then at the end Miller came out from behind the drum kit and sang Purple Rain.  He totally rocked it. 

Belle and Brashares didn't chat as much as Maureen and I did, because there was no band changeover when they came up, but they were charming and then we went back to decide the WINNER.

Only, we realized:  our purpose in being there was to raise money for  the NYPL. Not to actually judge.  So we announced that our favors as judges could be bought -- and audience members should pony up cash for the band they thought should win.  All money went to the library (although some looked likely to disappear down MJ's bra...) and the Effin' Gs were declared winner.   

Then we stood around and schmoozed with the exceedingly well-dressed dudes who head up NYPL's teen programs, and MJ and I went out and ate avocado rolls.

I had so much fun. Sometimes I can't believe the awesomeness of my job. 

P.S. Feeling like supporting the NYPL now? Please do! 



Battle of the Children's Book Bands

I am a judge, along with Anne Brashares, Jennifer Belle and Maureen Johnson, at the Battle of the Children's Book Bands, this Friday.  It will ROCK. And ROCK HARD.

Plus, appearances by Jon Sciezska and Mac Barnett, who are very funny dudes.  And the rock stars of children's and YA literature, competing for your entertainment, including Libba Bray, Natalie Standiford and Daniel Ehrenhaft of Tiger Beat. 

It's a benefit for New York Public Library and there's plenty of time to go get dinner later, because it starts at 5:30!  

Oct 15th, NYPL main branch, South Court Auditorium


Contest! Win an ARC of Real Live Boyfriends


My publisher, Random House, is giving away ten ARCs (advance reading copies) of the fourth Ruby Oliver book, REAL LIVE BOYFRIENDS.  The book itself comes out December 28, 2010, but you can read it now if you win a copy in the contest.

Also: My website is finished!  (Except the "fun" page. Which does have fun on it, but doesn't LOOK fun yet.)  Edited to add: The Fun page is finished now. It is loads and loads of fun!  All new website awesomeness created by Alan Lastufka. Thanks, Alan!

MORE ALSO: the updated website means you can finally find out all about Real Live Boyfriends, and read a preview.

Here's how to enter the contest to read the whole thing. 

In The Boy Book, book 2 of the Ruby series, Roo and her friends make lists. Here are two examples, and pay attention! Because to enter the contest, you have to write either 

1. a translation of boy-speak or
2. a clever comeback to a catcall and post it two places!

Here are the two places you post it.

1. your Twitter feed, Facebook page or blog or anything else public, with the hashtag #RubyOliverBooks if on Twitter. Give a shortie explanation of the reason you're doing it if there's room -- because after all, we (me and Random House) want to spread the word about the Ruby books, which are all out in pretty new paperback jackets and easy to find in nearly any bookshop. My eternal gratitude if you link to the website page about the new book....
2. post it again in the comments here with a link if possible, so I know you did it! 

Deadline: Thursday night, October 14, midnight!  Then check back on the blog on Monday Oct 17 to find out the winners.  

So, to recap. Write either a Translation of Boy-Speak or a Clever Comeback to a Catcall (see Ruby Oliver's examples, below). Post your entry in public and in the comments here by Oct 14 midnight. Maybe win a copy of Real Live Boyfriends, months before it comes out! 

And even if you don't, you will benefit humanity with your entry.



Boy-Speak: Introuction to a Foreign Language

What he says: I never felt this way before.
What is understood: He loves me!
What he means: Can we get to the nether regions, now?

What he says: I'll call you.
What is understood: He'll call me.
What he means: I don't want to see you again.

 What he says: It's not you, it's me.
What is understood: He's got some meaningful problem going on in his life that's blocking him from being anyone's boyfriend, even mine, though he likes me so much.
What he means: I like someone else.

 What he says: We're just really good friends.
What is understood: Nothing is going on between him and that other girl.
What he means: We have a flirtation, but I don't want you to bug me.

 What he says: I'm so messed up.
What is understood: He needs my support and help.
What he means: I want you to leave me alone.

Also from THE BOY BOOK.  Clever Comebacks to Catcalls -- ie. things to say when someone makes a lewd, rude comment to you, in school or on the street.


  1. Join the 21st Century.

  2. Try to imagine how little I care.

  3. Have you had your brain checked? I think the warranty has run out.

  4.  I can't get angry at you, today. It's 'Be Kind to Animals Week'.

  5.  Didn't I dissect you in Biology class?

  6.  Did you take your medication today?

  7.  I'll try smiling--if you try being smarter.

  8.  I'm curious, did your mother raise all of her children to be sexists, or did she single you out?

And some extras, for specific situations:  

If he says, "If I could see you naked, I'd die happy," then you say, "If I could see you naked, I'd die laughing."

And if he says, "Hey, baby, what's your sign?" Answer, "Do not enter."

And if he calls down the street as you ignore him, "Hey baby, don't be rude!" Reply, "I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant."

And if he says, "Can I see you sometime?" Say, "How about never? Is never good for you?"