Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Today is brought to you by the number 5.

I'm pretty gobsmacked over here. We got news of the fifth review for ASK THE PASSENGERS, and this is a beautiful one from Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books, and it's another starred review. That brings us to five starred reviews for Astrid Jones and her airplanes.


I feel like thanking the whole world right now. Thank you, whole world.

 I get this question a lot: What's a starred review?
 Also this one: Isn't five stars better than one?
And this one: Why is it so cool to get a starred review?

 A star is something a traditional trade review venue gives a book that it thinks is of particular quality. For example, Booklist will review X number of books in their October issue, but only a few of those reviews will be starred reviews.

When you think of five-star reviews, you're thinking consumer reviews on Amazon or other reader websites. Those are cool places to review and keep track of books. But it's not quite the same as a trade review, because a trade review is published and sent to subscribers.

Why is it so cool to get starred reviews? Because it's nice to know I'm creating good work. Some people measure their success in gold coins. I can't do that, so stars mean a lot to me.

All this defining aside, there are a lot of books that are awesome and do not get starred reviews. And there are books plenty of people don't particularly like that get them. And so, we're back to the same old review conundrum which is: The beauty is in the eye of the reader and you have to find out for yourself.

I don't ever expect a star. Hell, I don't really expect nice reviews. It always seems like a fluke to me because I can never tell if what I'm doing is working. <---author brain. And so, I am very grateful that reviewers have enjoyed ASK THE PASSENGERS this much so far. And so, we're back to thanking the whole effing world. Thank you, whole effing world.

So here's your snippet for the Oct. 1 BCCB review: 
★ “For kids still struggling with their own truths, it can be hard to believe how much light there is once you come out of the cave. This is a book that knows and understands that, and it’s one that readers will believe.”—Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books 

And here's your chance to win a signed ARC of ASK THE PASSENGERS. 

  • Write me a powerful five-word-long sentence. 
  • Five words only. 
  • Don't forget to leave me your email address (at) (dot) if your entry doesn't have a link to a way to contact you. 
  • Contest ends October 2, 2012 23:59EST. 
  • If you tweet, blog, FB or spread the word in some other cosmic way, you will get an extra entry. Let me know under you entry. 
  • We need 50 entries to make it happen. Spread the word!

 Here's my entry: I should be writing now.


sari said...

Surprise: my power is me.

sari said...

Also, congratulations! You are an amazing writer and deserve the stars!

Aaron Pound said...

"He woke up, desperately unhappy."



Tweeted, Facebooked, and G+ed

Tara said...

Freedom makes my life beautiful.

Erin said...

Happiness is what you make. :)

Erin D.


Miss Sara Cantor said...

Donegal's new library embodies diversity.


Karoline said...

Here is a powerful sentence:

"Life should be a musical" =D

It really should, that would have been brilliant. Have FB-ed about this contest-thingie :)



Steve Brezenoff said...

Gimme that fucking book, Amy.

Annie Moore said...

Truth is hard; lies aren't.


JenBibi said...

I will always forgive them!


Shared with Facebook too!

sari said...

Oh, crap. I forgot my email. So much for following directions.

thegeekinside (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Marsha said...

Ahrens family gatherings always rock?

Ringo the Cat said...

I can’t stop reading books.


Linked on facebook and tweeted (@RingoTheCat_1), but I don't really have another sentence. That one pretty much says it all.

Ringo the Cat said...

I can't stop reading books.

I facebooked and tweeted (@RingotheCat_1), but I don't really have another sentence. That one pretty much says it all.


Anonymous said...

I read, therefore I am.

Retweeted and shared on Facebook


Sarah said...

She hesitated, unable to decide.


Cannot wait to read this book!

Tara said...

Ummm, I vote for Steve. Nice try Marsha!! lol

Anonymous said...

Rule Number 4: Do Something.

(I know saying it before made it powerful enough to become a shirt)


detailsforyou - at - yahoo (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Oligarchy equals years of neglect

(that was for laughs)


detailsforyou - at - yahoo (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I’m lonely, but not alone.


Anonymous said...

Only five stars so far.

:) Beth

I also shared on facebook.

detailsforyou - at - yahoo - dot - com

Anonymous said...

My orientation is my soul.

yhsciet (at) yahoo (dot) com

Anonymous said...

All I need is time.

Aimee : aimee.n723@gmail.com

retweeted (@akimomo_3)

Anonymous said...

Everybody is just background noise.

Aimee: aimee.n723@gmail.com



J. H. Bográn said...

She cried over her baby.

jhbogran at gmail dot com

Christiana from Backspace said...

My gynecologist prescribed an affair.

Amanda said...

five words broke her forever


Mrs. Detwiler said...

I love you too, Mommy.


Anonymous said...

The sun will rise tomorrow

Mtouet at Popejohnhs dot org

Sashi K said...

This totally violates the rule by being two sentences and too many words. But you have to sing it to the tune of Call Me Maybe in your best cookie monster voice.

"Here my email. Give me book maybe?"


CBethM said...

You make my job easy.

(Thank you for your fantastic books...you make it easy for me to jump start my students' reading lives!)

Reilly said...

The children are always watching.

Enchanted by Books said...

He lives on, inside me.

email: book lover 07202 at yahoo dot com

Twitter: @RachaelfromNJ

Anonymous said...

I need to love again.


Cass said...

I make my own destiny.

Thanks for always being an amazing author. I've read your first two books, have ANTS on my bookshelf and pre-ordered PASSENGERS already. :D

I live internationally, and since I've already pre-ordered anyway, THIS IS NOT AN ENTRY. I just wanted to tell you I really appreciate you and your books. :)

Elise S said...

I am the music - listen.


I also posted this on my blog!

Kat Brown said...

Life is art: Make it


and I posted it on tumblr at http://blamethegoat.tumblr.com/

Sara J. Henry said...

Today was his last tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I laughed, Tabby's smile fading.




Anonymous said...

Dust covered my signed copies.



Christina Lee said...

"The mouse takes the cheese."

*snort* had to use that one b/c I read your tweets (rants) today--HAHA!


Unknown said...

Everything old was once new.

Anonymous said...

I love your perfect imperfections.

- Karen Faith

I also retweeted (@xxkarenfaithxx) and blogged (xxkarenfaithxx.tumblr.com)

thelittlefluffycat said...

I am not Iron Man.

A.S. King said...

Awesome entires so far.
Thank you!

Stacy said...

Ask about my shadow self.


Anonymous said...

I am awesome danish dynamite.



Monica Fumarolo said...

"Hello" is harder than "goodbye."

And I tweeted about the contest too @mfumarolo

Thanks for the amazing giveaway opportunity, but even more than that, thank you for your incredible stories!


iffath said...

You're the reason I love.

(also, because I'm a cheat: You are the only reason).


JenAnsbach said...

I also tweeted about this! @JenAnsbach

Aliyah said...

She hid, but she lived.

Can't wait to meet you in Collingswood on Saturday!


Matthew MacNish said...

Congrats, Amy! Five starreds are way better than a hundred five-stars. If that makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

She gave my heart back.


thedharmadiva at gmail dot com

Sophie said...


Rain makes my kid laugh.

longdidread at gmail dot com

Robin said...

Students eat books w/forks n'shovels

Bent the rules. But they are carnivorous readers!


Student review blog:


Lisa Eckstein said...

I wrote this sentence in my manuscript a few minutes ago: "It was just past midnight."