School Visits in 2018

Excited to be going to the Sunshine State in January for my first school visit of 2018 at

Curtis Fundamental School in Dunedin, Florida.

As a gift for the first three schools who book author visits with me in 2018,

I’m giving away these prize packs.

So, there are still two more prize packs available.

What school will be the lucky recipient?

And where will I be headed next?

Can’t wait to find out!

Happy Reading,





Just Like Me is available as an audio book.

I’m so thankful for the very talented Cassandra Morris, who reads it with such enthusiasm, personality, and style that it has been given an earphone award.

AudioFile Magazine

Such exciting news!

ARCcover - Copy

Happy Reading (and Listening),




Pub Day – April 5, 2016


Told through a mix of traditional narrative and journal entries, JUST LIKE ME is a funny, uplifting summer camp story about unlikely friendships and finding your place in the world.

Other Big News

ALWAYS, ABIGAIL is now available in paperback.


Upcoming Events:

April is for Authors – April 16 in West Palm Beach, FL

Texas Library Association Conference – April 19 & 20 in Houston, TX

JUST LIKE ME Book Launch/Book Fair Event – April 21 in Clearwater, FL

from 4- 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble 23654 US Hwy 19 N., Clearwater, FL (727)669-1688

Happy Reading!


Thank You South Carolina Book Awards!

Good news for ALWAYS, ABIGAIL!

ABIGAIL has been chosen as a 2016/17 nominee for the South Carolina Book Awards.

AbigailBlogSizeSo excited for all the new readers who will be enjoying Abigail, Gabby, and Jackson’s antics.

Thank you South Carolina!

Happy Reading,


New News for the New Year

ARCcover - Copy

Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky.  ISBN 9781492604273.  $16.99

The big day for JUST LIKE ME is April 5, 2016, and I’m looking forward to my middle grade readers taking a trip to summer camp with Julia, Avery, and Becca.  When they do, they’ll find out just how wonderful and terrible a week at camp can turn out to be.

Thanks to School Library Journal there’s already some good news to share about my upcoming book:

“Tween readers will find much to identify with in this charming and refreshingly wholesome coming-of-age story. . . .  Filled with slapstick humor and fast-paced action, the novel will engage reluctant readers, while offering fuel for deep contemplation by those ready to tackle questions of identity and belonging.”

Thanks SLJ for giving me so much to smile about as we head into the new year!

Happy Reading!


FALL FUN – Back-to-School-Visit

Hard to believe the new school year is well underway, but it’s a great time of year to visit schools to inspire students to have a year filled with reading and writing.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Fun Times in SAN ANTONIO:  I had the awesome pleasure of visiting 9 schools in the San Antonio area:  Kuentz Elementary, Knowlton Elementary, Kay Franklin Elementary, Scarborough Elementary, St. Anthony Catholic School, Blattman Elementary, Leon Springs Elementary, Aue Elementary, and Locke Hille Elementary.  What a fantastic week of spending time with readers in the great state of Texas!

SanAntonio SanAntonio2  Excited and enthusiastic readers and writers.


Welcoming librarians who even serve authors a wonderful breakfast!


And students who write touching thank you notes . . .

thank you note

It all makes me even more thankful that ALWAYS, ABIGAIL is a nominee on the Texas Bluebonnet List!  Thank you, Texas!!



Back in Illinois, I had the pleasure of visiting Henry Puffer School in Downers Grove.  Fun to talk about THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO RATCHET (A Rebecca Caudill Nominee – so excited to be on my home state’s reading list this year!  Thank you, Illinois!) and show students that building an engine is a lot like building a story.


The Henry Puffer students will be doing “One School, One Journal” this year and setting out on their own writing adventure.  A big thank you to Anderson’s Bookshop for providing books for the book sale.

I’ll end the post with a few back to school bargains.  Looking for an inexpensive middle grade ebook?  Try ALWAYS, ABIGAIL






Hurry and download it while it’s still on sale.


September is almost over, but I have a feeling my good times with school visits have only just begun.  I can’t wait to head out and visit more schools, make even more middle grade friends, and inspire them to have a great year of reading and writing!

Happy Reading & Writing,


Summer Fun & Exciting News

I haven’t posted in a long time but wanted to share what’s been going on . . .

My third book – JUST LIKE ME, which will be out April 2016, is finished, and the wonderful advanced reader copies have already arrived.

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So excited for readers to enjoy this fun camp story!

Julia’s off to summer camp with Avery and Becca, her “Chinese Sisters” – two girls adopted from the same Chinese orphanage as she. Though the three girls’ families have wanted them to be friends since the time they brought them home as babies, Julia has never felt all that close to Avery and Becca. She would never voluntarily choose to spend a whole week with them, but Ms. Marcia, the coordinator from their adoption agency, wants to do a follow-up article on the girls’ adoption experience and their unique “bond” as “Chinese Sisters,” so Julia doesn’t really have a choice.

The three girls head off to camp, each with their own “Ms. Marcia Journal” where they are supposed to record the details of the special connection they feel with each other as they spend a week “bonding.”

Just Like Me is a story that will make readers think about their own personal life stories, their own friendships, and how those stories and those friendships come together to make them who they are.

And we’ve already received some great news about JUST LIKE ME – it will be coming out as audio book too!

On to other news . . .

Earlier in the summer I enjoyed some fun at Nerd Camp Jr. in Parma, Michigan.  Besides all the fun with the students and educators attending, I always enjoy running into some of my favorite writer friends.

Liesl Shurtliff author of RUMP and JACK.  Don’t miss these fantastic twists on some old tales.


Jess Keating (fellow Sourcebooks author) – HOW TO OUTRUN AN ALLIGATOR WHEN YOUR SHOES ARE UNTIED, HOW TO OUTSWIM A SHARK WITHOUT A SNORKEL, and HOW TO OUTFOX YOUR FRIENDS WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE.  Great stories for anyone who loves animals and fun!

NerdCamp2015BlogSize (2)

And Kristen Kittscher, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the very first time.  Readers will love her fast-action mystery – WIG IN THE WINDOW!


Now that summer is winding down, I’m gearing up for lots of school visits and teacher and librarian conferences.  Stop by my blog again soon to see what the new school year brings.

Happy Reading,


Ratchet & Abigail Celebrate Spring

The last several weeks have been full of good things for both


Here are a few highlights:

One of my favorite parts of being an author is doing school visits.

In April I had fun visiting Lakes Community High School for their first ever Writer’s Week.

I also enjoyed visiting Palos Heights Public Library to meet with their Rebecca Caudill Reading Club.

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Later in the month I was warmly welcomed by the students at Meridian Middle School.

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I had a fabulous time with ten lucky students who won the chance to share lunch with me.

And I ended the month by taking part in Lake Zurich’s Young Author’s Festival by visiting two schools in their district to share my author’s journey with the students there.

What a pleasure to have the opportunity to inspire students!

Another huge highlight of last month was the Texas Library Association’s Annual Conference in Austin, TX!

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(The fabulous Sourcebooks Team)

Because ALWAYS, ABIGAIL is on the Texas Bluebonnet Reading List for next year, I was given the royal treatment.  Those Texas librarians really know how to treat their authors!

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(Photos: Beth Oleniczak and I at the Texas Bluebonnet Lunch; Author Polly Holyoke author of THE NEPTUNE PROJECT; Fellow Sourcebooks Author Cory Putman Oakes/DINOSAUR BOY)

Other good news:  THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO RATCHET will be on the Florida’s Sunshine State Reading List for 2015/16.  Can’t wait for all those Florida readers to enjoy Ratchet’s story.

Happy Reading,


MIDDLE GRADE GIVEAWAY – The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke

One of the wonderful perks of being an author is the opportunity for friendships with other authors.  Middle grade author, Polly Holyoke and I, both debuted middle grade novels in 2013.
As a result, we have had the pleasure of getting to know each other and have enjoyed supporting one another in promoting our books.
My blog post today is dedicated to her Earth Day Giveaway.
(Details below)
Enter today and you just might be the lucky winner of her middle grade novel.
The Neptune Project.
Good Luck!
And Happy Reading!
In honor of Earth Day, author and educator Polly Holyoke is gifting her love of the world’s oceans to school librarians and educators!
Polly has asked Curious City DPW to give away 500 individual copies of her award-winning middle grade novel, The Neptune Project (Disney/Hyperion) (Ages 8-14), to school libraries and classrooms all over the U.S.
Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of 2014
Texas Bluebonnet Award 2014-15 Master List
Ohio Buckeye Teen and Children’s Book Award Nominee
A former classroom teacher, Polly has developed STEM and other well-received curriculum and lesson plans for her undersea dystopia:
“Almost every chapter ends with a cliff-hanger, forcing the reader to flip the page for more. In addition, the book revels in the beauty of the underwater world and the creatures that inhabit it. The relationship between the teenagers and the dolphins–who actually become characters themselves–is especially well-crafted…With both romance and adventure, The Neptune Project will attract male and female readers.” —VOYA
Enter to receive a copy!  Giveaway closes on Earth Day, 4/22/15.
Dive right in and share with your colleagues and state list serves as we have a sea of books to give away!!
All for Litera-sea,
Kirsten Cappy
Curious City DPW
8A Merrill Street
Portland, ME 04101
207-420-1126 Phone
Curious City DPW (Department of
Public Works) is on the job building
free reader engagement materials
for children’s librarians, educators,
booksellers, and other fine public
servants of children’s literature and literacy.
ALA, ALSC, and YALSA Member.

Opportunities Abound – 2016 Rebecca Caudill List

Having THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO RATCHET on the 2016 Rebecca Caudill List is already providing me with lots of great opportunities to connect with readers.

This Thursday, April 9 at 4 p.m., I’ll be meeting with several young Illinois readers at the Palos Heights Public Library.  I’ll be sharing my journey to publication as well as answering readers’ questions.

I look forward to meeting many more young Illinois readers in the coming year!

Thank you, Illinois, for nominating THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO RATCHET!

I count myself a very lucky author!

Happy Reading,


JUST LIKE ME by Nancy J. Cavanaugh




ALWAYS, ABIGAIL by Nancy J. Cavanaugh


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