Collected Wisps of Thought

{August 28, 2007}   The Reviews that Matter

As I’m waiting for the “official” reviews of The Garden of Eve to start rolling in, I received this one from Sara-Elizabeth, age 12, who posted it on my forum ( It reminded me of the reviews that really matter — those of my readers. I found this one to be so lovely and well written, I couldn’t resist sharing it with all of you!

Here’s what Sara has to say:

After reading the advance reader copy of Garden of Eve I have to let you know that in my opinion Garden of Eve is KL’s best book so far. The character list is small, but the content, twists and turns will keep you on the edge. Garden of Eve is very different from KL’s previous three books which I also enjoyed. Garden of Eve keeps you guessing what is real and what is fantasy, and the twists – love them! I read Garden of Eve in two sittings and turned around and read it again. I felt a connection to Eve, the main character. Eve, is an eleven year old girl, just a year younger than I am. She just lost her mother to cancer; I just lost my grandmother to cancer. Eve loves being told stories, and you guessed it, so do I.

Soon after Eve’s mothers death her father wants to start a new life in upstate New York, where he brought an Apple Orchard that has not grown any fruit for many many years. The Orchard is next door to a cemetery where Eve believes she sees a ghost. As well, more strange things start to happen, Eve receives a odd eleventh birthday present from a person unknown to her, and stories are told about the curse that prevents anything to grow in the orchard. It is enough to keep Eve’s head spinning in all directions. I wish I could tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil this excellent read!!! I suggest going to your favorite on-line book store and reserving your copy today!



{August 16, 2007}   Another Book Challenge
Another book challenge
The Daily Southtown, a division of the Chicago Sun Times, wrote an article
(,051pw1.article) recently about my first book Fat Kid Rules the World after a parent in that school district complained about the profanity present in the book. The article gained attention on the website as well and the gentleman who e-mailed me this link expected there to be more coverage after a local board meeting where they would discuss whether to pull the book from their shelves.

Obviously, I am against book banning. In my opinion, profanity is something kids are exposed to already and I don’t believe it is used gratuitously in my books, but rather it’s there to paint a realistic portrait of the life of a teen who lives in a particular subculture where profanity is present. If I was writing about a religious community or the world of a very sheltered teen I wouldn’t use it. I believe that the ability to accept cultures different from our own, even when there is a part of them that we might find offensive is an important step towards developing empathy and finding alternatives to violence as a means to squelching view points we disagree with. Fat Kid Rules the World is a book with so many positive messages, about self acceptance, accepting the hard parts of reality, and learning to love ourselves and others despite our grimy, less than perfect selves. It’s about seeing through the facades of perfection and being okay with the reality underneath.

Isn’t the attempt to ban a book with these messages simply an attempt to deny such imperfections exist in the world? To me, it’s the equivalent of saying, “I can not learn to love people who use bad language or have sexual thoughts, therefore I will try to pretend they do not exist.” Is this what we want to teach our children? Or instead might we use this book in the way it’s intended, as a window into another life that, whether alike or different, is just as faulty, beautiful and fragile as our own?

What do YOU think?

et cetera