Tag Archives: middle grade

We’ve Arrived in Toronto for the Festival of Trees

Children's author Kathleen Cherry in Toronto for the Festival of TreesWe made it to Toronto last night and even managed to find our way into town without getting lost or any mishap – okay there was the issue of going back in through the ‘out’ doors at baggage claim – but we got away with it. Then there was a bidding war at the taxi stand. Taxis seem to operate somewhat differently here.

Today was spent exploring Toronto. Fantastic, beautiful and energizing city! I am with my oldest daughter who used her phone to navigate – I’d have had the two foot map! We explored Queens Street and found a wonderful brunch place. I embraced the ‘tourist mom look’, according to my daughter- although I noted her jacket ended up in the backpack. Some things don’t change.

Children's author Kathleen Cherry in Toronto for the Festival of TreesMeanwhile, after careful consultation with the phone, we are off for dinner and more exploration! Tomorrow, I read at my first school and then Wednesday is the Festival of Trees. Look out for photos and updates!

Celebrate Back to School with Everyday Hero

Everyday HeroTo celebrate back to school, I’m giving away 5 copies of my middle grade novel, Everyday Hero.  Be sure to enter over on Goodreads for your chance to win.  Contest runs through September 21, so enter today.

More about Everyday Hero

Alice doesn’t like noise, smells or strangers. She does like rules. Lots of rules. Nobody at her new school knows she has Asperger’s, so it doesn’t take long for her odd behavior to get her into trouble. When she meets Megan in detention, she doesn’t know what to make of her. Megan doesn’t smell, she’s not terribly noisy, and she’s not exactly a stranger, but is she a friend? Megan seems fearless to Alice—but also angry or maybe sad. Alice isn’t sure which. When Megan decides to run away, Alice resolves to help her friend, no matter how many rules she has to break or how bad it makes her feel.

Three Reasons Why I Had to Write Everyday Hero

Everyday HeroThree reasons I had to write this book…Okay, I’ll admit it, I was given this topic in a publicity effort and,  at first, I stared blankly at the flickering screen. How do I get my ideas? How do I decide what projects to pursue and which will remain in a messy, disorganized file entitled ‘ideas’

The difference was Alice. I have never had a character so real to me, so multi-dimensional and so absolutely determined to tell her story, in her own way and with her own words.

And Alice’s story needed to be told. It needed to be told because the world needs heroes. And we need to know that heroes come from every walk of life, with every form of ability and disability.  Each and every one of us can be a hero. Everyone can be courageous; we can persist when quitting is easier; we can do the right thing when the wrong thing is more tempting and we can express that which we know to be right even when we are afraid.

This story needed to be told because it is a story of self-discovery. Alice learns that she is a hero and a friend. She has Asperger’s but she is not defined by it. Whatever one’s circumstance, every individual is more than a diagnosis and every individual can become stronger by recognizing their abilities and challenges.

This story needed to be told because Alice has ‘grit’.  We hear a lot about ‘grit’ and resilience in education and psychology. We all want the ‘A’s and we want our children to get those ‘A’s’. They look good. They sound good. They feel good. But the kids I really admire are those who don’t get the ‘A’s. They may not even get the ‘B’s’ but they never, ever give up.

They are the heroes. And heroes don’t have to get ‘A’s. They don’t have to know all the answers or wear the right clothes.

Anyone can be a hero.