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I <3 Educators Giveaway

Yesterday, Ms. Mason, the wonderful teacher of a second grade class I Skyped with last week tweeted this:

I’m not sure I can express what a thrill it is to see Carter’s smiling face. There is nothing I love more about being a writer than connecting with and inspiring young readers!

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to present at a local library, where I was able to spend a wonderful afternoon interacting with readers.

As I visit libraries and classrooms, in person or via Skype, I am constantly struck with the wonderful talent and dedication of librarians and teachers. Educators are my heroes!

That’s why I’m going to do a special giveaway, starting today, during National Library Week, just for them!

Teachers and librarians, enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win:

  • A signed hardcover of Hook’s Revenge, published by Disney•Hyperion, for your classroom or library
  • A signed Advance Readers Copy of Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code, published by Disney•Hyperion, for your classroom or library (and read it before it releases in the fall!)
  • A classroom pack of signed bookmarks and postcards—one each for every class member, or up to 50 for your library
  • An in person, full day school visit (travel expenses not included) or an extended Skype workshop

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

Giveaway open to teachers and librarians in the United States and Canada. Homeschool groups are also eligible provided they have at least 25 students.

Free author visit (valued at $1000) scheduling will be based on author’s availability and is to be completed before the end of January 2016. Prize does not include travel expenses. Travel expenses from and back to Salem, Oregon are to be covered by the winning school. Full day visit includes one general assembly and up to three workshops, lunch with students, and a book signing period. (Heidi will provide a preorder form to send home with students and will work with your local independent bookseller to provide books.)

If the Skype option (valued at $200) is chosen, the lesson is not to exceed one hour. Scheduling will be based on author’s availability and is to be completed before the end of January 2016.

Workshops for in person or Skype visit may be chosen from the Schools, Homeschool Groups, and Libraries list found here.

Contest ends and a winner will be chosen May 15, 2015 at 12:00am PDT.



P.S. Learn more about me and my books.

Hey Kid! with K. E. Ormsbee (THE WATER AND THE WILD)

hey kid

Twelve-Year-Old Me,

IttyBittyHey! You just got those braces taken off your four front teeth, didn’t you? AW YEAH. Relish the freedom, because you’re going back into a full set when you’re thirteen. And you won’t get out of them until you’re sixteen, because the gods are unkind and cursed you with your mom’s big teeth and your dad’s teensy mouth. For now, relish the freedom of your orthodontics-free year, and in the trying season to come, keep in mind that people will one day be totally unaware that your two front teeth were once perpendicular to each other.

Your best friend moved away last year. That sucks. But years from now, you’ll connect again on Facebook, and she will fill your newsfeed with hilarious status updates. Guess what? Your two current best friends are going to move away, too. That double sucks. But I promise they’ll make fantastic pen pals, and you will find some new friends who actually stay in your hometown for more than a couple years.

You started your first novel this year! Don’t try hiding that Word doc, I know the secret folder where you keep it stashed. I also know where you hide the hand-drawn map of the fantasy world a’brewing in your imagination. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’ll abandon that book after about four chapters. The good news is you will keep on writing, and one day another fantasy novel of yours will be PUBLISHED and will include in its cast of characters a boy you’ve already invented and named Fife.

Your older sister can be a real pill, can’t she? She’s so unfair and never wants to hang out, and she thinks she’s so much cooler than you. But hey, she IS cooler than you. She’s seventeen, and she’s trying to figure out a lot of confusing crap in her life. So be a little less annoying, okay? And maybe resist the urge to dress up like Norman Bates and sneak into the bathroom when she’s showering whilst screeching the Psycho theme? Because that’s really creepy, and she will never let you live it down. Never. As it turns out, when you get older, the two of you will be good friends, and those pencil stabbing wars will be nothing more than a distant memory. Really. Miracles do happen.

Right now, you think a boyfriend is the Stupidest Thing Imaginable, and you don’t understand all your boy-crazy peers. And you know what? That’s totally cool. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad because you’re too busy pursuing your dreams to waste time on kissy face. There will be plenty of time for that later.

Yes, you will achieve your dream of living in England, and you will love every second of it. You will also realize it’s not socially acceptable to occasionally lapse into a British accent. You’ll live in Spain and learn how to speak decent Spanish, but it would’ve helped if you’d done a little more grunt work in school, so maybe spend more time practicing those boring conjugation exercises, okay? Unlike calculus, you actually WILL use that knowledge one day.

I’m not gonna lie, Kathryn, things are about to get super awkward. They’re going to get emotional and ugly and rough. You’re going to get very sick and visit dozens of doctors in an attempt to figure out what’s wrong. You’re going to be diagnosed with a chronic physical illness. You’re going to fight some inner-demons and be forced to confront your OCD head-on. You’re going to humiliate yourself on numerous occasions and repeatedly confirm that you’re terrible at volleyball.

But here’s the beautiful news: the best is yet to come. In the no-too-distant future, people will actually give you awards for being a nerd. You will meet crazy-amazing people and have all those long, deep, meaningful conversations you’re currently bundling up inside. You will walk where Roman emperors once promenaded and attend mind-blowing concerts and see the Alps and punt the River Cam. You will make friends who know you inside-out and love you just the same. You’ll realize that, once you’re not trapped there, your hometown can be a great place. And you’re going to make your dream come true: you’re going to become a published author.

Until then, keep walking to the beat of your own drum, you weirdo, you. I promise, it’s worth it. You’ve got this, Little K.

All the hugs,
Twenty-Five-Year-Old You

P.S. For the love of all things, WEAR MORE SUNSCREEN. You are not invincible like your friends. You are incapable of tanning. Slather on the 100 SPF and spare yourself much needless suffering.

P. P. S. Hope you like the enclosed gel pens and root beer-flavored Lip Smackers. Ha. I know. Of course you do.



For as long as Lottie Fiske can remember, the only people who seem to care about her have been her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter-writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things and people are arriving on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot’s getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie is helpless, useless, powerless.

And then a door opens in the apple tree.

Follow Lottie down through the apple roots to another world—a world of magic both treacherous and beautiful—in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss.

Find The Water and the Wild on Indiebound, Chronicle Books, B&N, and Amazon or ask for it in bookstores and libraries near you.


Find more Hey Kid! letters here.

K. E. (aka Kathryn) Ormsbee grew up with a spaceship in her basement and went on many pretend (?) expeditions to the moon. The Water and the Wild is her first novel.

Connect with Kathryn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Hey Kid! with Nick Courage (THE LOUDNESS)

hey kid

Hey, Nicky!

I know, I know… you’re thinking about “officially” dropping the Y – you can do that after you read this letter. For now, you’re still Nicky.

HeyKid_NickCourageI’m you in exactly twenty years, by the way, so I know you’re feeling a little anxious about starting 7th grade – middle school! Just so you’re prepared, on your first day, this kid named Brendan is going to take your chair in the cafeteria, and he’s going to be a real jerk about it. Believe it or not, in a few years, when you get to high school, you’re going end up being friends with him.

This is embarrassing to talk about, but I feel like I should warn you: you’re going to fall pretty hard for a few girls in 7th grade. Even worse: they’re all going to be taller than you, or they’re going to have crushes on people that are, like, three years older. Or they’re going to be deeply in love with one-hundred-year-old celebrities like Anthony Kiedis (that guy from The Red Hot Chili Peppers – I know, it’s ridiculous).

You’re going to hear this a lot:

“You’re going to be really cute in, like, ten years, when you grow up.”

Well, guess what: in ten years, you’re going to be headed for New York City, where you’ll live with your best friend and four guitars and stacks and stacks of punk rock records. It’s literally going to be The Best… and it won’t even matter if those girls were right, because cute is such a boring thing to be. Everybody you’re friends with in ten years will know that it’s better to be interesting than cute.

So don’t quit guitar lessons, even if your friend Jon is better than you think you’ll ever be. Keep practicing the drums! Above all else, don’t stop skateboarding after you break your wrist. If Back to the Future has taught me anything, it’s that if you promise to keep skateboarding every day, I should be able to go outside and do a varial flip by the time I’m done writing this letter. Learning tricks is much harder when you’re in your thirties, so please, please, please do me that one favor.

And just so you know, despite everything, you are going to ask one of the tall girls to the 8th grade dance, and she’s going to say yes, and it’s going to be a terrible night, mainly because everyone’s going to be taking pictures of her being taller than you. Rest assured: in twenty years, the worst part about that night will be that you can’t find any of those pictures.

Before I forget! There will be people with beards at your high school. Students! It’s insane, and you’re going to wonder when you’ll be able to grow a beard like that. I’m sorry to say that the answer is pretty much never. For better or worse, you’re going to be pretty baby-faced for a while. Even in your thirties, people are going to ask where you go to school.

Just smile and say “Hogwarts.”


TheLoudness_HeyKidHenry Long doesn’t have a heart. He doesn’t go to school. He doesn’t have a girlfriend. He doesn’t have a clue. Two of those things are about to change.

Since the Tragedies, Henry Long doesn’t have much: just an annoying low-watt buzz from his makeshift heart transplant, skinny arms, and a dusty library attic from which he charts the reconstruction of the Green Zone, the last habitable neighborhood of his ruined coastal city. While his parents work on making the Green Zone independent from a federal government that appears to have abandoned them, Henry’s feels similarly abandoned—that is, until he discovers a refugee artists’ colony called the Other Side. When the federales don’t take kindly to the Green Zone’s attempts at secession and kidnap Henry’s parents, Henry and his new renegade friends—including one very courageous girl with whom he’s shared one truly shocking kiss—are forced from the colorful streets and underground rock clubs of the Other Side to an overcrowded capital city on the verge of collapse.

As Henry uncovers more about the conflicting forces that run his world, he realizes that not everyone is who they seem to be—including himself. In The Loudness, readers will be propelled into an electrifying world where superheroes emerge from the unlikeliest people.

“I was recently persuaded by one who knows, that blurbs or cover quotes do no good, and I should not write them. So I will not be saying that The Loudness is a meticulously crafted and admirable book. Others may say it – I wouldn’t be surprised – but I say buy a copy, take it home and read it, and make up your own mind. What am I, a guru?” —Daniel Pinkwater

The Loudness can be found on Indiebound, Powell’s, Amazon, B&N or ask for it in bookstores and libraries near you.

Find more Hey Kid! letters here.

Nick Courage is a New Orleans-born artist, musician, writer, and aspiring skateboarder. His work has recently appeared in Story, Full Stop, and The Paris Review Daily. He splits his time between Brooklyn and Pittsburgh, where he lives with his wife and two cats.

Connect with Nick on, Twitter, and Goodreads.
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