For most of February and March, I have been dealing with a twisted hip, an injured back, and a string of writing deadlines.
I have managed to push through on deadlines, sometimes writing while standing, sometimes writing while lying flat on my back. Thankfully, I've been able to walk, which helps my back and hips feel better and also stems the frustration that comes from being laid low.
I was lying on the couch, typing away, when the cedar waxwings showed up not more than an hour ago.
Cedar waxwings are one of my favorite birds. They have a quiet beauty, with their masked faces and their brightly tipped wings and tails. Because they don't stay in one place, but roam in nomadic flocks, they are not regular visitors to my yard. So their arrival today felt like a special event. I'm not the only one who thinks so. My cat has been sitting at the window for hours, flicking her tail and gazing at them through the glass.
I feel blessed that even when I'm stuck on my back, nature comes close enough for me to see.
Happy spring, everyone!
March has arrived, and my newest book has slithered its way into the world. Please say happy birthday to When Plants Attack: Strange and Terrifying Plants!
Last month for World Read Aloud Day, I talked with students from grades one through five in New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Michigan, and Calgary. I had a chance to share with them a few different books: The Monarchs Are Missing, Plants Can't Sit Still, Trapdoor Spiders and Other Amazing Predators and, of course, When Plants Attack.
I was delighted to receive in the mail last week thank you letters from students from one of the When Plants Attack classes. Thank you, West Woods Upper Elementary students! I loved reading your letters. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on books, writing, plants, and what you find fascinating about the world.
In honor of this special month, I'd like to announce A CONTEST! If you're interested in entering a drawing for a free hardcover copy of When Plants Attack, I'll be running a giveaway on Goodreads soon. Check back here soon for details, or connect with me on Goodreads. Meanwhile, you can read early reviews of When Plants Attack on Goodreads.
Happy March, everyone!
A very exciting package arrived. Take a look!
The Green Prize trophy is made of sustainably harvested wood. A stamp on the back reads:
"100% of the energy used in the production of this award was offset through our energy provider's carbon offset program."
Notice that it was mailed in a reused cardboard box. In sustainability, even the little things count.
What an honor! Climate Migrants: On the Move in a Warming World has won the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature!
The Green Prize is a national book award, sponsored by Santa Monica's Public Library and Office of Sustainability and the Environment, given to the year's best adult and youth books on sustainability, as selected by a panel of librarians, teachers, and sustainability experts.
You can find a video of the 2018 award here.
You can learn more about the Green Prize, and see a full list of this year’s winners, as well as past winners, at the Santa Monica Public Library website.
I'm so excited to share the cover for my upcoming book, When Plants Attack: Strange and Terrifying Plants. It releases March 1, 2019 from Millbrook Press.
Here's the synopsis: In the wild, it’s eat or be eaten. Each living thing is on a mission to survive another day—including plants. And the measures they take can be downright deadly for those that cross their path. Get a close-up look at carnivorous plants that trap unsuspecting mammals, African trees that enlist armies of biting ants as bodyguards, and an Australian shrub with prickly, poison-filled leaves that have landed unsuspecting humans in the hospital. But don’t get too close or . . . OUCH!
I'm delighted to announce that this book has been named a Junior Library Guild selection!
The Monarchs Are Missing received a terrific review from The Nonfiction Detectives, two librarians who highlight the best nonfiction books for children My favorite line:
Hirsch does an excellent job making the narrative, which is packed with scientific information, easy to understand.
You can read the full review here:
Here are two great reviews of The Monarchs Are Missing: A Butterfly Mystery. The first is from School Library Journal.
The second is on Archimedes Notebook.
Favorite quote (from Archimedes Notebook): "Yay for back matter!"
Wow! Kids in North Carolina have nominated Plants Can't Sit Still for the North Carolina Children's Book Award. A committee of school and public librarians will then select a winner from the nominees.
You can find a list of all the 2019 nominees here.
And you can find activities for each of the books, including mine, here.
There are some terrific choices on this list—all of the books are well-deserving of this nomination. It's an honor to have had my book nominated by readers.