Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Middle Grade Book Launch + Give Away! Some Kind of Magic, Adrian Fogelin

Some Kind of Wonderful: ADRIAN FOGELIN
posted by Jan Godown Annino

One of my favorite editors is Adrian Fogelin.   
And she is a favorite children’s author.
And, favorite librarian to her neighborhood.

Her new novel is SOME KIND OF MAGIC.  I am pleased to
speak with her any old time, but especially in March - Women’s History Month.

It follows the path of Adrian’s connected characters, children who students met in the award-winning CROSSING JORDAN, a story where two girls, one black, one white, unexpectedly become neighbors in North Florida.
This time around there is big role for a little guy, Cody, who is six! The story centers on a genial group of neighborhood pals who are determined to enjoy summer, because the end of it brings big changes - high school. 

Adrian’s linked novels visit the daily joys & turmoils of present-day girls & boys who come from small homes.
Extravagant collections of clothes or electronics won’t be in their closets.
This is an overlooked community where not every family has money for a car or other luxuries that many of us consider necessities.

Families are loving & good. Kids create great fun shooting hoops & challenging each other to races.
All ages of children visit together along the street. They get by in a diverse neighborhood. The kids also make their share of drama.
You are in for page-turning times with SOME KIND OF MAGIC.
And you'll love Jemmie & Cass, the girls, but also the boys on their block.

The number seven is a memorable trope in the fedora-centric SOME KIND OF MAGIC, which is seven scoops of wonderful.
So Group Blog asked Adrian for seven plus seven – to name 7 things in each of seven topics:

Adrian Fogelin’s 7’s

1 Words you love-

Neighborhood, whir, spindly, pooch, rustle, cockeyed, wobble.

2 Sites/towns/countries you’ve been to & would return to-

The dark upstairs hall in our house in Pearl River, New York where I used to scare my sister with ghost stories.
My dad’s vegetable garden, late afternoon, picking sun-warmed tomatoes for dinner, and carrying them inside in the hammock of my T-shirt.

The roof of the boathouse, Partridge Lake, New Hampshire, side-by-side with my sister, legs swinging, watching the boys from the other side of the lake show off their water skiing skills for our benefit.

Standing by the hand pump at my grandmother’s, the West Shore Railroad at the foot of the property, the house built by my great grandfather looking dignified if shabby and in need of a coat of paint, my grandmother cooking a roast inside.

The deck of our live-aboard wooden boat in Islamorada on a sunny day—on rainy days she leaked topsides.

My husband and I in our fishing boat, the Abraxas, the boat up on plane, the wind plastering our shirts to our chests as we race toward the horizon.

The stage at the Monticello Opera House playing guitar and singing for a live audience and the resident ghosts.  

3 Books YA readers will devour

The Fault in Our Stars
London Calling
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Outsiders
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

4 And the same for Middle Grade readers

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
Freak The Mighty
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Maniac Magee
The Great Gilly Hopkins

5 Ditto please, in picture books

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street
The Gruffalo
Shark vs Train/Chew vs Choo
Good Night Moon
Dad, Jackie and Me

6 Songs you love to sing/play/perform in your musical group, HOT TAMALE

Tough question! When it comes to cover songs I love to sing
1. “Somebody To Love” an old Jefferson Airplane hit I first sang in the gym at Princeton High in 1968.

2. Any Hank Williams song (that counts as one, right?) I used to think they were corny and they are, but I now appreciate corny.

3, 4. Almost any Motown number. Growing up in the Northeast, Motown was a steady influence until The Beatles obliterated that sound. “Mama Said” and “It’s in His Kiss” are probably my favorites to perform.

Among our originals:

5. “No Never Mind.” I’ve lived in the south a long time now and the idea that it don’t make no never mind appeals to me. The message in the song? Just relax.

6. “Old Tar Road” is a new song I like because my guitar part sounds like rain falling and I get to wail out my supposed heartache.

7. “The Other Side” was written for my parents, especially my father who waited to join my mother on the other side for nearly twelve years. The fact they are together makes missing both of them easier.

7 Recipes/treats/meals you like to make for your grandson

When it comes to my grandson, Matthew, AKA The Beezer, he is a hands-on boy and we make treats together.

1. We bake bread. Matthew likes to spray the ingredients out of the bowl when he stirs and punch the dough hard when it rises.

2.We sight-see the refrigerator and consider eating prosciutto (he is a sophisticated Beezer.) I am important because I can cut the package open with scissors.

3. He serves me plastic hot dogs that pop into plastic buns. I ask him to pass the mustard.

4. He scrambles a cheesy egg and we beep the microwave. I hold him up and we watch the egg wiggle in the bowl.

5. We pretend-eat rocks and say what good meatballs they are.

6. I pay for his happy meal and we try to figure out the toy that comes with it—it looks like a TV on legs with a face.

7. I tell him he should eat fewer sugary things. That means he only gets to eat one cookie.

Wow! – what a peek into your world, Adrian.
And we haven’t even talked about your visual arts accomplishments. 
Adrian created spiffy sketches for her middle grade pen-pal novel featuring the Florida Keys, SORTA SISTERS, which is one of my favorites of her many books.
 copyright Adrian Fogelin, all rights reserved

And did I mention that she is a top-notch manuscript editor?
In seven languages - thank you, gracias, grazie, merci, thangka si  (Javanese), tack (Swedish) & go raibh maith agat (Irish)!*
*appreciations to Google translate…

SOME KIND OF MAGIC launches not only today on this blog but at other places, such as an annual event of booklove, AUTHORS IN APALACH, a scenic oyster & shrimp village in North Florida where Adrian recently convened a panel of children’s writers. I was fortunate to be on that panel & a bonus was that my hubby & her hubby, went fishin'.
It was entirely magical that her first book sale was to a student from the ABC School in Apalachicola.

To win a signed copy of SOME KIND OF MAGIC, provided by the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, leave a comment below at THIS blog (not the publisher site) please. 
If you like to comment but don't want a prize, easy peasy, just say so.

To the WINNER - expect to hear after the release month of April. So, yes, if you are reading this near the bottom of April there is still time to win!
It helps if the comment name provides a clear link on how to easily reach you.
Again THANK YOU, Peachtree Publishers.

IMPORTANT Connections
Visit with author, artist, editor, neighborhood librarian, musician, singer Adrian at her author website
Adrian Fogelin essays & poetry appear at slow dance journal
Her acoustic music act is with Craig Reeder, as the duo - HOT TAMALE that site leads you to a listen.
Her publisher site is listed here just above the Peachtree Publishers animals banner.


  1. I especially enjoyed Adrian's 7. I love the cooking with your grandson section particularly. Thanks Jan and Adrian for a fun interview.

    1. O dear Pat, I haven't met you but I feel from reading your comments & posts & your site, Adrian would have so much to gab about with you if you two met up at some bookish event (IRA, NCTE, ALA. etc.) I like her 7s, also.

  2. Wow, such a talented lady. Thanks for the interview and the give a way!

  3. Is there anything you can't do, Adrian? Such talent. I liked your favorite picture books list. Thank.'s for the interesting interview.

    1. Hi Wendy! So happy to meet you here! Just this a.m. (early) I sent you an email note & now you've sent me a note here. Adrian is an endlessly interesting author. And I'm sure there is some silly thing she can't do, but, nothing important, such as shape children's lives in the best ways.
      ps. check your email...

  4. Clever interview, Jan. I love Adrian's lists of sevens! I look forward to reading SOME KIND OF MAGIC and to catching up on her recommended PBs and MGs.

    1. Oh, and leave me out of the prize drawing, of course. :)

    2. Dear Patty,
      Listing is something I probably do too much. Glad you like Adrian's. Thanks for such a kind comment!
      As a former bookstore owner, I know you have read tons of author Q/As, book dept. publicity blurbs, etc.
      And gotcha about not having your name put in the fedora.

  5. I love Adrian's books... I was drawn in by her illustrations in The Sorta Sisters, and then couldn't resist Sister Spider.... and of course, Summer on the Moon! A new one now! Can't wait to read it. And what a great blog post, Jan!

    1. Another book link we share in common Sue!
      Do you remember where/how/when you 1st learned of Adrian Fogelin's works?
      Appreciations for your joyful compliment.

  6. Some people are just born over-achievers. Adrian has my undying admiration for all that she does, including the part where she write kids' books! I love the interview answers. They make me feel like I know so much about her and where her writing comes from .


    1. Hello Jilanne,
      Mighty fine to meet you here.
      I hope it comes thru that despite all Adrian's supernova accomplishments, one of her greatest skills & attributes is her kindness & generous nature to everyone, strangers & longtime pals alike.
      Hope you continue hearing her name in all the best places.
      Appreciations for your comment.

  7. Here is an author I didn't know, but I sure want to read her books. Wonderful interview. I loved every answer. Thanks fro a chance to win her book. rosihollinbeck (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. Best of luck & thanks so much for folding in the email - helps so much.

      Happy Day!

  8. This was a great interview. Looks like I have a new author to try out. Thank you!

  9. You can reach me at

    1. Appreciations for the comment & the email. Hope it's a lucky one for the prize!

  10. Great interview! I can't wait to get to the library to read some of her books. Thanks, too, for the giveaway! mdmaurer135(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Hi MaDonna,
      What is your local library like? We have a main branch downtown & then, bucking the trend in recent years, several new branches built outside town. It's a great library system here in Leon County, Florida. Good luck for the prize & thanks for including your email, which helps when we don't know ever'one commenting.

  11. How wonderful to get to know you, Adrian, through Jan's creative interview questions. The words that you shared, "My dad’s vegetable garden, late afternoon, picking sun-warmed tomatoes for dinner, and carrying them inside in the hammock of my T-shirt," touched me heart with a warm image in my head. I must read Some Kind of Magic. Thank you ladies.

    1. O Suzy, did you know I thot of you when I read that Answer?
      You & Adrian would have so much to talk about.
      She & her hubby operate a garden in the country, Bluebird. And they also work on a community garden in their neighborhood.
      She is always giving away great summer peppers & inviting folks out to pick scuppernong grapes in the country (which I haven't done - yet.)
      Writers + gardening = Joy.

  12. Adrian, I am delighted to meet you as a new writer to my world. Jan says that I will find the word plinky in your book-sounds intriguing. If I think correctly your book will have our readers intrigued and hooked. Thank you, Jan, for the interesting look into the mind and spirit of Adrian.

    1. Gre8t surprise to see you here Carol, my Poetry Friday pal & that "plinky" is
      a mighty fine word, I agree. Thanks for visiting & hope you can return.

  13. Not sure how I ended up here (meandering blogs on a Monday morning), but can't wait to sample Adrian's books. My favorite of your interview questions has to be #2. Adrian's descriptive words immediately transported me to the places she loves. No need to enter me in the drawing, but I'm off to library site to get acquainted with a new author.

  14. Meandering can be a gre8t way to journey, Ramona.
    So pleased you will connect with Adrian Fogelin's books at your Librareeeeee.

  15. Hello faithful readers.
    April is over & as promised we have a WINNAH!
    A brand new copy of Adrian Fogelin's SOME KIND OF MAGIC middle grade novel, which was recently mentioned, along with a lot about Adrian, in Publishers Weekly here in an article by Sally Lodge

    is won by poster/commenter Ramona.

    Congratulations Ramona!
    Please let us know your US Postal mail & full name for the address, Ramona.

    Everyone, thank you for commenting.

    Jan Annino