Thursday, 14 July 2016

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper





Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper


Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: July 12th 2016
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, School

Synopsis:

Ever since she was a baby, the words people use to describe Elyse have instantly appeared on her arms and legs. At first it was just "cute" and "adorable," but as she's gotten older and kids have gotten meaner, words like "loser" and "pathetic" appear, and those words bubble up and itch. And then there are words like "interesting," which she's not really sure how to feel about. Now, at age twelve, she's starting middle school, and just when her friends who used to accept and protect her are drifting away, she receives an anonymous note saying "I know who you are, and I know what you're dealing with. I want to help." As Elyse works to solve the mystery of who is sending her these notes, she also finds new ways to accept who she is and to become her best self.







When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing forever! My parents still have a ton of “books” I made as a little kid. I made them all the time. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing.


How did you get the idea for Sticks & Stones?

I was working as a school librarian and students kept asking me for more books like WONDER by R.J. Palacio, so I made it a personal challenge to try and write something that resonated as strongly with them. The title of Sticks & Stones came to me pretty early in the writing process, and from there I had the thought what if words could literally hurt you? It was a really interesting question to explore. 


Who is your favourite character in Sticks & Stones?

That’s a tough question! They’re all my favorites in their own ways. Elyse is my favorite person who has CAV. Nice Andy is my favorite person who uses too many exclamation points. Mr. Todd is my favorite person who owns a blue couch. I had a lot of fun writing each character in this book.

 
Do you have any works in progress?

Oh yes! I’m currently revising one manuscript and writing another. I don’t want to say too much, but they’re both MG magical realism and I’m really, really excited about them. I’m also busy putting the finishing touches on BUBBLES, my MG that will be out in 2017.

 
What are your hobbies?

Reading is the biggest one, but that’s probably a given. I also like playing tennis, going for walks with my dog, and trying new restaurants. Lately I’ve also been really into doing jigsaw puzzles – and I realize that makes me sound about a million years old – but there’s something really fun and relaxing about it.









WORDS



Some people don’t think that one word can make a difference.

They’re wrong.


Sure, some words need to be around other words to make sense. They need to hang out together in a book or a song or a text message, or else you’re stuck wrinkling your nose like HUH? That doesn’t make any sense.


But some words don’t need others. They have big-time serious meaning all by themselves.


I knew that better than anyone.


Like when it came to talking about me going to middle school this year. Mom said it would be different. Dr. Patel said it would be challenging. Dad said it would befine.

They just needed one word each to sum up what they thought a whole year would be like … and, so far, they were right.


One word nobody used, though? Mysterious.


And right now, that was the most important word of all.

I reached into my pocket and dug around until I found the folded blue paper again. Maybe it was a letter from a secret admirer or a gift certificate to Soup Palace, otherwise known as the Best Place on Earth.


Maybe it was nothing at all.

But it had to be something. It had my name on the front, after all, and was taped to my locker. I was dying to open it, but even if I found a way to read it sneakily, Ms. Sigafiss would probably see me and read it to everyone or rip it up or something. And that was if she was in a good mood.


I looked around the room, thinking about words.

Different.

Challenging.

Fine.

Mysterious.


They were just words, but they could change my whole life.

In fact, they already had.




Text copyright © 2016 by Abby Cooper









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Abby Cooper lives in Minnesota with her miniature poodle, Louis, and a whole bunch of books. A former teacher and school librarian, her favorite things in the world (besides writing) are getting and giving book recommendations and sharing her love of reading with others. In her spare time, she likes eating cupcakes, running along the Mississippi River, and watching a lot of bad reality TV.











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