October 21, 2012

GP Series Book #4 is coming soon!

Hello READERS on my RADAR.  I have been SUPER busy lately and with little time to write blog posts or even play Gems With Friends on my iPhone, don't go there, it is too addictive!

However, I have had so many interactions with my readers both young and less young and want to keep connecting.  I have something SUPER big impending and cannot wait to announce it (No, not body doubling for Robert Downey Jr in the next Ironman, I WISH!)

I thought I would get some opinions, particularly from those who have read any of the GP Series books 1-3, Go Ask Mom, The World According To Gabe or The Gabriel Book of World Records (all on my website for viewing www.justinmatott.com).

All three books have illustrations sprinkled throughout and book 4 is designed with one at the beginning of each chapter.  These four images are examples of how the illustration will look.
 My specific question is, do you like the format of illustration?

The title of the book is Gabriel Peters and The Summer of Mystery or simply The Summer of Mystery (which title do you like more)?

Please chime in here or on Twitter or Facebook or email justin@justinmatott.com.  My READERS' opinions matter to me, A LOT!

October 10, 2012

That Was Then... This Is Now

I was privileged to visit the delightfully treed, copiously gardened, wonderfully architectured, hidden away gem called CA (Colorado Academy) for two days this week to meet, greet and teach kiddoes from itty bitty Pre-K's (My gosh tiny human beings are cute!) up to fifth graders.

The first day was full of assemblies, storytelling and workshops and the second day was full of creative writing workshops with excited, involved, engaged and FUN students!

I love the energy children bring to writing! It is SO much fun to work with their ideas of WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and WHAT and to mold it into a fun picture book stories while they buzz about the room coming up with VERBS that will activate the sentences and story!  There is nothing more refreshing that seeing something appear out of a child's imagination and then to see it bloom and flourish into a story someone might actually want to read in a book!  Magical this job of mine!

FIVE years ago I visited CA for the first time and wished I could go back to school.

It was a beautiful Autumn day and we all decided to do some pictures.  I took a picture with the little children pictured and was presented with a great photograph to remember the day by.  

As I was going through my bulging school files over the summer I came across this picture and thought it would be fun for the folks at CA to see the kids as they were "back in the day" and my host, the AWESOME Allison Peters (librarian), set out to find them to take another picture.  Only one was not at the school any longer.  

SO, that was then... 

This is NOW! 

I would say for the first time in a photograph in a long time, I am the least changed of all.  That is a nice thing when the days, weeks, months and years seem to slip by.

Perhaps I'll catch up with them again in five years when they are in their last year at CA.  Now that will be some picture, huh?

October 2, 2012


I have spent the past ten years visiting schools and often talking about bullying, hazing and character issues and how it relates to some of my own childhood experiences, those of my son and the content of my GP series of books.  I am often asked by teachers for books that would be great read-alouds and I am very careful to recommend books that will bring forth great discussion, compassion and empathy for those different from onself.  As with the main character of WONDER, I can NEVER understand how people can be so cruel as to make and already difficult situation more difficult.   

Wonder is a book told from multiple perspectives about a ten year old boy who is dealing with the perfect storm of genetic facial issues who enters into the scary world of public school for the first time in fifth grade. Having been cocooned for his whole life in the nest of loving parents, an understanding and for the most part empathetic older sister and a loving dog, Daisy, he must now go out into the CRUEL world and find out if he can make it against the odds.  

You will find yourself championing August "Augie" as he encounters wonderful people (Summer, one of my favorite characters) and will weed through betrayal and outright bullies (my least favorite characters).

I don't want to spoil the story in any way, but I will tell you half way through I said aloud, "I sure hope this DEBUT WRITER knows how to end this well.  I don't want to invest in this book both time wise and emotionally to be let down.  I assure you, there is NO let down.

I predict this DEBUT WRITER has penned a Newbery. 

I have had readers come to my book signings and thank me for including them in my books.  Primarily those with speech impediments, I can only imagine how this lovely little girl felt when she knew she was represented with such aplomb, dignity and character.  BRAVO Ms. Palacio, BRAVO!