I want to say thank you, and send hugs to the Eva Perry Mock Newbery Book Club for making Jane in Bloom one of your 2010 Honor Books. I loved reading your comments about my book--it's the best part about being an author, to hear what your readers think. Here's a link for anyone who wants to check it out. My friend, Ellen Jensen Abbott also received a 2010 honor from the group for her debut novel Watersmeet. Congratulations, Ellen! http://evaperrymocknewbery.wordpress.com/
Jane in Bloom is about a lot things--it's about grief so deep that you can't breathe, it's about feeling invisible, it's about seeing yourself for who you really are, and it's about relationships. Relationships with parents, with friends, and mostly, with a sister. I have a sister. She's three years younger than I am--and we are very different in many ways, but we are also connected. In that way sisters are connected. I wrote about that connection in Jane in Bloom. Sisters understand you like no one else, they know your story intimately, because they have lived each moment with you. And they see the world in a similar way, even if they approach it differently. Readers who have written to me have told me that they, too, have sisters and that they related to Jane and Lizzie. Reading the book made them appreciate the relationship they have, it made the readers grateful for their own sisters. I am grateful for my sister, too. She has been there for me in the best of times to celebrate, and in the worst of times to dry my tears, and when I need help, she is the first person I call. I invite any readers who have sisters to send in a comment. Tell me what you love about your sister. What is your favorite thing to do together. What makes your relationship special. I'd love to know. And don't forget once in a while to tell her how much she means to you.