Saturday, March 21, 2015

Exciting Things!

SO MANY exciting things to tell you! In mostly reverse chronological order, here are a bunch of them:

1. First, the most time-sensitive: I'll be reading/talking/signing with an AMAZING lineup of other YA authors at the NYC Teen Author Festival event at McNally Jackson Books tonight at 7pm! More info here at the NYCTAF website. I'll also be signing books tomorrow from 2:303:00pm as part of the No-Foolin' Mega Signing at Books of Wonder!

2. Second, my new picture book Marilyn's Monster is finally out and about, and Matt Phelan and I had a wonderful launch party for it at Children's Book World in Haverford, PA! If you missed the party, don't be sad! You can still come to my Marilyn's Monster party at WORD in Brooklyn on April 18!

3. Now that the whirlwind of new-book-coming-out stuff is calming down (a little), I can take a breath and tell you the super exciting news that Evil Librarian won the 2015 Sid Fleischman Award for Humor! I was completely blown away by this and still haven't quite recovered. I'm so honored and can't wait to officially accept the award at the SCBWI Annual Conference in Los Angeles this August! You can see more about the award and the full list of Golden Kite award winners and honorees at the SCBWI website.

4. The UK edition of Evil Librarian comes out on April 2! I received my lovely advance copy in the mail just the other day. >:)

5. Evil Librarian is on the 2015-16 master list for the Green Mountain Book Award! Vermont students will be reading and voting on the nominated books over the coming year to choose a winner (to be announced next May).

6. I'm very happy to share that I've joined the Writing for Young People MFA faculty at Lesley University! I'll be teaching starting this June, and am super excited to be working with such a talented group of fellow writers, including the also-just-starting-in-June Jason Reynolds!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It's Pub Day for Marilyn's Monster!

Know what is super exciting? When a book you've been working on for a long time is finally released into the world. And today is the day that happens for my new picture book Marilyn's Monster! It has beautiful, beautiful illustrations by the amazing and wonderful Matt Phelan. Here is the cover so you can begin to see what I mean:

And here is what reviews have been saying so far:

"Rich with feeling, it’s a warm, gently funny reminder to chase down one’s dreams, rather than waiting for them to appear on the doorstep." —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"A surprising spin on monsters with nicely effective artwork—and heart." —Kirkus

"Knudsen’s charming story is a great fit for Phelan’s gentle watercolor-and-pencil illustrations. With just a few lines and brushstrokes, he depicts the wide range of Marilyn’s emotions, from wary hopefulness to sullen grumpiness to, finally, utter joy. The whimsical, friendly monsters are equally expressive, and their supernatural antics in the background will tickle funny bones. Little ones feeling lonely or worried about making friends will be empowered by Marilyn’s determined, take-charge attitude." —Booklist

"Knudsen’s brilliantly simple narrative and Phelan’s whimsical pencil and watercolor drawings speak to the universal need for belonging and the anxiety born of impatience ... Every one of Phelan’s monsters is wonderfully weird, and readers will have fun noting similarities between them and their human friends." —School Library Journal

"A charmer ... Ms. Knudsen has packed a surprising amount of relatable emotion into this story of humility and derring-do." —Wall Street Journal

You can read and/or download a fun Q&A with Matt and me on the Candlewick Press website. 

And you can see some of Matt's early sketches for the book on his blog.

Finally, see yesterday's post for how you can get a signed copy! It's too late to pre-order (now that the book is out, you'll just be, you know, regular ordering, but that is also good!) but you can still order a signed/personalized copy from Word Brooklyn, and/or you can come to the launch party at Children's Book World on March 14 to meet Matt and me and have cake and stuff!

Monday, March 9, 2015


Hey, look, it's my blog! I had sort of misplaced it for a while. But thankfully I'm back just in time to tell you that TONIGHT IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO PRE-ORDER MY NEW BOOK BECAUSE IT COMES OUT ***TOMORROW***!!!

What book, you ask? I will tell you! It's my new picture book MARILYN'S MONSTER, illustrated by the incomparable Matt Phelan! Look at the beautiful cover! But then keep reading for important info below.

1. You can pre-order a signed copy NOW from WORD in Brooklyn, NY. If you pre-order by March 9, they'll send the book out to you on or just after release day (or if you live nearby, you can stop in and pick it up). Place your order here, and be sure to specify either the name of the person(s) to whom you'd like the book inscribed or "signature only" in the comments field.

2. If you live near Haverford, PA, you can come to the MARILYN'S MONSTER LAUNCH PARTY! The wonderful Children's Book World is throwing us a celebration, and Matt and I would love for you to come. Signed books, fun activities, and CAKE! Here is the info:

Saturday, March 14th, 1:00pm
Matt Phelan & Michelle Knudsen
Launch Party for Marilyn’s Monster
17 Haverford Station Rd., Haverford, PA 19041

You can, of course, order the book from anywhere you like, but you can only get signed books in the ways listed above. And even if you don't want a signed book, I still encourage you to support independent bookstores! You probably have an awesome indie bookstore right there in your very own town. And if not, pick one in some other town and they will ship books out to you.