Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Book Signing

Last weekend was my very first book signing. I thought I would be nervous, but it was exciting to connect with readers. My favorite guest was a young girl who was about 8 or 9 years old. With eyes wide with wonder, she asked if I was the writer, then asked if I was famous. Not yet, but that didn't convince her, judging by the expression on her face when I caught her watching me. I wonder if she will grow up to be a writer someday.

Many thanks to my good friends Caroline and Lora for making this book signing a success! They are fantastic coordinators. Any organization would be lucky to have them on their board;)

They set a great mood with balloons....
and cake. It looks like a book!

I did a reading, and really wished I had a podium.

People did some reading of their own.
I had plenty of books to sign, with a cheat sheet of phrases I wrote down earlier in the week in case I got writer's block.
Did I mention the cake? It was the icing on a really great day! Look at me, having my cake and eating it too!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Club Questions for Divided Moon

I am in several book clubs, and love it when I can find a suggested list of discussion questions about a title. As a service to my readers, I have compiled a such a list for Divided Moon. 


Divided Moon – Book Club Questions

1. Moon faces an arranged marriage in Divided Moon. What are your thoughts on arranged marriage? Do you see any benefits to arranged marriage? What do you see as the problems? Where do you think arranged marriage most often takes place, and why?

2. A Hmong saying is “to be with a family is to be happy. To be without a family is to be lost.” Moon fears losing her family if she refuses to marry. Do you think this adage is true? How do you think American culture values family?

3. Moon’s parents want to keep their cultural and family traditions. Why do you think this is important to them? Does your family or cultural heritage have any traditions you would like to see continue from generation to generation? Are there traditions that have been lost that you wish to see again? Are there traditions that stopped that you are glad to see go?

4. Jen wishes her parents would treat her more like an adult. Why do you think she feels this way? Do you think other teenagers feel this way? How is this different than Moon’s problem?

5. Adolescence is the transitional period between puberty and adulthood. What do you think is important about adolescence? Do you think this is an unnecessary step? What do people learn during adolescence that helps them in their adult lives?

6. Moon’s parents arrange her marriage to secure her future. What are some other ways parents can help their child enter adulthood?

7. What do you think will happen with Mai?  Do you think she will be happy about this?

8. In both Hmong households, Moon encounters roles associated with female and male family members. Are chores assigned according to gender in your family? Do you think males and females are treated the same or differently in American culture?

9. Moon says she and Ze are on the same side. What did she mean by that? Was she right?

10. Can you imagine another way this story could have gone?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Review: Flipped

The beauty of this story is how the perspective shifts over the course of the book. The reader is aware of it while it is happening, but like falling in love, she may want to go back and recount what happened to get the characters to this place.

In “Flipped,” by Wendelin Van Draanen, Juli moves into Bryce’s neighborhood and instantly develops a crush on him that lasts for years. Over time, she starts to see what is beneath those beautiful blue eyes, and it isn’t so great. Meanwhile, Bryce thinks Juli is very annoying, until she isn’t.

This is the perfect encapsulation of boy meets girl, girl chases boy, until boy catches girl.