Our Super 64 was whittled down to two the week before spring break – The Lightning Thief vs. Circus Mirandus. It was a long road for both, past favorites like The One and Only Ivan, The Terrible Two, Smile, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Calvin & Hobbes.
The winner, finally, was Circus Mirandus, by four votes. New pencils and a fun bookmark marked the occasion, and I talked with the kids about a brief email exchange I had with the author, Cassie Beasley, the day before. They had talked about loving her book because of the depth of the characters and the great story, although I’m sure they also loved that it was something their teacher read aloud, so they experienced it together. Without that added boost, it might not have made it to the finals. As their teacher noted, classmates might have voted for or against books they’d never read. Everyone knew and loved Circus Mirandus. I mentioned some of this to the author, who commented on the great list of books and being excited about winning. She promised there were books on the way from her. Yay for all of us!
I wasn’t much of a fangirl when I was a kid, but as an adult, I’ve occasionally written authors to let them know how much their work means to me. Authors spend a lot of time alone with their work before editors, agents, critics, and regular people ever get access to it. I wonder sometimes how it feels to have your words picked apart, even when reviews are good. Does the work even feel like your own at that point?
I look at things I wrote years ago, and it can sometimes be strange to imagine that I was the person who wrote it! Hmm, I’ll think, that really was pretty good, even if it doesn’t seem like I could have come up with it. I have to think that most writers appreciate the feedback when it comes from people who truly love their work, and if they don’t, well, they just won’t respond, will they? Enough said.
Well done, Cassie Beasley. Thank you for Micah, Grandpa Ephraim, Jenny, the Lightbender and even Aunt Gertrudis.