Kissing Brendan Callahan by Susan Amessé

Kissing Brendan Callahan by Susan Amessé (Roaring Brook, 2005). Sarah wants to be a writer. She wants to enter a local writing contest, judged by her idol–romance writer Antonia DeMarco, and she wants to win first place. Unfortunately, her just-the-facts mom says she’s ineligible to enter and has a less-than-stellar opinion about Antonia herself. But Sarah has a solution, a pen name, and an offer to act as Antonia’s assistant. What’s more, she has inspiration in a certain Brendan Callahan. A comedic story of a young girl with a dream. Ages 10-up.

My Thoughts

This is a wholesome, upbeat, and humorous ‘tweener with a romantic subplot.

It reminded me a bit of Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci (Candlewick, 2005) in that both protagonists are disillusioned by an idol only to find their heroes closer to home.

In terms of my personal identification with the characters, the conflict between the journalist mom and fiction-writing daughter reminded me of different bits of myself–the recovering journalist (who finds relief in this blog) and the author. Both sides rang true!

Cynsational News & Links

Author Uma Krishnaswami is offering two classes in January via–Introduction to Writing for Children (Jan. 9) and Advanced Workshop for Children’s Writers (Jan. 23). I know Uma personally, have spoken with her at children’s literature events, and have been fortunate enough to have her critique one of my manuscripts. She’s highly recommended. To learn more about Uma, visit her Web site and read my most recent interview with her.

Attention Central Texans: David Clement-Davies will be speaking and signing his latest book, The Telling Pool, at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at BookPeople in Austin. In addition, Jonathan Stroud will be signing Ptolemy’s Gate (Miramax, 2005), the third book in The Bartimaeus Trilogy, at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at BookPeople.

Best Books of 2005 from A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy. See the sidebar for the list. See also recent interviews with these featured authors: E. Lockhart; Brent Hartinger; Libba Bray; Mary E. Pearson; Elise Broach; Jennifer Richard Jacobson; and D.L. Garfinkle.