Curriculum Guide Celebration Giveaway!

20150213_154554I’m excited to announce that free downloadable curriculum guides are now available for  THE BOY PROJECT  (Scholastic 2012) and THE BOY PROBLEM (Scholastic 2014)! Both books have themes that tie in with today’s middle school curriculum and both are common core aligned. The guides are full of fantastic reading, math, and science activities that can be used alone or separately. I feel like I can brag about I didn’t create them myself. 🙂 The talented Marcie Colleen created the guide for THE BOY PROJECT (click HERE to view) and the great teachers at EDUCATORS R&R created the guide for THE BOY PROBLEM (Click HERE to view). These guides are also available at all times on my website 20150213_154943To celebrate the completion of these guides I am giving away five classroom reading packs that go along with the themes from THE BOY PROBLEM.  These can be used for reading circles, book clubs, or any of readers who enjoy these books!  Each kit includes a heart-shaped box and seven:

  • cupcake containers with a dove chocolate heart
  • cupcake tattoos
  • signed bookmarks
  • cupcake erasers (scroll down to see a cute video featuring these)
  • hairy mustaches
  • fortune telling fish
  • and one top to create your own shoe box lid predictor as seen on page 185
  • Winners will also receive a free 20 minute Skype visit for your class or for a small group.

(Pssst: If you win and need more than seven of the items above let me know and I’ll see what I can do!)

To enter just enter the short form below. Contest ends on midnight EST on February 28. 

This giveaway is over! Congratulations to the winners:

Kim, Janet, Suzy, Karen, and Debbie. An email has been sent to each of you. Leave a comment here if you do not receive it. Thank you to all who entered! Winners were selected using the Random Number Generator at 

3 easy ways to double your entries, tweet about this giveaway and tag me @kamikinard, give it a shout out on Facebook and tag my author page, or leave a comment! 

Whether or not you enter the giveaway, you can still get a free Skype visit from myself or Sudipta for World Read Aloud Day. Click HERE for details.

Good Luck Everyone! And if you want a closer look at the erasers that come with the prize pack, check out what Mr. Etkin’s class did with them last year. Bet you didn’t know erasers could dance!

Cover Reveal and Giveaway

This contest is officially over. Winners announced on October 10. Thanks everyone! 🙂

Authors don’t design the covers of their books. Cover art is usually conceived by in-house book designers and I am very very lucky that the designer Scholastic assigned to my books is Whitney Lyle. Whitney has done an amazing job with both covers! And I love the way the second cover, the one you are about to see, compliments the first. I asked Whitney to share a little about how she came up with these cover designs.   Here is what she said:

I loved the cover creation process for both The Boy Project and The Boy Problem! The story reminded me so much of my crafty, boy-crazy, methodical self back at Robert Frost Middle School! I had notebooks with lists of boys, slam books that I shared with my best friends, and boxes full of ticket stubs, fortune cookie slips, and notes. 
Back when we started working on The Boy Project, we considered several directions that the cover could take, but in the end we decided to make the cover feel  like a journal because it would fit the story really well. I looked to my old notebooks as inspiration, making a collage of elements that fit the story. 
For The Boy Problem, we thought that some of the doodles should allude to the story, so I drew several pages of equations, Magic 8 Balls, fortune cookies, cupcakes, and shooting stars and narrowed them down to what looked best. I also looked for silhouettes of different boys to place on the sticky notes. We wanted to find different stereotypes (the jock, the romantic, the life of the party).

Thanks Whitney! It turned out great!

So… now time for the drumroll… here is the cover for THE BOY PROBLEM!  I’m so excited about it that I’m doing a giveaway. Make sure to scroll down to the end of the post for details.

boy problem cover

Isn’t that great? I especially like the way the post-it notes used here compliment the index card found on the cover of my first book.  You can see more of Whitney Lyle’s fabulous work HERE.

Now, those of you who’ve kept up with what’s going on with this book might notice a really big change on the cover that you weren’t expecting. See it? Yep, in the past two weeks we’ve undergone a title change!  So now The Boy Prediction is The Boy Problem! (But we managed to work the word prediction in anyway, so don’t worry, you’ll still get your fill of 8 balls, fortune cookies and the like).

Let’s go on to the contest, shall we?  Sudipta’s virtual visit giveaways were so popular last spring that I thought I’d try one too.

IN CELEBRATION OF THIS FABULOUS COVER, I will be giving away a free 30-minute Virtual Classroom Visit, where I would be happy to tell your chosen class all about how this book came together, and answer questions about being an author. (Don’t worry if you’re not a teacher — you can donate the Virtual Visit to any class you choose! Or  I’ll send you one of my new signed paperbacks of The Boy Project instead.)

Entries will be accepted until October 9, 2013.  The winner will be selected using the random number generator at and announced  on October 10.

Here are the rules for this giveaway. It’s super-easy:

The ONLY thing that is Required is to enter your name and email address in the form below. This is so I can reach you. Email addresses will not be published.

If you want to enter multiple times, keep reading. This is optional!  You will get an extra entry for doing any of the following:

(1) leave me a comment here with your thoughts on the cover.

(2) follow me on Twitter – mention that in a comment below. (You can follow from the right sidebar too.)

(3) tweet this post to your own Twitter followers and tag me @kamikinard in the tweet.

(4) like fellow blogger Sudipta’s author page on Facebook – mention that in a comment below.

(5) follow this blog (right sidebar) — mention that in a comment below.

or (6) like my Facebook author page – mention that in a comment below.

Good Luck!

Take Two

IMG_20121130_132859This week I’m announcing the big news that I’ve been offered a contract by my wonderful publisher, Scholastic, for a second book. Hooray! This book will be a companion book to THE BOY PROJECT: NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS OF KARA MCALLISTER.  So I thought I’d talk a little today about the process so far. My editor, the fabulous Aimee Friedman, and I gave book two a lot of thought. We ultimately decided that Kara’s story has already been told, so I will focus on her best friend, Tabbi Reddy for this book. But readers like Kara, so she will be around a lot in this book too! I’m happy about this decision, since I also like Kara, and her voice came naturally to me.

Readers of the first book will remember that Tabbi has already had a boyfriend, so her journey will be different from Kara’s. Still, she hasn’t found the right boy, so this will be her focus. Like THE BOY PROJECT, this book will have plenty of humor. I’ve already gathered a lot of humorous situations (some courtesy of my 7th grade daughter, and some courtesy of my active imagination) to include. But when researching a book, you can never have too much information. So if anyone reading this thinks of a perfect middle school scenario that just needs to be included in a book, let me know! There will be graphics in this book too… which means I get to doodle, which is always fun. The working title for book two is THE BOY PROJECT TOO: NOTE AND OBSERVATIONS OF TABBI REDDY.

I’ll be sure to update everyone now and then on the process! Writing a novel under a deadline will be a new experience for me. I’m setting daily goals as we head into the holidays and hoping to keep them.

If you haven’t read the THE BOY PROJECT, or if you just want a copy to give to a teen or tween during this gift-giving month, check out Nerdy Chick Jocelyn Rish‘s blog. Not only did she do a post about THE BOY PROJECT which includes an embarrassing moment from my middle school years, she is running a contest to give away a signed copy! All you have to do is leave a comment HERE to enter.



My-oh-my-eye: my NY visit

A little over a week ago my husband and I climbed into a sleeper car in Yemassee SC and began our working vacation with a sixteen hour ride to NYC. The last time I rode in a sleeper I was a college student in Europe and my car was like a little dorm room.  This car was about half of that size, but at least I got to ride for sixteen hours sitting next to a toilet. The trip wasn’t too bad, despite my managing to somehow kick myself in the eye with my own boot.

The first thing we did in NYC was go see the play Warhorse, based on the book by the same title, which is published by my publisher, Scholastic. The book is told from the point of view of the horse, but the play is not. It is a very beautiful play with a poignant theme about the costs of war. Life sized horse puppets are used and they were amazing! I enjoyed the show despite my throbbing eye.

After a quick dinner we went to another literary play called Seminar. The play is about a writing instructor and the four students he is working with.  As a children’s writer, I don’t come up against some of the issues faced by the young writers on stage, but many of the play’s lines rang true — in perfect pitch. Somehow, we ended up on the second row, which was extremely close to the stage. I think I could have stretched out my leg and propped my foot up on it. It was exciting, especially because Jeff Goldblum was the star, and yes, I did stay afterward to meet him! He was nice enough not to mention my bloodshot eye.

The next morning, I was thrilled to discover that the Met was hosting an exhibit called The Steins Collect, which features artworks collected by Gertrude Stein and her brothers in the early 1900s. I studied the writing of Gertrude Stein while working on my Masters degree, so I found the exhibit fascinating.

After purchasing redness-reducing eye drops, I headed off to the Scholastic offices to have lunch with editor extraordinaire Aimee Friedman and super publicist Amanda Vega, hoping my eye was not still the shade of Clifford the Big Red dog. We had a great conversation about books, including Maggie Steifvater’s Scorpio Races, which we all agreed was beautifully written. And we talked about The Boy Project too, which we all agree is perfect for middle school girls.

The next literary event on the agenda was that evening. We went to see The Best Man, a play by master writer Gore Vidal. It was super fun to watch the star-studded cast, and yes, we stayed afterward like typical tourists to meet James Earl Jones, Candice Bergman, John Larroquette, and Eric McCormick.  Erick McCormick laughed at my joke, which was thrilling, but not as thrilling as looking in the mirror back at the hotel room and realizing the redness in my eye was beginning to fade.

Eric McCormick laughing at my joke. (He was great in the play and super nice signing playbills.)

The next day took us to Hyde Park where we rode by the one-time home of Eleanor Roosevelt. We dined that night at the Culinary Institute of America – you should go there if you ever get the chance. Thanks to my husband, a future chef now knows what a draft beer is. I know. Classy.

I spent the following day at the home of editor Patti Gauch with a group of writers I met during a Highlights Founders Workshop last year. Wonderful Patti invited us up for a reunion, and we were able to share a chapter of our works in progress and troubleshoot. I learned that I need to make my conclusion more active. Patti gave me several ideas about how to do that. Armed with this information, I am prepared to start rewriting!

My workshop group with Patti Gauch. When the waiter looked at the picture he took and smiled, I thought it meant it was a good picture. I am the pink dot at the back right.

Although I’m not posting until later, I’m writing this during my train ride home, thankful to have this time to reflect on a great trip, and to be looking at my computer through two good, normal-colored eyes.

This Nerdy Chick: 10 Ways to Win

When I started this blog, I said I’d jump in and let you know what is going on with this nerdy chick (a.k.a. me) every now and then. Well, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews. I try to post all of those on my Facebook author page. Click HERE to view.  Book promotion involves more time than I ever imagined. But it feels like things are going well, so I’ll keep on, keeping on. My biggest news for the time being is that Greek rights to The Boy Project were sold by my wonderful agent to Psichogios Editions. This is the same Greek publisher who publishes Diary of a Wimpy Kid, so I am very excited.

There are a couple of ways to win a copy of  The Boy Project or some book bling on the web right now, so I thought it’d be fun to list them here in one place before the contests are over. Check out these sites:

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This site offers a chance or multiple chances to win a hardback copy of The Boy Project. It also includes an interview! Contest ends Feb. 22, 2012

Click here: I AM A READER NOT A WRITER for details!

Over at KRAZY BOOK LADY  there is another chance to win a hardback copy of The Boy Project. It also includes a book review and a guest post by me! Contest ends Feb. 25. Check it out HERE.

YABOOKSCENTRAL is offering a chance to win book bling from The Boy Project, and other debut novels, and some advanced reading copies of forthcoming books too! This contest ends March 1, 2012.

(11:42 pm, and we’ve already got 7 for the below giveaway. I’ll do another one soon… probably on my FB page next time, but who knows. Thanks for all who commented. 🙂 )

Finally, you can win right here. I put together 7 friend packs of The Boy Project book bling. Each set includes:

5 tatoos 


5 bracelets

So if you have a tween/teen reader in your household, or you are a tween/teen reader or you’re a teacher and librarian who has students who would like these, or if you just want them…. all you have to do is be one of the first 7 people to comment below and I will mail the friend pack to you. Couldn’t be easier!  Contest open to US, Canada, and Europe. One per household please!

I hope to have more interesting things to share with you soon. Thanks for reading! I feel really lucky to have been able to interview so many great nerdy chicks!


Meet Kara McAllister: Nerdy Chick from THE BOY PROJECT

Hi! Let me introduce you to Kara McAllister, the main character of my book THE BOY PROJECT.  Here’s a little information about her:

  • She’s in 7th grade
  • She has almost all As
  • She loves to read
  • She’s very crafty and can make all kinds of things
  • She creates charts and graphs to help her understand boys

If this hasn’t convinced you that she’s an awesome nerdy chick, check out this cute trailer for the book:

I can totally identify with Kara, I only wish I had had her resolve back when I was in middle school!