When I was at ALA, I spoke with a number of different writers about what I should expect as I approach publication. Invariably, the conversation would turn to one dreaded question: “Have you seen any reviews yet?” This was always asked gently, in the same tone one might use to inquire whether a friend has any living grandparents.
Every time, I gave people the same reply: “Ask Mary.”
The thing you should know is that writers are famously sensitive to reviews. Even a rave review with a single itty-bitty criticism lodged in the middle can feel like a crushing blow. Most every author I know has a few “funny” stories about when they went over the edge, obsessing over stupid Amazon/Goodreads/Bookscan rankings until they had a nervous breakdown.1
For that reason, Mary and I decided a few months back that I wouldn’t read reviews. Not a single one. Instead she would read them and then tell me what they said. She doesn’t omit the bad stuff, but she does make a point of framing the criticisms (of which there have been mercifully few) in terms of things I might want to remember when a embark on a new project. Because the fact is, Peter Nimble has already been written, and there’s no real use in obsessing over a manuscript that I can’t change.
That said, Peter Nimble reviews do exist — and, frankly, they are pretty freaking awesome! Here are a few highlights:
“What begins Dickensian turns Tolkien-esque in this quest replete with magic and mystery…. Auxier has a juggler’s dexterity with prose that makes this fantastical tale quicken the senses” – Kirkus Reviews
“Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes is both a pull-no-punches adventure with the darkness of the most authentic fairy tales, and a whimsical romp in a fictional world where anything is possible … The book’s quirky nature, distinctive plot, and fresh themes will draw young readers in and spark their imaginations, earning it a place on the shelf for re-readings.” – Quill & Quire Magazine
“the fast-paced, episodic story, accompanied by Auxier’s occasional pen-and-ink drawings, is inventive, unpredictable, and — like its hero — nimble.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“When the book ended, I was not only left with the satisfaction a great story brings, but with the idea that each one of us is important and can make a difference in the world…. Indeed, this is a book that could quite possibly steal The Newbery right out from under all of the other books I have read so far this year.” – The Lemme Library
“What is the most telling difference between works of children’s literature written long ago and those written today? I’ll answer for myself: Tone. The tone of a book like Wind in the Willows or The Secret Garden is difficult to replicate. What Peter Nimble manages to do is create a tone akin to those books of yore…. Kids will stay with Peter every step of the way. It’s like something you’ve seen before and nothing you’ve ever read.” – School Library Journal (Fuse #8)
Now doesn’t that sound like a book you want to read?
Here’s the good news: even if you missed ALA, there’s still a chance to win a copy of the book before it hits shelves! I’m giving away a copy of Peter Nimble & His Fantastic Eyes right here! To enter, follow these two easy steps:
1) Follow me on Twitter!
2) Retweet this link!
That’s it!2 You really have no excuse not to enter! And plus, don’t you remember all the great things those reviewer people said about the book?! Now get Tweeting!