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. You doubt me? I dare you to google "author meltdown." Prepare to cringe.]
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. A few rules: Each person will only be entered once. The contest will end at 12pm EST on Monday, July 11. Winner will be selected by a randomizer and notified by Direct Message.] 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!