Bursting With Book News

So many things have been happening with both my first book Lost on the Prairie and my upcoming novel Sixties Girl that I just had to take a wee break from writing about our Africa adventures to catch up with all the news.

Speaking of Africa I left a copy of my book at Dashir Lodge and Safaris in Tanzania, our home base for our two weeks in that country. As far as I know, my novel has now travelled to at least six different countries, Australia, India, China, England, Africa and the United States.

I was thrilled when Lost on the Prairie was chosen to be part of the 2023 Thin Air Kids Writing Festival. I was able to post a promotion of my book and a reading from it on the Thin Air Website and Thin Air is booking classroom visits for me to talk about the book. Thanks so much, Thin Air!

And how cool is it to be in the company of the other Thin Air participants great Canadian children’s writers like Colleen Nelson, David Robertson and Angela Ahn?

You don’t publish a book without the support of a huge community of people. I am totally honoured and blown away that four incredibly talented writers took the time to read an advanced copy of my novel Sixties Girl and write endorsements for it on the Heritage House website.

Huge thanks to Gabriele Goldstone whose latest book Crowstone has been receiving all kinds of accolades and recommendations. Here is what she had to say about Sixties Girl.

“In this thoughtful middle-grade novel, the past deftly intersects with the present. His grandmother’s old suitcase, stuffed with random objects, becomes eleven-year-old Will’s portal to both family and world history, and to a better understanding of himself. An empowering book about sharing stories, Sixties Girl is sure to stimulate conversation between generations.” 

Thanks to Jodi Carmichael whose latest novel The Unique Lou Fox has her doing radio interviews, visiting library conferences and receiving lots of well-deserved attention. I love Jodi’s enthusiasm for my new novel.

“MaryLou Driedger has deftly woven together a historical fiction story of a girl growing up in the fast-changing 1960s and a contemporary story of a boy dealing with bullying, making new friends, and learning how to trust. Both storylines are compelling in their own right, and together they form this beautifully written novel that lets us sink into each character’s coming-of-age journey. Sixties Girl is a captivating page-turner that I did not want to end! Fans of Driedger’s first book, Lost on the Prairie, will not be disappointed!” 

Thanks to Harriet Zaidman whose novel Second Chances recently won the 2022 Geoffry Bilson Award for historical fiction. The book has been receiving great reviews and was nominated for a Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award. Here is what Harriet had to say about my novel.

“Stories from the Swinging Sixties help friends overcome their divisions and a family bridge the generation gap in this uplifting contemporary tale. Young readers will identify with Will’s insecurities, and cheer when he realizes goodness surrounds him. When in doubt, Grandma’s story box has the answer.” 

And finally a big thank you to Larry Verstraete who has had sixteen children’s books published in a long and illustrious career that has garnered him many writing awards. Here are his comments on Sixties Girl.

“Listening to stories told by his grandmother about growing up in the 1960s compels young Will to ask hard questions about his own relationships with friends and family. Heartfelt, warm, rich in details, meticulously researched, and complete with intriguing historical notes, MaryLou Driedger’s Sixties Girl adeptly brings the era to life.” 

Way back in 2011 when I first decided I would like to try writing for children I took a correspondence course from the Institute of Children’s Writing. My instructor Peggi Shea was so encouraging and helpful as I began to learn the hundreds of things I would need to know to successfully write and sell a novel for kids. This month the Institute is featuring me as one of their published grads in the spotlight.

I will have a busy time when I return home. In March I am really looking forward to visiting Munroe School, Ecole St. Avila, Holland Elementary School in Holland Manitoba and Clearspring Middle School in Steinbach, Manitoba.

And in case you missed it- my January newsletter can be read here.

Sixties Girl is set to go on sale on April 11 and I should have news about the book launch for Sixties Girl soon! You can already pre-order your copy of Sixties Girl at my favourite bookstore McNally Robinsons Booksellers.


Filed under Lost on the Prairie, Sixties Girl

2 responses to “Bursting With Book News

  1. gabegstone

    Nobody said writing a novel would be easy but your spirit and determination is a true inspiration. Thanks for this post and for your support. Watching Sixties Girl grow into this dynamic novel reflects your hard work and your talent to create story out of real life! All the best to your newest book baby! Another bestseller, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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