#AtHome learning using my books

The inspiring image above is a spread from my upcoming picture book, ELIZABETH WARREN’S BIG, BOLD PLANS, illustrated by the amazing Susanna Chapman and releasing on May 5 (hooray!). These days, it often feels hard to conceive of big, bold plans. I’ll admit, some days just getting out of my pajamas feels like a victory. And for those of those parenting or teaching youngsters and attempting #AtHome learning for the first time? Hats off to you!
To try to help you with your big, bold plans–or even the just-getting-through-today plans–I’ve been working to create and assemble whatever materials I can that might be of assistance. I’ll continue to add to this list as I get more requests (feel free to reach out if there’s something specific you’d like!), ideas, and time. Hopefully, you can find access to the books via an online read-aloud, ebook download, independent bookstore, or your own bookshelves. I hope these resources are helpful for your #AtHome learning efforts!


Emmanuels Dream cover with sticker
EMMANUEL’S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH


Two Truths and a Lie coverTwo Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries coverTTL3 Forces of Nature coverThe TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE series


Be a Changemaker coverBE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS


MY DOG IS THE BEST-coverMY DOG IS THE BEST


Again, my goals here are to be as helpful as possible for YOU to continue leading #AtHome learning, so please email me if there is anything specific I might be able to do, including ways to connect with your students. We’re all in this together, even while we’re apart. So, until we meet again, stay safe, #StayHome… and stay sane. xoxo

Happy book birthday to Forces of Nature!

Animated GIF of TTL Forces of Nature cover
Animated GIF of TTL Forces of Nature cover

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: FORCES OF NATURE, the third book in the series, is finally here! So, what’s this one about? Here’s an overview:

Crazy-but-true stories make this acclaimed nonfiction series perfect for fans of curiosities and wonders—and anyone looking to explore ways to separate fact from fiction.

Did you know studies have shown that too many fidget spinners spinning in the same direction could potentially have an adverse effect on Earth’s gravitational field? Or that there’s a company that can turn your deceased loved one’s remains into a diamond? Or that the loudest recorded sound in history was made by the eruption of a volcano in 1883, whose echoing blast circled the planet at least three times?

Welcome to Two Truths and a Lie: Forces of Nature! You’ve heard of the game: Every story in this book is strange and astounding, but one out of every three is an outright lie. Picking out the fakes isn’t as easy as you think, however. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable! Don’t be fooled by the photos that accompany each story—it’s going to take all your smarts and some clever research to ferret out the truth.

From a man who gave himself an appendectomy to radio signals from other planets to eagles that have been trained to take out spy drones, the stories in this third installment in the Two Truths and a Lie series will amaze you! Just don’t believe everything you read. . . .

(Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins, June 2019)

Creating a book is a highly collaborative process, and this book has had an incredible team working on it from day one. Many, many thanks to my co-author, Ammi-Joan Paquette; our agent, Erin Murphy; our editor, Jordan Brown; and all the wonderful folks at Walden Pond Press and HarperCollins. It’s been an honor and a joy to work with you all on this book and the entire TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE series!

Buy it now, at your local independent bookstore, or anywhere books are sold! 

What I've Been Up To This Month

The month isn’t even over yet, but so much has been packed into the last few weeks it feels more like two months already! That’s not exactly an excuse for neglecting the blog, but, you know, life happens. Anyway…

Beachside Nonfiction Workshop

I started out the month at the Beachside Nonfiction Workshop with Candace Fleming & Jennifer Swanson. It was amazing! The faculty were all stellar, the location was gorgeous, and the attendees were lovely. It was fun hanging out with other nonfiction geeks for an entire weekend. We all struggled to answer the “So, what do you write?” question, however, since we can usually just get away with “Nonfiction,” and have that be the end of it! I didn’t take nearly enough photos, but here’s the view from my hotel balcony…

Yes, it was hard work. There were a lot of sessions, and they were mostly master level, plus networking and critiques. I came away with so much useful information and new ideas to apply to my works in progress. There were obviously some other perks, too!

Seattle Reading Council Appearance

In the middle of the month, some of the members of my critique group (and all agency-mates at Erin Murphy Literary, as it turns out!), did an appearance at the Seattle Reading Council. It was a billed as a “Books and Chocolate” event… what could be better?! We each talked about our books and process and then took questions. The crowd was mostly teachers and librarians, so it made for a wonderful evening of sharing book love (and chocolate!) among likeminded new friends.

School visits

I had an elementary school visit where I got to talk to several third-grade classes about my writing journey, grit, and writing with emotion, as well as several fifth-grade classes about evaluating sources and spotting fake news. It was an awesome visit with super-engaged audiences, but alas, no photos. You’ll have to take my word for it!

I have another visit coming up early in June (the last one of the school year!), so I’ve been making sure everything is ready for that one, too.

SCBWI-WWA Spring Conference

Finally, I attended and helped with the SCBWI Western Washington‘s spring conference, Imagine That! It was a great weekend: hearing from inspiring speakers, getting feedback on one of my works in progress from a powerhouse editor, and catching up with author and illustrator friends in the industry. I’m still soaking it all up and processing what was said! Good stuff.

Book Releases!

Along with all of that I’ve been getting ready for the Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries paperback release on May 21 AND preparing for the upcoming new release of Two Truths and a Lie: Forces of Nature on June 25th! I’ve designed and ordered postcards and swag, scheduled social media announcements, and made other plans to get the word out.

TTL: Histories and Mysteries cover
TTL: Forces of Nature cover
 

Works in Progress…

And, of course, there are those works in progress, too! Earlier this month I submitted both a nonfiction picture book revision and a graphic novel proposal to my agent. I’m currently revising a nonfiction picture book, a fiction picture book, and a middle-grade nonfiction manuscript. I’m also working on a brand-new nonfiction picture book draft and a young-adult nonfiction proposal. Busy, busy!

Yes, I do love my job. More so every day, in fact! =D

Happy National Trivia Day!

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover
It may itself be a little-known fact, but January 4th is National Trivia Day! To celebrate, I thought I’d post some trivia tidbits from Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries. Remember, ONE of the claims in each set of three below following is false. Can you figure out which one in each trio is the fake trivium? (Did you know trivia is the plural of trivium?)
 

A.

  1. There’s an abandoned cruise ship loaded with crazed, cannibal rats drifting around somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. Beware!
  2. A banyan tree in Pakistan was put under arrest by a British army officer in 1898 and is still in chains today. Pardon, anyone?
  3. It’s illegal to chew gum in Singapore.

 

B.

  1. Ben Franklin wrote a treatise on why scientists should try to find a way to make farts smell better.
  2. Dog Island is an island oasis dedicated to letting dogs live out their wilder natures, undisturbed by humans. Be free, Fifi.
  3. There’s an annual festival in Spain centered around throwing tomatoes at people. Food fight!

 

C.

  1. The oldest known dental fillings date back to between 12,740 and 13,000 years ago, and they were filled with, essentially, tar. Ew.
  2. It’s illegal to own a pet turtle in Iceland, and 1 in 10 children there grow up to become authors.
  3. I was once trapped in an elevator, alone, overnight. Scary!

 
If you don’t know all of the answers, go do some research and see if you can figure them out! But be careful… things might not always be what they seem at first glance, and truth often is stranger than fiction.
For even more trivia fun, check out this post from MentalFloss on National Trivia Day last year. I especially love the one about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. (I’m a huge fan of their new Urban Bourbon flavor!)
If you enjoyed these true (and not so true) trivia facts for National Trivia Day, or want to check your answers, make sure to check out the book: Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries!
Do you have any favorite trivia tidbits? Please post them in the comments below (and be sure to warn us if they might not be 100% true)!

Happy holidays (and a gift idea)!


Are you buying any of my books to give as a gift this holiday season? If so, thank you!
I’d be thrilled to send you a signed bookplate and some book swag for you to include with your gift. Just send an email to laurie@lauriethompson.com with the details (which book, to whom it should be personalized, and what mailing address you’d like it sent to), and I’ll pop them in the mail for you ASAP.
And, again, thank you! It’s like giving a gift to me, too. =D
Be a Changemaker gift wrapped

The Histories and Mysteries blog tour roundup

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover
Our latest in the Two Truths and a Lie series, Histories and Mysteries, has been out for a few weeks now, and we were lucky enough to have it hit the web for its official blog tour right around publication day. Now that the dust has started to settle a bit, I wanted to share all of the in-depth reviews, educational materials, and bonus content that appeared over the course of the tour.

  • June 19: Brilliant fantasy author (and dear friend) Janet Lee Carey hosted us on her blog, Library Lions Roar, with a fun interview plus a video (which is only slightly cringe-worthy). 😉
  • June 20: Heidi Grange posted a lovely review of Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries on Geo Librarian.
  • June 21: Beth posted her thoughts about the timeliness and relevance of the book on A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust.
  • June 21: Ammi-Joan and I shared some ideas for how parents can talk to their kids about information literacy and the importance of knowing the truth on Medium at Roadmap to Reality: Helping Kids Find Their Way in a World of Fake News.
  • June 26: This was release day, so it’s only appropriate that it was the featured title on The Official Tumblr of Walden Media.
  • June 26: Nicole gave it a rave review on Bluestocking Thinking.
  • June 27: Kellee gives a glowing review, shares some sneak peeks at the content, and even offers some read-alikes in her post on Unleashing Readers.
  • June 27: Ammi-Joan and I teamed up for a post on the Nerdy Book Club blog about incorporating summer reading into all kinds of family activities.
  • June 27: Kirsti Call shares her review (including a nice endorsement from her 7-year-old son!) over at Writers Rumpus.
  • June 28: Kristen posted her short-but-sweet review on The Book Monsters.
  • June 29: Mia Wenjen posted her honest review on her blog at Pragmatic Mom.

Many, many thanks to the hard-working bloggers who help share the book love and get the word out to book buyers and readers! Also, thank you yet again to the excellent folks at Walden Pond Press who put this event together. xoxo
You can find out more about the book and grab your copy here or here.

Launch party recap for Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

Bookstore window display

I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries launch party last Saturday at Brick and Mortar Books:

Bookstore window displayThis is the window display that greeted us when we arrived at Brick and Mortar Books! So nice!!

Bookstore table displayThey had loads of books ready for sale!

book signing The signing line starts to form.

Laurie Ann Thompson signing a bookFun signing books!

signing lineSigning line in progress.

Bookstore endcap displayBrick and Mortar even had a full end cap display!

What a great day! A huge thank you to Brick and Mortar Books for being such an amazing host and to everyone who was able to make it. Brick and Mortar Books still has signed copies of all of the books, so feel free to stop in if you need any for your collection! =D

Happy book birthday to Histories and Mysteries!

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover
TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: HISTORIES AND MYSTERIES is finally here! It takes a lot of people working together to create a book, and this book had such an amazing team behind it. Many, many thanks to my co-author, Ammi-Joan Paquette; our agent, Erin Murphy; our editor, Jordan Brown; and all the wonderful folks at Walden Pond Press and HarperCollins. It’s been an honor and a joy to work with you all!
So, what’s this book all about? Well…

Did you know that a young girl once saved an entire beach community from a devastating tsunami thanks to something she learned in her fourth-grade geography lesson? Or that there is a person alive today who generates her own magnetic field? Or how about the fact that Benjamin Franklin once challenged the Royal Academy of Brussels to devise a way to make farts smell good?
You know the game: Every story in this book is strange and astounding, but one out of every three is an outright lie. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable! Don’t be fooled by the photos that accompany each story—it’s going to take all your smarts and some clever research to root out the alternative facts. Don’t believe everything you read! (Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins, June 2018)

Reviews:
“With the phrase ‘fake news’ being tossed around a great deal these days, this collection of stories in which one out of every three is a lie is both timely and entertaining…. Readers with a taste for trivia and the strange-but-true aspects of geography and history will find much to enjoy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Even dyed-in-the-wool skeptics will be hard put to spot the ringers: footprints embedded in sandstone on the roof of Kentucky’s Mammoth Caves, dental fillings more than 12,000 years old, or a trove of lead tiles embedded with ancient Roman curses? Along with suggestions for side projects and discussions, the authors offer fact lists containing one false factoid as extra challenges to readers’ credulity. Happily, the back matter includes explanations that identify the baloney, as well as a savvy guide to evaluating information sources.” —Booklist

Amazon logo Barnes and Noble logo indiesRed1_161x41_10-26-15 Powell's logo HarperCollins logo

Signed copies are available from Brick and Mortar Books! 

GIF of Peanuts celebrating
 

Launch party for Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover
Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover

Please join me for the West Coast Launch Party for

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE:
HISTORIES AND MYSTERIES

Saturday, June 30th, 2 PM **


A trivia-style game-show challenge. . . with prizes!

Q&A, exclusive behind-the-scenes gossip, and outtakes!

Book swag!

Charitable giving!

Free snacks and drinks!

Books, books, and more books!

Brick & Mortar Books
7430 164th Avenue Northeast
Redmond, WA 98052

To RSVP, please visit the event invitation here. Thanks!

** Come early to enjoy the fabulous Redmond Saturday Market before the event!

And, if you can’t make the party but would like to order a signed copy, please call Brick and Mortar Books at 425-869-0606.

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive! (now in paperback)

Two Truths and a Lie cover

And I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer!
(cue music by the Beatles)

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive! cover
Now in paperback!

I’ve technically already had one paperback release, since Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters came out in hardcover, paperback, and e-book all at the same time. That doesn’t make it any less exciting that Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive!, which came out in hardcover last year, is now available in a paperback version!
Even better is that the paperback version is awesome, IMHO. Some of the things I love most about the hardcover of this book are the vivid colors of the photographs and graphics and the high-quality paper they are printed on, so I wondered how the paperback would measure up to that high bar. I needn’t have worried, because the paperback is every bit is beautiful and sturdy.
In fact, the only difference is that it’s significantly cheaper. And that is great news, because it means more kids will get a chance to own it! 🙂
Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover
Available June 26, 2018!

You can purchase the brand-new paperback version from your local bookstore, or find information about ordering the new paperback version here.
In case you missed it, there’s a short interview with Ammi-Joan and me over at the Cybils blog, following our win in the Middle Grade Non-Fiction category. You can check that out here.
And, if you’re so inclined, you can now pre-order TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: HISTORIES AND MYSTERIES, which will be available on June 26, 2018. You can get all of that information here.
Finally, just for fun, here’s our SCBWI Western Washington players, a.k.a. Band: Books, performing Picture Book Writer (our spinoff version of the Beatles’ song above), last May 10, 2017, featuring Vikram Madan and Mike Cressy on guitar; Janet Lee Carey, Katherine Grace Bond, and Karen Lewis on vocals; Dana Sullivan on drums; Dori Hillestad Butler on keyboard; myself on bass (lower right-hand corner); and Dan Richards as producer, stage manager, and roadie. Many thanks to Vikram Madan for capturing us on video!

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