Drawing of a child reading a novel called The Missing Dog is Spotted.

Book recommendations

Hi Riley,

I am happy to learn that you are reading a good book now and that you’ll read mine next. I suspect you must have a big stack of books that are standing by to be read. I have a stack, too! I also keep a reading list of books I don’t own but want to sign out from my library.

In response to your request to send a list of books that I’ve written, you’ll find all of them on my website. However, I think it might be fun for me to develop a list of books by other authors for my website. I would call that list “I wish I could write a book like that” and it would include a lot of funny ones that I’ve come to love. Perhaps I will develop that list in a month or two to post.

Happy reading!

Jessica

Mud

Dear Macy,

Your ATV looks like a hoot. I’ve seen many coming out of the woods around here caked in mud, just like you’ve described. I grew up with cousins who had snowmobiles. I got to drive one from time to time, but mostly I was a passenger who just had to hang on. It was thrilling.

I see that you and your sister are wearing helmets. Well done!

Stay safe,

Jessica

Child's drawing of a book cover

From Grandma

Dear Jadyn,

I like your idea of keeping something precious that your grandmother gave you and saving it for your own children. You can keep her stories like that, too, although stories sometimes change over time, from one story-teller to another. That’s what makes them living, breathing things.

Next time you see me, I’d be happy to give you my autograph.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Child's drawing of bicyles

Always wear a helmet

Dear Dylan,

You saw a fireball in the sky while you were biking at night? I wonder what it was? My imagination soars!

I love your bike scene. I just came back from vacation where I was mountain biking in Utah and I did a header almost as soon as I started the trail. I hurt myself, but fortunately I was wearing a helmet. Always wear a helmet, Dylan, so you can live to see another fireball.

Happy reading,
Jessica

Portrait in pencil on lined paper

Dear girl in classroom,

Thank you so much for your drawing of me. It looks like I combed my hair, for once. I wish you had signed your work so I could properly thank you! You’ve done a lovely job. Perhaps you will be an illustrator some day? Enjoy the rest of your school year.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Child's recreation of the cover for Martin Bridge: Ready for Take Off!

The night sky

Dear Joshua,

You’ve drawn me looking very happy, haven’t you! I do love visiting schools and talking about my stories. Martin Bridge: Ready for Take Off! was my first book published. I still am excited by rockets and outer space. I’m now writing a story about a boy who wants to become an astronomer.

Last week, I visited my sister who lives out in the country where there is no light pollution. I went outside after dark with her set of binoculars to look at the stars. I could easily spot the constellation called Orion and I was hoping to find the Andromeda galaxy, but much of the sky was cloudy. It was so quiet out there, I heard an owl hoot, followed by coyotes in the distance. I scrambled back inside. Turns out, I’m not that brave.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Sky Diving

Dear Christian,

There are lots of new things I would like to try, but skydiving is not one of them. However, I would certainly love to read about someone else trying it, especially for the first time, so I think you have a great idea to write about.

You’ve drawn a figure who looks like how I would look on a plane if I was supposed to jump. I would be grabbing on to anything I could and plastering myself against a wall so as not to fall out. What a chicken I would be!

Happy reading,

Jessica

 

How to find a good book

Dear Chelsea,

I love to read in the car, too – or anywhere that is quiet, like a park or my back deck or in bed at night. I am pleased to report that I’ve read all the books you mention in your letter. I don’t read my own books after they are published, but I do like to read from them when I visit schools.

Like you, if I find a book that I really like, I look for more books by that author, and I am rarely disappointed.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Role-playing

Child's drawing of Pokemon

Dear Tim,

I just learned that Pokemon has been around for 22 years. Twenty-two years! I must confess that I’ve never played it, but, like Pokemon, I do enjoy role-playing that is also required of writers who must create characters with each new story.

I’m glad that you want to write books that are fun for other kids to read.  I want to write them, too!

Happy reading,

Jessica