April 8, 2015
Thirty-odd hands waved in the air. They were the hands of Mr. Custeau’s and Ms. Butcher’s fourth-grade class at Hall Elementary, answering my question, “how many of you have seen a toddler crying at the top of their lungs?” Everybody. Next question: “how many have seen a grown-up doing the same thing?” No hands. Because somewhere along the way, we learn not to cry in public.
I write for young readers in-between the wailing toddler and the keeping-it-together adult, for seven to eleven-year-olds who feel deeply that sometimes life just isn’t fair! Because I remember how that felt. If you’ve ever felt that way, too, my books are for you.
January 13, 2014
I left Brown University with something precious—a writing group. A quarter century later, we’re still going strong. This is our story.
Photo by Mark Ostow
March 26, 2013
A Windham 3rd grader writes the best thank you note ever: “Dear Ms. Donovan, I loved your story. It was the best book I ever read. From Destiny P.”
July 24, 2012
Students from Biddeford Intermediate donned bandannas to get into the spirit of “What’s Bugging Bailey Blecker?”
April 26, 2012
A student going by the pen name pseudonymous reviewed “What’s Bugging Bailey Blecker?” at Mod Book Club Two. “Bailey has some guests in her hair and they are not wanted!” begins pseudonymous, and ends with some good advice: “Find out what happens by reading the book.”
May 9, 2011
I love reading my work aloud to students, and I love their thank you notes!
These excerpts are from Jan Pelletier’s third grade class at East End Community School in Portland, Maine. They all began with Dear Mrs. Donovan:
I liked that there are cliff-hangers at the end of each chapter. It’s very lousey that Bailey has lice. Get it? Lousey?—Yours truly, C.
Thank you for reading What’s Bugging Bailey Blecker? I really liked when Mr. Adams keeps acting like he’s a soldier. And I lost my bird once I felt bad like Bailey. And will Bailey lose her lice?—Your friend, H.
You are such an inspiration to me. I love your books because they bring back so much memories. Like when you said that Bailey had lice I thought about when last year some unexpected lice came to our house and when I went to bed I could not sleep because I was thinking that I would get lice. When I grow up I want to be as magnificent as you. —Yours truly, A.