Two things to make a children’s writer happy–seeing a new book for the first time and spending time with children who write. I got to do both of those things recently. A few days ago my editor handed me the advance reading copy of So Much for Democracy, my juvenile novel set in Ghana in 1979, which is coming out in the spring, and today, I spent the morning listening to grade 6 and 7 students at Central Middle School read their stories. These kids have been working on their stories all term, and now have a whole series of great characters, settings and plots they’re working with. I was so impressed and inspired to hear their words and see their hard work and dedication. Way to go Central kids!