What fun it is to announce a book deal! I’ve been keeping that good news to myself for a while and I have to say, it was just as exciting to share the news as it was to receive it.

Welcome new followers and readers! I hope this blog will prove to be entertaining and useful. I think it will today because everyone likes free stuff, and especially FREE BOOKS!

I’d like to celebrate my publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House. They have published so many wonderful books and to highlight just a few of them I’m going to give away a Knopf book everyday this week, starting today and ending Friday. Now that’s a celebrations!

Today’s book giveaway is THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall, A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. THE PENDERWICKS won the National Book Award for Young Readers in 2005 and well deserved. It is a charming book that transported me back to my childhood summer vacations. Magical.


To enter, all you have to do is tell me about your favorite childhood summer vacation. You must be a follower to enter and I’ll give bonus entries for tweeting or blogging or FBing (is that a term?) about this giveaway. I’ll take comments on each book giveaway until Friday night at midnight. You can enter for each book giveaway, but once I draw your name for one, I’ll remove you from the others. No prize hogging.

I have some great summer vacation memories, but I think one of my very favorites was spending summers on Camano Island, just north of Seattle, Washington where I lived until I was six. We’d spend hours searching for seashells and sand dollars, digging for clams and catching crabs, and then we’d have clam bakes (I never ate those) and marshmallow roasts (I ate a lot of those) and my brother and sisters and all our friends would put on cheesy musical productions. We also occasionally caught ginormous starfish.

Check this baby out! It looks like it came out of some fantasy novel! One day I’ll write a book about it.


  1. I love this post! My favorite summers were spent in Washington, too, up near the border of canada and the ocean. We rode horses and hiked through my grandpa’s forest. I miss it! I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to read your book πŸ™‚

  2. Argh. Blogger ate my comment. Long story short: When I was eleven, we had a family reunion in Disneyland. We repeated that family reunion just two weeks ago. I even wrote a book about it. Sort of.

    Thanks for the contest, Liesl!

  3. P.S. I tweeted, too (@KristaVanDolzer)!

    • mindy

    • August 23, 2011

    • 6:43 pm

    Hi Liesl! Congratulations on your novel to be published!! That is really exciting! I love that photo πŸ™‚ Some of my favorite summer vacations were trip to Lake Powel with family and friends: sleeping on top of an old houseboat under an intensely starry sky. Well, I hope you and your family are doing great. I’m really excited for you! Congrats again!

  4. Hi Liesl! What a fantastic idea to promote your publisher, and what an honor to have Knopf pick up your book. Ah, to be part of such a grand legacy… I’m envious!

    The Penderwicks is not a book I’d usually pick up, but I was curious to see why it won the National Book Award. The first few pages gave me pause as it seemed like a style I’d usually shy away from, but within a chapter I had a hard time putting it down. It’s such a gentle book, a beautiful recounting of relationships between siblings as well as a boy whose dreams they help to fulfill. It didn’t quite make my first tier of MG gems, but it came very close. Exemplary character development.

    Whoever wins it, look forward to a great read!


  5. my fav childhood vacation is the same place we have gone for 20 years, this little island in florida where we surf all month. it is gorgeous, with white sand and palm trees. sigh. i want to go NOW! lol.

    americangirlie1991 at yahoo dot com

  6. New follower via Krista V! Congrats on your novel! I agree with Jeff, great way to honor your publisher. Cool idea.
    We didn’t take many vacations when I was a kid, strange I know. But the one that I remember is to Branson…Silver Dollar City! Cracks me up when I think about it.

  7. My father worked at a canning factory and never took time off during the summer. We took all our vacations during less busy times of the year. However, I did spend many blissful summer days at my grandparents’ farm nearby. I cherish those memories, probably more so than I would any summer vacation.

    • Robin

    • August 26, 2011

    • 3:59 pm

    My favorite summers were spent in up state New York participating in the Hill Cumorah Pageant. First loves, best friends, and fun group games were discovered there. Plus, I couldn’t resist buying the orange crush sodas.

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