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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Guest Post and Giveaway with Lori Ann Stephens, author of the middle-grade Pierre François: 5th Grade Mishaps

Lori Ann Stephens, author of the new middle-grade book, Pierre François: 5th Grade Mishaps, is here today with a guest post and giveaway...

Pierre François: 5th Grade Mishaps
by Lori Ann Stephens
illustrated by Trevor Yokochi
Black Rose Writing

Ten-year-old Pierre François—otherwise known as Pierre the Fantastic Flying Fish and Pierre the Genius Brain—is an expert at signing his school papers with original names. He’s also good at extolling the greatness of France, using weird words like “extolling,” dissecting owl vomit, and avoiding The Stinky Chair in math class. What he’s not good at is a foolproof bladder. Accidents happen, although this is Top Secret information. So when it’s time for the entire fifth grade to go to Adventure Camp, a two-night trip in the wilderness, Pierre would rather complain about the fifth grade meanies, dream of mastering the spelling bee with Jedi skills, and devise ways to meet the fascinating new girl in school. But Adventure Camp is coming for him, along with a wet and icy cold front. Can Pierre muster all his courage and wit to survive nature’s onslaught of ice, rain, and other liquid fiascos?

Add on  Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon/ Publisher

Praise for Pierre:

“Boys and girls alike will be able to relate to Pierre’s humorous
misadventures at school.” —Polly Holyoke, author of Texas
Bluebonnet Award Nominee The Neptune Project

"Pierre Francois navigates the wacky wilds of 5th grade
with inventiveness and flair. Funny, smart, and
heartwarming, Pierre is an endearing character whose
honest awareness of his strengths and challenges will have
young readers cheering him on." -Kevin Emerson, Last Day
on Mars.

Writing about bodies
by Lori Ann Stephens

Thanks for Aeicha for inviting me to do a guest post!

Today, I’m offering a few words about bodies in writing. That’s not a metaphor. I mean
actual, literal bodies. Arms and legs and bladders. Just as children want
and need to see representations of themselves (race, ethnicity, social class) in film
and literature, they also need to see representations of their bodies. Publishers have
done a lot of work to broaden the portrayals of main characters, such as
Jessica Love and Chelsie Hill’s Push Girl and Anne Ursu’s The Real Boy
and Leslie Connor’s Waiting for Normal.

I didn’t start out writing Pierre François as a character who struggles with his body.
It was story about fifth grade—about the turmoil and triumphs of changing
social dynamics, of old friends turning into “aliens,” of your first sleep-away camp.
But I realized pretty quickly that Pierre’s social struggles were a mirror of his
physical struggles: he was growing and changing, but his bladder wasn’t.
It was stuck in toddlerhood, with all the embarrassing and frustrating effects.

I’m a fan of the #ownvoices movement, begun by Corrine Duyvis.
My novel isn’t an #ownvoices book, but it does try to authenticate the way
enuresis affects the entire family. Bodies grow and mature at difference
rates; the more children see these differences in literature, the more empathy
they’ll have for others. Pierre is for my own brilliant little family members
and the millions of children who struggle with enuresis as a pre-teen.
They are not alone. There is no shame in it. I hope that Pierre’s adventures
will make them smile and nod.

Lori Ann Stephens:  Website/ Goodreads/ Facebook/ Twitter
Lori is the award-winning author of Song of the Orange Moons (Blooming Tree Press, 2010) and Some Act of Vision (ASD, 2013). Pierre François is her first Middle Grade novel. She likes operas and baking competitions and cat videos. She also builds things without breaking the house. She teaches at Southern Methodist University and lives in Richardson, Texas. Visit Lori Ann at or tweet her at @loriannstephens

Illustrator Trevor Yokochi

Win a copy of 
Pierre François: 5th Grade Mishaps!
Lori has generously offered one (1) copy for one winner.
-US only
-ends 1/9/18 at 11:59 pm ET
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-word spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
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Slowsly said...

This is a must read. I love the fact that you are dealing with the total character...mind and body. Thank you for the insightful conversation.

Lori Ann Stephens said...

Thank you, Kay! I hope it hits the sweet spot for kids.

Lori Ann Stephens said...

(And thanks, Aeicha, for hosting me!)

Gwendolyn Jordan said...

Sounds great

PEMom said...

Looking forward to sharing this with my 5th grader and then probably adding it to her teacher's classroom library to share...

Danielle H. said...

I think many kids will see themselves have an ally in this character. I think this will be an important book for adults to read too.

Dan Denman said...

Pierre sounds like a great character. I can't wait to read his story!