Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Boone Barnaby: the PDF

In 1990 Scholastic published my novel The Adventures of Boone Barnaby. In a few days my podcast of the novel will be up on I'll announce it when it's out. For a podcast, I had to shorten the title to Boone Barnaby so it would be visible on those tiny ipod screens.

The book is out of print. I had planned to republish it just to make it available, but I see that Amazon is selling used copies for one penny! (Then, of course, they charge $3.99 for shipping.) I can't beat that price, so if you want a printed book of Adventures of Boone Barnaby (Apple Paperbacks), just click on the link.

Or if you want a PDF or any format of e-book of Boone Barnaby, it's available at Smashwords. And Amazon has it available as a Kindle edition here.

Speaking of pennies, they tell me Boone came within a hair of being a Newbery Honor Book that year but that one voting member was outraged by its "controversial subject matter." Twenty years later, that controversial subject matter** seems remarkably tame. It's a lighthearted, joyful, down-to-earth story—the only kind I seem capable of writing. Oh well. I made about $5,000 on the book. With a Newbery, I would've made about 100 times that much. Writing books is like buying a lottery ticket. And the odds are about as good.

For the record, the Newbery Honor Book (which means second place) that year was The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. In first place, the Newbery Medal winner was Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. Good books, both of them.

**Controversial: There's some discussion of the Vietnam War as a less-than-noble endeavor. There's a father who smoked marijuana, didn't go crazy, and didn't go to jail. The word "fart" appears once. And one of Boone's friends has a "stepmom" who is living unwedded with a man. Shocking, isn't it? None of these items have much to do with a story that actually promotes rock solid family values. The book is in school libraries everywhere. Teachers read it aloud to their classes. Kids—and parents—send me e-mail saying "Thank you for writing this," and sometimes asking fascinating questions. It's for these things that I write, and keep on writing...

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