seeing stars (three!)

I caught Jim's cold, and I overextended my voice, so I croaked through schools in Mississippi last week as well as my father's high school reunion, and wore myself out before heading home to crash in bed, which is where I've been most of this week.

But I've also been floating, because I came home to a box of books -- the real, finished books.... so handsome! It's a book!
And that book has three starred reviews!
Kirkus calls it a "phenomenal story of the beginnings of radical change in America."
Booklist writes: "Wiles skillfully keeps many balls in the air, giving readers a story that appeals across the decades, as well as offering enticing paths into the history."
Finally, the Horn Book calls Countdown "a first-rate novel," and says, "The larger story, however, told here in an expert coupling of text and design, is how life endures, even triumphs, no matter how perilous the times."
Exactly. Exactly what I hoped readers would take away from Countdown. Life goes on. We endure. We help one another through. I'm so grateful for these early reviews, and so appreciative of thoughtful readers.

And so it begins! I have always said, once a book leaves my hands, it no longer belongs to me. It belongs to my readers.

And so, dear readers, here it is, my gift to you. May 1. From Scholastic. Countdown.