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Saturday morning Barack Obama and his daughters visited a DC bookstore, where they bought 21 books, one of which was my middle grade fantasy novel, Jinx.


I can't tell you how thrilling it is to have this opportunity to speak fiction to power!

Of course, Jinx is a story and its first job is to entertain, but yeah, I guess it has a kind of underlying extremely-environmentalist message.

Barack Obama and his daughters visited the Politics and Prose book shop on upper Connecticut Avenue to celebrate Small Business Saturday.  They were only there about 20 minutes, so I'm guessing maybe they went in with a list. I like to think Jinx was Sasha's choice, but I suppose it may be a gift.

The list of purchases is an eclectic one:

Half Brother - by Kenneth Oppel
Heart of a Samurai - by Margi Preus
Flora and Ulysses - by Kate DiCamillo
Jinx - by Sage Blackwood
Lulu and the Brontosaurus - by Judith Viorst and Lane Smith
Ottoline and the Yellow Cat - by Chris Riddell
Moonday - by Adam Rex
Journey - by Aaron Becker
The Lowland - by Jhumpa Lahiri
Red Sparrow - by Jason Matthews
Harold and the Purple Crayon - by Crockett Johnson
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena - by Anthony Marra
The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance - by David Epstein
Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football - by Nicholas Dawidoff
Ballad of the Sad Cafe: And Other Stories - by Carson McCullers
My Antonia - by Willa Cather
Ragtime - By E.L. Doctorow
The Kite Runner - by Khaled Hosseini
Buddha in the Attic - by Julie Otsuka
All That Is - by James Salter
Wild: From Lost to Found On the Pacific Crest Trail - by Cheryl Strayed
Some heavy stuff on there. But at least they got Harold and the Purple Crayon to lighten the load. (Oh, and Jinx, did I mention that?)

How cool it is to have a President that really reads, by the way.

That is all.

Edited to add: Okay, not all... Nailbender suggested I include a plot summary of Jinx.

Here's the opening:


In the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all. By the time Jinx was six he had learned to live quietly and carefully, squeezed into the spaces left by other people even though the hut he lived in with his stepparents actually belonged to him. He had inherited it after his father died of werewolves and his mother was carried off by elves.

    But then a spark from a passing firebird ignited the hut, and within a few minutes it had gone. The people in the clearing built another to replace it, and this new hut was not his. His stepparents, Bergthold and Cottawilda, felt this keenly. Besides, the harvest had been bad that autumn, and the winter would be a hungry one.

    This was the sort of situation that made people in the clearing cast a calculating eye upon their surplus children.

The Urwald is a sentient forest, inhabited by witches, wizards, werewolves, trolls, and a few ordinary people like Jinx. But after Jinx is abandoned in the forest and taken in by the wizard Simon Magus, he learns he's not so ordinary after all. He can see other people's emotions, and he can talk to the trees. But will that be enough to save him when he's captured by the evil Bonemaster?

Jinx (360 pages) is published by HarperCollins Children's Books, and was selected as a Best Book of 2013 by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon. It's available wherever fine books and ebooks are sold. Whew!

Oh, and the sequel, Jinx's Magic, is coming out January 7, 2014. (Summary on HarperCollins website.)

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