Tuesday, April 18, 2017

One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman [2 different giveaways]

Welcome to Day #7 of the One Good Thing About America Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman (3/14/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Ruth and 10 chances to win a copy of One Good Thing About America, as well as a chance to win a Skype visit with Ruth in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Two Truths and a Lie with Ruth Freeman
What a fun idea this is! I haven’t played this game in years, and not often back then. Okay, it took me a while to come up with truths and lies but I think I’m ready to play. Hope it’s fun for you, too!

Two Truths and a Lie about Ruth Freeman:

  1. When I was 12 my family spent a year traveling in Europe. My father, a middle-school math teacher, took a year’s sabbatical, carefully planned out the year and rented out our house. Then we bought a Peugeot station wagon in Paris and drove from Scandinavia to Sicily and everywhere in between. I’ve loved traveling ever since.
  2. I never excelled at sports, but there was one (and only one) time when I won a diving contest at the pool where we swam in the summer. In my age group we had to do two dives. I did what we called a “pencil” dive, going in head first, arms at sides. That went pretty well. For my next dive, I was doing a swan dive. I was sure, with everyone watching, that this one would not go well. But what can you do but go for it? I jumped off and flew. I still don’t know how I won but I did. 
  3.  I was in a play with Meryl Streep. She was two years ahead of me at Vassar College and we were both drama majors. In one production, an 18th c. English tragedy, she was cast as the lead (what else?) and I got to play her maid, or to be more exact, her maid’s maid. I had no lines but I was amazing at holding her dog and peeling potatoes.

Two Truths and a Lie about One Good Thing About America:

  1. I sent the manuscript for my story to 12 different publishers and was rejected by all of them.  I stewed for a while (okay, for quite a while), because of course I thought this was the greatest book ever written, then sent it to one more publisher, Holiday House. The editor, Mary Cash, called me two weeks later with an offer.
  2. People always ask you what the title of your book is while you’re working on it. I never know, but was using a title of “Talking Funny.” There’s a place in the story where another student asks Anaïs why she talks funny, and I liked having an action verb in the title. But my editor (this is why we have editors) picked One Good Thing About America. I’m so glad she did!
  3. There really is a rare mineral from Africa that is used in cell phones and other electronics. I knew little about the mineral, called coltan, before I started writing this story. But when I needed more information about Anaïs’ father and his work with the mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I found a lot of articles and a documentary online about this billion-dollar, and largely unregulated, industry. It is a fascinating and painful story about greed, an area’s natural resources and the miners themselves (often children). Because coltan is in so many of the devices we use everyday, I think we have a responsibility to know more about where and how it is mined.

Two Truths and a Lie about Anaïs:

  1. Next year, for Halloween, Anaïs wants to go as a Christmas tree.  She’s planning on wearing all green and wrapping herself up in strings of Christmas lights.  She’s asked Mr. Dan to please figure out how to make the lights turn on…or even better, flash!  Bingo!
  2.  Anaïs' favorite movie is Twilight because people fly up into trees and do superhuman things and there are vampires. It’s exciting and kind of romantic, too.
  3. When Anaïs grows up she wants to be a doctor, as she says in the story, but in her spare time she also wants to be a pop singer with Jenna and Brittany. She is already designing the beautiful dress she will wear.


Two Truths and a Lie about Ruth Freeman: # 2 is a lie. I did enter a diving competition because my mother was complaining I never entered any of the swimming races. I did a regular dive and then a “pencil” dive. I certainly didn’t win, but I didn’t kill myself either. I have never been much a swimmer. More the leave-me-on-the-beach-with-a-book type. Now I live in Maine, so swimming is not much of an option!

Two Truths and a Lie about One Good Thing About America: # 1 is a lie. There was a time when I sent a manuscript off to at least 12 publishers (and probably more), but it was for my first picture book, Bedtime. For One Good Thing, my editor and I worked through the several versions of it together, so I knew what she wanted and what I needed to do to get it to the final stage.

Two Truths and a Lie about Anaïs: # 2 is a lie.  So, when I knew I was going to be writing this post, I asked one of my students what her favorite movie was. She is also from Congo and about the same age as Anaïs. I was expecting her to say Frozen or something along those lines. Instead, she starts telling me about some movie, she couldn’t remember the name, but from the way she was miming the action it was full of guns and violence and I don’t know what else! I am going to put my author’s foot down here and declare that Anaïs’ favorite movie is the new Beauty and the Beast.
    Stop by Word Spelunking tomorrow for the next stop on the tour!
    Blog Tour Schedule:
    April 10th – Geo Librarian April 11thLate Bloomer's Book Blog April 12th Mrs. Mommy BookNerd April 13thKristi's Book Nook April 14thLife Naturally April 17th – Books My Kids Read April 18th – Chat with Vera April 19th Word Spelunking April 20th – Middle Grade Mafioso April 21st – The Hiding Spot

    Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
    Follow Ruth: Website | Facebook Publisher: Holiday House
    ONE GOOD THING ABOUT AMERICA is a sweet, often funny middle-grade novel that explores differences and common ground across cultures. It's hard to start at a new school . . . especially if you're in a new country. Back home, Anaïs was the best English student in her class. Here in Crazy America she feels like she doesn't know English at all. Nothing makes sense (chicken FINGERS?), and the kids at school have some very strange ideas about Africa. Anaïs misses her family . . . so she writes lots of letters to Oma, her grandmother. She tells her she misses her and hopes the war is over soon. She tells her about Halloween, snow, mac 'n' cheese dinners, and princess sleepovers. She tells her about the weird things Crazy Americans do, and how she just might be turning into a Crazy American herself.
    About the Author: Ruth Freeman grew up in rural Pennsylvania but now lives in Maine where she teaches students who are English language learners, including many newly arrived immigrants. She is the author of several acclaimed nonfiction picture books. One Good Thing About America is her first novel..

    One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of One Good Thing About America for their personal collection, as well as a 30 minute Skype visit with Ruth Freeman to the school of their choice and a signed copy for the school's library.
    Enter via the rafflecopter below
    US Only
    Ends 4/23 at midnight ET
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Begins April 18
    Ends April 28 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
    Open to USA addresses only
    DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of  the book. Grand Prize is provided by the author and publicity group. Winner of Chat With Vera's giveaway will receive their prize from the publicity group. I was not compensated for this post which was provided by MMPublicity.


    1. This is such a great giveaway. Thank you.

    2. I am enjoying this giveaway.

    3. I love our freedom and that it is guaranteed by the Constitution!

    4. I love that I can freely vote and travel across the country without fear of persecution.

    5. This is a wonderful giveaway! What a great prize!

    6. I love how my great grandparents were immigrants from Europe who worked hard and laid foundations to some family businesses that continued for at least two generations


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