Recently I grabbed my boxes of books, jumped in my minivan and headed south on interstate 35 to Kansas City. I was on spring break from my elementary teaching job and I had decided months ago to spend that time promoting my latest middle grade novel, Casey KC, in the Kansas City area. Casey KC had just been released in January and I thought I would take my book to its most rabid audience: young Kansas City baseball fans gearing up to cheer on their team to a run at defending their 2015 World Series championship. The novel, after all, is about 12-year-old Casey who has such a talent for hitting a baseball that he gets signed by his hometown Kansas City Royals. Casey has never in his entire life swung at a baseball and missed. After becoming the youngest player in MLB history, Casey is challenged to see if he really has what it takes to play in the majors.
My trip took me to a school district and community just south and west of Kansas City. The district was Gardner-Edgerton, and boy did I have fun visiting schools, signing books and getting to know these wonderful Kansas librarians, teachers and kids. I visited eight schools, both elementary and middle, and also did a speaking and signing event at the local branch of the Johnson County Library system. Students and parents turned out in large numbers to get their hands on this fictionalized story of their favorite team.
While in town I was hosted by April (from Gardner-Edgerton) and her husband Bob. They took me out for burnt ends and other BBQ wonders my first night in KC, then met me on Mass Street in Lawrence on my final night in the area. I couldn’t have dreamed to expect the warm welcome that I received. We in Minnesota like to pride ourselves on our “Minnesota Nice,” but these folks in Kansas sure knew how to make a Minnesotan feel at home.
You can find Casey KC at all online retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBooks store. It’s geared for readers in grades 4th-8th and might be perfect for that baseball fan in your life. ReadWonder blog calls Casey KC, “…action-packed, fast-paced, and full of lots of surprises.” I hope you read it and agree!