Win a book!

Update: If you don’t see a place to leave comments here, please click the title “Win a book!” and it should take you to this post but allow you to leave a comment. Sorry for any confusion! I’m flying by the seat of my pants, here! Wheeeeee! :)

First of all, ack! This website isn’t “ready.” (In fact, for a long time, I thought that welcome page was private, lol.) Watch your step—it’s messy around here—but I’m so glad you stopped by. Also, I’m not starting a blog. (RIP, 2005-07.) At least, I don’t think so. But when I tweeted about this book thing this morning, I was surprised to receive no responses…so I thought I’d better fill in some details.

My birthday is Saturday, and I thought it would be fun to give someone else a present. There are no strings attached. This is not a marketing ploy. Just tweet me (@kelcrocker) or leave a comment here and let me know what book you’d like and why. I’m not looking for literary essays. Keep it short. Or, you could enter a friend. I know there are tons of people who need books, I’m only one person, and this is just a tiny thing. But it is a thing.

This idea comes from two sources. I support #WeNeedDiverseBooks and define diversity broadly. I thought it would be cool to encourage someone to try a diverse book and I’d pick up the tab. My other inspiration came from illustrator Cat York. She gave away a set of greeting cards for her birthday–and I was the lucky winner! She made my day (and I’ve loved sending her whimsical cards to friends). Let’s pass it on! I just realized a third source of inspiration: I love Austin Kleon’s new book Show Your Work. This is a little bit of that. And although it’s a small step, it feels scary-big even to do this. Shouldn’t I wait until I finish my novel revision, lose 20 pounds, become calm and centered, and get this website looking super-spiffy? No! I am being spontaneous! I am “showing my work” and myself–truly a rough draft.

Nitty gritty: One winner will be drawn at random. (I mean, literally, paper names drawn from a cup.) I’m sorry, but this contest is open only to US residents. You don’t have to do anything except contact me with the name of the book you’d like and why. Oh, I guess you should leave a way for me to contact you, too. (I’m not asking you to follow, re-tweet, sign up for something, buy something or give me your first born. I won’t do anything with your contact info other than probably follow you on Twitter if I’m not already doing so.) The deadline is midnight central time, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Depending on response, I may send a few “gently loved” and beautifully diverse YA and children’s books from my stash to the runners-up. Thanks for playing! I’ll announce the winner here and on twitter.

Here are a few of my favorite YA and middle grade books that include diversity.

A few of my favorite YA and middle grade novels. #WeNeedDiverseBooks

P.S. Should some angry/unhappy person request a book that advocates hate, I reserve the right to shake my head sadly and not buy it. Read what you want, but I’m in the peace and love camp, and this is my party.