Hey everyone! Welcome to the second stop on the Homeroom Diaries blog tour! Homeroom Diaries is James Patterson’s newest novel for teens and I’m so excited to have a guest post for you guys!
This One’s for the Misfits – Guest Post from James Patterson
“He’s at risk.”
Why do we decide that some kids won’t amount to much in life when they’re still teenagers – or even younger?
My new book Homeroom Diaries may be a comedy with some really funny moments, but it’s about kids who don’t fit in. Homeroom Diaries isn’t my first book about misfits. That’s what I was doing when I wrote my first young adult book in 2005 (Maximum Ride). It was about a group of runaways living on their own up in the mountains, trying to make some sort of family for themselves. These kids happened to be mutants with wings, and the book was labeled as science fiction, so no one called Maximum Ride and her friends “troubled” or “at risk.”
But when I started the Middle School series, about a kid in a realistic middle school with problems that millions of kids deal with every day, suddenly I was writing about a “troubled” kid.
Critics commented that kids with issues would relate to the story. As if all kids don’t have issues. As if kids can’t relate to someone in a different situation – unless it’s a sci fi or fantasy book, of course.
In Homeroom Diaries, Cuckoo Clarke has just gotten out of a mental institution. She lives with a foster mother after her real mother walked out on her. She checks just about every box for “troubled” that there is.
But I think teenagers need stories like hers. Got problems like Cuckoo? You need to know you’re not alone. Don’t have problems like Cuckoo? Then you need to give people like her a chance, because they’re actually pretty incredible once you get to know them.
And now, check out an excerpt!
“You know what? Marty kind of got me down,” I say. Then I stand up, give my whole body a shake, and say, “Get off! Get off! GET OFF!” This usually helps me brush away icky, ugly, heebie-jeebie feelings, but it doesn’t do much to counteract my reputation as a nut job.
“Why does Marty have to be such a
Hater, anyway?” Flatso asks, not really expecting an answer.
But I surprise Flatso with my response. “Because”—I give her a grin—“he’s deprived.”
“Hellz yeah,” says Eggy, and Tebow crows, “It’s on!”
“Oh, boy.” Brainzilla puffs out a breath that lifts her bangs from her forehead. “Here we go.”
Yeah, that’s right—it’s time for another round of our favorite game: DEPRIVED!
Goal: To be the object of greatest pity.
How to Play: State a way in which your life has been hideously deprived.
In the end, we declare Zitsy the winner.
He spends the last ten seconds of lunch vacuuming chips and high-octane Coke into his digestive system.
That’s when I know that my friend is all right.
About Homeroom Diaries:
In James Patterson’s first highly illustrated “diary fiction” story for teens, the mega-bestselling author’s most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.
Margaret “Cuckoo” Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she’s turning over a new leaf with her “Happiness Project”. She’s determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters.
Cuckoo’s also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves “the Freakshow”) decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and “bring the Nations together”. Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling…until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.
In January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having “transformed book publishing.” Time magazine named him “The Man Who Can’t Miss,” and he is a two-time Children’s Choice Book Award “Author of the Year” nominee, a designation decided on by more than 15,000 children and teen readers.
In the past three years, James Patterson has sold more books than any other author (according to Bookscan), and in total, James’s books have sold an estimated 260 million copies worldwide. Since 2006, one out of every seventeen hardcover fiction books sold was a Patterson title. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists and is the only author to have five new hardcover novels debut at #1 on the list in one year—a record-breaking feat he’s accomplished every year since 2005. To date, James Patterson has had nineteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds the New York Times record for most Hardcover Fiction bestselling titles by a single author (76 total), which is also a Guinness World Record.
From his James Patterson Pageturner Awards (which rewarded groups and individuals for creative and effective ways of spreading the joy of reading) to his website ReadKiddoRead.com (which helps adults find books that kids are sure to love) to his regular donations of thousands of books to troops overseas, Patterson is a lifelong champion of books and reading. His critically acclaimed Maximum Ride series debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list at #1 and remained there for twelve straight weeks. The series has so far made ninety-four cumulative appearances on The New York Times bestsellers lists, proving that kids of all ages love page turners. He captured the attention of boy readers with Daniel X series, and his third series for readers of all ages debuted in December 2009 with Witch & Wizard, which spent five consecutive weeks atop the New York Times bestsellers list.
Patterson is the creator of the top-selling new detective series of the past dozen years, featuring Alex Cross and including the Hollywood-adapted “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls,” starring Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. He is also the creator of the #1 new detective series of the past five years, featuring Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club, from which the ABC television drama series was adapted. He has authored books behind six films on the Hollywood fast-track, including the upcoming Maximum Ride movie forthcoming from Avi Arad, the producer of X-Men and Spiderman.
He is the author of novels — from The Thomas Berryman Number (1976) to Honeymoon (2005) — that have won awards including the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader’s Digest Reader’s Choice Award. And, he has won a Children’s Choice Book Council’s Children’s Choice Awards “Author of the Year” award (2010).
One of Forbes magazine’s Celebrity 100, James made a guest appearance on the popular FOX TV show “The Simpsons” in March, 2007.
Follow the Homeroom Diaries tour for more guest posts, illustrations, and giveaways!
July 21: BewitchedBookworms.com
July 22: KatiesBookBlog.com
July 23: ALifeBoundByBooks.Blogspot.com
July 24: TheBookCellarx.com
July 25: ReadBreatheRelax.com
Find James Patterson online!
· Visit the Official Site
· Follow Homeroom Diaries on Instagram
· Follow James Patterson on Twitter and Facebook