Monday, February 24, 2014

Loved to Pieces . . . with Kristen Kittscher

Well, look who's here! Author Kristen Kittscher has traveled all the way from California to visit us today. She wrote the funny middle grade mystery THE WIG IN THE WINDOW. And good news--she's working on the sequel, THE TIARA ON THE TERRACE. We can't wait to read it.

Kristen packed something special in her suitcase to share with us today--her first favorite, loved-to-pieces book. Maybe you've heard of it?

Welcome, Kristen! Tell us about No Flying in the House.


"Like legions of seven year olds, I dedicated significant hours dreaming of being able to fly. How perfect it’d be to float up to the ceiling and hide when I was supposed to be cleaning my room! To taste clouds! To soar over neighborhood rooftops instead of taking the school bus with everyone else! Or even just to levitate in my seat to see over that man’s enormous hat. . . .

You can imagine, then, how delighted I was when I stumbled across Betty Brock’s No Flying in the House, the story of seemingly ordinary Annabel Tippens who discovers she’s half-fairy. 
While Annabel is under the care of a fabulously wealthy widow and a 3-inch tall dog named Gloria who can do 367 tricks (two more big selling points), she’s visited by a strange tiny cat who reveals important secrets about Annabel’s past. That strange birthmark on her back? It’s the mark of her mother, fairy princess Felicia! Can Annabel kiss her elbow? Only fairies can perform that feat. Fairies, of course, can fly—and Annabel wastes no time learning how. 

Suddenly, all was clear. I had a birthmark on my back, too. It might not have been shaped like the letter F with a crown on top, but perhaps my particular fairy royal family preferred a filled-in “O” that looked like a dirty fingerprint. And while I couldn’t kiss my elbow yet, I could get tantalizingly close. Obviously, a little hatha yoga was all that lay between me and my first flight. 

It took me a while to notice the devilish bargain Annabel had made with Belinda the Cat in exchange for the exhilarating new information—but the repercussions were startling and swift. Without spoiling too much, let’s say that No Flying in the House may have enchanted me with its suggestion that magic could seep right into daily life, but eventually it also left seven-year-old-me recognizing that nothing, even flying, can beat the very real, simple love of family and home. 

It’s also why No Flying in the House holds up so well over time. It conveys a deep, important message about what it really means to care about someone. Letting people get whatever they want doesn’t have anything to do with love. Fulfilling wishes doesn’t have anything to do with love. Even promising fun and games and magic has nothing to do with love. As talented three-inch Gloria explains to Annabel, “Belinda doesn’t understand the power of heart.” 

No Flying in the House certainly does, though. That’s why I loved it to pieces! 
(Well, and, for all that flying.)"

Kristen Kittscher was a neighborhood spy as a child but (allegedly) grew up to be an upstanding citizen, seventh grade English teacher, and writing tutor. A graduate of Brown University, she lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, Kai, and their hyperactive lab mix. The Wig in the Window is her first novel. She's now working on the sequel, THE TIARA ON THE TERRACE. Visit her at


Don't miss Kristen's acclaimed middle grade mystery!

by Kristen Kittscher
HarperCollins (June 2013)

ISBN 978-0062110503

"Twelve-year-old Sophie Young and her best friend, Grace Yang, have been sneaking out of their houses for midnight spy missions in hopes of catching criminals on the FBI's Most Wanted list. What has seemed like a game suddenly becomes serious. . . . This fast-paced, action-packed romp has all the ingredients of a great mystery. . . . Readers will see themselves and their friends in Sophie and her classmates, and they will have a difficult time tearing themselves away." --School Library Journal, starred review

“Ample red herrings keep young sleuths and engaged readers guessing in this thrilling debut mystery. Reminiscent of the ever-compelling film Rear Window, this appealing and often spine-tingling tale will leave its audience wishing for more.” --Kirkus Reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment