Hey, guys! I have an awesome signed copy of The Shadow Throne for you to win! Yay yay yay!

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I got to meet Jennifer Nielsen yesterday. She is so awesome! One of my boys has been reading The False Prince this week, so he was really excited to meet her. After listening to Jennifer talk about the books, though, and read an excerpt, my other son–the one who’s a reluctant reader, and whose interest is so hard to engage in almost anything–turned to me and said “We HAVE to buy the rest of those books, Mom!” I could not have been more pleased. These books are NYT bestsellers and teen favorites, and after seeing my son’s response to them, I can totally see why.

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(P.S., that is totally Sarah Tregay’s arm in the right of that photo, and she is so nice! I was excited to be able to meet her, too–it was a fun day!)

Listening to Jennifer speak was so inspiring. She talked a lot about her path to authorship: the stories she wrote as a child, the teachers who encouraged her, and even the kindergarten teacher who insisted that she not read (seriously!), which made reading and stories feel like a secret rebellion for her. I was so grateful I had my children with me as she talked about following her dreams and ignoring the odds as she held up a pretty big ol’ stack of rejection letters. My boys’ eyes were glued right on Nielsen as she emotionally shared, “Whatever your dream is–and I know you have them, out there–go do it. Go be it. Don’t let anyone stop you.” I’ll admit it–I got a little teary. One of my kids needed to hear that pretty desperately.

Jennifer was also *amazing* with my kids–and everyone she met at the signing. If you ever have a chance to go see her, please do. She took time to chat with every single person in line, asking each of them about their lives, and really taking the time to listen. Not everyone is that comfortable or that generous with their time, and my son (the one who needed to buy! all! the books!) was bolstered by the experience. I haven’t had a chance, yet, to read Nielsen’s books, but I’m absolutely dying to, now, simply because she’s so awesome.

So, anyone want to win The Shadow Throne? Jennifer would tell you you should read these in order, so if you win and you haven’t read the others, go find ‘em at your library or bookstore! Good luck, you guys, and remember you can repeat some of these entries more than once, if you want. Have fun!

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