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Guest Post: Laura Pedersen Plus Contest

Please welcome author Laura Pedersen:

I was a slow starter, pretty much a turnip in a sleeper the first couple of years. Once I began public school, kids were separated by ability. Our first grade reading groups had cutesy inspirational names such as Cheetahs, Jaguars and Blue Jays. Still unable to form words using letters, I was classified as a Dinosaur. I tried not to read too much into it but since I couldn’t read at all that really wasn’t possible, aside from a vague feeling that I’d been marked for extinction. It was not unlike the day my teacher dropped the bomb that “y” could sometimes be used as a vowel and I was so discombobulated that I couldn’t remember more than one verse to “Kum-bi-yah” during the sing-along after lunch. And that was saying a lot since the neighborhood was 80% Catholic and everyone knew at least 18 verses and a really good elementary school teacher could do the deaf version too.

So children’s books were mostly read to me. When I finally twigged on to the whole combined letter thing, I enjoyed the Judy Blume novels, as did most preteens in the 1970s, particularly Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Next it was Encyclopedia Brown and The Great Brain series. Then I pounced on Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Treasure Island. I think these books had a tremendous influence on the Hallie Palmer series because they were all adventure stories but only the boys had the good parts. The girls just watched and waited or teased or barely had anything to do at all. So Hallie was going to have all the good parts while the guys had to stand around worrying and wondering what she’d do next. However, that didn’t turn out to be entirely the case since one of my favorite characters is Hallie’s good friend Bernard. He’s funny and interesting and actually gives good advice much of the time so long as you can distinguish between the really BAD advice he sometimes dishes out. Bernard firmly believes that he was put on Earth to help.

About Best Best: (from author's website) Since Hallie's father died and left behind ten children, money at the Palmer household is tighter than ever. And just when Hallie thought she was graduating from college, it turns out she's four credits short. A professor needs one more student for a project that will take her around the world. Only longtime boyfriend Craig has another proposition for Hallie.

Want a win a copy of Best Bet? Leave a comment below! (open to U.S. residents only, ages 13+, please leave e-mail so I can contact you, contest ends Tuesday Feb. 23 at midnight Central Time)


  1. YAAY! This one sounds great! Please enter me in the contest :)


    Thanks for hosting the contest!

  2. More books with girls having all the fun, please!

    That was completely fab, just goes to show never ever give up on a kid's reading.

    Enter me

  3. What a great post. I liked her tale of learning letters and how to read--that darn "y"!!
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Great interview. The book sounds super cute. I would love to be entered!

  5. Sounds cute! I've never heard of this author but I like what she has to say.

  6. Sounds great!


  7. If it's any consultation when my family moved to the U.S. from Africa, I was the only child to be please in ESL(English as a Second Language) even though we have always been English speaking. =) I did get out early though cause I was a fast learner. =)

    But I just read a review on Best Bet on Flamingnet and added you to my Author List so I definitely want to enter the contest.

  8. I hope she travels the world at least a little in the book. Sounds great! Please count me in. :-)

    whatinabox at gmail dot com

  9. Sounds great! Please enter me

    jpetroroy at gmail dot com

  10. Yay girl power! Love girl adventurers and a trip around the world sounds great! Please enter

  11. I enjoyed your interview very much. I would love to read the book.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  12. I really enjoyed reading about her story of learning to read!

    The books sounds really awesome! Please enter me!

    infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

  13. Great interview! Please enter me!

  14. Laura seems like a really fun person, I would love to read that book!
    There should be more books these days with females having all the adventures!

  15. Sounds like a fun book! Please enter me in the contest!

  16. Girls should always have the most fun and be just as daring as guys. Please enter me in the contest.

  17. Ahhh. I too loved Judy Blume as a kid! One of the best.

    mmillet at gmail dot com

  18. This book sounds amazing, one of my dreams is to go travel around the world, this book sounds like a good book to escape in. thanks for the giveaway!


  19. I haven't heard of this book before, but it sounds really awesome! I'd love a chance to read it.


  20. This book definitely sounds interesting. I'll look forward to seeing how the 10 kids thing is handled - I'm from a big family myself, and sometimes reactions and people are not what you'd hope for. Please enter me!


  21. Count me in for this one, it looks like fun.

    mmillet at gmail dot com

  22. Awesome! Count me in on this fabulous giveaway! =D


    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  24. This sounds good! I would love to read it! Thank you!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  25. Please enter me in the contest.

    Thank You!

  26. Please enter me, I would love to read this.

    Thanks for the contest!
    barbrafl737 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  27. Looks like a great book! Great contest!

    mearley22 at yahoo dot com


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