Video Premiere: Five Questions (Plus One) with Shannon Hale

My current second graders were HUGE, HUGE fans of Kate DiCamillo's Mercy Watson series last year. Now they are reading and discussing Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

Candlewick put together this awesome  Halloween costume. 
I don't usually read aloud more than one book from a series to the same group of children, but they convinced me to read aloud almost all of the Mercy Watson books. Truth be told, I never get tired of reading about toast with a great deal of butter on it. 

I received an uncorrected proof of Shannon and Dean Hale's The Princess in Black toward the end of last school year. As I read it aloud to an empty room (I'm sure Lou Grant, my cat, was nearby), the bright illustrations, funny characters, and engaging style made me think about Mercy Watson and those enthusiastic first graders. I may have even sent Travis Jonker and Colby Sharp a text message about how perfect it is for fans of Mercy Watson and Leroy Ninker. 

The next day I read The Princess in Black to two first-grade classes. Did they love it? Yes! Did it remind them of Mercy Watson? Yes! Are they excited that it finally hits shelves on October 14? Yes!  

Candlewick put together this Halloween costume. 

Candlewick interviewed Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale about The Princess in Black. I am honored to premiere the video right now...

Borrow The Princess in Black from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


  1. My 2nd grade classes are in love with Mercy Watson too! Thanks for this new recommendation.


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