Happy book birthday to The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker and Mark Pett!

Hello, Travis Jonker! I am excited to celebrate The Very Last Castle with you today. It has been so much fun following your journey—from when you shared your book news with me on our way to a conference in Michigan…to the cover reveal…to experiencing your first public read-aloud of a finished copy…to you finishing my sentences today on your beautiful book’s birthday. 

I wrote the words in purple, and Travis wrote the words in black. Thank you, Travis! 

The Very Last Castle tells the story of a struggle between inmates of a military prison and the warden, played by James Gandolfini. No, wait, sorry - I thought were were asking about the plot of the film The Last Castle. The Very Last Castle is the story of a brave kid determined to discover the truth about the mysterious castle in the middle of her town. 

Ha! Ha! I just looked up The Last Castle. I need to watch it one day. 

Mark Pett’s illustrations are clearly the work of a pro. I will be forever thankful to him for bringing the story to life in such a beautiful way. Speaking of illustrations - *Easter Egg Alert* - both Mark Pett and I appear in the book. Can you spot us? 

Yes, spotting you and Mark made me smile. 

Ibb loves plush panda backpack clips. Also, discovering truths (I would say "quieting naysayers", but Ibb wouldn't - she's much more kind than that). 

School libraries are places for kids to find books they love. Also, they're a great venue for staff meetings. But definitely the first thing waaay more.

Picture books are the best, aren't they?

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me to come over and watch The Last Castle. But I know you're busy.

Borrow The Very Last Castle from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


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