As a child, I used to spend two weeks at my grandmother’s house every summer. Most of the time was spent in her pool or baking chocolate chip cookies. My grandmother had a million candy molds, and we used to spend hours making colored chocolates in every shape and size. These are happy memories. But one summer when I was seven or eight, my grandmother asked if I would like to go to the library. I was a quiet, little thing who lived in my imagination, and I was fascinated by the idea of an entire building meant to hold books. So we grabbed a red wagon and walked our way there. With huge eyes, I stared at rows and rows of books. There were so many that I wanted to read, and narrowing my choices down to one or two saddened me.

“We really get to take them home?” I asked my grandmother.

She nodded. “We check them out, and you get to borrow them.”

“How many do I get to take, Grandma?”

“As many as you want.”

I get a little weepy thinking about that day when my grandmother opened up an entirely new world to me with that generous gesture. You better believe that I packed that red wagon full, and I spent the entire two weeks with my nose in book after book. That’s how my grand affair with libraries began.

And now my books sit on the shelves in those hallowed halls, waiting for a reader like me to find them.

To give a little something back, I’m hosting a library giveaway of 5 prize packages. Each package contains a signed copy of IF I LIE and TOUCHED, plus bookmarks. US middle grade, high school, and public libraries are eligible to enter. Contest is open from 6/24/13 thru 7/12/13.

TOUCHED

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