Kimberly Dana...Writing Kids Real Featured on NBC’s More at Midday as a middle school tween expert, Kimberly Dana is a multi-award-winning author and teacher. She is published by the National Council of Teachers of English, Parenthood, About Families, Your Teen, and the recipient of several writing honors from Writers Digest, Reader Views, the Pacific Northwest Writes Association, and various international book festivals. Other affiliations include the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition, where she serves as a judge for the annual eBook competition. Kimberly’s most recent books include Cheerage Fearage, Lucy and CeCee’s How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School, and Pretty Dolls, awarded Best Children’s Book of the Year by Reader Views and Character Building Counts. A lover of photography and experimental cooking, Kimberly lives in Nashville with her husband and spoiled shih tzu. AWARD-WINNING BOOKS BY KIMBERLY: • PRETTY DOLLS (Tate Publishing, 2011) • Winner – Reader Views – Best Children’s Book of the Year, 2012 • Winner – Character Building Counts – Best Children’s Book • E.P.I.C. Literary Contest - Children’s Picture Book Finalist • Children’s Picture Book Finalist – Pacific Northwest Writers Association • Featured on Educational/Parenting Websites: Teachingbooks.net and Storycub.org • CHEERAGE FEARAGE (Wild Child Publishing, 2012) • Young Adult Novel Honorable Mention – Writers Digest Writing Competition • Young Adult Teen Book Honorable Mention – New York Festival of Books • Young Adult Bronze Winner – Readers Favorite • LUCY AND CECEE’S HOW TO SURVIVE (AND THRIVE) IN MIDDLE SCHOOL (iUniverse, 2012) • Editor’s Choice Award, iUniverse/Barnes & Noble Rising Star Award • Starred Review – BlueInk Book Reviews, Readers Favorite • Young Adult Teen Book Honorable Mention – San Francisco Book Festival • Young Adult Teen Book Honorable Mention - New York Festival of Books • Centerpiece of The Tennessean’s “Back to School” Feature • Published feature author by the National Council of Teachers of English, Parenthood, About Families, Your Teen, Sonoma Family Life, S.I. Parent, The Dabbling Mum, and Blogging Authors • Author Presenter: Cool Springs Festival of Books, Southern Festival of Books, Various Schools Nationwide
“But while the girls' teachings are often amusing, what really makes Dana's book exceptional are the girls themselves... this is a book that can educate readers of any age.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Two BFFs compile a manual for youngsters who must endure the ordeal that is middle school.
Meet Lucy and CeCee, two middle schoolers documenting what they’ve learned as tweens. Lucy, obsessed with becoming popular, works the social aspect, while CeCee, who finds a B+ unspeakable, focuses on academics. The girls provide helpful tips on everything: fashion, acing exams, passing notes and the most socially acceptable jargon. Along the way, they learn even more about themselves and about one another. Dana’s novel (Cheerage Fearage, 2012, etc.) is a delightful read. Lucy and CeCee write what they know, so they provide a female perspective. While some chapter’s lessons won’t be applicable to most guys—Chapter 21’s “How to Get a Boyfriend”—the majority of their how-to guides have universal appeal. Some of them are positively inspirational: How to not be noticed by the teacher, which includes using a fellow student for cover; and how to covertly chew gum in class (prerequisites for this lesson include gum and a clueless teacher). But while the girls’ teachings are often amusing, what really makes Dana’s book exceptional are the girls themselves. As their collective account progresses, their insecurities are gradually exposed: Lucy’s “Complexion Reports” occur like weather updates and CeCee develops an eating disorder. These tweens aren’t stereotypes; they’re girls with sturdy personalities and distinctive backgrounds. CeCee once attended Catholic school, and Lucy’s mother is the president of the PTA. The lessons in each chapter can be read in any order, but the intimate touches—diary entries, notes, emails, texts—are a story of two girls maturing and understanding and even fighting with each other. “Lingo Lessons” are sprinkled throughout for readers who get headaches from slang, and parents, take note: The girls’ approach to more sensitive issues such as cyberbullying and peer pressure to drink or do drugs is intelligent and responsible.
Lucy and CeCee’s target audience may consist solely of tweens, but this is a book that can educate readers of any age.
Pub Date: April 5, 2012
Page count: 278pp
Review Posted Online: July 10, 2012
In Dana’s debut picture book, one haughty doll learns that being pretty isn’t everything.
Nothing makes little Tasha happier than her four dolls: Emily-Nicole, Chloë-Anne, Lilly-Kate and Gracie. Emily-Nicole is the most beautiful doll of all; with snowy skin, lustrous red locks, turquoise eyes and long eyelashes, she stands tall and proud on Tasha’s bookshelf. But it’s Gracie, Tasha’s other favorite doll, that snuggles up with Tasha when the lights go out at bedtime. Gracie isn’t a beautiful doll like Emily-Nicole; she has spiky hair, purple eyes and a missing arm thanks to Tasha’s hungry dog. While Gracie lies at Tasha’s side every night, Emily-Nicole and the other bookshelf-dwelling dolls taunt her with a song: “Pretty eyes and pretty hair. We’re the best dolls anywhere. If you were a pretty doll, you’d be up here standing tall.” Their cruel words hurt Gracie’s feelings—if only Tasha knew that her prettiest dolls weren’t so pretty on the inside. It’s only when Emily-Nicole encounters danger one afternoon that she learns an important lesson about what makes someone truly beautiful (and not just pretty). Dana’s story is familiar, but welcome, commentary on why “mean girls” never really win. Parents dealing with childhood bullying might find the dolls’ conflict resolution a bit sugarcoated—if only all bullies could be so easily redirected—but it’s a sweet, simple message that is sure to resonate with little girls everywhere—little girls who might think twice before tossing aside their own “ugly” dolls. Glossy pages and Kurt Jones’ candy-colored illustrations add to the book’s girlish aesthetic, and it will find good company on the shelf next to perennial classics like The Ugly Duckling. A positive read that encourages children to look beyond surface appearances when choosing their friends.
Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011
Page count: 20pp
Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2011
NASHVILLE AND LOS ANGELES
LUCY AND CECEE'S HOW TO SURVIVE (AND THRIVE) IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, 2012
LUCY AND CECEE'S HOW TO SURVIVE (AND THRIVE) IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: SAN FRANCISCO FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, 2012
PRETTY DOLLS: READER VIEWS BEST CHILDREN'S BOOK, 2012
PRETTY DOLLS: CHARACTER BUILDING COUNTS BEST CHILDREN'S BOOK, 2012
CHEERAGE FEARAGE: READER'S FAVORITE BEST YOUNG ADULT, 2012
CHEERAGE FEARAGE: WRITER'S DIGEST BEST YOUNG ADULT, 2012LUCY AND CECEE BLUEINK STARRED REVIEW, 2012 CHEERAGE FEARAGE BLOGCRITICS REVIEW, 2012 NBC INTERVIEW LUCY AND CECEE, 2012 NBC INTERVIEW PRETTY DOLLS, 2012
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