2. The research and writing took seven years.
3. Thirteen publishers rejected it. Scholastic didn’t fully reject it, but asked if I’d rewrite it to be part of their Dear America series. I said thank you, no.
4. I lost track of the number of revisions. 14? 112? Whatever, it took a long time and needed a lot of work. This book was my apprentice piece.
5. It has sold more than one million copies in the United States, won all kinds of shiny awards, is a standard part of elementary and middle school curriculum, and has been translated into Catalan, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish.