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Exclusive Cover Reveal: One Third Nerd by Gennifer Choldenko

Here at 100 Scope Notes, we pride ourselves on being your most trusted source of Gennifer Choldenko cover reveals. Remember last time? Well, the Newbery Honor winner has a new book on the horizon and today called One Third Nerd. What’s it about?

Liam and his sisters love their dog, Cupcake, but lately, she’s been peeing inside the apartment.  The landlord, Torpse the Corpse, says they have to get rid of the dog or he’ll evict them.

There’s no way the kids will let Mom and Dad give Cupcake away.  So, they must figure out how to earn enough money to pay for a special vet who can fix her problem—and fast.

We’ll take a peek at the cover in just a moment, but first, I had a few Qs for Gennifer.

Travis: You’ve said this is your funniest book yet – what’s your approach to writing humor?

Gennifer: Approach you say?  Humor isn’t something I can make happen.  I don’t write jokes.  I don’t tell jokes.  In fact, I once was asked to tell a joke at an event with some real movers and shakers in our industry.  The other writers just googled jokes, found one they liked and that was that.  Foolishly, I decided to write my own.  It was a bad joke to begin with and then it went so horribly sideways in my delivery that eight years later, I’m still mortified.

I can tell there’s potential humor in a piece because it feels like a sneeze coming on.  I did a lot of sneezing while writing One Third Nerd — especially when the unstoppable third grader Dakota Rose appeared on the page.  But hey. . . it could have been a bad allergy season.  You never know.

Travis: What’s a piece of writing advice that you keep returning to?

Gennifer: Two pieces of writing advice have been stuck to my desk for two or three years.  “Take people you care about and put them in terrible situations.”  — Jacqueline Mitchard the author of The Deep End of the Ocean.  And “Treat every character tenderly,” which came from my lovely editor, Wendy Lamb.


Travis: Last question. If for some reason you could only work for one hour each day, which hour would you choose and why?

Gennifer: 7:30 am to 8:30 am with a very large coffee.  This is the time when my mind is sharp from caffeine and the door to my dream life is still wide open.


Thank you, Gennifer! Now for the first time, the cover for One Third Nerd by Gennifer Choldenko (out January 29, 2019 from Random House):

(click to enlarge)

One Third Nerd cover


About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.