Deborah's publisher has generously offered to give five lucky White Sugar, Brown Sugar readers one set (!!!) of Sugar Plum books in paperback. Even if you don't have a Sugar Plum ballerina in your household, you can donate your winning set to your local library or pass them on to a lucky young lady.
First, let's meet Deborah.
Deborah: The series is about a group of eight- and nine-year-old girls who live in Harlem and take ballet classes together at the Nutcracker School of Ballet. Each book centers on a different girl and is told in her voice. Some plots focus on challenges many kids face: moving to a new city, getting used to a parent's new relationship, overcoming perfectionism, and so forth. Other plots are more unique to the series: in one book, the ballet school is in danger of closing, and the girls must figure out a way to save it.
The books are aimed at ages 7-10, but some parents use them as a read-aloud for even younger kids. According to the reviews I've read, I'm happy to say some parents are enjoying the books, too!
Deborah: A diverse cast was part of Whoopi's plan from the beginning. Some of the girls are African-American, one is half-Chinese, one is Puerto Rican and Italian. While the girls come from diverse backgrounds, the books don't dwell on that. The books are about the girls themselves and their relationships, not the color of their skin.
Deborah: I don't like to think of writing books to teach kids lessons, although of course the girls do grow and change over the course of each book. But empathy and seeing things from someone else's perspective is somewhat of a theme in the books. In TOESHOE TROUBLE, Brenda is jealous of her wealthy cousin and uncharacteristically lies to her--but of course the lie comes back to haunt her, and along the way she learns that her cousin's life isn't as easy as it looks. In TERRIBLE TERREL, Terrel's dad starts dating her arch-enemy's aunt. Terrel tries to sabotage their relationship in a rather humorous way, but ends up with a better understanding of her dad, her dad's new friend--and even her arch-enemy.
Deborah: DANCING DIVA was the final Sugar Plum book. I really miss my ballerina pals, but am looking forward to my other projects. My picture book THE CHRISTMAS QUIET BOOK, which is a sequel to THE QUIET BOOK and THE LOUD BOOK, comes out in October, and another picture book called PART-TIME PRINCESS debuts next spring.
Deborah: In each book, the girls come together to support each other and to solve problems, and each girl brings her own unique skills to the table. So I think the main messages are that friendships are important and that our differences should be cherished.
What: Five blog readers, selected at random, will win one paperback set of Sugar Plum Ballerina books, offered by Disney-Hyperion.
When: 7/2-7/6 at noon, Central Standard Time. Winners will be posted on 7/6. Winners must e/m me their mailing address (whitebrownsugar AT hotmail DOT com) by Monday, 7/9, at noon, Central Time. Disney will mail the books to the winners.
How: Each reader may enter up to four times, via four separate comments.
1: Subscribe to Deborah's mailing list, and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
2: Visit the Sugar Plum page on Deborah's website, and in a comment, tell me which book you are most excited about and why.
3: Become a follower of my blog on Facebook, and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
4: Facebook, blog, or Tweet this giveaway, and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
Thanks to Deborah for her interview and to Disney for offering my readers their fabulous books!