I've met Michael a few times over the years, from when he was a little kid to more recently at the book festival his mom put together in south Texas (which is an awesome event and as long as I'm welcome, and I can travel down, I am SO there!). This time was special meeting him again: he's older, he loves books (he better: his mom's one of the best librarians and reader ever!), and he doesn't shy away from talking books, or talking to adults about books (which will be a gift to his ELAR teachers and lit professors), so, when I first arrived in Edinburg late evening (9ish?) gathered in the area where they serve breakfast was a bunch of writers and librarians, and among the bunch was Michael, who'd set himself apart somewhat, off to a corner, reading none other than The Jumping Tree. He was close to finishing when I said hello to him. "Tell me what you think when you're done," I might have added. I've met plenty of readers over the years who are excited to talk to a writer of a book they've read, and that's cool. Their teachers always say it's a great thing for them to meet the author. I wonder, do these readers know how awesome it is to meet our readers! And, do they know we're just as anxious to meet them as they us? And cooler yet when we get some good one-on-one time. And with readers (I mean, the engaged ones, right, who don't need to be coerced into the act of reading but do it for the goosebumps, for the edge-of-their-seats feeling, for the laughter, the near-tears, etc.), man, what a moment for a writer because we get to really and truly discuss our work and their work in reading. Michael, you call my book one of your faves for the year. You're one of my favorite readers in the world over a lifetime!
Read Michael's reviews at http://margiesmustreads.com/2017/01/michaels-top-5-books-2016/#comment-11074.