Coming Soon: The Backyard Witch series

Today Publishers Marketplace announced that Greenwillow Books has signed a deal to publish a three book series written by Christine Heppermann and Ron Koertge. BACKYARD WITCH is a middle-grade series about “three best friends and a mysterious visitor who appears for curious adventures just when you need her most.” More details coming soon!

Horn Book Star for Coaltown Jesus

jesus

The Horn Book Magazine has given Coaltown Jesus a starred review.

From Amazon.com: “Walker shouldn’t have been so surprised to find Jesus standing in the middle of his bedroom. After all, he’d prayed for whoever was up there to help him, and to help his mom, who hadn’t stopped crying since Noah died two months ago. But since when have prayers actually been answered? And since when has Jesus been so . . . irreverent? But as astounding as Jesus’ sudden appearance is, it’s going to take more than divine intervention for Walker to come to terms with his brother’s sudden death. Why would God take seventeen-year-old Noah when half of the residents in his mom’s nursing home were waiting to die? And why would he send Jesus to Coaltown, Illinois, to pick up the pieces? In a spare and often humorous text, renowned poet Ron Koertge tackles some of life’s biggest questions — and humanizes the divine savior in a way that highlights the divinity in all of us.”

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A Poet’s Playlist

Ron Koertge was recently featured on A Poet’s Playlist, According to creator of the site Sharon Suzuki-Martinez, “The idea for The Poet’s Playlist originated from reading largehearted boy, a blog that features some very surprising playlists from novelists and other prose writers. I thought poets seriously needed their own space for talking about music that inspired or complements the poems in their books. ”

Check out Ron’s musical selections here:

http://poetsplaylist.tumblr.com/post/62733484953/ron-koertge-on-the-ogres-wife-red-hen-press

The Ogre’s Wife at ForeWord Reviews

There’s a review of The Ogre’s Wife over at ForeWord Reviews. Karen Rigby writes, “The Ogre’s Wife turns the archetypal into subtle points of entry for reflecting on passion. Beneath the glib voices, toughened survivor-mentalities, and pared language, an appealing vulnerability emerges. Here, the storybook comes disconcertingly and achingly close to life.”

Coaltown Jesus Coming Soon

Walker shouldn’t have been so surprised to find Jesus standing in the middle of his bedroom. After all, he’d prayed for whoever was up there to help him, and to help his mom, who hadn’t stopped crying since Noah died two months ago. But since when have prayers actually been answered? And since when has Jesus been so . . . irreverent? But as astounding as Jesus’ sudden appearance is, it’s going to take more than divine intervention for Walker to come to terms with his brother’s sudden death. Why would God take seventeen-year-old Noah when half of the residents in his mom’s nursing home were waiting to die? And why would he send Jesus to Coaltown, Illinois, to pick up the pieces? In a spare and often humorous text, renowned poet Ron Koertge tackles some of life’s biggest questions — and humanizes the divine savior in a way that highlights the divinity in all of us.

According to Kirkus, “Koertge’s tight, spare verse captures the ineffable qualities of fraught relations and emotions. The generosity of spirit Walker exhibits makes this protagonist one easy for teen readers to not only empathize with, but emulate. Didactic yet not preachy, Koertge’s tale offers much food for thought.”

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The Ogre’s Wife available for preorder

Ron’s latest book of poetry from Red Hen Press, The Ogre’s Wife, is available for preorder now.

Armed with his trademark wit, Ron introduces readers to Little Red Riding Hood all grown up with a fondness for salsa and chips, explores the thorny relationship of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, spies a Trojan pony and the children it bamboozles, and offers an alternate reading to the Icarus story. He meets Walt Whitman on the set of an X-rated movie, attends his gardener’s funeral, and goes to his beloved race track. Seminal figures from pop mythology speak up in unexpected ways: The Beast, transformed by Beauty, hints that his new life isn’t exactly what he expected. Gretel enrolls in night school, the ogre’s wife from the beanstalk yarn writes a heart-rending story on her cutting board, and a group of fourth-graders on a field trip encounters Death. Occasionally setting aside free verse, there are couplets about a Bette Davis movie, a sestina about routine blood tests, a villanelle set in a topless bar, and a set of haibun that chronicles an entire day. Reverend Ike and John Lennon said, “Whatever gets you through the night.” This book will do just that and carry you right on in to the next day, guaranteed.

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