Today we are so fortunate to be a part of the Boldly Bookish Blog Tour! There are so many awesome books coming out from Bloomsbury and we're excited to be hosting one of the authors, Tiffany Schmidt, author of HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH. Make sure you check out all the books and blogs on the tour, and don't miss the giveaway at the end of this post!
Becca asked Tiffany:
When I first got Hold Me Like A Breath in the mail, I excitedly read the synopsis to my dad (who isn't a reader of books unless it's about cars or fixing something) because the organ harvesting part is so cool and sounds like something he'd be interested in if it was a movie. He surprised me by saying he was actually interested in the part where the main character has an auto immune disease that causes her to bruise easily, because he has one. I've always been a firm believer that everyone is a reader, but they just have to find the book for them. I think Hold Me Like a Breath might actually be a Becca's dad book. After all my rambling, my question is what do you think? Do you think everyone is a reader or that a reader is just a specific thing and not for everyone?
This is a fascinating question, because I have three different answers. I want to respond as former elementary school teacher, a writer, and someone who considers herself to be a ‘reader.’
The writer part of me hopes that there’s a book out there for everyone. And hopes that my books are occasionally THE books for some people. (*fingers crossed, Becca’s dad!*)
The part of me that has a perpetually teetering stack of books on her bedside table, says that being able to call myself a reader has always been such a vital and positive part of my identity. I can point to the first book that was pure magic for me – Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I got caught reading it under my desk in my second grade class more times than I can count.
My thoughts as an educator are much more complex. The teacher part of me knows how dangerous this idea can be. We put these labels on kids, “he’s a reader,” “she’s just not a reader,” and that can be so damaging. And the way ‘reader’ is defined in schools is very narrow—if your class is reading HOOT and you don’t like it, well then you’re not a reader. If you don’t tear through ten books over the summer, but struggle through the one you picked off the assigned list—not a reader. If the release of the latest book in the current must-read series doesn’t have you breathless with impatience—then someone take away your library card, because clearly you don’t belong in the Reader Cool Kids Club.
Just by creating the category of ‘reader,’ we create the category of ‘non-reader’—and the kids who get put in this second bucket often feel like they’re stuck there. They stop trying to find books they enjoy and instead assume that because they’re non-readers, books are always going to be something they just have to endure.
I encountered so many kiddos that fit this description during my years in the classroom—and like you mention in your question, it was usually just a matter of finding them the right book—and then convincing the student that it counted. Once they’ve internalized non-reader as part of their identity, it becomes a battle to change the way they see themselves. This book can’t count because it’s not HUGE like the tomes their classmates are reading. Or this one’s non-fiction—and that can’t count, right? “I don’t read as fast” or “I only like graphic novels.” These kiddos find all sorts of reasons to convince themselves that the books they’re reading and the things they’re enjoying are exceptions.
Ok, we adore this answer! Thank you Tiffany! That was amazing!
Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.
Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.
And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.
All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.
TIFFANY SCHMIDT is the author of Send Me a Sign and Bright Before Sunrise. She lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. Visit Tiffany online at www.TiffanySchmidt.com and on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.
~Check out the other Boldly Bookish Titles~
Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.
A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.
Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.
Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?
Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.
Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.
It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?
This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of any of the four books featured on this tour: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, The Devil You Know by Trish Doller, Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen, and Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt. This is a US only giveaway and entrants must be 13 years or older to enter.
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Below is the blog tour schedule:
May 18th -- Alexa Loves Books
May 19th -- The Eater of Books!
May 20th -- Mary Had A Little Book Blog
May 21st -- Jessabella Reads
May 22nd -- Blue Sky Shelf
May 25th -- Ageless Pages Reviews
May 26th -- Mundie Moms
May 27th -- Reading Teen
May 28th -- On Starships and DragonwingsMay 29th -- The Quiet Concert