Keir Graff's Blog

February 12, 2015

I'm very pleased to announce that my next middle-grade novel, The Matchstick Castle, will be published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, part of the Penguin Young Readers Group. The book has been long in the making and I'm so happy it has found a home. As reported earlier today in Publishers Lunch:

Booklist Online Editor and author of The Other Felix Keir Graff's THE MATCHSTICK CASTLE, pitched as merging a bit of Lemony Snicket with some Roald Dahl, a boy at his strict uncle's house for the summer kicks a soccer ball into the woods and discovers The Matchstick Castle, home to the marvelous, odd, Van Dash family, whose unique views of the world, their inventions and sense of adventure, turn a grim month full of summer school into the adventure of a lifetime, to Shauna Rossano at Putnam Children's, by Josh Getzler at Hannigan Salky Getzler (World). Film/TV,

Stay tuned for further developments!

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on February 12, 2015 15:28 • 39 views

September 29, 2014

The inimitable Ben Tanzer, founder and CEO of the This Blog Will Change Your Life media empire, invited me to join him in conversation last week for a podcast that will—yes!—CHANGE YOUR LIFE. We talked about my day job at Booklist, about breaking into the publishing business, about my books, and, as you would expect, Billiards Digest, John Green, and Marky Ramone. The acoustics are lo-fi (my office is not Symphony Hall) but listen in, and you'll feel like you were right there with us.

And check out Ben's books, too!

This Podcast Will Change Your Life, Episode Ninety-Three - We Read Everything, starring the Keir Graff

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 29, 2014 10:27 • 30 views

February 3, 2014

I wear a lot of hats in the writing biz, but, on Saturday, for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival in Chicago, I put on my showbiz hat. I had a great time cohosting with James Kennedy—but the real stars of the show were the kids, who entertained us with some amazing short films inspired by some amazing books. Follow the link above to learn more about the 90SNFF; you can see my part in the video below.

90sn chicago what would john newbery do from James Kennedy on Vimeo.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on February 03, 2014 08:24 • 38 views

January 26, 2014

Keir Graff and James Kennedy at the Vittum Theater in ChicagoRick Kogan gave some kind attention to the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, which I will be cohosting with James Kennedy, in this morning's Tribune ("Film Fest Weds New Tech, Childrens' Classics"). If you're lucky enough to score a ticket, the event will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, at the Vittum Theater (1012 N. Noble) in Chicago.

Am I really the guy giving the thumbs-down to Charlotte's Web?

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 26, 2014 06:23 • 32 views

August 30, 2013

It's been awhile between books, but I assure you that I am writing. I have both another middle-grade novel and another adult novel (VERY adult) in the works, among other projects. And, on a whim, I recently decided to write a blog about being a soccer fan. Today's post, "Choosing Aston Villa (Instead of, Say, a Team That Plays in the Champions League," should tell you everything you need to know about me and the sport I love.

You don't have to know anything about soccer to read this. If you've ever been a fan of anything, with all the irrational behavior that implies, I think you'll find something to relate to. I'm having a lot of fun with this project—especially as I rarely write in first-person!

1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on August 30, 2013 11:12 • 59 views

October 31, 2012

I've been invited to take part in this fun event—hope to see you there, Chicago!

Books and Beer: Holiday Shopping at The Hidden Shamrock

Personalized books are the perfect gift and you won't have to fight the Michigan Ave. crowds to get them.

Stop by The Hidden Shamrock (2723 N. Halsted) where some amazing authors, Jamie Freveletti, Keir Graff, Linda Joffe Hull, and Erika O'Rourke, will be signing books for everyone on your list. Grab a thriller to put in Dad's stocking, a signed first edition that Mom will always treasure, a witchy YA for your teen cousin and a middle grade adventure for the younger ones. Get all your shopping done while enjoying the many beer specials The Hidden Shamrock has to offer.

You don't have to wake up early on Black Friday to get a good deal. Books + Beer teamed up with The Book Cellar to offer:

 - 10% off ALL PURCHASES

 - A free beer when you buy at least one book from each author

So join us for an evening of great beer, better books, and the best shopping experience you can imagine!

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on October 31, 2012 13:28 • 72 views

August 27, 2012

HSG AgencyI am pleased to announce that I have a new agent. I am now represented by Josh Getzler of Hannigan Salky Getzler. Josh is a great guy with some great stories of his own (he's probably the only literary agent who can confirm the authenticity of Bull Durham from first-hand experience) and I know I'm going to enjoy working with him. I encourage you to follow Josh on Twitter at @jgetzler and read his blog posts at Hey, There's a Dead Guy in the Living Room.

And if you want to publish, republish, or purchase additional rights for my work, you know who to talk to.

 •  1 comment  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on August 27, 2012 09:29 • 145 views

May 25, 2012

Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit FestAt this year's Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest (that name needs an edit, doesn't it?), the always delightful Esther Hershenhorn presents: "Oh, the Places You Can Go! Writing for Children TODAY!"

I'll be telling my riches-to-rags story alongside M. Molly Backes, Gina Bellisario, Cherie Colyer, Barbara Gregorich, and Natalie Ziarnik.

Registration is free but required, so click here to sign up. (Beats standing in line to see whether there's an empty seat.)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

1:00 p.m.

Jones College Prep/Student Learning Center

606 S State St. (Use entrance on Harrison)

Chicago, IL

See you there!

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 25, 2012 10:59 • 80 views

February 27, 2012

Just a reminder that your review of The Other Felix can still be entered in a drawing for valuable prizes until February 29. It's as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Read the book. Reading it with children is encouraged. (If you've already read it, skip this step.)

2. Write a review. Including children's opinions is also encouraged. You can write a review for any public source: AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesPowell'sGoodreadsLibraryThingShelfari—you get the idea. (I sure wish IndieBound allowed customer reviews!) If you work in a bookstore and you write a shelf talker, that's even better.

3. Tell me about the review. Email a link or a screen capture (or a photograph of the shelf talker) to Make sure the words "review drawing" are in the subject line.

All reviews must be received by 11:59 p.m. on February 29 to be eligible. Reviews will be chosen by blind drawing and each selected review author will be eligible for one of the following prizes:

A copy of The Other Felix, inscribed and mailed to the recipient of your choice (multiple winners)
A copy of Angel in My Pocket inscribed by author Ilene Cooper
A set of all four of my novels for adults: The Price of LibertyOne Nation Under GodMy Fellow Americans, and Cold Lessons
A gift certificate for $50 at an independent bookstore of your choice
A gift certificate for $25 at an independent bookstore of your choice
Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain
A copy of Where the Wild Things Are and a copy of Coraline

The fine print: this contest is not sponsored or endorsed by my publisher. Previously written reviews are eligible. Reviews need not be positive but all reviews should be well-reasoned. Reviews will be numbered and numbers will be drawn blind from a hat by a seven-year-old and a five-year-old in alternating turns.


 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on February 27, 2012 19:45 • 67 views

January 31, 2012

Best of the BestThe Other Felix has been named to the Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best" list, recommended as being "one of the very best published for kids in 2011." Jump to Fiction for Younger Readers to see the other books in its category.  

Many thanks to CPL and its wonderful librarians for their support. Here's to better funding and longer hours in 2012!

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 31, 2012 06:43 • 69 views