Welcome to the Guestbook!

I’m always eager to read your comments about my books and stories, so please feel free to pitch in. Here are a few things for you to know:

1) I answer the messages here personally.

2) No message shows up here until I actually answer it to prevent spam and other inappropriate postings. So there will sometimes be a delay before your message posts, especially if I am traveling.

3) Teachers, a gentle request: Please do not have multiple children send me variants of the same message. A group email is much easier to respond to and not such a drain on my time. My thanks in advance for being alert to this.

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923 entries.
Christopher Sanders from Blue Ridge Summit, PA wrote on December 4, 2022
Mr. Coville,
I wanted to drop a note to thank you for sparking a generational love of dragons and goblins and mystery. I found your work long ago and it opened so much to me that I wouldn't be who I am today without. Many years later I've spent a few years reading those same gifts to my kids and watched them overjoyed with possibility. I've watched Igor live again and heard the snap of dragon wings. No reply necessary, just a quiet 'Thank you', Sir.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Christopher -
Ah, many thanks for this. I know you said "No reply necessary" but, really, this so delighted me that I had to take a moment to say Thanks!

BC
Ms. B's Third Grade from Los Angeles wrote on October 27, 2022
Dear Bruce Coville,

Our 3rd Grade Class read Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher and enjoyed it very much. We think that other kids will like it, too. Our class found it interesting that Tiamat and Jeremy had the same feelings at the same time because they were connected through pictures and thoughts.

And here are some of our favorite parts:

- We thought the poem in the dragon hatching instruction sheet was catchy. It was fascinating and heartwarming. We like how Tiamat and Jeremy were reconnected on All Hallow’s Eve.
- The scene where Tiamat messed up the dinner table was hilarious. We laughed when Mr.Thatcher got knocked head first into the mashed potato bowl.
- We also thought it was really funny when Tiamat gave Mr. Kravitz a hot foot.

We have a few questions for you:

- Are you planning to work on a Jeremy Thatcher series?
- Which book did you enjoy writing the most?
- What is your favorite part of writing a book?

Thank you for making awesome books for us to read!

Sincerely,
Ms. B’s 3rd Grade Class
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hello Ms. B and Class -

Thanks for your message. I'm delighted to know how much you enjoyed JEREMY THATCHER. To be honest, I wish I could write another book (and I've written over a hundred!) that would come together as beautifully as JEREMY did.

I do not have any plans to write a sequel - I think it's a book that should stand on it's own. However there IS a series about the Magic Shop itself. What makes it unusual is that each book is about a different kid.

As to which book I enjoyed writing the most . . . well, every book has times when it's flowing smoothly and fun to do, and other times when I feel like I am beating my head against a brick wall. Probably the one that was most fun all the way through was GOBLINS IN THE CASTLE.

My favorite part of writing a book is when the story really starts to come alive . . . sometimes it feels like instead of me writing the book I'm just writing down what happened, almost as if it's real. It's great when that happens!

Happy Reading . . . and Happy Halloween!

Your pal,
Bruce Coville
Karman from Seoul wrote on October 25, 2022
Hello Mr. Coville!
I've been such a huge fan since grade school. I remember reading your books and not wanting to put them down! Knowing we were in the same city was also a cool bonus (I currently live in Seoul, but was born and raised in Syracuse). I've been reading your books to my own kids now, and they love them just as much as I did back in the day. I used to purchase your books for my students as well. Reading your books was always a fun assignment. Just wanted to say hello and thank you for being such a big inspiration. Your books are one of the reasons I pursued teaching and writing as a career. Thank you!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear Karman -

Many thanks for this message all the way from Seoul. I had the good fortune to visit your city about a decade ago and found it fascinating.

I really love knowing that you are sharing my books with your kids. When I was a young father myself (a long time ago!) one of my greatest joys was reading to my kids. Knowing that now other fathers are using my books in the same way truly delights me. Please tell your kids I said hello!

All good wishes,
BC
Betsey S from Andover, MA (formerly Liverpool, NY) wrote on October 3, 2022
Hi, Mr Coville, Years ago my daughter enjoyed reading your books! Now that her kids are older (2nd, 1st & pre-school) we would like to introduce your books to them! One particular book was a mystery, which took place around attractions in Syracuse; i.e. Landmark Theatre, civic center & Hotel Syracuse. I’ve been trying to find the title but cannot think of it! My daughter was an 80’s child so I’m guessing the book might have been published late 80’s or early 90’s! Thank you in advance for your assistance & I’m looking forward to introduce your work to my grandchildren! Much appreciated.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Betsey -
The book you have in mind is THE GHOST IN THE THIRD ROW, the first of the three Nina Tanleven ghost mysteries. I have republished all three of them, and you can find them here on the website in both paperback and hardcover. We also recently did a full cast recording of the first book that is a lot of fun to listen to.
Delighted to know that you will be introducing the books to a new generation!

BC
Amanda from Rochester, NY wrote on September 29, 2022
Hi, Mr. Coville!

Back in the day (the 90s in this case) I read my copy of Into the Land of the Unicorns so much it eventually went to pieces. Never forgot the series and tracked down each of the new books as they came out to happily lose myself in Luster all over again. Glad to see that the reworked series includes ebooks so I can have my nostalgia reads in a less tangible but possibly more durable form. Can't replicate that Scholastic paper smell though.

You're one of the reasons I'm still into fantasy as a genre and always keep an eye out books with unicorns (or karkadann and qilin). I'm a bookseller now and every so often I field questions from teachers looking for your books to tempt their students into reading (or to read to them). Usually they read The Magic Shop books as kids and want to share the joy - Jennifer Murdley's Toad and Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher are the most frequently requested. The latter was also a book I read until the pages fell out and one of the reasons most of my childhood drawings were dragons.

Any plans to reprint Bruce Coville's Book of...Aliens, Ghosts, Magic, Monsters, Nightmares, Spine Tinglers, and their respective sequels? Thank Scholastic book fairs for all those being part of my childhood too. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and the various offshoots do well with kids today as do the reprints Goosebumps. I hit your stories and those at about the same age.

Hope this finds you well. Thanks for all the stories and keep being awesome!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Amanda -

Many thanks for this lovely message (and apologies for taking so long to reply - been a rough month here).

I love knowing that you have such fond memories of my books. Being able to bring back the Unicorn Chronicles has been both a challenge and a joy. I am almost done with the revisions of the final volume, and hope to have it out before the end of the year.

Doing those Scholastic anthologies was a wonderful experience, and I am always impressed by how fondly people remember them. Alas, I think a reprint of any of them is unlikely, partly because we would have to do a whole new round of contracts for each story.

Speaking of that sort of spooky thing, may I wish you a Happy Halloween!

All best,
BC
Sara from Toledo, Ohio wrote on September 7, 2022
I loved your books growing up! Especially the My Teacher is an Alien Series. I can’t wait till my niece and nephew are older so I can start buying books for them.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Sara -

Thanks for this . . . I take enormous delight in knowing that my original readers are bringing in another generation! Thanks for remembering the stories.

BC
Deborah Powell from Easley, SC wrote on September 3, 2022
Hi Brice,
I first discovered your work about 13 years through our local library. "The Unicorn Chronicles" is one of my favorite book series of my entire reading/listening life. So much so that I purchased the entire series on audiobook after listening through the library copies multiple times. I still regularly recommend it to readers of all ages (just mentioned it in a Facebook group this past week, actually) and listen to the whole set every year or two. Really excited to see a couple short stories on here that I haven't read, and I'm eager to read them.

Do you know if "The Last Hunt" was ever printed in hardback? I have "Into the Land of the Unicorns," "Song of the Wanderer," and "Dark Whispers" in hardcover and was hoping to round out my print collection with a hardback, but thus far I've only been able to track down paperbacks of "The Last Hunt."

Lastly, I wanted you to know that you've been an encouraging and inspiring influence on my own writing journey, and I look forward to reading more from you.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Deborah -

Many thanks for this message. I love knowing how much the Unicorn Chronicles have meant to you. And I especially love knowing that you enjoy the audiobook editions, since creating those was both a massive undertaking and a total labor of love!

Your question about THE LAST HUNT is a bit puzzling, as it was ONLY published in hardcover. Scholastic never did a paperback edition, which is why it is so rare (there are only about 17,000 copies in the entire world!) The only thing I can think of is that you might have what is called an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) which is something the publisher creates to send to reviewers and bookstores, but is not meant for actual sale. (A lot of them get sold anyway, of course. . . )

I take great delight to know that I have provided encouragement in your own writing journey. This is a pass along kind of thing, as there were writers I admired and respected (Lloyd Alexander, for example) who provided the same experience for me. I am honored to be doing so for another generation.

Wishing you good luck with your writing,
Bruce Coville
Marcia Wines from Monrovia wrote on August 18, 2022
Mr. Coville,
Since August 3rd, I have attempted to contact you three times through your “Contact” page of your website to no avail. I was beginning to become concerned… Then today, I clicked on your “Guest Book” page and discovered two entries dated August 8th and 11th which filled me with hope!
Even though this letter is both praise and book request, I shall try to submit it here in the hopes of a reply!
Sincerely, Marcia Wines

Dear Mr. Coville,
And when it was announced by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that our beloved Monarch Butterfly has now been added to the Endangered Species List, the very first thought (for real!) that entered my mind was your book The Prince of Butterflies. Despite my husband and my herculean efforts to garden for wildlife, your book needs to be in the hands of so many others, now, more than ever!

My quest for hardbound copies led me to your website, where lo and behold, not only was The Prince of Butterflies available but they are on sale, giving me the rare opportunity of buying them for everyone on our Christmas list!

Couple of questions –

Do you have 24 copies available?

Are the sale books also available to be autographed?

Finally, yet most importantly, many I take this opportunity, Mr. Coville, to share with you an article that I had written for Cross Reference, the newsletter of Fairfax County Virginia Public Libraries?
It had been written in April of 2008, as I sat there mesmerized, listening to you speak at the Great Books Consortium In Baltimore, feverishly trying to commit your powerful, poignant and profound words to paper!

And then you did something that I had only fleetingly hoped for, only wistfully dreamed of, as you imparted your wisdom to this star-struck audience of librarians.

At the end of your presentation you told us that now you were going to read to us the favorite book that you written.

And page by page and word by word you read The Prince of Butterflies …

Holding my personal copy, I gratefully smiled as I rose to give you a standing ovation!
I entitled my article -
Affirmation from Bruce Coville
Contemplating the summer reading program yet to come…on one of those absolutely harried days of non-stop reader’s advisory when you feel that your brain has been so addled that you wonder if you can even remember your name, it would be wise to contemplate the words of noted children’s author, Bruce Coville, whom I had the distinct pleasure of hearing speak at the Great Books Consortium in Baltimore this past April 1st.
“Librarians are Keepers of the Book, storytellers, story givers, People of the Book, whose sacred trust is leading children to books. American childhood has changed from viewing children as helping the family survive, to viewing them as objects of love, to now viewing them as consumers and that is very hard on their hearts.
However, the right story to the right child is like an arrow to the heart, filling a child’s reality with possibility and hope. And in this day of scandal-filled fallen heroes, books offer children the last refuge of good character helping them answer “Who do I want to be like?”
Within stories are the tools to save our world, drawing people together by honing their skills of empathy. Our challenge then is to give children these stories and then to live by the stories we give them, healing ourselves to heal the world.”
Empowering yet humbling words from an author that regales us with the likes of unicorns and teachers that are aliens! But, oh, do read Bruce Coville’s The Prince of Butterflies for a different perspective of this endearing author.

Marcia Wines
Reston Regional Library April 21, 2008
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear Marcia -
First, my apologies for the shameful amount of time it has taken me to respond to this lovely message. (The Guestbook is always getting away from me!)

I'm baffled as to why your attempts to reach me through the "Contact Page" failed to reach me, as that is usually fairly reliable.

On the other hand, I am honored and flattered that the message I delivered at that conference back in 2008 still resonates with you so.

Now on to the bad news: THE PRINCE OF BUTTERFLIES is long out of print, and I only have about ten copies left. Though the book never did as well as we had hoped (I think the art, much of which is splendid, was not quite right for it) it remains a personal favorite for me. I often use the story when I do storytelling concerts.

Sorry, I wish I had better news to offer you on that front.

All good wishes, and extra wishes for the butterflies,
Bruce Coville
Jamie H from Lancaster PA wrote on August 11, 2022
Hi, Mr. Coville! Just wanted to let you know I've been reading your books since grade school (Also the library my late mother worked at has a hand-signed copy of My Teacher Glows in the Dark) and even today as an adult I'm still inspired by your work in my own writing endeavors! Thanks for writing so many of my childhood favorites!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hey, Jamie-
Many thanks for this note. As I have grown older in this business I have come to believe authors go through three phases of hope/desire. First, you long to get published. Then you hope that the books will be successful and that people will enjoy them. And, finally, you hope that they will be remembered. So a message like this one means a great deal to me.
It is also very heartening to know that my work is providing inspiration for your own writing, as that was definitely the case for me with the writers that inspired me as a young reader. Good luck with your creative endeavors!

Bruce Coville
Katrina from Midwest wrote on August 8, 2022
Hello Bruce!! I am a long time fan of your Unicorn Chronicle series. I started reading your first one back when l was a teenager in the 1990's. I am now reading the last one..The Last Hunt. I must say l am truly enjoying it; even now, in my 40's. Do you think you will ever do a spin off from any of the characters in this series? And maybe start a whole new chronicles even if it doesn't entail unicorns?..All the best, Katrina
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Katrina -

Many thanks for this message. I am especially gratified to know that THE LAST HUNT is holding up for you. I took so long to finish the series (And felt so guilty about it for so long!)

I am republishing the books now in slightly revised editions (I split LAST HUNT into three smaller books) and working with them has fired me up with thoughts of possibly doing new volumes. I do love that world!

BC