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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926 entries.
Craig Jones from Flowery Branch Georgia wrote on September 4, 2021
Mr. Coville,
Thank you for your years dedicated to helping youngsters learn to love reading. I am one of those youngsters, though many years on now, and now my precocious 6 year old daughter is too. We just finished reading Monster of the Year together, and she loved it! I remember reading and re-reading it many nights well past the time I was supposed to be asleep (and I’m now learning that while I thought I was pulling a fast one, my parents 100% knew), so it was an easy choice as to which of your books to read with her first. She loved the all of the Monsters, but really felt bad for poor Goony. She was rooting for him to win the Monster of the Year contest right up until the end. I don’t know if we’re ready yet for Goblins in the Castle, and she already snuck-read The Teacher Fried My Brains, but I can’t wait to continue to share your works with her. Thank you !
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hey, Craig -

Many thanks for this message, which completely delighted me. Very few books have been as much fun for me to write as MONSTER OF THE YEAR was, and it's wonderful to know that it still has the power to amuse.

One of the benefits of being around as long as I have now is that I get to hear from guys like - guys who loved the books and now share them with their own kids. When I was a young father, reading to my kids was one of my greatest joys. So knowing that other dads are now sharing my books with their own kids in the same way makes me extremely happy.

Please tell your daughter I said hello . . . and Happy Reading!

Robyn wrote on September 3, 2021
Hi, I was reminiscing about books I enjoyed as a kid and I realized that at least 80% of them were written by you. I was obsessed with aliens at the time and read just about every alien-related thing you wrote. I still have a couple on my shelf. Anyway I just wanted to say thanks for making my childhood interesting. Your books were a huge influence for me. I see now you actually did non-alien works so I might have to check those out as well!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Robyn -

Many thanks for this. When I was first starting, I wanted kids to read my books. Now that I've been doing this for 40 years (!!) one of the things that delights me most is hearing from adults who remember the books with fondness.

I hope you'll enjoy some of the other books if you start to sample them. Two I would suggest for starters are JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER and GOBLINS IN THE CASTLE. And in case you didn't catch them the first time around, my publisher is re-releasing all 12 books in the SIXTH GRADE ALIEN series with fabulous new cover art!

Thanks for reading . . . and remembering!

Have a lovely autumn.

Caroline Lavaroni wrote on August 10, 2021
Hi Bruce! Like many others here, I discovered the world of Luster as a kid a few years younger than Cara herself and grew up rereading my copies of ItLotU and SotW so much that they fell apart. I never, ever forgot how much I wanted to return there and complete the story, and Dark Whispers ended up being the greatest present for my high school graduation! But unfortunately I was never able to get my hands on The Last Hunt - I was stubborn and wanted to wait for a paperback release to match the ones on my shelf. By the time I realized there wouldn't be one, the hardcover copies had skyrocketed in price. I've only recently seen the new self-pub editions going up, plus with the added bonus of new chapters. Paperback copies of the new Into the Land are already no longer listed here the UK, however. I don't want to go through more heartbreak as I try to finish the darn series, haha. Is there going to be a complete collection or, like, a boxed set offered of all 7 books eventually? I really like matchy sets.

Even if the answer is no, thank you so much for your imagination. I can't picture myself without the foundation the Unicorn Chronicles gave me as a young storyteller. I'm working on my own unicorn fantasy story because of how much Luster and Cara influenced me to dream up big, wide worlds of magic and danger and found families. Thanks again, and keep up the amazing work ♥
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Caroline -

First off, sorry not to get back to you more promptly. Sometimes the guestbook gets away from me. On the other hand, the delay lets me give you some good news . . . INTO THE LAND OF THE UNICORNS is once again available from Amazon in the UK.

And I do indeed intend to have the new editions become a matched set. I'm nearly finished with the revisions for Book 5 (the first section of LAST HUNT) and I am hopeful (but then, I am always hopeful) that books 6 and 7, which will complete the set, will not need as much revising.

Good luck with your own unicorn saga! I am delighted to have had a hand in helping to inspire you!

Andrea Stronski wrote on July 30, 2021
Hello! I recently read Goblins in the Castle and the new sequel, Goblins on the Prowl, to my 8 year old son. I wrote to you a few years back and asked about books for younger ages because I couldn't wait to introduce your stories to him. I'm glad I read these books to him now. It was the perfect age! He loved the first one as much as my little brother and I did when we were kids! He thinks "bop" is hilarious and really liked Herky. The note from you in the end of the book fascinated him and now he wants to meet Igor! Reading the sequel cleared up so many questions I had from the first one, especially about the toad! It was such fun to revisit everything from Fauna's perspective and meet new characters. Thank you for writing it. Please consider writing a third in the series, maybe from Igor's or Herky's point of view. These two books are going to be read over and over, hopefully yearly, in our house!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Andrea - Thanks for this. It thoroughly delights me that your son enjoyed GOBLINS as much as you did when you were a kid yourself. I love being a two-generation writer! (One of the consolations for aging . . . )

I'm not sure if I have a third book in me. I did love writing that second one. Alas, it didn't do very well in terms of sales. People who read it loved it, and the reviews were lovely. It just didn't find traction for whatever reason. I think the new covers didn't help. The original cover for the first book was sheer perfection in my opinion!

Please tell your son that Igor sends him a "BOP!"

Tara Hamlyn from Windsor Ontario wrote on July 29, 2021
Dear Bruce,
I remember in public school discovering Into The Land of the Unicorns at a book fair. I read and re-read the story over and over again. I loved how it was an adventure story and not just girly fluffy words. You made a real world and complicated story line for unicorn lovers. The story stayed with me well into my adult years.
When I found out (in my thirties) that Cara's story was multiple books I searched and found them all to read. They did not disappoint!
One of my newest but fondest memories of Cara and Lightfoot was reading to a group of summer camp students. I had a group of 15 or so kids and I would read to them after lunch. The boys originally were like it's unicorns we don't want to read a book about unicorns. I just smiled and told them to give it a couple of chapters and they could tell me what they thought. I have never had a group of kids so excited about a story. Reading it out loud and seeing kids react to the story was such a special moment as an educator and fan of the series. Your words and characters are still living on in a new generations imagination and still inspiring the first kids who were able to hear the story.
Thank you for the world you created.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Tara -

Many thanks for this wonderful (and heartlifting!) message. I'm especially delighted to know that you feel the later books did not disappoint. As I wrote them I felt a constant concern that I did not want to let down the fans of the series. The last two books (which are really just one enormous book split up, nearly broke my brain!

I completely loved your story about reading the book to your summer camp kids and managing to get the boys hooked, too! Victory!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and thanks again for this lovely message!

Mohammad Nawaz from Edison wrote on May 25, 2021
My name is Mohammad Nawaz, I am 25 years old, and I will be graduating medical school in the United States in a few months from now. I am only telling you this because it has been 16 years since I read my most favorite book of all, Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher. It was the first book I decided to read of my own volition, and it transformed my life. I cannot emphasize to you how instrumental this book was in getting me to where I am today. After reading Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher, I just needed more and more and more. I read the next book in the Magic Shop Book series and the next, to the point where my teacher (Mrs. Coscarelli, bless her heart) noticed and bought me the rest of your Magic Shop Book series and secretly handed it to me when the other students weren't looking. Mr. Coville, you sent me headfirst into the magical world of reading and I just could not stop. Heck, I actually had to get prescription eyeglasses because I kept reading so much in the dark; I barely even watched television or used the computer! Reading fantasy fiction novels helped open up my mind to the real world of possibilities and endless adventure, and it encouraged me to keep on dreaming. I felt my writing improve, my critical thinking expand, and my vocabulary get good ;). My early interest in reading helped me perform well on exams and allowed me to always consider multiple solutions to the same problem. All this, only because I decided when I was nine years old to pick up a book that had a cool looking dragon on the cover. I wish to have the same positive impact on my future patients as you have had on me - even just an ounce, and I would consider myself lucky. Actually, as soon as I finish writing this message, I plan on buying and reading the Magic Shop Books to my little niece and nephew, just so I have an excuse to reread them as well haha! I honestly don't know what inspired me to Google your name after all this time, but I'm glad I did because I stumbled upon this website and saw this awesome message board. Stay safe during these trying times, and thank you, sir, for everything.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear Mohammad -
Thank you for this amazing and heartwarming letter. I really could not ask for a better affirmation of my work than this. When I remember how much reading meant to me when I was a 9 year old, I get a great thrill out of knowing that my own books have meant that much to some other young reader.
I hope your niece and nephew will enjoy the books, and having you read to them. I think every child should have a "book uncle" or "book aunt"!
And congratulations on completing medical school! I am sure you are on the path to doing much good in the world! You make me proud!

All my best wishes,
Michelle wrote on May 11, 2021
Hello Bruce.
When I was about 10 years old I found Into the Land of Unicorns at my elementary school’s library and loved it. The book was damaged so the librarian taped it up for me and let me keep it. I read Song of the Wanderer shortly after. However, by the time the 3rd and 4th books came out I was a senior in high school/freshmen in college and didn’t even know about them for years. I bought the 3rd book, but I could never find a physical copy of the final book.
However, during the pandemic, I started to listen to audio books, and I finally found all the audio books in the Los Angeles Library’s collections!

I’m so happy to finally get to listen to the 3rd and 4th! I have waited over 20 years to find out how it all ends! Thank you so much for creating the magical world of Luster where I can travel to!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Michelle -
First off, my apologies for not getting back to you more promptly. The guestbook does get away from me sometimes . . .
I have always felt bad about how long it took me to complete the series, and how frustrating it must have been for me readers. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I wanted to get it right. I can name some very popular series that really let the readers down in the final volume, and I didn't want that to happen.
I'm glad you found the audiobook versions. I love audio as an art form. Doing the third and fourth books with a full cast was a real challenge, because they are so huge. But I love the way they came out. Heck, I re-listened to them myself last year!
Thanks again for this kind note.

All good wishes,
Jason from Washington DC wrote on May 7, 2021
Hi Bruce - I recently bought a house and after finally moving the remainder of my things out of my parents basement I came across my collection of your books that I read with my friends in around 3rd grade, 1991 or so. See below for a picture, I put them on my bookshelf.

I just wanted to say thanks, I can't articulate exactly how your stories influenced me but I do remember reading them excitedly and talking about and trading them with my friends. We even went as far as to write our own version, "My Librarian is an Alien" - a clear case of copyright infringement however we were pretty proud of it, so much so we stayed in from recess to write and "publish" it, and even got it into our school's card catalog. Apologies for never sending royalities, we were hoping that you could look the other way on that 😀 We still talk and mention your books from time to time - none of us became writers or anything like that but your work clearly had an impact on all of us that we discuss it fondly to this day.

I'm keeping the books on my shelf in hopes that I can reread them with my daughter (she's 6 months old this week!) in a few years. But looking at things with her in mind, you were clearly a reason I enjoyed reading as a child, and since reading is so important at that age I will do my best to make sure she can discover all that magic we had so many years ago.

Take care, and thanks again,

Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Jason -

First of all, my apologies for being so slow in responding. (Sometimes the guestbook gets away from me!) I loved the picture - and also that your memory was of reading the books with your friends. That was one of my own favorite aspects of reading when I was a kid . . . sharing books with friends who loved them as much as I did.

I got a charge out of your story about working with your friends on "My Librarian is an Alien" (I'm looking in the other direction in the matter of copyright . . . ) I get an even bigger charge out of the fact that you and your friends still think about the books to this day. What more could a writer ask for!?

I hope you will find great joy in reading to your daughter when the time is right. Reading to my own kids was one of my favorite things in the world when I was a young father!

All good wishes,
Todd Turonski’s Grade 5 class from Port Colborne, Ontario Canada wrote on March 31, 2021
Hi Bruce Coville we love your My Teacher is an Alien series. We have read My Teacher is an Alien, My Teacher Fried my Brains and My Teacher Glows in the Dark. We just started My Teacher Flunked the Planet and we love it so far. After reading My Teacher is an Alien we HAD to read the rest of the books in the series. We are so sad the series is coming to an end, but we are enjoying it as we read. We have a question for you. Are you going to make another My Teacher is an Alien book? And if so what would it be called and what would it be about? One of the students is making a book all about My Teacher is an Alien the book is called Alien Diaries. We love your books and we are excited to read more. Have a good day Bruce Coville! -Abbey
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy Mr. Turonski's Class -
Thanks for the great letter. I'm really glad you're enjoying the MY TEACHER books. I honestly believe the last one in the series is the most important book I ever wrote.
I'm sorry to report that I will not be making another book in the series. I was offered a great deal of money to write a 5th book but I declined because I thought the series had come to the right ending point. I have seen many series that go on to long, and become less and less interesting, and I didn't want that to happen to these characters.
I'll tell you an inside secret: Duncan Dougall is based on a kid I had in my classes when I was an elementary school teacher!

Have a great spring!

Bruce Coville
Eric wrote on March 26, 2021
Hello Mr. Coville! Serious question here. I was wondering how you deal with readers (mainly parents) who feel scandalized by the frank portrayal of homosexuality in The Skull of Truth. As a kid myself when I first read the book back in 1999, I admit I was made uncomfortable by that aspect (it just wasn't a cultural conversation we were having at any kind of mainstream level at that time), but ultimately it shook me out of my complacency and made me examine my biases. I'm glad art exists to make us uncomfortable sometimes. For my part, I wish I could explain to those sorts of parents that they don't do their children any favors by hiding them from the truths of the world.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Eric -
Many thanks for this message. I'm quite delighted to know how SKULL OF TRUTH impacted you, personally. It was one of the first middle grade novels to acknowledge that gayness exists, and I take a great deal of pride in that. Some people have said it was brave to included that, but it never felt brave to me. It just felt as if that was what should happen in the story. (Every time someone says that something I have written, or said in a lecture, was brave, my feeling is I was either too dumb or too cranky to be afraid!)
I got less pushback than I expected, though I am sure that there are things that I don't know about - most especially schools and libraries that simply never bought the book because of it's content, despite it being part of an extremely successful series. The only specific penalty I've paid for my "bravery" was having four "Christian" schools drop out of a tour I was doing in Korea when someone read the book and felt scandalized.
So I really haven't had to deal with much direct confrontation on the book. When it does come up, my response varies with what I can sense about whoever is complaining. Is this person amenable to reason? Can I have a conversation? Or am I facing a mind that is locked and closed. The basic point I want to make if I have someone I can have a conversation with is that this is simply an acknowledgment of reality, and a situation that many, many families will at some point find themselves face to face with. Pretending it's not real will not make it go away!

Many thanks for this message. I truly appreciate it.