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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855 entries.
Leland and William Kepsel from Wellington wrote on October 25, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
Sequel please! We just finished reading Always October and are bursting at the seams to know what Jacobs monster form is. It has sparked a constant conversation about our own monster forms. What would your monster form be? Our mom thinks that you should solve the problem of Jakes dad coming home by having his mom find out about Always October by breaking the rules and having Luna take her through the barrier. (We're happy for Jake and his mom but we'll miss Sploot Fah as a character.)
Thank you for the book, we really loved reading it and hope you have a second book in the works.
Leland (10) and William (7)
Reply by Bruce Coville
Leland and William -

Oh, how I loved reading this message! ALWAYS OCTOBER was a special project for me, partly because it was my 100th book. I also thought it was one of my best. But my publisher never put it into paperback, which is where most kids discover my books, so it is not very well known. Which was a big disappointment for me. So your message makes me very, very happy!

Sadly, because of the things I listed above, a sequel is unlikely. Being in hardcover only means the book has not sold enough copies for the publisher to want another story. (I know, it's crazy - they did something that kept the book from selling, and because it didn't sell more they don't want another. It's a nutty business!)

Thankfully, you clearly have very vivid imaginations, so you can invent and play around with idea about what happens next to your hearts' content. I hope you will have fun doing so!

your friend,
Bruce Coville
Abbey Lane from Binghamton wrote on October 24, 2018:
I am currently a junior in college pursuing an English Creative Writing major with the intentions of writing my own books. I was amidst reading some texts for class tonight when I could not stop thinking about this book I had read back in 6th grade. After some digging, I came to find out that it was your "The Monsters of Morley Manor"! That book and the characters' journey has stuck with me for YEARS and is one I will never forget. Thank you for sharing your talents and creativity with us. I am definitely going to give "Morley Manor" another read soon.
Very Gratefully,
Abbey Lane
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Abbey -
Many thanks for this. It delights me to know that MORLEY MANOR has stayed with you for all these years. It is officially the weirdest book I ever wrote. (I know, because my mother read it, then looked at me and said, "Bruce, you are getting stranger and stranger!")
One reason the book is strange is that I first wrote it as a series of episodes for anthologies with different themes, which is why there are so many disparate elements, that weird mix of fantasy and science fiction. It bothers some readers, most most seem to find it exhilarating as it has been in print for well over a decade now.

All best,
Chi from Wausau wrote on October 16, 2018:
Mr. Coville
I am a student from University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. This month, I will be presenting you as my author presentation. What advice should you give to the students of Children Literature class? And what is your favorite book of all time? Thank you.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hey, Student! I'm flattered to know that you will be using me for your author presentation. As to advice for your fellow students, without a more specific request, my advice would be to read voraciously, and in as wide a range as possible! Find authors who engage and delight you and explore their bodies of work. I'm guessing that you and your classmates will be working with children in some capacity, so know this: The greatest tool for getting kids involved in the joy and love of reading is your own passion for the literature!

As to my "favorite book of all time" - wow, that's a hard one. And, to be honest, the answer would vary with my mood. At the moment, I would have to say "The Count of Monte Cristo," which my son once described as "Bruce Coville for grown-ups" which is possibly the nicest thing he ever said to me!

All best,
Ms. Bachmuth from La Canada wrote on October 12, 2018:
Hi Bruce Coville,
We liked Jeremy Thatcher and we hope you keep writing amazing books like this. We loved the creative details you used to describe the magic shop. We were wondering why the dragon egg changes colors? We can't believe you wrote 13 drafts! How long were you working on this story?
Thank you for writing Jeremy Thatcher!
Your readers,
D.C,K.B,R.C,A.W,A.H,and HC.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear D.C,K.B,R.C,A.W,A.H,and HC -

I'm so glad that you liked JEREMY THATCHER. Your question about how long I worked on it is an interesting one. I first had the idea for the book in 1982, when THE MONSTER'S RING, the first Magic Shop book, was published. I had wanted to do a sequel to RING, but the editor didn't want one. But I didn't want to let go of the Magic Shop, so my next idea was to do a set of short stories and I sat down and made a list of things you could buy in the shop.

When I started to write the story about the egg, it kept growing, and by the time it was forty pages long, it was clear it wanted to be a book, not a short story! That took a lot more thinking - the book was not published until 1991, nine years later! Of course, I worked on many other things during that time, but you can see that it took years for this egg to hatch!

Ms. Bachmuth from La Canada wrote on October 11, 2018:
Greetings, Mr. Coville,
We enjoyed your book Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher. It had lots of detail, and you used your senses. It was funny when Tiamat was chasing the cats. It was cool when Miss Priest came out of the woods. Our favorite character is Tiamat. Are you going to make a movie of Jeremy Thatcher? And also, are you going to make another version, but from Tiamat's point of view? We would love that!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Thanks for this message. The idea of doing another version from Tiamat's point of view is very interesting. I am unlikely to do that now, but I think it would be a very cool writing project for you guys!
As to a movie of the book - first off, generally speaking writers don't make movies. Hollywood makes movies! And I have had many Hollywood filmmakers approach me about making a movie of JEREMY. However none of them managed to get it done.
That said, in about an hour I will be talking to two young filmmakers who want to make a try at it. So wish us luck!

All best, BC
Rachel Bachmuth from La Canada wrote on October 11, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
We loved reading Jeremy Thatcher. We thought it was really funny when Tiamat messed up dinner with Mary Lou. What book out of the Magic Shop series would you recommend? Are you going to make a part 2 of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher? You make us laugh when we read your books!

AGK , OKC , FAC , ELB , and KEB
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, AGK , OKC , FAC , ELB , and KEB -

So glad that you loved JEREMY THATCHER. I think it is the book of mine that is most likely to be around years after I have left this world! I'm glad you enjoyed the dinner scene - that was so much fun to write!
The next Magic Shop book I would recommend to you is JENNIFER MURDLEY'S TOAD - though to be honest, I should tell you that I love all five books in this series.
Of course, since it is almost Halloween, maybe right now you should read THE MONSTER'S RING instead. I wrote it trying to come up with exactly the kind of Halloween book I wanted to read when I was a kid myself!

All best,
Bruce Coville
Rogi Backwards from Nilbogsville wrote on October 11, 2018:
Roommate needed for the cellar beneath the cellar beneath the cellar beneath my house. Must be simple-minded, loyal, and a few other things I forgot. Apply by Oct. 31.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Rachel Bachmuth from La Canada wrote on October 11, 2018:
Dear Mr.Coville,
We enjoyed reading your book Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. We liked how Jeremy and Tiamat communicated in thoughts, images, and feelings. We liked how Tiamat gave Mr. Kravitz a hot foot! Why did you sadly have to make Tiamat go to the dragon world? What books do you recommend for third graders to read?
From: O.P., J.C.,C.V., A.H.,and A.M.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi there, O.P., J.C.,C.V., A.H.,and A.M.! Thanks for this message. I'm delighted that you enjoyed JEREMY THATCHER so much.

As for the ending, it was hard, and sad, to write. But I felt it was the right ending for this book. This world is no longer made for dragons, alas.

Some other books by me that I think you would enjoy are THE MONSTER'S RING (this is a Magic Shop book, like JEREMY), THE DRAGONSLAYERS, and MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN.

Happy reading!
Tyler Walker from Douglas, WY wrote on October 9, 2018:
Mr. Coville,
My 5th grade class read My Teacher is an Alien and they found it amazing and hilarious! We read the excerpt in the back, of My Teacher Fried My Brains, we are now anxious to read that one! Message from my students: "we never wanted our teacher to stop reading the book, we enjoy your book, we can't wait to read other books in the series! Happy Halloween!! Happy Thanksgiving!! Merry Christmas!!"
Reply by Bruce Coville
Man, what a great message! I can't tell you how much it delights me to know that you liked MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN so much. I hope you'll enjoy FRIED BRAINS, too. I will tell something I don't often mention - Duncan Dougal is based on a real boy I had in my classes back when I was a teacher.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all of you! (It's my favorite holiday!)
Julie Barnett from Saint George wrote on October 3, 2018:
Mr. CoVille, My 3rd grade class wrote to you about 20 years ago. We enjoyed reading your Magic Shop books and asked when your new book (Skull of Truth) was due to come out. you wrote back to us.
I still have your letter and I read your Magic Shop books to my class every year (I'm still teaching and still reading them) All my classes know of Jeremy Thatcher , Jennifer Murdley , Russell Cranneker, Charlie Eggelston and Juliet Love. We would like to know if there are any more or will be more of the magic shop books? I'm ordering several more of your books to add to our class I hadn't seen them in print before. Please Keep writing more books. You are an amazing writer. Thank you. Mrs Barnett's 4th grade class (I graduated to 4th grade) Red Mountain Elem. Ivins, Utah
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy Mrs. Barnett and 4th Graders! Thanks for this lovely message.

It delights me so much that you are reading and enjoying the Magic Shop books. As to whether there will be any more in the series . . . well, that remains to be seen. I had planned to do a 6th book, but I had some serious problems with my publisher, and as a result it has remained unwritten. But I do sometimes think about going back to it. It's a tricky situation.

However I can guarantee you that whether it is the Magic Shop or something else, I will definitely keep writing!

By the way, it might interest you to know that I used to be a 4th grade teacher myself. I love 4th grade! I think it's one of the best years ever!

your friend,
Bruce Coville