Monday, July 16, 2012

Ride with The Roller Coaster Kid, a TA Blogger Book Giveaway

   Welcome back from "summer break," dear readers. Your reward for checking in with Teaching Authors...another fabulous book giveaway.  In this case, the book happens to be my latest picture book,
The Roller Coaster Kid (Viking). Instructions for entering the Giveaway will be at the end of this post.

     Those of you who have been reading this blog awhile have probably encountered my philosophy of "crock pot
writing." (Crock pot not crack pot.)  I think of my creative mind as a slow cooker, simmering with various ingredients, on low heat. Every now and then I lift the lid, give the brew a taste test, to see if "it's soup yet?" (Those of us of a "certain age" will remember that line from the Lipton Cup of Soup commercials.)  Mostly, the answer is no. The lid goes back on until next time.

     The Roller Coaster Kid's "ingredients"come from such diverse sources, I didn't realize I was even writing a book, until the final "ingredient" presented itself in one of those rare Eureka! moments.

    I have mentioned my storytelling family before, particularly my mother's side.  I especially enjoyed the stories that involved their local amusement park, West View Park, in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. (West View Park appears in Jimmy's Stars.)  Most of the male members of Mom's family, her grandfather and brothers, worked at
West View during the Depression. That good looking fella to the left is my Uncle Andy, working the Milk Bottle Pitch kiosk.

     West View was one of the first amusement parks, built in 1906.
Since it was literally around-the-corner-and-down-the-hill from my Grandmother Smith's house, it was the only amusement park I knew as a child. Of course I had heard about Disneyland (this was waaaay before Disney World or any of the modern "theme parks") but that was in California, for crying out loud. I lived in Chicago and my relatives all lived in Pittsburgh. Only rich kids or Californians went to Disneyland. I didn't know anyone who had been to California let alone, Disneyland.

   Growing up in Chicago, I did see TV ads for Riverview Park, which was roughly the same vintage as West View. Every summer I begged my parents to make the trek from the Southern Suburbs to the North Side of Chicago, but somehow I never got to Riverview. As my mother reminded me, "Why would you want to go to Riverview?  It's just like West View, and you can go to West View with your cousins."
   Mom had a point. A trip to West View was always a big occasion, including at least a half of my dozen plus cousins living around Pittsburgh.  A big occasion, which in true 1950's fashion, involved wearing Sunday School clothes, crinolines, patent leather mary janes and all.  How those clothes survived the Bumper Cars, Tilt-a-Whirl and the Round-Up, I don't remember.

      I do remember that most fearsome of all the rides, West View's gigantic wooden roller coaster, The Dips.  Being tall enough to ride The Dips was a real milestone. And if you could ride The Dips without throwing up....well, you were practically a teenager. I think I rode it once or twice before the park was torn down in 1977.

     I suppose you could say that my memories of West View Park were the basic "stock" of the soup that became The Roller Coaster Kid...a book I didn't realize I was writing.

To Enter Our Roller Coaster Kid Book Giveaway: 
1. You must comment to today's post, telling us why you would like to win The Roller Coaster Kid.  Will you be keeping it for yourself or sharing it with another young reader? Addition from Carmela: or you may enter by sending an email to us at teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com with "Book Giveaway" in the subject line.
2.  You must include contact information in your comment.  If you are not a blogger or your email address is not accessible from your online profile, you must send us a valid email address in your comment.  Entries without contact information will be disqualified.  Note:  The TeachingAuthors cannot prevent spammers from accessing e-mail addresses posted within the comments, so feel free to disguise your address by spelling out portions such as "dot" and "at."
3.  You must send us your post by 11 pm (CST), Wednesday, July 25. Winner will be chosen at random via and announced on Thursday, July 26.  Note:  Winners automatically grant us permission to post their names here on the TeachingAuthors website.
4.  You must have a mailing address in the United States.
5.  You must respond to the notification e-mail and provide a mailing address within 72 hours, or the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner chose.

Those are the official rules. If you feel like sharing an amusement park memory, that would be great, but certainly not required. I've already told you mine in today's post. I can't wait to hear your memories.

     More on The Roller Coaster Kid Wednesday.

Posted by Mary Ann Rodman


Even in Australia said...

I'd love to share this book with my two girls, ages 7 and 4!

Katie said...

I also have favorite memories of a nearby amusement park. My brother and I would measure ourselves against the stick at "The Viper" each time to see if we were finally tall enough!

I'd love to share this book with my 2 children.

Jody said...

Hi Mary Ann, I read your two mgs and would love to read your new pb! And yes, I will gladly share with my niece and nephew when finished.
Jody Casella,

Joyce Lansky said...

I'd love to win the roller coaster kid because I've read both of Mary Ann's novels and know she's quite talented. I would get Mary Ann to autograph The Roller Coaster Kid at the SCBWI conference and then proudly display it in our school library.


Carl said...

I love roller coasters.
My wife and I used to go on them all the time but she has lost her taste for dangerous adventure. I still indulge when I get the chance.
Most likely, after the book has been thoroughly enjoyed around here, it would make it's way as a donation to the local public library as so many of our favorites do.
I'm pretty easy to find at: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

Carl said...

Hey I used the wrong form of "it's" in my comment. It's its, not it's - get it?

Sandra Stiles said...

I would share this book with my fearless granddaughter, then have her donate it to her school if she wished. I remember being scared of roller coasters but rode them with my cousins. Now my fearless granddaughter rides them, but not with her "fearful" grandmother.

Sandra Stiles said...

I forgot my email skstiles612 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Linda at teacherdance said...

I love the look of 'The Dips'-how awesome. I grew up going to one of those old amusement parks in Kansas City, Missouri-called Fairyland, with an old wooden roller coaster. Here in Colorado, we moved just in time for my children to enjoy some of the famous Elitch Gardens before it was sold to the Worlds of Fun franchise. We still have one old park left, Lakeside, with just amazing neon lights at night. Old memories! I would share your book with the teachers I work with, after reading of course. Thank you for the nice post filled with family memories.