Welcome Author Lois Peterson – Giveaway Alert

Today I’m happy to introduce you to author, Lois Peterson and her nonfiction middle grade book, SHELTER – HOMELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY, illustrated by Taryn Gee which releases today. Usually I celebrate book birthdays with cake but given the nature of this book, I will be making a food pantry donation instead. SHELTER – HOMELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY takes a complex and difficult subject, presents it in a way that young readers can understand, and creates a way for people of any age to think about why people become homeless and ways to make a difference.

Lois has generously offered a copy of SHELTER – HOMELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY and a copy of her historical novel, SILVER RAIN, to one winner (US or Canada address) plus a critique of the opening chapter (2,000 words max.) of a middle grade novel. Comment on the blogpost to enter the giveaway.

What were you like at the age of your target audience?

I spent seven years at an English boarding school from the age of eight to fifteen, where I read every book in my ‘house’ library, and then ‘catalogued’ them. I spent some summers in Iraq where my father worked, and others in Cornwall. There, my brother, sister and I would get up before our parents were awake and dash down the sandy path to the beach where we’d scavenge for whatever money, books, glasses, keys, watches, etc. had been left in the sand by the previous day’s holidaymakers. Then we’d bring them home and catalogue them… describe them and where exactly we found them, and include notes of who probably lost them… which may explain why I grew up to work in public libraries for so many years!

Lois (right) with her brother and sister

What inspires you?

I am a pretty nosy person, and love to ask people questions about what they are doing and why, what they know and what they plan to do. I overhear conversations which give me a glimpses into people’s lives, and love to pull the germs of ideas from what I read, hear and see and shape them into books and stories. I also teach writing to adults and kids, and while I don’t steal anyone else’s ideas, I do find projects that other writers are working on give me some ideas for other projects. 

What’s something you hope readers take away from your books?

I would hope that SHELTER – HOMELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY encourages readers – both the children and adults who read it – to approach homelessness and other social issues with curiosity rather than judgment. And I hope my book gives them information that helps them form their own opinions, and be more empathetic about how other people live and the challenges they face. From my fiction, I hope readers learn about the resilience of children facing difficult challenges.

What’s next for you?

Working on SHELTER distracted me for more than two years from some fiction I was working on. I am gradually getting back into it by concentrating on a few picture book stories – a form of writing which is very close to poetry, and something I love to read myself. And I have several midgrade novels ‘in the drawer’ that I hope to revive over the fall and winter.
But perhaps what I am most looking forward to is a time when the world opens up again enough to travel – I am hoping to visit Eastern Europe next summer, and end my trip with a week in my favourite city in the world – Istanbul. 

To find out more about Lois and her books:

Twitter: @lpwords Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LPwords


Published by authorlaurablog

I'm a reading specialist from Chicago, now living in the beauty of the Roosevelt National Forest in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My first book "Aliana Reaches for the Moon" features a creative and curious girl who loves science, her little brother, and her very patient parents. I'm currently writing a MG novel and several picture books with STEM elements and dogs.

18 thoughts on “Welcome Author Lois Peterson – Giveaway Alert

  1. Lois…I love your departure from fiction to write this book informing young people about the important issue of homelessness. I look forward to seeing you research and write about more contemporary topics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Sheilagh. I had the good fortune of reading and advance copy and this book makes my teacher heart burst with ideas for using it in the classroom! Good luck in the giveaway.


  2. “ I would hope that SHELTER – HOMELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY encourages readers – both the children and adults who read it – to approach homelessness and other social issues with curiosity rather than judgment.” YES Lois! That is the perfect description. People fear what they don’t understand,and are often stuck between wanting to help, and not feeling they are going to make a difference being just one person. They need to see other “just one persons” uniting, asking questions and seeking solutions. Also, i.m.o. more schools should encourage Ss to participate in community-building and community-saving events. Our district allows (allowed) Elem. School Students to accompany their parents, grandparents or care giver to go on delivery runs to our Srs. receiving Meals on Wheels. Then they interview a few clients, and write about their experience. Many chose to work in the summer too. You can see the growth of self-esteem & responsibility within a community context in these kids. Also wonderful are the kids on the Spectrum who are able to see they are needed,important and appreciated. They glow & sometimes we get an unexpected hug of joy! Watching children’s curiosity turn to compassion is beautiful to observe. And of course, the clients LOVE them all!

    While our operation of food services continues, only paid employees have been working there since the 2nd month of the pandemic. I spent 6 years in my community, building relationships with all kinds of people, sharing religions, politics gently, losses & simchas/celebrations, while working towards Food Security in our town. I look forward to returning when allowed. I truly learned what just one person can do, and I learned how powerful and good it feels to help others, without judgement, and with love. Your book is needed and welcome, Lois.

    Lois, I was wondering what events steered you to write this book? Maybe there is a whole series of community/SEL books waiting to be written (by you guys, the writers😆).

    Please enter me in the drawing. While I don’t need a manuscript review, a generous offer at that (maybe another lucky winner to make 2 recipients???) I would very much like to win the two books. My plan is to read them both, take what info I can from them, and then lovingly leave them inside the newest Little Library that appeared in our neighborhood (now we have 3!💙) I noticed there were several kidlit books amongst a good amount of books for grownups in it. Your books will appeal perfectly to both groups, and no doubt start some good, important conversations. Congrats to all involved in its making (including Artist, whose name I missed. Please add Laura?)

    Stay well all, Yo to Charlie😉. Peace, Annie ✌🏼💙🎶🎨📚🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for putting this book out in the world. When I started teaching I had my eyes opened to homelessness in all its various forms. The media rarely depicts homelessness as a reality that young people deal with, but it certainly is. It sounds like your book will help our society take steps in moving forward. Best of luck on your next projects!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really a challenging topic and I know SanFran has been having issues for a while, but it’s everywhere and a Chicago friend who is no stranger to seeing homelessness, commented on how many she encountered here in Boulder.

      Liked by 1 person

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