Thursday, December 20, 2012

Father : Christmas: A Bibliographic Memoir . . .



OF ALL THE EARLY Decembers of my childhood, one of the things I remember most is a single, silent ritual by which my father announced the coming of Christmas. Some frosty morning not long after Thanksgiving, but never before December had started, he would pull down from a bookshelf in his study a small battered slipcase, remove a little brown book with a gold holly wreath stamped on its cover, settle into his easy chair, kick up the foot rest, and begin to read to himself.
As I watched his eyes scanning the pages, I could tell that very soon he was not in the room with me anymore. He was in London. It was Christmas Eve. And the year was 1843.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to Me!
I am grateful that I get to do what I love for a living! Thank you, readers, for making this possible!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Beautiful Day for Books!

CHILDREN'S BOOK DAY 2012 AT WASHINGTON IRVING'S SUNNYSIDE, TARRYTOWN, N.Y.

Saturday was the perfect day to be outdoors meeting readers, teachers, parents, and other writers at Children's Book Day at Washington Irving's Sunnyside in Tarrytown, N.Y. Thank you to everyone who stopped by my table and said hello! Writing can be a solitary endeavor, and hearing from the young readers who know and love what I write is a source of great inspiration for me to keep going with my work!
I had the pleasure of meeting third-grade teacher Beth Ryan of Greenville Elementary School at Children's Book Day on Saturday at Washington Irving's Sunnyside in Tarrytown, N.Y. I was delighted to hear about her students in Room 11 who are enjoying my books. Here I am with Ms Ryan and her two daughters, Kate and Ruby!
Two of my favorite author friends were signing nearby at Children's Book Day: Nora Raleigh Baskin and Elise Broach!

Meeting new readers encourages me to keep writing!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

is always a nice event in a beautiful setting.

I'll be signing books in Tarrytown, N.Y., on Saturday, Sept 15, at noon, as part of Children's Book Day at Washington Irving's Sunnyside. Stop by if you're in the area.

On Sunday, Sept 16, I'll be at the Trumbull Arts Festival on the town hall green (06611) first presenting awards for the writing competition, then strolling the fair with my lovely wife, Dolores. Please say hello if you're there, too! I'd be happy to shake your hand and even sign any books you bring with you!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Goofballs #3 is now available!


SUPERHERO SILLINESS is the title of the third book in my new series for beginning readers: Goofballs, illustrated by Colleen Madden (Egmont USA, 2012). I just got my copies in the mail!

Super-rich kid Randall Crandall is back, and he's hosting a superhero party. Goofballs Jeff, Mara, Brian, and Kelly must draw on their detective skills to thwart a notorious thief whose out for Randall's collection! Will they out-wit the thief? It's the goofiest mystery yet!

Ask for Goofballs at your local independent bookseller! And let the sleuthing begin!

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Reader Support Features


Today we have added a picture bank to the Goofballs blog. Click on the "Goofballs" link in the menu (above), and then on the "Picture Bank" link to see pictures of things that are mentioned in the Goofball books.

Little by little, we will be creating picture banks for all of my currently available books and series.

We hope that these simple images will aid young readers in understanding the stories and spark discussion and learning.

We would be very interested to hear if this feature is useful to you, if you are a teacher or parent or other adult using the books with children. Please use the Comment feature for feedback. Thanks!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Writer Blog: The Friday Book Report

The Friday Book Report


I write an occasional blog about writing and reading called The Friday Book Report. My latest entry is here: FBR 120: The Voice of “Canada” by Richard Ford . . .

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Happy Fathers Day to all you fathers out there.
I am blessed with two wonderful daughters, whom I love with all my heart.
This is last year's father-daughter photograph. They are coming to visit the old man this afternoon for dinner, and we'll take a new picture. We have all changed! Which is to be expected!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Tony Abbott will be signing copies of Goofballs books 1 and 2 at Book Expo America today at the Egmont USA Booth No. 4048 at 4pm! Please stop by and say hello if you are there! #bookexpo #kidlit #BEA

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Website in a New Format!

Out with the old and in with the new non-flash format for the modern age! Here's our experiment for taking the content from our old flash site, which has served us well, and replacing it with something that better translates to newer platforms. Eventually, this group of linked blogs will appear when www.tonyabbottbooks.com is called up.

About Me, Tony Abbott, the writer (not the Australian politician by the same name!)

To begin with, I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived in a small house on top of a hill. Together, my mother, a school teacher, and my father, a returning World War II paratrooper pursuing his college studies, brought tons of books into our small house on Cliffview Road. I guess you could say that these books were my first introduction to the world of literature. My father was always writing, so the sound of the typewriter was like the background music of my early childhood.

When I was eight, we relocated, by car, to Connecticut where I finished elementary school and high school. I went to college at the University of Connecticut, majoring first in music (too hard), psychology (too many theories), and finally English (yes! lot and lots of books!). I graduated UConn with a bachelors degree in English Literature. After that, I traveled to Europe for quite a while, drank a lot of coffee, and wrote notebooks full of strange poetry. When I returned, I found work in a variety of bookstores and finally a library where I met my wife to be.

It was when I began reading bedtime stories to my children that the spark of writing I had had for so many years finally turned to children's books. After many failures, my first published book, Danger Guys, was written while taking a writing class with renowned children's author, Patricia Reilly Giff. That first book, and the series that it began, became the cornerstone of my writing career and has become something of a cult favorite, by virtue of its being difficult to find. Since then, I've written just about 100 books for readers ages 6 to 14, including the cult favorit popular fantasy saga, The Secrets of Droon.

Over 10 million of my books have been sold worldwide, and my series and novels combined have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Korean, French, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, and Russian. Danger Guys was named a Children's Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection, and the American Booksellers Association voted The Secrets of Droon among the "Top 10 List of Books to Read while Waiting for the Next Harry Potter." The series was also a Main Selection of the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club, and is on many school and library reading lists.

In 2007 my novel Firegirl won the Golden Kite Award for Fiction presented by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. It is the only award given by children's writers to children's writers, a peer award I remain honored at having received. It was also a selection of the Junior Library Guild.

In the Spring of 2008, my second novel for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers appeared. The Postcard is a comedy/mystery about a boy who finds a clue on an old postcard while cleaning his recently deceased grandmother's Florida house, and who has no choice but to follow the mystery wherever it leads. Among other things, The Postcard is my love song to Florida's Gulf Coast, where my grandparents lived, and to old Florida, its architecture, roadside attractions, and Wild-West origins. It is, not least, my homage to the great hardboiled tradition of Hammett and Chandler, translated to a Florida setting.

My novel, Lunch-Box Dream, appeared in spring 2011 from Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. A historical novel, it details a road trip from North to South in 1959.

My literary and cultural interests include the films of Preston Sturges, the “Road” pictures of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and the Marx Brothers, and the writings of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, P.G. Wodehouse, Jules Verne, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Seamus Heaney, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, The Arabian Nights, Beowulf, James Thurber, Philip Roth, Ralph Ellison, and William Faulkner.

I’m currently a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Yale Center for British Art, the Florence Griswold Museum, and am currently teaching at the Creative Writing MFA faculty at Lesley University. In addition, I present writing workshops and seminars to children and adults nationwide. With my wonderful wife, two delightful and brilliant daughters, and two cute dogs, I live and work happily in Connecticut.