Justin Matott

Monday, October 09, 2006


Hi, okay it was suggested that I keep a blog AND that I add something everyday, which isn't working out very well, BUT, my main question is: IS ANYONE EVEN READING THIS? If you are, please send me an email at justin@justinmatott.com and tell me you have read it and whether I should continue to do this blog site or not. I won't be offended if you say, "Not so interesting"... Really I won't.
I only want to write to connect.

Thanks, Justin M.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Hello, I just returned from being at a fabulous conference featuring some wonderful authors. I was honored to have dinner with the assembly of accomplished writers and illustrators and found EVERY one of them to be warm, wonderful and people that I would whole heartedly recommend reading. My hosts were amazing, engaging and well read! Laura made sure I was happy at every turn, what a saint!

As to the conference: First there was the imPECKable Richard Peck, WOW, what a gentleman, a great speaker and a wonderful storyteller both in his books and aloud!! Where do I start telling you about him. Please look up his books to see the variety, a NEWBERY winner among many other honors!

Then there was the fabulous duo of Pamela Duncan Edwards and the "illustrious" Henry Cole. What a great team both in their books as well as as speakers. A true delight in every way to meet and get to know them a bit!

Laurie Keller is a true kindred spirit. She watches the same show I do, gets inspired in very similar ways and is an engaging speaker. Her books are fun and her illustrative style is WOW, so so cool!

Debbie Dadey, a gracious lady! Debbie was the only one I didn't see perform, because we did so at the same time. But her long list of books speak for her! WOW, she has an accomplished list.

If you have a chance to attend next year, please do! I go to many of these kind of events, but this one is a notch above!!!

Please look up all of these author/illustrator's books and get those books into your library, both at your school and your personal library!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Akeelah quote

After watching Akeelah and the bee I thought the words used in a quote were just too important to pass up. These words are affirming and especially for someone who wants to "live" his or her art I think it is relevant.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." BY MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Hi, I find that in my school visits the question of what kid's books I recommend is quite often asked (with emphasis from teachers who want to know what books in particular I think will get boys excited). This summer I read the Peter books by Barry and Pearson and really enjoyed them. Great adventure! Of course Holes and ANYTHING by Seuss. Hiassen's kids books are great (so are his adult books), Eragon, and for the younger readers, NOTHING beats Olivia in my book.

My all time favorite book when I was a boy was Where The Red Fern Grows. Wilson Rawls had the ability to bring the characters, setting and story SO alive that it was no longer words on a page, but a story that I entered and became a part of.

My new book, Go Ask Mom - Stories from the upper bunk, is a good book to share at bedtime or for your young reader to dive into alone. It is basically a creative memoir, in that I mined my own boyhood for the stories and then fictionalized them. I am getting great response from young and not so young readers.

Perhaps you have favorites that you could recommend. I speak to generally 700 kids three times a week, SO... I am trying to encourage them. I would love to hear your book recommendations and pass them on. Please email me at justin@justinmatott.com if you would like to about this and any other subject concerning getting our youngsters to read.

By the way, The Ruins for us adults is a good, "gross" horror mystery. If you like Koontz and King, give this book a chance. It is by Scott Smith, who wrote A Simple Plan about a decade ago.

I am currently reading The Interpretation of Murder, a debut novel recommended by a friend who is a Holtzbrink rep and so far, so good.... Google Rocky Mountain News, new debuts, Matott and you will see reviews for thusfar unknown novelists with their new debuts by me and some other voracious readers.


By the way, off the subject of reading, LOST starts next week and THE OFFICE and MY NAME IS EARL is in it's third season, TV WORTH WATCHING (of course because of the brilliant writing behind it).

If you are in the Denver area, please come meet me and the illustrator of GO ASK MOM at the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover on Oct 14th at 2 pm.

Consider me for a school visit, YOU WILL GLAD YOU DID!

Cheers, Justin Matott

Friday, September 15, 2006

Goodbye to my lovely Snickers


Today’s the day we’ll say goodbye,
after so many years, my friend.
We have so many memories,
I thought “we’d” never end.
You were faithful, yes, and kind,
You were obedient and smart.
I remember that very first day,
when our love got its start.
Your little nose, your perky ears,
your eyes so full of fun.
I held you in my arms that day,
now, I’ll hold you when “we’re” done.
It’s time for you to rest now.
There’s nothing left to chase.
No more barking, running, wagging tails,
at your constant puppy pace.
And, even though you’ll go away,
with me you’ll always be.
My puppy, my dog, my best friend,
you have meant so much to me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


When I was a boy is nominated for the CCIRA CCBA award for 2007! Mark Ludy and I are both Coloradoans and we NEED your votes! Please share our book(s) with your students and let their voices be heard. They and you decide!

Also, teachers may always get a buy 3 books get one free on my website www.justinmatott. All you have to do is select 3 books, pay for them on paypal and follow up with an email note to me to add an additional book in with your selections. I will autograph and personalize the books as well.



On September 14-17 you can take 30% off of any of my titles listed at www.justinmatott.com with just $1 per book for shipping and handling.

Just email me at justin@justinmatott.com and I can send you a paypal bill (uses credit cards and bank accounts) and personalize as many books as you would like. GO ASK MOM is climbing the charts!!

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Hi, I have had several people ask me to post a description of GO ASK MOM!, so here it is! The book is receiving some great attention and it is my hope that the second volume in the series will be out in 2007!

Please check out Lisa Tarr's website at www.tarrart.com. She is a great illustrator and a friend now.

If you would like to order a signed copy of Go Ask Mom! by both myself and Lisa Tarr, please go to my website at www.justinmatott.com and make sure to note at paypal how you would like it personalized. These orders come directly to me, so I can customize a gift or a book for you!

In this wonderfully illustrated "chapter book" readers young and older will enjoy the adventures of Gabriel Peters. We meet him at the end of his fourth grade year, when he confronts his toughest bullies, Ronnie, on the playground and Carl, his brother, in their shared bunk beds. Soon the underdog will take control and win over the bullies as well as your heart. This book should be read aloud in classrooms and at bedtimes. Mr. Matott has been sharing stories from this book prior to publishing in auditoriums across the country to delighted response. Stay tuned, there is so much more to come from Gabriel Peters!

Gabriel Peters, a misfit fourth grader with an eye patch, a bad leg, and hair that looks like he stapled a ferret to his head, is the subject of this work of "faction." Partly true because many of the ideas and instances reflect some of the author's own boyhood experiences. Over the summer, after a horrendous school year of dealing with a mean bully on the playground or the one in his own bedroom, stealing all of his older brother's underwear in a prank that backfires, running from the infamous Mean Mrs. Rickles, searching for the "dead dog in the lake", fishing, camping and other adventures, Gabriel Peters will grow up just a bit. A great read aloud book for the classroom or at home.
If you don't believe it...
Go Ask Mom...