For those who have been following me for years because you are Pay It Forward fans, I think you're going to like this news a lot.
Most of you know that the book Pay It Forward was written for adults. It never occurred to me that anyone younger than an adult would read it, despite the fact that the major character of Trevor is only twelve when the books begins.
Then the American Library Association chose the book for its Best Books for Young Adults list. I was quite surprised. The Young Adult classification is 12-18. So technically the American Library Association recommended it for kids as young as 12. I was never comfortable doing so. I'm sure it's fine compared to...you know, say, prime time TV. But there was no denying that there's a good bit of adult material in the book.
As a result, when it's used in schools, which I'm pleased to say it often is, it's only in high schools. I suspect very few teachers are handing it to kids much younger than 14.
Now for the big, happy news. Simon & Schuster has agreed to release a new edition of the book for Middle Grade readers, 8-12. It's not going to talk down to them. It's not going to be a different story. It's going to be the Pay It Forward book it's always been, but with a new rating. G.
I'm going to be doing the initial edit of the material, and then of course it will go through the editorial process at the publishing house. But I've had a good first conversation with my new editor, and we are very much on the same page in terms of what needs to be edited out, what needs to be maintained.
Think in terms of Summer of 2014, though of course I'll keep you updated with news.
Remember you always hear it here first!