John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


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Marley Goes To School

Thursday, June 25, 2009



I never planned to be a children's author, and I still funnel most of my energy toward writing for adults. But after Marley & Me came out in 2005 and began climbing the bestseller lists, I noticed an odd thing at my appearances around the country: Even though I had written the book for adults, large numbers of children were showing up at my signings, clutching copies of my book. Given its candid description of marital relations, I knew it was too old for them, and yet they were in love with the eternally misbehaving Marley and were begging their parents to let them read it. The moms and dads, of course, were shooting me those nervous "Thanks a lot" expressions parents can be so good at. So I decided to adapt the book for young readers in the 8-12 range. That resulted in "Marley: A Dog Like No Other," which has gone on to become assigned reading in many elementary and middle schools around the country. (And to all you students who have written me letters, thank you so much! I read every one and really get a kick out of them.)

I also noticed younger kids coming to my signings, and so I joined up with a really great artist, Richard Cowdrey, to write an illustrated kids story: "Bad Dog, Marley!" That hit #1 on The New York Times' children's bestseller list and led to a second illustrated book: "A Very Marley Christmas," which also went to #1.

Now Richard and I are back with a third illustrated book in what, mostly inadvertently, has turned into a series (book #4 is in the hopper and book #5 is under contract). The new book is called "Marley Goes To School," and it hits bookstores July 7. Richard and I agree it's our favorite of all the Marley kids books to date. It certainly was the one we both had the most fun with. A misbehaving pooch gets loose in a school with an uptight principal... Oh my, I can't imagine what might go wrong!

If you want to hear more about the new book and my accidental journey into children's writing, check out my podcast that I recently added to my website:

http://www.johngroganbooks.com/media/index.html

Or simply click "Media Clips" in the bar at the top of this page.

Meanwhile, my memoir The Longest Trip Home is preparing to come out in paperback in October. More on that as we get closer.

posted by John Grogan at 8:11 PM

18 Comments:

Blogger deborah said...

The childrens books sounds life fun for the future kids of tomorrow. Its fun to relate life to a pet and see the dog in action. sounds good

9:39 AM  
Blogger Cris Prates said...

My boy is only three years old but I'll certainly get to buy it for the time he's able to read. Until then he'll have fun looking at the pictures!

5:53 AM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Hi, John
I enjoyed reading your blog this week. I think I'll buy this book and give it to a old teacher of mine. She still teaches by the way. I'll be helping her out this school year. Starting in August.
Please tell Gracie and Woodson I said "woof".
Bye, bye

7:47 PM  
Blogger animal lover said...

I loved your book-Marley & Me, but at the end you mentioned a dog named Lucky you were going to go see. Then the back of the book was a picture of you and Gracie. What happened to Lucky? I felt left hanging there. I would appreciate knowing to tie the strings for me.(Wonderful Book.)

Thank you, Valerie Coskie
Antelope, California, 95843

3:24 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Hi John-

My kids and I just finished listening to the audio-version of "Marley & Me" which we borrowed from our local library. We had such a wonderful time listening to it in the car on the way to school, on the way to church, and around town on errands. Thank you for the memories-yours and ours of these times together.

Blessings,
Adrienne

5:06 PM  
Blogger Mark Moon said...

John, my wife works in the library at out local elementry school. The kids loved your Marley books and I am told can hardly wait for this new book "Marley Goes To School". Great job with all your books.I have read both and enjoyed them very much. Question, how's Woodson doing??

4:04 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Fabulous! Can't wait to get a copy. Marley's final days reminded me so much of my first guide dog. The movie served to be a great cry at the end.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I love that your writing "spans the ages". Truly a gift to us all.

Signed,

A fellow Marley owner

5:26 AM  
Blogger sara do Brasil said...

olá jonh.
sou do Brasil,por isso desculpe, nao sei falar ingles.
gostaria muito de lhe agradecer por ter me dado este presente que foi o livro (MARLEY E EU).ESTOU NA PAGINA 294,meu Deus john,como chorei.nao pude nem esmo sair de casa o outro dia,porque meus olhos estavam muito inchados.leio livro todas as noites antes de dormir é quando tenho tempo.o durante o dia fico anciosa que chega a noite para poder estar de certa forma com marley mais uma vez.fiquei meditando muito,pensando em como eu,que nunca os vi,moro em um pais tao distante,sentir amor por pessoas que nao conheço e pior por um cachorro.mas como eu os amo(marley,voce,jenny e ate as crianças)que aparecem poucas vezes no livro.como jenny foi guerreira e voce como foi amigo!!!
meu marido e eu temos um poodle de 7 anos de idade.o bily.quando casamos ganhamos ele de uma amiga,eu me sentia muito só,porque quando casei me mudei para outra cidade e fiquei longe de minha familia.mas o bili,foi nossa alegria,ja se passaram 7 anos que casamos e ainda nao temos filhos,por opçao.mas o bili é como se fosse nosso filhinho.fica dentro de casa,viaja conosco,todos os conhecem,nossos amigos ,vizinhos,e gostam muito dele.
esta é a 2 vez,que escrevo,mas quando enviei a 1 nao deu certo e apagou tudo,desta vez espero que chegue.(obs:acho que a 1 vez estava melhor)
quero te agrader muito senhor john grogan,pela felicidade que me proporcionou de ver que ainda existem pessoas que amam os animais.e quero que saiba que eu sempre amarei o marley,sempre ele estara comigo no meu coração.
muito,muito,muito, obrigada!
que Deus abençoe voce e sua familia.
nao sei se alguem irá ler este meu sentimento,mas estou bem mas aliviada,por ter dito,oque senti,e ainda sinto,ao lembrar do marley.
que eu o amo e sempre o amarei!!!
sem mais,
Sara Alves.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Hi John,
I think your next blog entry should be about "Woodson" and "Gracie". I think all your fans want to know how they are doing! Including me! I just read "Woodson's" story, it made me cry.
Bye, bye

9:02 PM  
Blogger Gi said...

Hi, John!
I think it's very important for kids to like to read.
Here in Brazil that is a serious ishue. When I was a kid I had to read books in school that was totaly inapropriated for kids! So I guess it's very important to kids to grow up reading and enjoying that!
I used to hate books and hate reading, altough my mom always tried to make me like it! Then when I was about 12 I started to like it.
So congrats on your kids book!
And I read Melisa's comment and I agree with her!
I just love when you write about your dogs or your family!
With your books we feel like we know you all! So it's very nice to hear news from you!
Bye John!
Best,
Giovana - 19

6:28 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Hi John,
Like so many other, I wanted to let you know how much your story about Marley means to me. I read the book when it first came out, and just tonight watched the movie. I didn't watch the movie for a while because I loved the book so much, and because I knew I'd cry as much as I did reading the book. I'm so glad I did finally watch it.

As someone who loves dogs so much and who grew up with them running all over the house all the time, I totally relate and cherish your story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Kindest regards,
Christa Avampato

7:00 PM  
Blogger Clive said...

Hi John

Just spotted your blog on a Guide Dog Owner's site that we follow and was delighted to click on your blog and discover you had a new book come out on the 7th of July.

My son is 10 years old and autistic and has an Assistance Dog - Clive - hence the blog - but one of his great loves is reading and in particular he adored Bad Dog, Marley!

We are over in Boston next week on hols so I'm thrilled that 'Marley Goes to School' has just come out. My son is starting a new school in Septemer so this will be a great way of talking more about his new 'school'.

We have all really enjoyed the story of Marley in this house - we have all versions and we have been to the cinema lots of times to see the film. Clive (our dog) was fascinated watching 'Marley' on screen!

Take care and look forward to purchasing your new book!
- Clive and the little man's mum

6:02 AM  
Blogger Tininha said...

Olá Jonh,sou Paula,tenho 12 anos(I'm brazilian),eu já li seu livro 2 vezes de tão bom que é,a sua alegria em minha vida!Agora eu tô lendo o livro que também é seu: Cachorros encrenqueiros se Divertem Mais.
De todos os livros que já li em minha vida,Marley and Me was the Best.
Eu tenho agora em 2009,três cachorros:Dog alemão...11anos Rebeca;boxer...8 anos,bud.vira-lata...4anos,Tininha.Mas eu já tive no total 12 animais!!
Na escola,esse ano nós fizemos folder do seu livro em equipe!!!(eu tirei a nota maxima!!!)Foi o melhor trabalho que já fiz em minha vida!!!Muito obrigado por fazer esse livro que conta sua vida com o Marley...Além de me fazer bem eu ainda aprendi muitas liçoes de vida, com a sua emocionante história de vida ao lado de seu cachorro Marley.
Desculpe pela perda de Marley!eu sei como é perder um cachorro que já está dentro de seu coração...eu já perdi uma cadela quando ela tinha 2 anos de idade,por causa de cancer e tumores na barriga.(Raça:Labradora/Nome:Brigite)
Jonh, por favor fale por mim para seus filhos... Que agora é a melhor hora de ter uma compreenção por causa de sua fama.
Agradeço muito.
Bye Paula Rist Brandenburg.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Tininha said...

Olá Jonh,sou Paula,tenho 12 anos(I'm brazilian),eu já li seu livro 2 vezes de tão bom que é,a sua alegria em minha vida!Agora eu tô lendo o livro que também é seu: Cachorros encrenqueiros se Divertem Mais.
De todos os livros que já li em minha vida,Marley and Me was the Best.
Eu tenho agora em 2009,três cachorros:Dog alemão...11anos Rebeca;boxer...8 anos,bud.vira-lata...4anos,Tininha.Mas eu já tive no total 12 animais!!
Na escola,esse ano nós fizemos folder do seu livro em equipe!!!(eu tirei a nota maxima!!!)Foi o melhor trabalho que já fiz em minha vida!!!Muito obrigado por fazer esse livro que conta sua vida com o Marley...Além de me fazer bem eu ainda aprendi muitas liçoes de vida, com a sua emocionante história de vida ao lado de seu cachorro Marley.
Desculpe pela perda de Marley!eu sei como é perder um cachorro que já está dentro de seu coração...eu já perdi uma cadela quando ela tinha 2 anos de idade,por causa de cancer e tumores na barriga.(Raça:Labradora/Nome:Brigite)
Jonh, por favor fale por mim para seus filhos... Que agora é a melhor hora de ter uma compreenção por causa de sua fama.
Agradeço muito.
Bye Paula Rist Brandenburg

1:01 PM  
Blogger Gi said...

I miss your posts...

5:22 PM  
Blogger Steffens said...

And Marley continues to live on for the Grogans!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Higor said...

This post has been removed by the author.

7:26 PM  

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