"He told me, 'I don't want to offend you, but I think your work is very childlike,' and he suggested that I write for kids," Ignatow said in a recent talk with members of the Children's Book Guild of Washington, D.C. "The moment he said that, I thought, 'Yes! That's what comes naturally to me.' "
So Ignatow created "The Popularity Papers"(Amulet/Abrams, $15.95, ages 8-12), which was published last spring. Subtitled "Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang," the book is presented as a colorfully illustrated, hand-lettered journal kept by the two fifth-graders as they try to figure out how to become popular.
Funny and realistic, this first volume of "The Popularity Papers" has become a smash hit with girl readers, and garnered rave reviews in School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly and The New York Times. Now, Ignatow has just published a sequel, "The Popularity Papers: The Long-Distance Dispatch Between Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang" (Amulet/Abrams, $15.95, ages 8-12), in which the friends must cope with a six-month separation when Lydia's family moves to London.