Debut Review Challenge with Hannah Stark

It is my pleasure to welcome Hannah Stark to the Debut Review Challenge Blog!

Debut By-the-Numbers: TRUCKER AND TRAIN

Number of years writing:


Number of years from contract to published book:


Date your book was released:

August 6, 2019

Number of pages:


Number of launch events:


Number of days per week that writing takes a backseat to marketing & publicity:


Number of critique partners:

Currently 2.  For Trucker and Train there were 4.

Number of books you hope to publish over the next ten years:


Number of times you’ve pinched yourself that you really have a book out: 


Current number of reviews:

On Amazon: 22; On Goodreads: 21

A Few Questions

  • Who/what are your greatest inspirations?    

My mom and my grandmother.  My mom is an author and illustrator of picture books, middle grade books, and is currently working on a graphic novel.  Her name is Marisabina Russo.  She’s always encouraged me to share my art and creativity.  She also shows me how long, how rocky, how rewarding, and how amazing a career in books can be.  My grandmother (my mom’s mom) has always inspired me because she was incredibly resilient.  She was a Holocaust survivor, a single mother, a business owner, and had a killer sense of humor and style.  

  • Without giving anything away, tell us about your work-in-progress. What do you love about it so far? Where are you stuck?  

I have been working on some research projects and the manuscripts are historical fiction and straight up non-fiction.  I love research and can get lost in that process.   For one of these projects, I am stuck developing an authentic character voice for a little girl living in the 1930’s in Ohio. 

  • What does your work space look like? Tell us about a typical work session.

I wish I had a clear-cut writing work space.  I live in an apartment in Brooklyn with my two young sons.  I’m a third grade public school teacher.  Space (and time) are very limited!  I try to find the time by blocking off occasional weekend days to write.  I have tons of notes in an app on my phone because ideas strike me at the most unexpected times.  I like to go to the Rose Reading Room in the New York Public Library’s Main Branch or to the coffee shop on my block.  

Time to Play: STORY SMASH!

Think about all the stories you’ve written that have hit a dead end or are hidden away in a drawer somewhere. For each of the items below, lift an element from a different story to create a weird, unexpected mash-up. Who knows? It may even inspire a new manuscript!

Character(s): Vola

Setting: New York City

Theme: Overcoming Fear

Problem: Vola wants to overcome her fear of the sort-of scary bathroom in school. 

Pitch: Vola knows she’s got to go (to the bathroom) but she’ll do anything to avoid the creepy, crawly bathroom in the school basement.  

Dark places with creepy crawlies… Definitely a common fear! Thanks for playing.

It’s time to write some reviews! Leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other online site. For every five reviews you write for debut Kidlit creators, you can fill out this ENTRY FORM for a chance to win prizes. Hannah has generously donated a signed book to one lucky winner. Thank you, Hannah!


  • Support debut authors by suggesting their book titles to your local library!.
  • Purchase them as gifts for children in your life, a teacher, or a local school.
  • Share book titles or reviews on social media and tag the author/illustrator.

For BONUS ENTRIES, complete this Rafflecopter giveaway!

#DebutReviewChallenge #ReadReviewRepeat

About Hannah’s Book


Author/Illustrator: Hannah Stark and Bob Kolar

Publisher: Clarion Books/HMH Kids

Year: 2019

Synopsis: Trucker, the big rig, loves to rule the road with his size, strength, and mighty horn. One day he meets the larger, stronger, and louder Train. Trucker quickly realizes that Train is larger, stronger, and louder but isn’t using his might for power. Instead, Train is well admired by the vehicles around him. TRUCKER AND TRAIN is a story about kindness and using our strengths for good.

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