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For Readers

You can leave a comment or question below and I will answer it as soon as I notice it, or you can scroll to the bottom of the "My Works/FAQ" page to check my answers to the questions I am most frequently asked:

Dear Ms.Swannson my name is Brady Wilson I'm 11 years old and I'm in 5 grade I loved reading your book Going for the record. could you come to do a book talk with my class please Gmail me at brwx4@k12albemarle.org.

ps sorry for all the comments I kept messing up sorry.


Hi, Brady. Thanks for your note. I'm glad you liked GOING FOR THE RECORD. What school do you go to? I could possibly do a book talk with your class. Hopefully I can get the vaccine for the coronavirus soon and do that! I have emailed you...


dear Ms.Swanson could you come to do a book talk in my class respond at bradybear2@icloud.com, please Sincerely, Brady Wilson


could you come do a book talk for my class plz respond at brwx4@k12albemarle.org then I can send you the location and I love your book "going for the record"


Dear Ms.Swanson
My name is Alivia Greiner, I am 13 years old and I am in 7th grade
I loved reading your book " Going for the Record"
I loved this book because the conditions your dad was in and the journey you wrote about! I can relate to this book because my grandpa was going through the same thing. He went to heaven right before I started reading this book.
I have a couple questions for you.
What was your dad like? (https://wordpress.com/post/julieaswanson.wordpress.com/1614)
When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
Do you still know Clay to this day?
What made you decide you wanted to write this book?
I am looking forward to your reply!
Thank you for your time.

Alivia Greiner


Hi, Alivia. Thanks for your note. To answer your questions: My dad was very much as I portrayed Leah's Pops in the book. I wanted to an author ever since I was a kid. Clay is actually two people I know put together to make a fictional character, but, yes, I still know both of them. I wanted to write this book to share the amazingly inspirational and loving experience of my dad's death and also to share some of the thoughts and emotions I wrestled with so that others (kids) going through the same thing could know they were not alone and maybe even take comfort in some of the things that helped me. Sorry to hear you are missing your grandpa but glad you liked the book!


Hi i am a high school around the same age as Leah in your book. I really in joyed your book! It is my second time reading it. I could relate more this time reading it because i am about Leah's age and i used to play soccer and go to ODP but i got hurt this year and had to miss a lot of soccer which was hard for me to do. Also my dad does not want me to play again but it is hard not to not play the sport that you love! One other thing that i could really relate to was that i had a grandpa who died from cancer a different type but i did not know him that well! I love this book so much i was wondering if you had any other good books that i could read! here is my email! Aachterkirch@gmail.com Thanks, Alana


Hi, Alana, I apologoze if you posted this a long time ago--just noticing it now. I'm sorry you got hurt and had to miss playing. Hope you're better by now! I give all sorts of books I like on my About Me page that I think are really good; I think you might really enjoy THE DAIRY QUEEN trilogy if you liked my book. Thanks for your note and I'm glad you enjoyed my book!


Is this fiction or non fiction


This is fiction, but it's based on real life. My dad did die of cancer, but of a different type, and when I was an adult. He did not own a restaurant, and although we did live in that area of Michigan, we did not live in that town. I was into basketball, not soccer. I have 3 siblings and am not the baby of the family... So while the emotions of what Leah went through are very much the same as those I experienced, and some of the people are based on real people or combinations of people, I changed up a lot of things in terms of the details.

I wrote the previous comment, but i would also like to add after reading the other comments that a sequel would be amazing. No matter how you write it, it would turn out well. Leah stays in my mind a lot, and sometimes I wonder why. I try to push myself as she had in soccer. Again, you did a wonderful job! -Melissa, Omaha, NE (2011)


I really enjoyed you book, Going for the Record. I read it within two days! It reminded me of my Grandma a lot. It truly is my favorite book! You did a great job.


Wow, Melissa, thanks so much for your nice note! I'm glad you liked GOING FOR THE RECORD and I appreciate your taking the time to share your comments with me. Best of luck at whatever you're pushing yourself in (soccer or something else?).


I was crying so hard at the end of reading your book!! Leah's dad seems almost like a complete replica of my dad, and that really got me to thinking. I really enjoyed your book! Good job =)


Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I'm even more glad you've got a dad like Leah's (mine)--you're lucky, enjoy him!


i really love your book Going For The Record in fact i am reading it right now i am in 7th grade and went to the library for something interested i seen your book and liked the cover read the bacj and thought it was really interesting so i got it i cheaked it out now im at home reading it and i fel in love with your book please tell me if you have any other books coming or are already out thanks carastin caraboojehnsen96@aim.com

Thanks for your note, Carastin. I'm glad you like my book! Sounds like you'd prefer an email so that's what I'll do...

Mrs. Swanson, I'm doing a school project and would like to know your favorite quotes from the book... And I must say, it was one of my favorites!!


I like lines 2-11 on p. 211, where Gram gives Leah a different way of thinking of "the void", and lines 15-20 on p. 209; both of these excerpts are ideas that really helped me, concepts I took comfort in when my own dad died. I like p. 174 through the top 5 lines of p. 176, because this describes a powerful afternoon I actually spent with my dad; sounds and images vividly imprinted in my memory. Lines 2-8 on p. 172. The middle 3 paragraphs on p. 170, where they discuss their feelings on euthanasia. The scene that starts on p. 98 and goes to the end of the chapter is one of my very favorites, again based on a real situation/conversation in which I felt very close to my dad and he helped me begin to accept his death, without fear. I like the scene at the beginning of Chapter 2, where they "go for the record" (ends halfway down p. 12. I also love when Gram kisses the dad after he's died, her boy, her Petey.


There are some sports-related lines I like, too, because they describe how I felt when I played and practiced basketball: p. 50, last 2 paragraphs; I like the scene from the middle of p. 44 through the 7th line of p. 45, too. I can't find the other place I'm thinking of, but it's a scene where she's running (or a couple of them?) and her feet go sump-sump in the leaves on the path and she loses herself in it. I have other sports ones but won't go on. ..Hopes this helps and isn't way more than you want!


Mrs. Swanson,

Oh by the way the message below is From Abby W. in Crozet, VA

Hey I live in Crozet, VA right near where you do. I got to Henley Middle School and I missed you coming to talk to us because I had church that night so I wasn't there to hear what you said, but I really wish I could've made it

Sorry you couldn't make it, Abby. If you ever see me around, be sure to introduce yourself! Thanks for the note.

Sorry, Miss Swanson, but i have 2 more questions. 1) What do you think would be the role of soccer in Leah's future if you made a sequel about her playing soccer? Do you think she would continue to play soccer or would she stop? Thanks again!! Carrie N.


Could you describe what you visualize Enzo as? I would imagine him as a big heavy hispanic man with olive skin and a long black braid, but i would like to know your opinion. Carrie N.


Carrie, in my ideas for a sequel, Leah would make a full return to playing and enjoying soccer. She would do well her senior year in high school and then accept a scholarship to go somewhere and play in college (and that's where she would begin having trouble again). As for Enzo, I do envision him to have olive skin and dark hair. In my mind he was of no specific background, though, could've been Hispanic, Italian, Spanish... Although I saw his hair as being longer and shaggy, I did not picture it being long enough for a braid. Not that any of this matters (because it's how you picture him that really counts), but I didn't imagine him to be heavy. I saw him as being of medium height and in pretty good shape for a guy his age because he still plays soccer.

Mrs. Swanson I need help with a school assignment and need to know the major events that happen in chapters 9-16. I couldn't find many and thought that maybe you could help. Thank you, Caroline

Caroline, not every chapter has a major event as you may be thinking about it, but there usually is something that happens that's new and significant that furthers the story. It may not be anything big in terms of action or drama; the "major event" may simply be a realization, a progression in her dad's illness, a decision that someone makes, something that threatens. I haven't read the book since it was printed, so I don't remember what happens in Chapters 9-16, but I did just briefly page through those chapters and saw things like I talk about above as well as a few things that I think qualify as truly big events in either her dad's illness (or its treatment) or her relationships with people. If you read/reread it now, I think you'll see them. Hope this helps.

Mrs. Swanson, In your FAQ about writing a sequel for Going for the Record, you asked what people wanted in the sequel. I would like to know if Leah continues to play soccer, what happens between Clay and Leah. And how she finds her peace with the loss of her father. I really enjoyed your book.It opened my eyes to how my life could be. It showed me that I really shouldn't take things for granted. I don't read a lot and i actually finished this in 2 days. I picked it up in my school library for ZYLAR(Zip Your Lisps And Read). I love the IWBTBWSPITW shirt. I hope you consider, again, writing a sequel for Going for the Record. Sincerely, Stephanie

Stephanie, thanks for your note. It's interesting to hear what you'd like to see in a sequel (I don't have it written, but I do have it