The Neighborhood

Eleven Book Signing with Dylan

I recently enjoyed a fun visit from my friend (and fan of Eleven), Dylan Foyster.

Tom Rogers, author of Eleven, signs a book for his friend DylanDylan was in town to see his grandparents, Joanne and Rusty Muir, but he managed to squeeze in a quick hello while he was here. He’d brought his copy of my book, so we had an impromptu Eleven book signing.

I managed to get Radar to leave him a paw-print, too.

Dylan’s a sixth-grader at West End Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee.

I last saw him about a year ago, when he was at least a foot shorter. We took a tour of DisneyToon Studios, where I was writing a Tinker Bell movie, Legend of the NeverBeast (coming out this December).

Dylan was understandably more interested in the artwork for Planes: Fire and Rescue, and my co-worker Art Hernandez even drew him a picture of Planes star Dusty Crophopper. (Sadly, Dylan had to settle for my chicken-scratch on this visit.)

Dylan, it was great to see you! Thanks for finding time to say hi while you were here.

Keep on reading, my friend.

(And while you’re at it, feel free to tell all your friends about Eleven!)

Be Sociable, Share!
Read more

11 Tips for a Family Trip to New York and the 9/11 Museum

With the 9/11 Museum now open at the World Trade Center, many families are thinking about making a visit to the museum the centerpiece of a Labor Day or early fall getaway to New York.

But nobody (okay, no sane body) then wants to slog uptown and brave the crowds and chaos of Times Square in search of family fun.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Ed Yourdon – Flickr / Creative Commons

Instead, parents can take advantage of all the family-friendly surprises that Lower Manhattan offers. There’s stuff for every taste, from educational to outdoorsy, all within walking distance, and much of it budget-friendly – even free.

First, check out the latest listings at TimeOut Kids, covering all of New York City, and FiDi Families, which focuses on Lower Manhattan. Then explore these 11 tips for a family trip centered on a visit to the 9/11 Museum:

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Augie Ray – Flickr / Creative Commons.

1. LEARN ABOUT 9/11. A visit to the 9/11 Museum should be the centerpiece of any trip to the Financial District. Reservations for the outdoor Memorial are no longer necessary, but the Museum requires a timed-entry ticket, so plan ahead. Extended summer hours through September 21; free admission Tuesday evenings.  Before you go, download a copy of the Museum Guide for Families with Children. You may also want to check out my 8 Tips on How to Talk to Your Kids About 9-11.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Joe Mabel – Flickr / Creative Commons

2. REACH FOR THE SKY. Budding young architects can admire the soaring lines of the new One World Trade Center Freedom Tower, rising 1,776 feet above the 9/11 Memorial. The nearby Skyscraper Museum celebrates tall buildings and hosts twice-monthly family programs with hands-on activities for kids.

3. GO ON SAFARI…IN NEW YORK CITY?  Head a few blocks north for Sunday morning nature hikes at Hudson River Park WILD. No one expects to find a wildlife habitat in Manhattan. Nature guides will help you spot birds, butterflies, and critters that live in this oasis by the river.

4. GEORGE WASHINGTON SWORE HERE. Little history buffs will love exploring the original New Amsterdam. Prowl the cobbled alleys of the Stone Street Historic District. Stop by Federal Hall, where George Washington took the first oath of office as President. Pause for a breather at St. Paul’s Chapel (George Washington prayed here), the oldest church in Manhattan. Visit the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian (always free). Cap off the day at the Fraunces Tavern and Museum, a hotbed of intrigue during the American Revolution.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Alex Taferner – Flickr / Creative Commons

5. GOT ANTS IN THE PANTS? Catch the ferry from Battery Park (just $2, and free on weekend mornings) to Governors Island. There you’ll find mini-golf, bike rentals, climbable sculptures, and just plain room to run. Moms and Dads will appreciate the 50 swinging hammocks in Hammock Grove.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Lian Chang – Flickr / Creative Commons

6. HIT THE HIGH SEAS. Cast off from the South Street Seaport and Museum and set sail on the Pioneer, an iron-hulled schooner from 1885. Landlubbers can still get the shipboard experience dockside at the Street of Ships. FiDi Families hosts free, fun activities for kids at the Front/Row Stage through August 28.

7. GET CREATIVE. The New Amsterdam branch of the New York Public Library holds Story Time for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy hosts outdoor jams, art, storytelling, fishing days, chess for kids, and the popular “Play Outside” program.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Barry Solow – Flickr / Creative Commons

8. GO ISLAND HOPPING. Feel the wind in your hair on the Staten Island Ferry and take in amazing views of the Statue of Liberty without the crowds. Once across, a quick bus or cab ride brings you to the charming Staten Island Zoo, with pony rides, a petting zoo, and live animal demonstrations–perfect for families with small kids.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

ScubaBear68 – Flickr / Creative Commons

9. THE BUCK STOPS HERE, HERE, AND HERE. Got a tycoon tyke in your brood? Then the Museum of American Finance is a must-see. Or take a guided Wall Street Walk through the greatest financial center in the world. The Downtown Culture Pass offers discounted admission to most of the top attractions in the Financial District.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Kim – Flickr / Creative Commons

10. TAKE A TASTE OF THE ‘TOWN. They say an army moves on its stomach. Feed your army with a side trip to Chinatown. Try the soup dumplings at legendary Joe’s Shanghai, slurp down tapioca pearls at Vivi Bubble Tea, and top off the day with a scoop of black sesame or red bean ice cream at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (where they also serve “exotic” flavors like vanilla and chocolate chip).

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Andrew Mace – Flickr / Creative Commons

11. CROSS OVER THE BRIDGE. Stroll across the majestic Brooklyn Bridge on the pedestrian promenade–or take the East River Ferry from Pier 11 (one stop to DUMBO). In Brooklyn Bridge Park, kids will love the Water Lab and Sandbox Village, while parents can enjoy spectacular waterfront views back to Manhattan. When you’ve built up an appetite, head for pizza at Grimaldi’s or splurge on the world famous chocolate at Jacques Torres.

There’s no reason a family trip to New York has to be defined by the Three Cs: chaos, crowds, and crying. A visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum can be the centerpiece of a Lower Manhattan getaway that’s meaningful, tasty, and fun.

Be Sociable, Share!
Read more

Two Great Reviews of Eleven

Checking in with a short post today to indulge in a little humblebrag.

This week saw an embarrassment of riches in my inbox.  But not so embarrassing that I won’t tell you about them.


Reviews of Eleven by Tom Rogers

First was a glowing review in DOWNTOWN Magazine NYC, a news and culture magazine based in…can you guess?…downtown New York.

“It helps explain the tragedy to young adults in a simple, yet moving manner. Tom Rogers has told the story in a way that most parents and educators have struggled to accomplish. It’s a thoughtful and important book for readers of all ages.”

To be honest, I’ve always been concerned about how the book would be received by those who experienced 9/11 at close range and who continue to live with daily reminders of that time.

Getting a thumbs-up from downtown was a relief and a thrill.

Lazy Hippie Mama

Yeah, you read that right.

The “Lazy Hippie Mama” is Elizabeth Comiskey, a Midwestern mother of four whose charming and witty blog is consistently ranked among the top three “mom blogs” in the nation, in the home schooling category.*

I’m not much of a hippie (my hair is WAY too short), but I can certainly get behind her manifesto:

“One Woman’s Attempt to Save the Earth, Promote World Peace, and Raise Productive Citizens Without Expending Too Much Effort”

Reviews of Eleven, by Tom Rogers

LHM published an enthusiastic review of Eleven this week.

“The author did an extraordinary job of presenting the human side of what happened on that day….I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Eleven to anyone for themselves or their child….I intend to have my 5th grader read it this September.”

Moms tend to be the gatekeepers for what kids read at this age, and I was delighted to get this endorsement from such a committed parent.

“A great platform for a discussion about 9/11″

Both reviews of Eleven emphasized the book’s value to teachers and parents as a way to talk to their kids about a difficult subject like 9/11.

As the new school year begins and we approach the next anniversary of 9/11, I’m already looking forward to working with the many schools that will be teaching Eleven this year.

If you’d like to arrange an author visit at your school, in person or via email, phone or Skype,  just hit me on email ( or Twitter (@tomrogersbook).

Thanks! Eleven book cover - Tom Rogers*rankings from Top Mommy Blogs

Be Sociable, Share!
Read more
Page 1 of 512345