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Katie's Book

Monday, January 3, 2011

Want to see the best gift I gave this year?

I have to share, because I really can't even take credit for it; over 3,300 of you readers helped me create it:

Ta DAAA!

This, my friends, is a 552 page book comprised of all of your encouraging comments to Katie the Star Wars girl. Pretty cool, right?

The cover art is by comic artist Jack Lawrence, who was inspired to create it after first reading about Katie:


Fortunately he was delighted to grant me permission to use it for the cover. (Thanks again, Jack!)

I also have to give a shout-out and big thank you to readers Deirdre Popp and Jennifer Reid, who helped me format the 700+ page document down into a more manageable 550-ish pages, a feat which took many more hours than I had to spare!


Here's the dedication page:

It reads,

To Katie, from the readers of Epbot.com.

Whenever you're feeling down, or lonely, or pressured to be someone you're not, we hope you'll flip through these pages and remember that there are thousands and thousands of us out here, cheering you on.

(The bottom line credits Jack, Deirdre, and Jennifer.)


Following the dedication page is Carrie's original article, and then my own blurb from here on Epbot.

Here's a sample page spread from the inside:


I have to tell you guys: I never dreamed this book would look this nice. I was positively *giddy* when it arrived in the mail. It's such a tangible expression of geeky solidarity - I didn't want to put it down!

Which reminds me: I have to give another shout-out to Lulu, the self-publishing site I used to order Katie's book. Getting all the formatting ducks in a row was kind of a pain - it's very much a DIY site - but in the end the total cost for this huge hardcover was less than $30. Seriously. And it looks a-MAZ-ing. So, consider this my ringing endorsement for Lulu. Great stuff.

Thanks again to everyone here who contributed to Katie's book, and of course to Katie's mom Carrie, who started us all off on this wild and wonderful journey. And, Katie? We hope you love your book, and will cherish it and the memories it represents for many, many years to come. MTFBWY!


UPDATE: I've already had several of you ask if you can order your own copy of Katie's book. Turns out, you can! I've adjusted the settings on Lulu, so all you need is this direct link to order a copy. (I'm not making any money on this: you'll pay the same amount that I did.) I hope it helps encourage lots of other Geek Girls (and boys!) out there!

Posted by Jen at 4:04 PM Labels:

83 comments:

  1. That is a big hunk o' awesome right there Jen. Good work! I'm sure she'll adore it!

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  2. This is so incredibly cool. I'm practically crying. Damn you for making me "FEEL"!

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  3. That is quite possibly the most awesome thing I've seen in, oh IDK....FOREVER! WTG!! I bet she LOVES IT!!

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  4. Jen FTW! Epically. Epic win. Yes.

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  5. Agreed. Epic Jen, FTW. Thank you, sincerely, THANK YOU for bringing this to light, and allowing us to be a small part of this girl's situation, and a part of making her know she's NOT alone. *HUGS* (*sniffle*)

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  6. That is awesome. You are such a great person to do this for Katie, I hope she gets a lot of warmth and love from it because that is what the book was created with.

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  7. So amazing--this definitely warmed my heart on this cold, dreary Monday!

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  8. That is amazingly awesome! With awesome sauce!

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  9. Jen, it looks great. I know it is geared towards Katie, but it makes me wish I could have a copy for my kids. A big book of geek support can go a long way for a lot of people.

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  10. Jen, that is freakin' incredible! If I were in Katie's shoes, I'd be over the moon to have something like that! You rock!

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  11. I kind of wish my best wishes for Katie were in the book too, but i sent her mom an email direct. The week Katie's story came out, something very special arrived in the mail. It was a wedding invitation from one of my cousins. I couldn't resist taking a photo and forwarding it to Katie through her mom. My cousin Nuala's wedding announcement was done completely in Star Wars, including the reply card with Yoda on it asking "attend you will."
    here is a link on my flickr account.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44166526@N06/5321585680/

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  12. I'd love to see this available to purchase. Katie can't be the only young girl geek out there who could use some support. This would be such an awesome gift to give to other girls and there's really nothing like it out there.

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  13. I don't often post comment to blogs, but when I read about Katie, I just had to stand up and be counted! I'm a band geek bookworm from way back, and proud of it! And I would LOVE to have a copy of that book!

    Thanks, Jen, for letting us all get in touch with that Katie we were long ago, and still are!

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  14. While the outpouring of support impressed, you took it over the top, Jen, with this incredible book. Thank you yet again for making everyone's world brighter.

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  15. I have chills, and an itty bitty tear. Great work, Jen! Proud to be a part of it.

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  16. YOU ARE SO FREAKING AWESOME!!! Also, you made me cry. SWEET AND AWESOME!

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  17. I love it!! And I love that my comment is in that awesome book! :0)

    A question for you all...where is a good place to find a girl's size 12-14 Star Wars shirt? My daughter became a Star Wars fan this year, and is turning 12 this month. Can you help me find a cool shirt for her?

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  18. What an utterly amazing gift for Katie!

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  19. How awesome and inspiring! And something I'm proud to be a part of (a very small part, mind you, but I'm sure glad I left a comment for Katie!) You rock, Jen. You just really, really rock.

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  20. That is so awesome.

    I might have to check out Lulu. I've got some stuff I'd love to see in book form...

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  21. Does it include the comments left on Carrie's blog, or only the ones left here?

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  22. I'm going to buy this! Thanks for making it!

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  23. That looks AWESOME! So glad the cover art worked out, too. And I will be ordering one for my own little geek-girl.

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  24. That is SOooo Awesome. I love it.

    I sure hope I had submitted something in your comments.

    Danny.

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  25. I almost got through this post without tearing up again.

    Almost.

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  26. This was so touching! I have a question about Lulu though. Can you create and buy a book without publishing it? Or can you only do it if you are going to publish? Respond please!

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  27. Oh my gosh, that's just too cute. Not only do I think that's just the sweetest damned thing ever, I thought this whole story was so amazingly awesome. I'm super happy (and disturbingly sappy, for once) that I took the chance to participate and leave a comment for Katie, rather than observing from the sidelines as I usually do.

    Thank you so much for doing this, Jen!

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  28. It's amazing how one forward can put me in tears! Outstanding work!!

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  29. This is utterly fantastic. Thank you for putting it together. I think that many younglings will benefit from the words in this book.

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  30. What a wonderful, completely selfless example of the Christmas spirit! That is what Christmas is all about. Way to go, Jen!

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  31. Every little girl should get one of these. I can't believe how awesome everyone it. I just wish I had one when growing up!

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  32. What a great idea! I can't believe you all fit that in over the holidays.

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  33. This whole story and how it played out just makes me feel so hopeful and happy. There are a lot of good people out there after all.

    It is amazing to see how we can all pull together sometimes.

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  34. AWESOME, Jen. Absolutley incredible.

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  35. So COOOOOOOOOL!!!!!
    Intrigued now am I to own a copy.

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  36. Jen, what a beautiful, kind thing you have done!! I know Katie will treasure it.

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  37. That's great of you to do that for Katie! Did you include only comments posted here on Epbot, or did you include the ones on the original article, too? What a feel good story.

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  38. This is the coolest thing EVER!

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  39. Jen,
    I don't comment much (maybe one other time,) but I do read EPBOT and Cake Wrecks faithfully. Many times you've brought tears to my eyes (usually from laughing so hard,) but this is one of those times where I'm not laughing. I'm so happy there are people like you in the world, making a difference when others do not. You truly are an amazing person and you deserve amazing thing. You inspire me, and many others, to be better human beings. With people like you inspiring us, thus teaching our offspring to be better, I think we have hope for the future. Much love to you and John.

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  40. @ anony, regarding Lulu: you can upload any document (that belongs to you, of course) and create a book from it. You can keep the project private, so that only you can purchase it, or publish it to the public forums, where others can. I hope that answers your question - if not, tell me and I'll try again!

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  41. For those of you asking, the book only includes the comments from Epbot. I know it would have been extra awesome to also include those from Carrie's original article, but these books *do* have a 800 page limit - and my original document was over 700 pages. Hopefully the 552 pages we ended up with will pack enough encouragement to satisfy any geekling, young or old. ;)

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  42. Yay Jen!! You are officially the Director of Geek Girls!! I love you and your blog. GIRL POWER!!

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  43. That turned out AMAZINGLY! LOVE it!!

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  44. That book is so many kinds of awesome, it defies words. Eight year old me with her Transformers Lunch Box is grinning from ear to ear :)

    Totally FTW!

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  45. To be honest, this project makes me uneasy, despite your good intentions.

    Encourage people, encourage girls, but so much emphasis on one girl is potentially damaging to her and a disservice to the rest. It's great to be inspired, but you're making this little girl think she is 550 pages of special when it's what she symbolizes to you all that's important. However, she's 6. She doesn't get that difference yet.

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  46. Jen you rock!
    That is so amazing!

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  47. That's wonderful! And you are right - it looks like it turned out beautiful. Katie is a lucky girl to have so many geeky friends supporting her! :)

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  48. Anon @ 2:57,

    I put up your comment against my better judgment mainly because I figure there are people out there who share your view. Personally, I think it's stupid, but hey, I'm just the husband of a girl who went through the same things Katie did.

    And I'm sorry but Katie is at least 550 pages of special and I think it's important for her to know that. You'll probably only realize it when she's your boss.

    -john

    Oh, and put your name next time. Courage is a virtue.

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  49. What an amazing gift Katie received - proof that she is NOT abnormal! I wish every young child who doesn't conform to their peers could get such a gift. I think stuff like this proves that the internet is not the end of civilized society.

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  50. What a great idea for a Christmas present! I have several sheets of paper with encouraging notes on them (some dating all the way back to high school) that I like to pull out whenever I'm feeling a bit down, and they are among some of my more treasured possessions. I can only imagine how much of a confidence booster a whole book would be. I'm sure Katie will LOVE it. :)

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  51. Jen...i can't say it enough. You are awesome in so many ways.
    Thank you!

    In response to Robin's request...I found this website that has some fairly neat T's. Check it out!

    STARWARSTEES

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  52. It's wonderful!!! Such an amazing thing for Katie to have. And now all of her fellow geeky girls can help her out whenever she needs it. I'm teary over here too. I can't wait to see how Katie uses all this encouragement to help other geeky girls. :D

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  53. That. Is. So. Freakin. Cool.

    And to those who worry about the effect on Katie, that is actually a valid concern, but I think by all accounts her parents are handling it brilliantly. They read a few comments each night, donate most of the toys, etc. she has received, and basically, still make her eat her green vegetables. They are every bit as much my heroes as Katie and Jen are!

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  54. *clapping wildly* Bravo!! this book was a brilliant idea. You did good Jen ( and the rest o' your helpers).

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  55. That is AWESOME!!! You should submit it to your publisher and tell them they must publish it for all the girls in the world!

    Oh and btw - what was her reaction when she recieved it?

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  56. Jenn, we already knew you were awesome, but this just takes it to a whole new level. I officially nominate you for Geek Sainthood!

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  57. I am so glad that you use your powers for good, Jen. :D Way to go!

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  58. *salutes Katie and Epbot*

    I feel all misty eyed now.

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  59. Hey Anonymous, no offense, but you have this whole thing totally backwards when you say “you're making this little girl think she is 550 pages of special when it's what she symbolizes to you all that's important”.
    Every child should get a chance to feel that they are 1100 pages worth of important to somebody.
    It’s great to see this much positive energy. Perhaps you could challenge us all to consider what we hoped the result of our actions would be, or how we might incorporate a less intense and more sustainable type of support for others into our daily lives, since we seem to have really struck a chord here.
    But I think that pessimistic nay-saying over the fact that this white-hot attention won’t last Katie’s whole life is not very productive. I hear what you are saying, but I think that should be call for us to do MORE not less.

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  60. Anonymous at 2:57, I think that you have it backwards. Katie was feeling like she was alone, even weird; the only girl in her grade who liked Star Wars, and the only person in her grade who wore glasses and was adopted. What the commenters (and I'm one) told her was that no, she wasn't odd or unusual, because there are a LOT of us females who like Star Wars (and science fiction in general) and/or who wear glasses and/or are adopted. In short, she's an ordinary, regular girl, but she's also special in the way that every other person is special because of who they are. That she shouldn't subvert her interests simply because of what others tell her she *should* do and like.

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  61. I just want to "LIKE" everyone else's comments :)

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  62. writing to Katie and following her story was one of the best things about my nov/dec. Thanks for making that possible!

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  63. That is the coolest thing ever. Geek girls are the awesomest people.

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  64. Jen, able helpers, John---
    Bless your good, loving, caring hearts. You are awesome. Bless Katie on her life journey. And blessings also to all the girls, here and elsewhere, who have been made to feel truly awful about being "too different," "too geeky," or just plain "too smart." The world needs a lot of healing. This project and its outcome make me teary with joy.

    Terrell (aka NiteNurse)

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  65. Jen, awesome just doesn't begin to say it....

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  66. Shout out for Epbot @ Geekmom.com!!

    http://www.geekmom.com/2011/01/katies-book-may-the-force-be-with-her/

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  67. Jen,this is Katie's mom, Carrie. We CANNOT WAIT to receive your incredible book! And as far as the commenter who was worried that Katie would feel she was 552 pages of special, I sure hope she does! EVERY child deserves to feel that way. But if it helps reassure to you, Katie is a very grounded little girl who has an awesome amount of humility and has remained very humble throughout this process. On New Year's Day, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up, and she responded with, "A better person." (Her three-year old sister answered that she wants to be "a queen" - good thing she is not the one receiving all this attention!)
    Anyway, Katie actually understands that she represents all the little kids who have been bullied, because we tell her that. When she heard about a little boy across the country who was teased for liking My Little Pony, she called him and left a message saying, "May the Pony be with you" because she wanted him not to feel so alone and she wanted to share all the support she has received. Yes, I am her mom, so I think she rocks, but it does appear that she is the right kid to be on the receiving end of so much love. I am so lucky that we adopted her out of foster care, and I want all the world to see her for the special child she is!

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  68. Carrie (Katie's mom):
    You are the perfect mom for Katie. I'm sure she knows how lucky she is to have you for a mom. Thank you for being a role model to all moms out there!

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  69. He's a little young, but maybe this is the man for Katie when she (and he) grow up: http://sirjacksonthecute.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/boys-can-like-pink/#comments

    Certainly he seems to appreciate girls like Katie!

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