Welcome to my totally retro website! Stay tuned because I'm building a new one... The Journal News just profiled me. Cool, right? (So did Stay Thirsty. And so did Bitch --which is actually pretty funny since I'm so darn nice.)

The Ava Wren Series...

My newest novel for kids 8 to 12 is AVA AND TACO CAT (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky). READ AN EXCERPT. Ava desperately wants a cat -- but gets way more than she bargained for! Vanity Fair calls it "purrfect." It was great to meet kids and sign books at Politics & Prose, Tattered Cover, Corner Bookstore, Book Culture, Bethany Bookstore, Chautauqua, and elsewhere on my "Taco Tour."

AVA AND PIP is now in paperback. READ AN EXCERPT. According to The New York Times Book Review last year, the diary "perfectly captures the complexities of sisterhood" and is "a love letter to language." A-V-A is a fifth grader with a passion for palindromes, and her sister Pip is so painfully shy that Ava feels bad for her and mad at her all at the same time. Can Ava help Pip find her voice? Can she find her own?

Find Ava on Amazon or support your local independent bookstore. Booklist says Ava "will have readers cheering;" Publishers Weekly did a Q & A. Please look for AVA XOX in February 2016. Will there be more palindromes? D-O G-E-E-S-E S-E-E G-O-D?

The Advice Column

For 21 years, I've been the "Dear Carol" advice columnist at Girls' Life, I have answered precisely one bazillion letters. If you don't have a dog-eared copy of GIRLTALK (Harper), order it from your favorite indie bookstore or get an e-book or go to Amazon. Girltalk has been in print since 1985 and is out in four revised editions and a dozen languages. Czech it out! My book and ebook For Girls Only has inspiring quotes and advice too. Learn more on Wikipedia, Who is Carol Weston?, or in this Middlebury Mag profile /blog. And read my Chicago Tribune essay about saying goodbye to my teacher, Mr. Greer and my Huff Po tribute to Dear Abby, one of my mentors.

I love visiting schools, and you can even arrange a Skype Visit with my publisher for just $25! Check out this Center for Fiction slideshow and video. And here's a Dear Teen Me letter to my younger self, and illustrator Victoria Jamieson's blog, as well as some of my guest blogs: Mr. Schu Reads, Nerdy Book Club, and Good Reads With Ronna.

I tackle tough subjects too. Recently I was on CNBC TV talking about the book biz, and I wrote "Is Obesity O.K.?" for a New York Times Sunday Dialogue. For interviews,

Please Like my Facebook Author Page and Follow me on Twitter. Thanks!

The Melanie Martin Novels...

The Diary of Melanie Martin begins: "Dear Diary, You will never in a million years guess where we're going. Nope. Guess again. Never mind, I'll tell you. Italy! We're going to Italy!..." Vanity Fair calls Melanie "irrepressible," School Library Journal says Melanie and her brother Matt the Brat are "laugh-out-loud funny," and Kirkus says, "Go, go, go, girl." Also in the series: Melanie Martin Goes Dutch, With Love From Spain, and Melanie in Manhattan. You can order all four as ebooks, and The Diary of Melanie Martin is available in paperback.

My YouTube channel is "GirltalkWithCarol." Subscribe!

Free short videos on everything from writing tips, to Love 101 to Friendship 101 to College 101, to Ava and Taco Cat. How to talk to your mom. Even how to be a perfect mother in 5 1/2 minutes, which is impossible, but I pour my heart into it. My most popular video is "Get Your Kids to Read," (below) which I also made in Spanish. And here's "Applying to College," "Help Your Kid in School," "Oops I Made A Movie!" "How to Lose Weight," and "Take Your Kids to Art Museums" in English, Spanish, and French. (Tu aimes mon accent?) My cat makes cameos. >^..^< Please subscribe. The channel has had over 43,000 viewers!

Need an expert on teens?

A "go-to girl guru," I love speaking to kids, tweens, teens, and parents. Here's my bio and resume (Oprah; Today Show; Yale Phi Beta Kappa summa cum laude; M.A. in Spanish; 14 books) as well as five quick and popular Howdini videos for parents of tweens. Newsweek dubbed me a Teen Dear Abby, and I've had 40 letters in The New York Times.

I'm thrilled to be represented by Susan Ginsburg of Writers House. To reach me directly, it's Note: If you're seeking advice, the shorter your email, the faster I answer. If you're a producer or editor in need of an expert on girls or adolescents, just email or call. (Pssst, I can often do a radio phoner or NYC TV at a moment's notice.)

I'm now working on...

I'm always setting up school visits--here's an author visit article and Author Visit YouTube. My favorite? Talks about writing for kids in third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. I also do advice talks for middle school girls, parents, and educators. In the 2014 Center for Fiction link above, I address a room full of sixth graders from the Bronx. I returned there a third time this past May.

In 2012, I was the Hannah Judy Gretz Fellow at Ragdale; the next year, I returned. Bliss! At Yale, I've given two "Master's Teas;" one was Writing for Your Life. In 2013, I taught "Writing First Person" at Middlebury College in Vermont--and hope to do that again someday. Here's my essay "On Teaching." Each spring, at the New York Society Library, I'm a judge of the annual Young Writers Awards. That contest inspired the Jerry Valentino character in the Ava series! I'm also revising my first YA novel, THE SPEED OF LIFE, now under contract. Soooo excited to tell you more about that soon.

What else is here?

Family Photos. (Find the celebs...) YouTube: Little Bites of the Big Apple. Quotes. Q & A & Hotlines. An interview. Favorite fan letters. An essay about my dad. An essay about my grandmother. An A.P. article on Malia and Sasha when they were pre-presidential. Even a painting of our daughters by Bascove. Links to For Teens Only and Private and Personal and my "momoir," From Here to Maternity. And finally, a few words for kids who don't like reading. I used to be petrified of big books.

Are you still reading my retro website?? W-O-W, you rock. :-) I hope you've ordered my books, joined my Facebook Page, Liked a video or two, and that you'll follow me on Twitter...

Here's to you!

Carol (a.k.a. "Dear Carol")

P.S. My daughter Lizzi is all about delicious, organic, just-add-water Birch Benders Pancakes. Emme is working for NBC. Husband Rob Ackerman is a property master for Saturday Night Live's film unit. He's also a playwright. Tabletop won a Drama Desk Award; Call Me Waldo had a run off-Broadway; Volleygirls is a musical that got Best in Fest at NYMF; and Factory Girls is at 54 Below Feb 26! Rob's on Wikipedia too. My Jeopardy-champion brother Mark Weston's books include HONDA: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars, Giants of Japan, and Prophets and Princes. He's wicked smart: Mark on TV in 2015.

P.P.S. Please share...

P.P.P.S. Want to get in better shape?

P.P.P.P.S. Here's advice in Spanish on how to take kids to art museums:

I'm so glad you stopped by!