Win a signed copy of Tracing Stars! Details at the end of this post.

I drop low in the seat and look out the bus window. We pass Pa’s shop, Chickory and Chips Famous Fishery. I wave to the wooden pirate, Barnacle Briggs, who is always out front holding the shop sign. We zip on past and turn right onto Blue Jay Crossing. I hold my backpack on my lap. It shifts back and forth as the bus jostles over the bumpy road.

It’s the last day of school. The last day of fifth grade and I’m dying for it to be over. I make a fish face in the window as we pass the harbor where Pa’s boat, the Mary Grace, usually sits. The spot is empty ’cause he’s already out making his rounds. Pa is the best fisherman in all of Plumtown and brings in the most lobsters. But that’s not all. He dredges for mussels and also catches hake, fluke, flounder, monkfish, whiting, ocean perch, pollack, and sometimes wolffish. Wolffish is the ugliest fish I’ve ever seen, but it tastes all right if you ask me. I make the face of a wolffish in the window, pulling my mouth down into a big line from one side of my chin to the other. I pop my eyes way out and pull my eyebrows down into the middle the best I can and I think it’s a pretty great wolffish grin. Real menacing and gross.

“Indie.” I look away from my reflection and over to my older sister, Bebe, in the seat across from me. “Stop it,” she says out of the corner of her mouth. She doesn’t like it when I make fish faces anymore, even though she used to love it. Now she’s too old and mature for that sort of thing, and whenever I do it, she pretty much pretends she doesn’t know me.

I throw on a trout pout because that’s the one she used to giggle at the most, but this time she groans and looks out her window.

My backpack almost slides off my lap and I grab at it. Then the bus squeals to a stop and a whole bunch of kids get on at The Manors. That’s the cul-de-sac where all the rich people live. Mom says you don’t move to Plumtown unless you’re rich or you’re a hard worker. That’s the way it goes. We’re in the hard-worker part. I make sure to scrunch way over in case any of the fancy kids want to have a seat, but as usual, I can spread out, ’cause three kids all cram into the seat in front of me and one sits down right next to Bebe and they start talking like they’re best pals.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Erin E. Moulton

About the book:

Tracing Stars is a summer tale that centers on Indie Lee Chickory and Owen Stone, their quest for a golden lobster (They’re real! one in every thirty million), and acceptance.

What people are saying:

“This improbable plot and spunky protagonist are appealing bait for a heartfelt, memorable story.”–Kirkus

“This timeless story perfectly captures the growth that summer affords kids when, after endless days and nights, they emerge truer versions of themselves.”–Booklist

“Moulton’s sensitivity to her characters’ emotions extends the tale’s mood and setting.”–Horn Book

“Set in a Maine coastal town, this offbeat summer story ably explores themes of self-discovery and friendship.”–School Library Journal

Released: May 12, 2012

About the author:

Erin E. Moulton graduated with an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She is the author of Flutter(Philomel/Penguin 2011) and Tracing Stars(Philomel/Penguing 2012).  Erin is Co-Founder of the Kinship Writers Association and is currently the YA librarian at the Derry Public Library.  She lives in Southern NH with her husband and puppies where she write, reads, drinks tea and dreams.  You can visit her online at, or on facebook as Erin E. Moulton (Author), or follow her on twitter @erinemoulton


Erin has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Tracing Stars for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on July 4th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!