Entries tagged with “Middle Grade”.


“Piper Lee, honey, what do you think of this one?” Mama held up a frilly purple bridesmaid’s dress.

I rolled my eyes. “It’s great if you want me to look like an eggplant.”

Mama made a worried sound under her breath as she sorted through the row of dresses. “Piper Lee, I’ve shown you fourteen and you’ve hated every one. Why are you being such a fuss box?”

“Because she’s a pain,” Ginger said, like it was some obvious fact.

“Shut up, Ginger.”

“You watch your tongue,” Mama said. “And you haven’t answered my question.”

“I’m not trying to be a fuss box, Mama. You just haven’t shown me anything I like.”

“And what would you like to wear to our wedding, your flight jacket?”

Our wedding? As if I had any say in the matter. As if I was in favor of Mama changing her name from Heather DeLuna to Mrs. Ben Hutchings. Who’d want to give up a pretty name like DeLuna anyhow? It brought to mind some big, lovely bird soaring through the clouds. But Hutchings? That sounded like a rabbit cage.

Mama said when I grew up and met the right man, I’d be more than happy to take his name. But I wouldn’t, not ever. That’s on account of my name is special. My daddy named me—Piper Lee DeLuna—exactly six years before he crashed his single-engine Piper Cub into the Atlantic.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Dianna Winget


About the book:

Whether she likes it or not, ten-year-old Piper Lee DeLuna is about to get a new family. Four years after the plane Piper’s daddy was piloting disappeared, her mama is remarrying. The way Piper sees it, Mama’s being plain disloyal. Besides, who’d want to get stuck with a prison guard for a stepdad and that weenie, Ginger, for a stepsister? But when Piper Lee hatches a foolproof plan to get the wedding called off, it quickly spirals out of control. And by the time Piper realizes what she’s done—and just how much she really cares about her new family—it might be too late. Told in Piper Lee’s irresistible Southern voice, A Smidgen of Sky is about new families and new beginnings.

What people are saying:

“I would not be surprised if Piper grows up to have a career involving airplanes. She has the right stuff. And as far as crafting a warm, funny, touching, debut novel, so does Dianna Dorisi Winget.”–Juanita Havill, author of Eyes Like Willy’s

A Smidgen of Sky is one I will be giving to my daughter to read, buying for my school library, and telling others about. I am hopeful Winget plans on writing more books geared toward this audience.”–Tina Says, Children’s Book Reviewer for Amazon Vine Program

“If you are looking for an elementary age mother-daughter book club selection, I can’t imagine a better choice. The writing is beautiful and the characters are memorable.”–J. Prather, Children’s Book Reviewer

Released: November 6, 2012

About the author:

Dianna Dorisi Winget writes fiction and non-fiction for young readers. She is a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest and lives in the mountains of North Idaho with her husband, daughter and two canine buddies. A Smidgen of Sky is her first novel. www.diannawinget.com.


Win a signed copy of Sinister Sweetness! Details at the end of this post.

When my mom was alive, she read me stories every night. “Use your imagination, Lorelei,” she’d say, “and your whole life can be a fairy tale.” I wanted that to be true. But I should have paid more attention to the fairy tales.

Because not all of the children in them come out alive.

And sometimes there are witches hiding in the woods.

My soon-to-be stepmother was a witch, I was sure of that. I wasn’t quite certain whether she wanted me to die, but it was looking possible. Die of humiliation, if nothing else.

Somehow, she had convinced my dad to make me wear a peach-and-white petticoat dress, with white shoes that looked like they’d been stolen off an American Girl doll. They were about that big, too. I could feel the blisters coming up as I walked to the minivan.

“Hurry up, Lorelei,” Dad shouted from the front seat. He already had the engine on. “I don’t want to be late for my own wedding. Molly will kill me!”

“Molly’s already trying to kill me,” I murmured as I shut the door. I hadn’t been quiet enough. Dad had heard.

“Lorelei,” he warned. “Molly is not trying to kill you. Why do you insist on being so negative about her? She’s going to be your new mother–”

A rude noise came from the back seat. Bryan, my older brother, had pulled out his earbuds to listen in. “Stepmother,” he said. “She’s not Mom.”

Mom. The word hung in the air like sparkles of dust in the sunlight, bringing with it memories and pain. My heart thumped hard against my seat belt. Nobody said anything for a few seconds. Nobody breathed. I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t have to see if Bryan was giving me the look he’d given me over a year before.

The day I had destroyed our family.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Nikki Loftin


About the book:

Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy–Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei’s favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?

It’s up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones–and might even pick them clean!

Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you’ve got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.

What people are saying:

“A mesmerizing read…a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new.”—Publishers Weekly

“A pinch of Grimm, a dash of Greek mythology and a heaping helping of fresh chills make for an irresistible contemporary fairy tale…Deliciously scary and satisfying.”–Kirkus

“A wickedly intriguing, deliciously eerie read.”–Cynthia Leitich Smith, NYT Bestselling author

 Released: August 21, 2012

About the author:

Nikki Loftin lives with her Scottish photographer husband just outside Austin, Texas, surrounded by dogs, chickens, and small, loud boys. Her debut middle-grade novel, The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, is available now. You can visit her online at www.nikkiloftin.com.

Giveaway:

Nikki has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on December 12th at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

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

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!


There are four Captain Stupendous fan clubs in Copperplate City, but ours is the only one that doesn’t suck. There’s the Official Captain Stupendous Fan Club (they hold a trademark on the name, including “Official”), the Friends of Stupendous (a group of rich old ladies, if you can believe it), the Stupendites (a bunch of girls who probably spend all their time trying on each other’s clothes), and us. We’re the Captain Stupendous Fan Club, period. We’re the real deal, even if we are the smallest fan club in the city. Maybe in the country. Possibly on the entire planet.

So when a giant robot came to town and picked a fight right outside Spud’s Pizza, you can guess how psyched I was. Everyone who’s ever lived in Copperplate City has seen at least one Stupendous battle in person, but it never gets old. And Spud’s is in my neighborhood!

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Mike Jung


About the book:

Three 12 year old boys, Vincent, George, and Max, discover that Captain Stupendous, their hometown superhero, has forgotten how to be a superhero, and they must help him remember in time to defeat a new supervillain who’s come to town while figuring out how Vincent’s crush, Polly Winnicott-Lee, is involved.

What people are saying:

“GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES by Mike Jung is a joyful, action-packed ode to comic books, friendship, and the many faces of heroism. Spandex and super-villains have never been this funny. Captain Stupendous — and Mike Jung — have themselves a new fan.”–Jenn Reese, ABOVE WORLD

“Fast-paced, suspenseful and downright hilarious. Mike Jung gets the details of the comics world exactly right. Readers will love the surprising twists and turns.”–H.N. Kowitt, THE LOSER LIST

“A snappy, hilarious adventure set in a world I would love to live in. Clever, fun, and full of surprises – it’s the perfect book for the reluctant reader in your life.”–Michael Buckley, N.E.R.D.S.

“If Stan Lee had written Freaks and Geeks it would look like this!…Jung’s novel is a hilarious twist on the classic superhero story! Giant robots, hidden lairs, middle-school crushes and uber-fanboys combine to make one stupendous debut!”–Matthew Cody, POWERLESS

“Fresh, page-turny, honest and most of all funny–Mike Jung’s voice is such a welcome addition and this book is a glorious treasure-mix of realness and wonderment.”–Aimee Bender, THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE

“Wow! Superheroes, Supervillains, geeks on bikes, a stinky swamp, real friends, deep, dark secrets, shattering windows, BIG decisions…and everything else that matters!”–Kathleen Duey, SKIN HUNGER

Released: October 1, 2012

About the author:

Mike Jung is an active blogger, parent, SCBWI member, and library professional. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and two young children. This is his first novel. You can visit him at http://captainstupendous.wordpress.com.


Win a copy of The Universe of Fair! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

The Force Field

On the way home from school on the bus I’m staring off into space and thinking about how weird it is that I ended up to be me, Miller Sanford, from Holmsbury, Connecticut. I think how much more likely it is that I would have been born in China, because there are more than a billion people there and only three hundred million here, and even less in Connecticut, and way less in Holmsbury.

Then I think that if I was born in China, I’d probably be allowed to ride my bicycle home from middle school. Unless I had the same mom in China that I have now. Which I guess I’d want, even if she wouldn’t let me ride my bicycle home from school. Which she wouldn’t.

What’s even weirder to think about is that if my molecules and atoms and electrons and quarks were put together in a different way, I could just as easily be an earthworm. Or a rock. Maybe I am a rock. Maybe I’m a rock that just thinks I’m an eleven-and-a-half-year-old boy.

“How do you know you’re not really a rock?” I ask my friend Lewis, who’s in the seat behind me.

“Because rocks don’t make movies,” Lewis says. He waves his hand sideways, keeping his eyes glued to the flip screen of his video camera. “Stand up and look out the window.”

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Leslie Bulion


About the book:

For young science whiz Miller Sanford, an eagerly awaited day at the fair turns into a wacky adventure with more twists and loops than the BlastoCoaster! Instead of enjoying a freewheeling day on his own, he’s drawn into a series of mishaps involving a string of tagalong first graders, his dad’s prize-worthy lemon meringue pie, and flying death heads!

What people are saying:

“…this winsome effort not only lovingly celebrates the color and magic of the fair, but endearingly depicts the inner landscape of a maturing child encountering his first taste of the adult world. A cheerful and totally entertaining look at fairs, friendship and the value of family.”–Kirkus Reviews

“…Bulion captures the boisterous, chaotic nature of the fair, as well as its primacy in the grade-school social calendar. Dormer’s characteristically sketchy and childlike illustrations match the upbeat mood of this entertaining story.”–Publishers Weekly

About the author:

Leslie Bulion has graduate degrees in oceanography and social work. She has written parenting and education articles and is the author of several children’s books, including Uncharted Waters, The Trouble with Rules, and At the Sea Floor Café. Leslie lives in Connecticut with her husband, Rubin Hirsch, and at the youth exhibit of her town’s agricultural fair. Visit her at www.lesliebulion.com.

About the illustrator:

Frank W. Dormer, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, is an elementary school art teacher. In addition to illustrating many children’s books, he wrote and illustrated The Obstinate Pen and Socksquatch. He has drawn dogs, kids, cowboys, pens, imaginary creatures, and now thanks to Leslie Bulion, bumper cars. Rank lives in Branford, Connecticut. Visit him at www.frankwdormer.com.

Giveaway:

The publisher has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Universe of Fair for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on October 31st at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

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

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a signed copy of A Whole Lot of Lucky! Details at the end of this post.

I didn’t do it.

I am innocent.

I know convicts say that even when they’re guilty, but I’m telling you the truth. At three-oh-five today, I didn’t mean to push Amanda on her bike so hard that she sailed off the curb and fell splat on the road in the pickup line after school. Thank God Mrs. McCrory had just paid the garage to tune up her Honda. That van stops on a dime now (and hardly even came close to hitting Amanda).

If you’re the type of person who judges people guilty instead of presuming them innocent, you should put this book down and walk away. Don’t even look back. But if you’re still reading this—and I know you are because there you are and here I am—then you are the type of person who likes to know the truth and that’s just what I’m going to tell you.

“How do you like my new bike?” Amanda had asked, running her fingers along the pink, thickly padded seat. “It’s got twelve speeds.” She’d made a special trip to my house Sunday afternoon. Her shiny blonde hair was still pinned back on either side in her church barrettes, but she’d changed from her dress into capris and a green top. Usually, I rode to her house after church, so that’s how I knew she was showing off. A new bike—it wasn’t even her birthday.

I stepped out from the chilly shadow of the house into the warm brightness of the day. Florida sunshine is at its best in February. Your feet feel like blocks of ice in the morning, but your toes are sticking out of sandals by lunch. The air is light and sends ribbons of sunshine through your window, inviting you to come outside and play.

Amanda stood by me as I took in the glittery seat, the tangle of wires that allowed for speed and braking, and the rainbow-colored monkeys she’d already clipped to the spokes. The frame was pink and white with black lightning striking the sides. “Nice,” I said. “Can I ride it?”

Her gaze flitted over to our garage. Bougainvillea vines crept up the outside of it and wove green tendrils through the fraying net of the basketball hoop. Huge bunches of purpley-pink explosions hid the thin white paint of the cinderblocks. Occasionally, Dad cut the branches with his hedge trimmers, but those vines ran wild at night, growing an extra foot for each one Dad lopped off.

My bike leaned inside the open-mouthed garage.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Danette Haworth 


About the book:

Hailee Richardson never realized how much she hated her Salvation Army life and Goodwill accessories until the night her family wins the lottery. All of a sudden she’s no longer the dorky girl at school without a cell phone or a brand-new bike! And the newfound popularity that comes with being a lottery winner is just what she’s always dreamed of. But the glow of her smartphone and fancy new clothes wears off when Hailee is transferred to Magnolia Academy, a private school. All of a sudden, her best friend and parents seem shabby compared to the beautiful Magnolia moms and the popular bad-girl Nikki, who seems to want to be her friend. Now, Hailee wants nothing more than to grow up-and away-from her old life. It’ll take one very busy social networking page, a stolen first kiss, and a whole carton of eggs for Hailee to realize that not all luck is good, not all change is bad, and a best friend who’s just a call away will always be more valuable than a phone.

What people are saying:

“Haworth effectively captures the self-consciousness, self-absorption & limited experience of a preteen, and the seductive charms of Facebook friendships for that age. Realistic, modern and still familiar, this is a middle school story both children and their parents should read.”–Kirkus, Starred Review

“Haworth does an excellent job of portraying the modern kid’s life (cell phones, Facebook) mixed with evergreen problems like trying to fit in with the popular crowd and cheating on tests.”–Booklist

Released: September 4, 2012

About the author:

Danette Haworth lives in Orlando, Florida with her family. The only thing Danette has ever won (beside Scrabble games) is a stuffed dog from a fireman’s bazaar. She named it George. Visit her at www.danettehaworth.com.

Giveaway:

Danette has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of A Whole Lot of Lucky for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on October 17th at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

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

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a copy of The Power of Poppy Pendle! Details at the end of this post.

 Chapter One

 Poppy

POPPY PENDLE WAS BORN ON THE FLOOR OF A BAKERY, in the little town of Potts Bottom. Now, people don’t usually give birth on bakery floors in the middle of a Thursday afternoon, but Edith Pendle did just that. She had no choice, even though her baby wasn’t due for another two weeks. Poppy pushed her way out with the speed of an express train and was immediately wrapped up in a cake-scented tea towel by the kind lady who ran the shop. The customers cheered, and someone handed Edith Pendle a bag of little warm almond cakes. Sitting up in her mother’s arms, Poppy breathed in deeply and reached for the bag of cakes. Then she did something quite unexpected. She gobbled them all down, waved her sugary fingers at the crowd, smiled, and gave a contented burp.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Natasha Lowe


About the book:

Poppy Pendle is born with the gift of magic. Her parents are delighted that Poppy has inherited the witchcraft gene, which hasn’t shown up in the Pendle family since Poppy’s great grandmother Mabel. But Poppy has no interest in magic whatsoever. All she wants to do is bake. Believing they know what is best for their daughter Mr. and Mrs. Pendle sign Poppy up to attend Ruthersfield, the exclusive girls school for witchcraft. Poppy is miserable as she has less and less time for baking and the pressure from her parents builds. Against all odds, Poppy tries to follow her own dream, until one day, desperate to make her parents understand what it is that she wants, Poppy’s magic spirals out of control with disastrous results…

What people are saying:

“Lowe’s energetic first novel is led by the 10-year-old Poppy…Readers will easily empathize with Poppy and recognize the loneliness and anger that accompany being misunderstood.”–Publisher’s Weekly

Released: September 4, 2012

About the author:

Natasha Lowe knew as a child that she wanted to be either a writer, an adventurer, or a fancy tea- shop owner. So she did a little bit of everything, traveling from her native London to America, where she ran the Tea House bed and breakfast and wowed guests with her grandmother’s shortbread recipe. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and four children. Visit her at www.natashalowe.com.

Giveaway:

Natasha has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Power of Poppy Pendle 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 September 19th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a copy of The Upside of Ordinary! Details at the end of this post.

A big THANK YOU to Dad and the Super-pro vacuum he ordered on the internet. The huge carton it arrived in yesterday is just my size.

Through the little peephole I made in one of the cardboard walls, I film my sister Zelda eating left-over lasagna for breakfast.

I zoom in on her face as she spoons a stack of cheesy noodles into her mouth, her eyes glued to the TV. On the screen, two girls argue and a bad word gets bleeped out.

“Ha! UNBLALEEVRABLE!” Zelda says with a stuffed face.

“Mom doesn’t like us to watch this reality show,” I say popping up from inside the box.

“AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” My sister screams. A hunk of curly pasta drops out of her mouth. Zelda coughs. “Are you trying to kill me?” She sputters, “I almost choked to death!”

“Sorry,” I say lifting my leg over the top of the box. Zelda drops her plate onto the coffee table. It clanks against the wooden top which makes a great sound effect. Susie shuffles over and gobbles up the rest, the tags on her collar clinking with every lick.

“You’re not sorry!” Zelda sneers, “you’re a sneaky, annoying GERM!”

I’m not really a germ. ‘Jerm’ is short for Jermaine, my name. Out of context it sounds like another word for bacteria… gross… I know. But it’s catchy too… perfect for a famous person.

“You were great!” I tell Zelda. “The element of surprise works for you.”

“Leave me alone!” she snaps. I follow her, filming the back of her head, as she stomps into the kitchen.

Five days ago I started filming the reality show I am making about my family. So far this is what I have for footage: Mom cleaning a chicken for dinner, and thirty minutes of her working up a sweat on the Stairmaster; Susie rolling over for a biscuit; Dad plunging a toilet, sweeping the garage, and grumbling that no one but him ever thinks to throw out the brown bananas. The best stuff I’ve filmed is of my cranky big sister Zelda. I surprised her when she stepped out of the shower (though Mom made sure I erased it), I caught her hissy fit when she couldn’t find one of her sneakers, and of course there’s this morning’s riveting moment when she spat out that forkful of lasagna. And I’m just getting started! My reality show will be hugely interesting, which will make me hugely famous. I plan to include the seven hamsters living under the Ping-Pong table in my basement too. I didn’t mean to have seven. I brought only one home from the pet store. But a week or so later, Bernie gave birth to six babies! Dad says we should change Bernie’s name to Bernadette, but I think her name works just fine. (Note to self: film the cleaning of the cages).

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Susan Lubner


About the book:

Jermaine Davidson wants to be famous: limo-riding, camera-flashing, crowd-waving famous.

Since her family isn’t likely to move from Maine to Hollywood so she can become a movie star, Jermaine decides she’ll make a reality show about her family and friends. This laugh-aloud debut novel takes a lighthearted look at unbridled ambition, the cult of celebrity, the reality behind reality TV, and the upside of being part of an ordinary but loving family.

Released: August 1, 2012

About the author:

Susan Lubner is the author of three picture books (Abrams), and the middle grade novel The Upside of Ordinary (Holiday House). Her work has been published in Spider Magazine and two other stories will be published in forthcoming issues of Highlights for Children. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two daughters, two cats, and a very spoiled dog who loves books so much he tries to eat them when no one’s looking. Visit her at www.susanlubner.com.

Giveaway:

Susan has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Upside of Ordinary 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 September 12th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a signed ARC of The Rock of Ivanore! Details at the end of this post.

The old enchanter rose from his cot, his joints creaking like rusty hinges. His sleep had been troubled, and thoughts of the days ahead worried him. Taking care not to wake his apprentice, Zyll went to the table in the center of the room, though his legs were so stiff that even traveling the width of his cottage required the use of a walking stick. With his free hand, he took a copper bowl down from a shelf and set it on the table. He grinned at the fresh bucket of water on the hearth, grateful that the boy had remembered to fill it this time.

Zyll ladled water into the bowl and peered at his reflection in it. How changed he looked, how unlike the man he used to be. His hair, once thick and dark, had thinned and grown white, and the skin around his mouth had creased, but his eyes still glowed with the vibrancy of youth. One thing, at least, had remained the same.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Laurisa White Reyes


About the book:

The annual Great Quest is about to be announced in Quendel, a task that will determine the future of Marcus and the other boys from the village who are coming of age. The wizard Zyll commands them to find the Rock of Ivanore, but he doesn’t tell them what the Rock is exactly or where it can be found. Marcus must reach deep within himself to develop new powers of magic and find the strength to survive the wild lands and fierce enemies he encounters as he searches for the illusive Rock. If he succeeds, he will live a life of honor; if he fails, he will live a life of menial labor in shame. With more twists and turns than a labyrinth, and a story in which nothing is as it seems, this tale of deception and discovery keeps readers in suspense until the end.

What people are saying:

“Young readers…will delight in this opening title in The Celestine Chronicles series, which delivers a fantasy adventure for a reluctant readership.”–Booklist

“Marcus is a hero who engages challenges in a way that is both human and admirable.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“This is a swift and compelling epic that readers of high fantasy will love!”–Tony Abbott, author of The Secrets of Droon

“Magic! Swords! Mysterious cloaked figures! A good choice for middle-grade fantasy lovers.”–Marissa Burt, author of Storybound

Released: May 15, 2012

About the author:

Laurisa White Reyes has been writing since the age of 5 when she wrote her first poem on a scrap of poster board. After earning a degree in English at California State University at Northridge, she spent thirteen years writing for various magazines and newspapers, working as a book editor, and teaching creative writing. She gave up all that six years ago to follow her lifelong dream of writing novels. Her first book, The Rock of Ivanore, will be released in May 2012.

Besides writing, Laurisa is also a voracious reader. She also loves musical theater, chocolate, sushi, ancient history, bearded dragons, and rain storms. She lives in Southern California with her husband, 5 children, 4 birds, 2 lizards, 2 turtles, 1 fish, 1 dog, and a partridge in a pear tree. Visit her at www.laurisawhitereyes.com.

Giveaway:

Laurisa has been kind enough to contribute a signed ARC of The Rock of Ivanore 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 11th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


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 www.erinemoulton.com, or on facebook as Erin E. Moulton (Author), or follow her on twitter @erinemoulton

Giveaway:

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!


Win a copy of Real Mermaids Don’t Hold Their Breath! Details below.

The month leading up to my fourteenth birthday was the most exciting time of my life.

1. I found out my mom hadn’t drowned but was actually a mermaid.

2. I discovered I was part mermaid too.

3. I rescued my mom from a bunch of mer-freaks inTalismanLakeand freed her into the ocean so she could have a chance to become human again.

4. I had my first kiss.

5. Did I mention my first kiss?

The month since my fourteenth birthday, however? Not so exciting.

My mom was still floating around in the ocean some­where, and I had no idea if she’d ever make it back home. Plus, it was getting harder and harder to keep my mer-secret from my best friend Cori and I hadn’t seen my crush Luke since he left for camp weeks earlier, so I was beginning to feel like I’d dreamt the whole first kiss thing up.

All in all, the month of July was beginning to feel like an Ice Age and a half—especially since I’d spent most of it scooping up ten trillion cones full of ice cream for every man, woman, and child in my small oceanside town of Port Toulouse.

I poked my head out from under the awning of Bridget’s Ice Cream Parlor and glanced up and downMain Street, silently begging for Cori to come in early for her shift to save me from my suffering.

(READ the whole 1st chapter: HERE)

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Hélène Boudreau


About the book:

Normal is never coming back…

Jade is totally confused. As in, “will this be a leg-day or a tail-day?” kind of confused. Even worse, it’s been forever since her first kiss with Luke and now—nothing. Not even a text message.

Sigh.

But Jade doesn’t have time to figure out the weirdness of boys and how to use her shiny new tail. (Seriously, being a mermaid should come with a handbook.) She has to come up with a plan to get her missing mermaid mom back on dry land.

The only problem is…Jade is afraid of the ocean. But even aqua-phobic mer-girls have to take the plunge sometime…

What people are saying:

“Bravo to Hélène Boudreau for hitting the bull’s-eye with a fresh, affectionate, watery twist on the classic coming-of-age-story.”—New York Journal of Books

“The author keeps suspense high…while tapping straight into young teens’ angst about friends, enemies, and boys.”—Kirkus

Released: May 1, 2012

About the author:

Hélène Boudreau grew up on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean but now writes fiction and non-fiction for kids from her land-locked home in Ontario,Canada.

She has never time-travelled or saved an endangered bird, nor has she ever spotted a mermaid in the wild, but she believes mermaids are just as plausible as sea horses, flying fish, or electric eels.

Her tween novel, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings is a 2011 Crystal Kite Member Choice Award Finalist. Visit her at www.heleneboudreau.com.

Giveaway:

Hélène has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Real Mermaids Don’t Hold Their Breath 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 only, and ends on June 13th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!