Entries tagged with “Realistic”.


Hillary looked up from her phone, squinting at me in the afternoon sun before she pulled on the sunglasses perched on her head. “There is nothing happening tonight. Nothing.”

Ally rolled onto her stomach and took a sip of Diet Coke. “There’s a barn party coming up.”

She had a streak of sunblock on her shoulder, which Hil leaned over and rubbed in. “That’s still three days away—is there really nothing planned until then? Mia?”

“Not that I’ve heard,” I answered. “But not that I’ve asked either. Do you want me to?” My cell phone was somewhere below my chaise and I made a halfhearted attempt to pick it up without looking.

She sighed. “Don’t bother. But if the rest of this summer is as crappy as June has been, then let’s just fast-forward to September.” I couldn’t see her eyes behind the dark lenses of her sunglasses, but I knew they’d look hurt; she’d had a rough week.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Tiffany Schmidt


 About the book:

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s an answer her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.

 What people are saying:

“This is Schmidt’s first novel, and it is a noteworthy one… this is a moving and inspirational novel that teen girls will love.”–VOYA

“Tiffany Schmidt’s SEND ME A SIGN is a powerhouse of a first novel. Bittersweet, magical and heartbreaking. Highly recommended!”–Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Rot & Ruin

“From its first page, this book had me completely. This is a beautifully written debut that successfully confronts the hardest kind of truths with love, grit, humor, hope, and grace and with it, Tiffany Schmidt has proven herself to be a talent to watch out for.”–Courtney Summers, author of This Is Not a Test and Some Girls Are

“[A] fresh look at the nature of belief. Check it out.”–BookPage

Released: October 2, 2012

About the author:

Tiffany Schmidt lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. She’s not at all superstitious . . . at least that’s what she tells herself every Friday the 13th. Send Me a Sign is her first novel, Bright Before Sunrise will follow in Winter, 2014. Visit her at www.tiffanyschmidt.com.


“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 Miss Fortune Cookie! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

You will have much luck and little hardship.

Or the other way around.

My friends and I were riding home from school on Muni, clinging to an assortment of slippery handholds, when Linny almost blew my secret identity. Intentionally.

“Listen to this one,” she said, reading off her iPhone, a faint but smirky glint in her eyes. “‘Dear Miss Fortune Cookie. My cousin thinks I’m chasing her boyfriend. Her boyfriend and I never flirt, but sometimes we text. What can I do to make her believe me? Just Friends.'”

In fact, I–Erin Kavanagh, alias miss Fortune Cookie–had posted this very letter on my anonymous advice blog, and Linny happened to be the only person in San Francisco to know that, the only person in the whole world, except for some random administrator at WordPress. She takes every opportunity to harass me about keeping my blog a secret. “What advice would you give, Erin?” she asked, winking this time.

I kept my face as neutral as possible. Luckily Darren and Mei were only paying attention to each other. As usual.

Personally speaking, I think nano-deceptions are a good thing. I regularly use them to protect my friends from unpleasant truths. Should I really tell Linny that her favorite knit hat makes her head look like a furry meatball?

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Lauren Bjorkman


About the book:

Meet Erin. Smart student, great daughter, better friend. Secretly the mastermind behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. Totally unaware that her carefully constructed life is about to get crazy.

It all begins when her ex-best friend sends a letter to her blog—and then acts on her advice. Erin’s efforts to undo the mess will plunge her into adventure, minor felonies, and possibly her very first romance.

What’s a likely fortune for someone no longer completely in control of her fate? Hopefully nothing like: You will become a crispy noodle in the salad of life.

What people are saying:

“An honest and charming portrayal of love, loyalty, and friendship with characters as lovable as they are real.”–Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List

Witty and unexpected with a fresh and unique main character!”–Janet Gurtler, author of I’m Not Her

“Touching and fun; refreshing and original.”–Jennifer Hubbard, author of The Secret Year

“So funny and clever, and I loved Erin so much.”–Sarah MacLean, author of The Season

“Seamlessly told at an electric pace. We should all be so lucky to have a friend as compassionate and dynamic as Erin.”–Danielle Joseph, author of Shrinking Violet

Released: November 13, 2012

About the author:

Lauren Bjorkman is the author of two YA novels, My Invented Life and Miss Fortune Cookie. As a kid, she lived aboard a sailboat with her family, exploring the world. The ocean still terrifies her. When she’s not writing, reading, or traveling (by plane, train, or car) she spends time with family and friends. Her most recent addictions—watching Downton Abbey and eating chocolate—are most enjoyable when indulged in simultaneously. Visit her at http://laurenbjorkman.com.

Giveaway:

Lauren has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Miss Fortune Cookie for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on November 28th 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 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 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 copy of The Break! Details at the end of this post.

I was about ten years old when I realized that if people think your mother is a living saint, pretty much anything you do will fail to live up to expectations. But just because I wasn’t out saving the world like she did every day didn’t mean I had to miss out on normal human activities. Believe me, the last thing I wanted to be was a martyr.

“So, you’re really going to make me give up March Break?”

I tried to keep my voice calm and cool. I really didn’t want to start another argument the day before my mother and Andrew — a.k.a., The Stepdad — were getting on a plane. There’d been too many of those lately. Planes and arguments, that is.

My mother sighed. She liked to do that. Sigh. So much more civilized than screaming.

“Well, there’s really no alternative, Abby. Unless–“

She paused, her hands held still over the half-packed suitcase.

God.

My mother, Dr. Louisa Fiorini, was a brilliant heart surgeon and a long-standing member of Doctors Without Borders, but as my mother she was an evil, evil woman. She knew exactly what she was doing. She stood there, unmoving, waiting for me to ask her “Unless what?” Making me the one to bring it up.

I refused to play her game. I was not going to say a word. I always gave in and asked and I always got shafted. Well, not today. No way. I was sticking to my guns. This was her responsibility. She was way big into that word – responsibility. It was the excuse she used so many times for so many things I should have gotten her a T-shirt emblazoned with the word so she could add it to the growing pile she was packing into her suitcase. After all, Ecuador in March was boiling.

By the third T-shirt, so was my temper.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Nelsa Roberto


About the book:

Watching Nonna 24/7 wouldn’t be such a big deal. We could do lots of stuff together.
I just had to keep her busy.

Abby Lambert’s plans to ski with friends over spring break are ruined when her surgeon mother and stepfather announce they have to leave the country on an emergency medical mission. Instead, Abby must stay home and look after her increasingly confused grandmother. Abby is in denial about how bad her Nonna is getting and her life becomes even more complicated when she runs into her notoriously aloof classmate, Kyle, who volunteers at the nursing home where Nonna likes to play bingo. Abby has always thought Kyle arrogant and unfriendly — until she sees a sensitive side of him as he works with seniors at the nursing home.

Abby somehow manages to end up volunteering at the nursing home she wants to avoid at all costs. Still, she thinks she’s managing Nonna, Kyle and her volunteering pretty well … until one terrifying and desperate night, where life as she knows it changes forever.

What people are saying:

“…a realistic novel with a dash of romance that teens will find appealing.”–The Winnipeg Free Press

‘Teen readers who enjoy real life stories about changing relationships and family dynamics will gobble this one up. The Break will be especially poignant for readers who have very strong relationships with their grandparents, or whose grandparents live with them. Teens struggling with change or loss would also benefit from reading this story. The Break is a strong addition to any public or school library collection where stories about real life and families circulate well.”–CM Magazine (Canadian Review of Materials)

Released: March 1, 2012

About the author:

Nelsa Roberto is a mild-mannered civil servant by day and a ferocious teen-fiction writer/hockey mom/van driver by night. 

Born in a remote logging community in northern Ontario, Nelsa spent much of her youth in a small, rural farming community in southern Ontario before moving to Windsor, Ontario to earn her combined Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communication Studies.

Her debut young adult novel Illegally Blonde (Great Plains Teen Fiction,2010) tells the story of Lucinda do Amaral who comes home with newly-bleached blonde hair, expecting only a major lecture from her strict, immigrant Portuguese parents. What she doesn’t expect is the shocking revelation that they’re illegal workers on the verge of being being deported back to Portugal. 

Her second young adult novel, THE BREAK, released in Spring 2012 is the story of Abby Lambert a girl who adores her grandmother so much she cannot accept the fact she is deteriorating into dementia. The Winnipeg Free Press called it a “a novel about guilt and the devastating effects of regret…a realistic novel with a dash of romance that teens will find appealing.”

Nelsa lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three children and a slightly hyperactive Golden Retriever, and is busy writing – mostly on the subway and at hockey arenas – her next young adult novel. Visit her at out-of-the-wordwork.blogspot.ca.

 Giveaway:

Nelsa has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of The Break 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 August 1st 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 Reunited! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter One 

“Is the blindfold really necessary?” Alice asked her parents.

“Yes!” they replied, in stereo.

Her mom tightened the bandanna around her head while her dad squeezed her shoulders. “March!” he commanded, steering her down the hall.

Alice tried not to get her hopes up about this mysterious graduation present—the Chia Pet they’d given her for her eighteenth birthday was still too fresh in her mind—but with all this hype, it was hard not to get a little excited. Especially if her parents remembered to consult the list of gift ideas she’d given them, typed up and organized by price. For a one-time event like high school graduation, Alice was hoping they’d spring for something from Category Two (iPad, camera, golden retriever) or maybe even Category One (laptop). After what happened yesterday, she could really use a good surprise.

“No peeking!” said her dad, guiding her through the living room and out the front door. Her mom made a drum-roll sound with her lips, just in case the neighbors weren’t already staring.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Hilary Weisman Graham


About the book:

1 Concert. 2,000 Miles. 3 Ex-Best Friends.

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends. Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3. But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books. Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show. Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

Awards:

Winner of the 2011 SCBWI Book Launch Award

Released: June 12, 2012

About the author:

Hilary Weisman Graham is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and novelist. She lives in rural New Hampshire with her husband and son, roughly thirty minutes away from the nearest grocery store. Visit her at www.hilarygraham.com.

Giveaway:

Hilary has been kind enough to contribute a copy of Reunited 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 June 20th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


An entire herd of elephants will care for a member that falls ill.

—From Care of Jungle Elephants by Tin San Bo

The flood left, but the fever stayed.

I sit on the floor of our hut and hold a cold washcloth to Chanda’s forehead. My mother boils another pot of basil tea on our village’s clay stove in the courtyard. Voices of our neighbors gathered around her flow through the open door of our home.

“Here—papaya juice with honey.”

“Have you tried raisins with ginger? Boil them together and have her drink the liquid.”

“Take these onions, Parvati. When my son had a fever, I made him onion broth.”

September marked the end of monsoon season, but an October rain flooded the river near our village last week.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Lynne Kelly


About the book:

Ten-year-old Hastin’s sister has fallen ill, and his family must borrow money to pay for her care in the hospital. To work off the debt, Hastin leaves his village in northern India to work in a faraway jungle as an elephant keeper. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and punished until she learns her tricks perfectly. With the help of Ne Min, a wise old man who seems to know all about elephants, Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can. Still he wonders–will they both survive long enough to escape?

What people are saying:

“Kelly’s fine debut brings the jungles of India to life.”–Kirkus

“…a story that unwraps the heart and asks it to be brave, loyal, and above all, kind.”–Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Underneath and Keeper

Released: May 8, 2012

About the author:

Lynne Kelly grew up in Houston, lived in a couple of much colder places, then returned to the Houston area, where she works as a sign language interpreter and writes novels for children and young adults. Chained is her first novel. Visit her at www.lynnekellybooks.com.