First, it’s been named an “Editor’s Pick” over at Honolulu Family Magazine, which features it in their “5 Great Books for Kids” article. They are also giving away a copy.
And Kiwi Magazine has named it one of their new summer reading favorites, saying “This fast-paced book is full of surprises and likable characters who quickly learn not to judge a (cook)book by its cover.” Thank you for the lovely write-up!
The title and cover reveal for the third book in the All Four Stars series will be coming soon, and my newsletter subscribers will get an exclusive first peek at it. You can sign up here if you haven’t already–thanks!
I recently Skyped with a terrific book club in Massachusetts, and the members asked me to recommend some other middle-grade novels that they might enjoy. I ended up putting a list together and e-mailing it to them, and since this isn’t the first time I’ve had a question like this, I thought that I’d share it here as well so that I can easily refer people to it in the future.
Of course, once I got started, I thought of more and more books I wanted to include, and I had to stop somewhere. So please don’t consider this a comprehensive list by any means…but I do wholeheartedly recommend every single one of these titles and hope you’ll check them out. Here we go!
Mind-bending mysteries: Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Laugh-out-loud funny books: Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz The Only Thing Worse than Witches by Lauren Magaziner Remarkable by Lizzie Foley The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Unputdownable historical fiction: Katerina’s Wish by Jeannie Mobley When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens (actually a mix of contemporary and historical!) The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer
Madcap NYC-set adventures: At Your Service by Jen Malone Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle (which is also LOL funny!)
Tasty foodie books: Cupcake Cousins (and sequels) by Kate Hannigan It’s Raining Cupcakes (and sequels) by Lisa Schroeder
Deliciously creepy books: Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin Grave Images by Jenny Goebel Doll Bones by Holly Black Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Fabulous fairy-tales: Grounded by Megan Morrison A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente (best title ever, no?)
Wonderful contemporary stories: Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt (an excellent novel in verse)
What are your recent favorite middle-grade reads? Feel free to share more recommendations in the comments.
One year ago today–after nine years of writing, rewriting, submitting, hoping, and waiting–a little book called All Four Stars hit the shelves. A whole bunch of you showed up to celebrate with me at Books Of Wonder in New York, and I could hardly believe what an amazing welcome you gave Gladys into the world.
Now she’s out in paperback, sporting a shiny Crystal Kite sticker, is continuing her adventures in The Stars of Summer, and has another sequel on the way. I’ve received letters, e-mails, and even book reports from young readers who have embraced her story. Enthusiastic librarians, teachers, and booksellers have put her into thousands of readers’ hands.
Sometimes in her restaurant reviews, Gladys struggles to find the right words to describe a truly transcendent meal, and I feel the same way right now. But I’ll try. To everyone who has taken the time to read my book, recommend it to a friend, purchase a copy, request it at your library, write to me to share your thoughts on it…you’ve played a huge part in making my dream of becoming a published children’s author come true. THANK YOU.
I can still hardly believe it as I type this, but All Four Starshas won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for the Southwest Region of the United States!
This award means a lot to me because it’s voted on by members of SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators)–my children’s-book-creating peers. I can’t say thank you enough to all my colleagues in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Southern Idaho, and Wyoming who took the time to read my book and felt it was worthy of their votes.
I’m looking forward to celebrating this fall at my local chapter’s annual conference in Denver. Huge congratulations to all the nominees and finalists, and to the winners in the 14 other SCBWI regions (and especially to my friend and agent-sib Laurie Ann Thompson, whose fantastic debut book Be A Changemakeris the winner for the Western region!)
As the virtual tour ends, though, the live tour kicks off! I am now on the east coast, and gearing up for two New York events this week: first, my NYC launch party at Books of Wonder this Thursday at 6pm, then my reading and signing at The Dance Loft in Long Beach this Sunday at 4pm. In the weeks after that, I’ll also be appearing at Wellesley Books in Massachusetts (Boston area), One More Page in Arlington, VA (DC area), Kids Author Carnival in NYC, and The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY. Please check my events page for my full schedule, and I’d love to see you at one of these panels or parties!
The blog tour for The Stars of Summercontinues! Yesterday, the fantastic YA author Dahlia Adler–who is also a friend and a big fellow foodie–helped welcome my new book to the world with macaron pics and hot dog condiment chat at The Daily Dahlia. YUM.
And today, at For What It’s Worth, book blogger Karen has a review of the book and shares a recipe for brats with a slaw that contains blueberries! Wow!
In other news, last night was my first launch party for The Stars of Summer, at my terrific local indie, Boulder Book Store. We served completos Italianos and homemade cookies from the book, gave away prizes in a hot dog trivia contest, and generally just had a blast with all of the terrific friends, writers, kids, and even strangers who came out to celebrate. I’m still basking in the happy glow of being surrounded by so much love and support. Thank you, Boulder!! Here are a few of my favorite pics–full photoset at my Facebook author page.
My second novel, The Stars of Summer, hits the shelves today. It’s crazy to think that, just a year ago, I was the author of zero published books, and now there are two out there in the world with my name on the spine!
I’m incredibly lucky to get to do the work I love doing and actually see my writing find an audience. So to everyone who read and supported All Four Starsover the last year–who told their local librarians about it, who encouraged teachers to bring it into their classrooms, who bought an extra copy as a gift for a young (or not-so-young) foodie in their life–THANK YOU. This series wouldn’t be continuing without your enthusiasm. I hope that you enjoy reading The Stars of Summer every bit as much as I enjoyed writing it (which was a lot), and that maybe I’ll see you at one of my events over the next month.
But today is extra-special to me because it’s not only my second book’s book birthday, but it’s also the release date for two debut books that I love and that are written by dear friends of mine. I really couldn’t think of anyone better to share this day with, and I hope that if you see one of these titles on your local bookstore shelf, you’ll grab it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
The blog tour for The Stars of Summeris rolling on! First, on Friday, we had this lovely review from Lisa at Fic Talk. I love how she says that this series appeals to adult foodies as well as young readers, because I think so, too! 🙂
And now today Lucy at The Reading Date shares her reactions to the book–and some of her favorite veggie dogs from around LA, should Gladys ever want to come out and visit. The pictures and descriptions have me drooling.
The Stars of Summerhits the shelves TOMORROW, and my first bookstore launch party is the day after that. There are also plenty more blog tour posts coming your way. It’s going to be a busy, but exciting week!