DGMB cover jpg*A Kirkus Best Picture Book of the Year*

*A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year*

*A Betsy Bird/SLJ Best Picture Book of the Year*

*Starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly*

Out now from G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House: It’s my debut picture book, Desert Girl, Monsoon Boyillustrated by Archana Sreenivasan! (published May 12, 2020)

ISBN: 9780525518068


Order your copy from…

My local independent bookstore, Old Firehouse Books (signed/personalized books available–just request it in the comments)

Your local independent bookstore: find one here
(which supports independent bookstores)

Or your favorite national or online retailer:

Penguin Random House * Powell’s * BAM * B&N * Amazon *  Indigo (Canada) * Book Depository (International) * Kobo

Reviews for Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy

“A beautiful and important book about climate change featuring those who are most affected by it.”
KIRKUS, starred review

“While introducing the diversity of the Indian subcontinent through thoughtful juxtaposition, this collaboration also confronts the threats that extreme weather poses to various ways of life.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy is a gorgeously wrought, simply written, smart story that does the work of engaging and informing kids… You just want to read it again and again.”
-Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production (School Library Journal Blog)

“Beautifully rendered … This book not only examines climate change through the eyes of communities whose lives and livelihoods depend on the weather, but also provides a starting point for conversations on gendered roles as well as about migration as a form of survival — and how our lives are interconnected.”

“This story was inspired by the lifestyles of the Rabari people who live in northwestern India. Their lives, as we see in this very simple yet poignant book, are intimately connected to the environment. Young readers will find the jaunty rhyme of the narrative fun to follow.”


ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman cover

*An Amazon Best Book of the Month and Editors’ Pick For Middle Grade Summer Reading*

*Winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award (Southwest)*

*A Mighty Girl Pick of the Day and Top Book for Tweens & Teens*

*An Audiofile magazine Earphones Award winner*

My debut middle-grade novel, All Four Stars, was published on July 10, 2014 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin! (The paperback is out now as well, published by Puffin Books.) Here’s a little more info:

Hardcover ISBN-10: 0399162526
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-399-16252-7
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-142-42636-4

Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated, but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world. But to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret. Easy as pie, right?

(Ages 8 & up)

Other editions: Published in Czech by Albatros, and available as an audiobook from Ideal Audiobooks!

Discussion guide
for book clubs & classrooms here.

Order your copy from…

My local independent bookstore, Old Firehouse Books (signed/personalized books available–just request it in the comments)

Your local independent bookstore: find one here
 (which supports independent bookstores)

Or your favorite national or online retailer:
 Penguin * Powell’s * BAM * B&N * Amazon * Walmart * Indigo (Canada)Book Depository (International) * Kobo

Praise for All Four Stars

“Absolutely delicious storytelling! This is a delightful novel full of lively characters, beautiful language, humor, and creativity.”

“Gladys is a lovable character with plenty of spunk and desireand readers will happily cheer her on, while the fresh plot adds a delicious dimension to the host of stories set in sixth grade.”

“The [restaurant-reviewing] plan goes disastrously and hilariously awry, but Gladys and fine food ultimately triumph. The characters are well drawn…Give this one to your young foodies.”

“Younger readers (especially those who know their way around a kitchen) will be amused by Gladys’s reviews of her parents’ horrible cooking (“The peas… arrived at the table in a soggy, mushy state fit for a baby”) and her plot to get to New York City without alerting any adults. The triumphant conclusion makes this a tasty read.”

“Gladys turns out to be surprisingly canny and resourceful…and Gladys’s psychological journey and personal transformation are solid and credible. [An] entertaining story about the joys of following one’s bliss.”

“When a top-rated newspaper mistakenly hires the sixth grader to review a restaurant in NYC, she must slyly find a way there. Friendship (both natural and coaxed) is tastefully explored as Gladys learns how to proudly pursue her passions.”

“Dairman sets it all up meticulously and writes with sympathy and humor. Expect a lot of cookbook requests from readers of this title.”

“This debut novel dishes up a descriptive story… Like comfort food, this story is homey and goes down easily.”

“Readers will cheer for Gladys, laugh at her misadventures, and find themselves suddenly hungry for a tasty treat. A scrumptious gem of a story!
New York Times bestselling author of The False Prince

“A thoroughly charming read, and a stunning debut! Gladys Gatsby is a charming, smart heroine, and this book reminds me of some of my favorite classics. It has some of the exciting, kids-sneakily-navigating-the-grown-up-world elements of From the Mixed-up Files; the unique-writer-kid elements of Harriet the Spy; and the kind of masterful, confident story-telling voice of Kate DiCamillo’s beloved books. A delectable delight!
author of The Lightning Queen, Red Glass, What the Moon Saw, Star in the Forest, The Queen of Water, and the Indigo Notebook series

More honors for All Four Stars

*Finalist for the 2014 Cybils Award in Middle Grade Fiction*

*ILA Groundbreaking Reading Choice for Fall*

*2015  Kansas State Reading Circle selection*

*2016 Youth One Book, One Denver finalist*

*2016-17 Mark Twain Reader Award finalst (Missouri Association of School Librarians/MASL) *

*2016-17 Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) list for grades 3-5*


*An ILA New Book to Read Aloud*

*A Kiwi Magazine New Summer Reading Favorite*

*A Honolulu Family Magazine Editor’s Pick for Kids*

The sequel to All Four Stars is called The Stars of Summer, and was published on May 5, 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin.

Hardcover ISBN-10: 0399170693

Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-399-17069-0
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-147-51318-2 

Add Gladys to your list on Goodreads!After successfully completing her first restaurant review for the New York Standard newspaper, 12-year-old foodie Gladys Gatsby is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and eating. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley.

As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy. She struggles to pass her swim test, fails to keep the other campers happy while planning lunches, and cannot seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper. Worst of all, there’s no time to sneak away for her latest reviewing assignment: finding the best hot dog in New York City.

(Ages 8 & up)

Order your copy from…

My local independent bookstore, Old Firehouse Books (signed/personalized books available–just request it in the comments)

Your local independent bookstore: find one here
 (which supports independent bookstores)

Or your favorite national or online retailer:
PenguinPowells * B&N *  Amazon * BAM * Indigo (Canada) * Book Depository (International)

Praise for The Stars of Summer

Hilarious.Though a sequel to All Four Stars (2014), this book stands on its own. The main characters are maturing and becoming multidimensional. The author delivers the subtle message that people are not always what they seem at first. Give this one to foodies as well as readers looking for a fun summer tale.

“A 12-year-old girl who freelances as a restaurant reviewer (her employer doesn’t know her age) finds it increasingly difficult to keep her job secret from her parents while dealing with the problems of being a first-time camper and counselor-in-training. How Gladys rises to these and other challenges is the fun of the story.”

“A quest for an outstanding hot dog that blossoms into a family bonding experience, the real sense of understanding felt between old and new friends, plus plenty of humorous mishaps along the way should appeal to younger middle school students looking for a quick read during summer break. A truly entertaining story.

“This sequel is bursting with all of the foodie banter and playful capers that made
All Four Stars (2014) so engaging. Readers will be happy to not only see Gladys return but succeed in her quest for the perfect hot dog and, maybe, the perfect summer.
“Throughout this action-packed novel, Gladys’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, love of food, wit, and determination rise to the occasion as she learns important lessons about friendship and life.”


STARS SO SWEET by Tara Dairman

The third book in the All Four Stars series is here! It’s called Stars So Sweet, and was published on July 19, 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin.

Hardcover ISBN-10: 110199648X
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-101-99648-5

Add Gladys to your list on Goodreads!As the summer winds down and Gladys Gatsby prepares to start middle school, she is nervous about juggling schoolwork and looming deadlines from her secret job as the New York Standard’s youngest restaurant critic. When her editor pushes for a face-to-face meeting to discuss more opportunities with the paper, Gladys knows she must finally come clean to her parents. But her perfectly planned reveal is put on hold when her parents arrive home with a surprise:  her Aunt Lydia, one of the only adults who knows her secret, fresh off the plane from Paris. Gladys and Aunt Lydia try one last ruse to fool her editor at the Standard, but even with her aunt’s help, Gladys just can’t manage the drama of middle school and a secret life. It’s time for Gladys to be true to herself and honest with her friends and family, regardless of what those around her think.

(Ages 8 & up)

Order your copy from…

My local independent bookstore, Old Firehouse Books (signed/personalized books available–just request it in the comments)

Your local independent bookstore: find one here
 (which supports independent bookstores)

Or your favorite national or online retailer (links will go live as the book becomes available):
Penguin *  B&N *  Amazon * BAM * Indigo (Canada) * Book Depository (International)

Praise for Stars So Sweet

“Another wonderful, funny, heartwarming book in this fantastic series!”
author of The Lightning Queen

“A tasty dish that series fans should eat up.”

“An enjoyable entry in a fine series.”

The Great Hibernation

*A CCBC Choices 2018 Best Book of the Year*

*An Amazon top 100 bestseller and Prime Subscription Box selection (February 2019)*

*A 2018-19 selection for the Maine Student Book Awards reading list*

*A 2018 Spirit of Texas Middle School Reading List selection*

Out now from Wendy Lamb Books/Random House is my latest middle-grade novel, The Great Hibernation

ISBN-10: 1524717851
ISBN-13: 978-1-524-71785-8


What would happen if every grown-up in town fell asleep and the kids were left in charge? A great pick for fans of A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff and Greenglass House by Kate Milford, or any reader seeking a quirky mystery with a big helping of hilarity.
The most important tradition in tiny St. Polonius is the annual Tasting of the Sacred Bear Liver. Each citizen over twelve must eat one bite of liver to prevent the recurrence of the Great Hibernation, when the town founders fell asleep for months.

This year is Jean Huddy’s first time to taste the liver. It doesn’t go well.

A few hours later, all the adults fall into a sleep from which they cannot be woken, and the kids are left to run things. At first, they have a blast. But then the town bullies take over the mayor’s office and the police force, and pretty soon Jean begins to suspect that this “hibernation” was actually engineered by someone in town.

Courage, teamwork, and scientific smarts unlock an unusual mystery in this delightful and funny story about one girl who inspires the kids around her to join together to save their home.

Praise for The Great Hibernation

“Definitely will not induce drowsiness. Utterly original.”
author of The True Meaning of Smekday and the Cold Cereal Saga

“Imagine Lord of the Flies as a comedy set in snowy terrain and you have The Great Hibernation: a hilarious, whip-smart page-turner you don’t want to miss.”
New York Times bestselling author of Book Scavenger and The Unbreakable Code

Memorably humorous…Lighthearted enough to entice readers with the silly premise and whimsical illustrations sprinkled throughout, this middle grade book nonetheless explores some rather important political ideas about individuality and the need for a balance of powers in governance. A strong selection for most middle grade shelves.

“Quirky without being over-the-top, Dairman’s novel is a funny, wintry romp that explores just what might happen if kids were in charge.”

“[A] whimsical mystery…The fast-paced plot belies the sleepy small-town setting, and it’s refreshing to see a cast of characters who genuinely love their village and their families, whatever their quirks, instead of yearning to escape them.”

Entertainingly absurd, the book maintains an internal logic and a not-too-wacky tone, leaving space for the mystery of what really caused the giant group nap, and for the always-interesting question of what one would do if adults were (temporarily) out of the way.”

Order your copy from…

Your favorite national or online retailer:

Penguin Random House * Powell’s * BAM * B&N * Amazon *  Indigo (Canada)

or contact me directly; while print copies are unfortunately hard to find these days,
I still have some available.


Fishamble Firsts

I also have a short play published in this lovely Irish anthology. It’s called Tara Has Written a Play. No joke!

You can learn more about my plays and screenplays here.