School Library Journal loves THE GREAT HIBERNATION!

The Great HibernationI’m thrilled to share this fantastic review from School Library Journal for The Great Hibernation (coming your way September 12 – click title or cover image for preorder info). This is a book full of big ideas, and I’m so glad to see that the combination of humor, adventure, and politics is appealing to early readers.

Here’s the review! Emphases mine. 🙂

The Great Hibernation
DAIRMAN, Tara.. illus. by Rebecca Green. 272p. Random. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781524717858.
Gr 4-8 – In a small, insular Nordic town with seemingly harmless, quaint traditions, the children find themselves in a police state under a devious and manipulative kid mayor when all the adults suddenly and inexplicably fall into comas. Self-doubting and awkward Jean, 12, knows she must look for allies and uncover the truth. She and her small band of heroes are thwarted right and left, and readers will empathize with the characters as they encounter injustice. Dairman creates a sense of urgency and brings the work to a satisfying conclusion. The scenes are concise and well formed, grouped into chapters ending with a new question or realization that adds to the suspense. The trope of children without adult supervision or guidance leads to memorably humorous situations when the kids take on their parents’ jobs (e.g., the plow driver’s son who can’t see over the steering wheel), as do the antics of a pet sheep. A friendship between Jean and Isara, who is from Thailand and the only immigrant in this mostly white community, emphasizes the theme of friendship in spite of differences.
VERDICT 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.

–Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC

 

Middle Grade Mafioso!

SWEET blog button2Blog tour stop #3: The wonderful Michael Gettel-Gilmartin has reviewed Stars So Sweet for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday over at his blog, Middle Grade Mafioso.

He calls someone named Tara Dairman “one of the funniest middle grade writers around.” Well, I’ll take it! 🙂 Thank you for reading and reviewing, my friend.

Help “Complete the Cahills”!

Friends, if you’d like to start your Monday off with a good deed (and quite possibly a misty eye), please check out my brother- and sister-in-law’s beautiful video and inspiring story. They *both* survived cancer before the age of 32 and are now seeking to adopt. They are honestly two of the very best people I know, and are going to make incredible parents.

If you have the time to help share their story on social media and/or can find a few dollars to support them, I know that everyone who loves Matt and Heidi would be so grateful. Thank you!

Direct link to Matt & Heidi’s YouCaring crowdfunding site: Complete the Cahills: Help Dual Cancer Survivors Adopt

Book recommendations!

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!

Nooks & Crannies by Jessica LawsonMind-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

When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens

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

Nightingale's Nest by Nikki LoftinFabulous 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.

Blog tour, day 3!

SUMMER blog button3Greetings, friends! The Stars of Summer‘s blog tour continues!

Today, Sylvia at A Baked Creation has cooked up a true treat of a post. It’s a little bit book review, a little bit funky Toronto hot dog joint crawl (I want that po’boy hot dog!), and a little bit of childhood memories of favorite hot dogs eaten with family. I just love it. Thank you, Sylvia!

Coming soon!

All Four Stars will be published in exactly two weeks! #excitement

Today I’m over at Emu’s Debuts with a post called “How to Fail For Real.” It’s about overcoming fear of failure, and touches on my long journey to publication. (It’s also my last Emu post as an unpublished author. I’ve been blogging there for more than two years!)

On Friday, I’ll be sharing another recipe inspired by All Four Stars right here. Green tea cupcakes, anyone?

all four stars tour buttonAnd next Tuesday will kick off the All Four Stars blog tour, hosted by The Midnight Garden! This tour will feature interviews, reviews, and some terrific bonus content (including Gladys Gatsby’s personal tour of New York City restaurants that appear in the book). And I have some other interviews and guest posts lined up outside of the official blog tour as well. I’ll do my best to post links here, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

Starting on July 14, Emu’s Debuts will be hosting its own weeklong launch party for All Four Stars, which will include an interview with fantastic cover artist Kelly Murphy and lots of other fun posts.

And then there are the real-life launch parties in NYC (July 10) and Boulder, CO (July 17)–more details on my events page.

It’s a busy, exciting time, and I’m honored that so many people are helping me celebrate. I hope that you enjoy everything we’ve got planned!

Over at Emu’s!

Hello, folks!

Today I have a new blog entry up at Emu’s Debuts called “I am not my book.” It’s about finding life and space outside of my impending book launch–feel free to check it out!

Also, another trade review has come in for All Four Stars, from Publishers Weekly. Here’s my favorite part:

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.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

PW doesn’t always review middle-grade books, so I’m very grateful that they chose to read and recommend All Four Stars.

Make sure to pop back over here this Friday, when I’ll be talking about Tracy Holczer’s gorgeous middle-grade debut novel The Secret Hum of a Daisy and giving away an ARC!