Today, the Mixed Up Files is celebrating the launch of Jennifer Nielsen’s second book in her Underworld Chronicles series, ELLIOT AND THE PIXIE PLOT. Kirkus reviews wrote, “Nielsen cleverly keeps the action and humor flowing from one silly obstacle to the next…This quickly addictive page-turner also entices readers with many sensory details, such as tenacious Gripping Mud, surprisingly tasty turnip juice, and a tingly invisibility potion gone wrong…Definitely a series to invest in.”
As King of the Brownies, 11-year-old Elliot Penster is constantly facing new challenges. But this time, he’s been kidnapped by the Pixies into the Underworld where his only hope to return home again is to steal a sock from the worst Demon of all time. If that wasn’t enough trouble, Elliot’s science project is due and his partner is <gasp> a girl!
To help celebrate the release of PIXIE PLOT, Jennifer is offering a signed copy of ELLIOT AND THE PIXIE PLOT to a commenter. The winner will be selected at random and announced on Thursday, August 18th.
Now, some questions for Jennifer!
In Book 1, Elliot learns about standing up for himself against bullies. What do you think he learns in Book 2?
Definitely not to trust Pixies! Which I think is a good lesson for everyone. Because as everyone knows who has tried to make a deal with a Pixie, it never, ever works out well. Elliot also learns that he is a lot braver than he had thought and never to take his family (as oddball as they are) for granted.
Tell us about your illustrator.
All the artwork in the Underworld trilogy is done by Gideon Kendall, who I think is absolutely brilliant in his work. Whenever I talk to kids about the books, they always ask about the illustrations. I think what I love best is how his sense of humor comes through in all of his artwork. The story is a serious adventure told in a funny way, and I think his artwork reflects that perfectly.
What are you working on now?
The final book in the trilogy, ELLIOT AND THE LAST UNDERWORLD WAR, will be released in February 2012. And then I’m also preparing for the launch of a new trilogy with Scholastic in April 2012, that’s very different from the Underworld series. The first book, THE FALSE PRINCE, is about a defiant orphan named Sage who is forced into competition with three other boys to impersonate the lost prince. Either he succeeds to take the throne as a false prince, or he faces a certain death.
Can you share an excerpt from PIXIE PLOT?
This is a scene between Elliot and his royal advisor, Mr. Willimaker, while on their way to Demon Territory.
“I don’t mean to alarm you,” Mr. Willimaker whispered, “but is there any chance that noise came from you?”
Elliot hadn’t heard anything. “What noise?”
“That rustling noise. I was hoping that perhaps it was you over in those bushes.”
“It’s not me,” Elliot said.
“Are you sure?” Mr. Willimaker’s ears were at full attention now, then they relaxed and he added, “It was probably nothing. I’ll get some water. Won’t be long.” Then he walked away toward the stream.
Only a minute later, Elliot heard a “Hamph!” and a loud “No!” Then a small puff of smoke rose in the air and everything went silent. Elliot hoped it wasn’t a snake that had gotten to Mr. Willimaker, because that would have to be some freaky large snake. He ran in the direction Mr. Willimaker had gone, calling his name. But there was no answer.
Now he was alone in the Underworld, with no map either back to Burrowsville or ahead to Demon Territory. And he thought he heard a sound nearby. Something was coming toward him.
Congratulations and thanks for stopping by! Remember to leave a comment to win a copy. ELLIOT AND THE PIXIE PLOT is available in stores and online today! Or, check out the book trailer here.
To learn more about Jennifer, check out her website at www.jennielsen.com . Jennifer will be on board the Mixed-Up Middle Grade Skype Tour this fall and is also a popular author for school and classroom visits.