Sherri Winston’s JADA SLY, ARTIST & SPY + Giveaway

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you all to Sherri Winston and her newest middle-grade novel Jada Sly, Artist & Spy, which hit shelves this week. While Sherri has published several middle-grade novels, this is the first she illustrated as well. Read all about Sherri and Jada Sly, and then leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book!

 

Sherri Winston is a lover of cakes, sarcasm, and wish fulfillment. She grew up in Michigan before spending several years as an award-winning newspaper columnist and journalist in sunny South Florida.

Sherri is the author of President of the Whole Fifth Grade (a Sunshine State Young Readers Award selection), President of the Whole Sixth Grade (a Kids’ Indie Next pick), President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code, The Sweetest Sound, (a Sunshine State Young Readers Award Selection) and The Kayla Chronicles. She lives with her family in Florida. Connect with her on Twitter: @sherriwinston and Instagram: @jada_sly_may14

 

Jada Sly, a hilarious and spunky artist and spy, is on a mission to find her mom in this illustrated novel from acclaimed author Sherri Winston.

Ten-year-old Jada Sly is an artist and a spy-in-training. When she isn’t studying the art from her idols like Jackie Ormes, the first-known African American cartoonist, she’s chronicling her spy training and other observations in her art journal.

Back home in New York City, after living in France for five years, Jada is ready to embark on her first and greatest spy adventure yet. She plans to scour New York City in search of her missing mother, even though everyone thinks her mom died in a plane crash. Except Jada, who is certain her mom was a spy too.

With the stakes high and danger lurking around every corner, Jada will use one spy technique after another to unlock the mystery of her mother’s disappearance–some with hilarious results. After all, she’s still learning.

 

What was the inspiration behind Jada Sly?

I love museums. When I worked for the Sun-Sentinel I spent a lot of time visiting the Flagler. They had a section with antique dollhouses and toys. I used to think how wonderful and mysterious it would be to be a kid whose family owned the museum. It was years later before the idea came back and I developed the character. I love this book.
 
This is your first illustrated novel. Did you have an art background and how difficult was it to adapt to this format?
 
I minored in art in college but hadn’t drawn in 20 years. When the concept came to me I spent eight years re-learning teaching myself how to draw and use digital technology. Jada was drawn entirely in an iPad Pro.
 
What kind of research did you do for all the spy details in the novel?
 
Honey, a lifetime of James Bond, Nancy Drew and Harriet The Spy.

I see that Jada Sly is going to be a series. Can you give us a hint as to what she’ll be up to in the next book.
 
Well, if there are future books, the next one will focus more on the art world. I have a sinister plot involving a menacing 10-year-old art collector.
 
Can you give our readers some tips on how to write a mystery for middle grade readers?
 
Girrrrrrrl, I’m looking for someone to help me with the same. My best advice is to organize the steps of the mystery but start at the end. You have to work out where you’re going in a good mystery.
 
 
 
Thanks, Sherri! For a chance to win an autographed copy of Jada Sly: Artist & Spy, leave a comment below. I’ll pick a winner at random on Saturday night, May 18 at 11:59 PM, and announce it on Sunday, May 19. (U.S. Residents Only, please.)
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Dorian Cirrone
Dorian Cirrone's most recent middle-grade novel is the award-winning,THE FIRST LAST DAY. She has published several books for children and teens and is the Co-Regional Advisor of SCBWI-Florida. Visit her at www.doriancirrone.com
11 Comments
  1. I loved reading Nancy Drew mysteries when I was young. This series sounds far more appealing!

  2. I’ve been in love with a good mystery since I was a young girl. To this day, I read and write mystery!

  3. This sounds amazing! Will check it out asap. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  4. Fantastic! I love it when the book I’ll be reading with the kids in my life is a book I know I’ll love to read. This sounds like so much fun.

  5. This sounds fabulous! I’m in, and I know that my 10YO who loves art and all things sneaky/spy-like will be in as well.

  6. My fourth-graders would love this book!

  7. My 9 year old loves to play spy and loves to read – this will be the perfect book for her!!

  8. A spy and an artist?! Yes, please! This character sounds so much fun that I can’t wait to read her story. Love, love the cover.

  9. I love this! My daughter loves drawing and going on missions (our usual missions are trips to the grocer to pick up what I forgot)

  10. Thanks for the chance!!

  11. Love these! Plan to read soon.