New Releases

The Debut Experience: MG Authors of the Class of 2K19

For first-time authors, the lead up to publication is a heady cocktail of off-the-charts excitement and horror-movie terror. Here, MG members of the Class of 2K19–Naomi Milliner (SUPER JAKE & THE KING OF CHAOS, May 7); Gail Shepherd (THE TRUE HISTORY OF LYNDIE B. HAWKINS, March 26); J. Kasper Kramer (THE STORY THAT CANNOT BE TOLD, October 8); Jennifer Camiccia (THE MEMORY KEEPER, October 15); and Quinn Sosna-Spear (THE REMARKABLE INVENTIONS OF WALTER MORTINSON, April 2)–share their debut experiences.

MR: As you know, the debut year is a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Thus far, what have been your highest highs? Your lowest lows?

Naomi Milliner, SUPER JAKE & THE KING OF CHAOS (Running Press Kids) It’s been a rollercoaster, all right: by far the wildest ride I’ve ever been on… but one I wouldn’t trade for anything. I think the highest highs are still to come: holding the final copy in my hands; celebrating with family and friends at the book launch; and sharing SUPER JAKE at schools, libraries and bookstores.

Other highs have been working, and sharing my vision, with my wonderful editor Julie Matysik, and the great good fortune of having Liza Fleissig as my agent, mentor, cheerleader and hand-holder throughout the entire process. Last but not least, I am so grateful to be part of the 2019 debut groups. I have met such talented and supportive writers, and made incredible friends. No lows to speak of–yet–except for occasional bouts of severe anxiety and sheer terror.

Gail Shepherd, THE TRUE HISTORY OF LYNDIE B. HAWKINS (Kathy Dawson Books) My highest high was definitely my book launch. The outpouring of love from allies, family, old acquaintances, high school friends, mentors, critique partners, and even complete strangers was unbelievably affirming. I felt “launched” into the stratosphere, with the firepower of all that incredible good will behind me. It was a gift!

The lowest low was, surprisingly, right before the launch. There’s so much buildup to your debut that it’s emotionally draining. I had no good reason to get depressed—everything was going beautifully; Lyndie was getting such a lovely reception in early reviews. But I’d lost my equilibrium. I was tired. I’d taken on a lot of debut-related responsibilities that were hard to manage. Luckily, the low feeling passed (and I gather it’s very common).

J. Kasper Kramer, THE STORY THAT CANNOT BE TOLD (S&S/Atheneum) Getting to hold advanced copies of The Story That Cannot Be Told for the first time was an incredible rush. Seeing the cover, the lovely interior design, my own words on a bound, printed page—utterly thrilling. This dream has been a lifetime in the making, and moments like that make it all feel much more real.

As for a “lowest low,” I think a lot of authors do their best to make only their happiest news public. This isn’t dissimilar to the image most people try to curate for themselves online, but there’s also a certain amount of pressure authors face from the industry to keep up positive hype about their books. The truth is, though, it’s tough out there! Whether you’re struggling with the next book, still stinging from a rejection, or fretting over lists and reviews, there’s always something to stress about.

Quinn Sosna-Spear, THE REMARKABLE INVENTIONS OF WALTER MORTINSON (Simon & Schuster) I think my highest high was being able to give my grandfather a copy of my book. There are many writers in my family who haven’t had a chance to be published, and I think it’s very significant to show that, every once in a while, with a great deal of luck, those decades long, generational dreams can actually manifest. I think my lowest low was realizing that someone very close to me wasn’t going to be able to read my book due to health issues. I was just a few months too late. That was really heartbreaking.

 

Jennifer Camiccia, THE MEMORY KEEPER (Aladdin/S&S) 

So far, seeing my book on Indie bound books, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble for pre-order has been incredibly surreal and amazing. It’s finally sinking in that people are actually ordering my book! As for the lowest of lows? I think it’s fear of people reading my book and hating it.

MR: Can you tell us about your greatest challenge? The biggest surprise?

Naomi Milliner: The greatest challenge was that it took 16 years from first draft to release date; but most of that was my own fault. I have discovered that “writing what you know” is a lot more complicated than one might think – at least, for me. The biggest surprise is how much more work there is AFTER a book is sold!

Gail Shepherd: Challenge: Managing the workload. Trying to go deep into writing my second book while taking on a lot of commitments—to read other debuts, do interviews, keep up with social media, outreach, and marketing. I retired from my day job at the end of January, but I’m working just as hard as before, including putting in significant time on weekends to keep up. Surprise: How many people have told me they connect with Lyndie. The great kindness people have shown me has been astonishing. 

J. Kasper Kramer: I often tell my students that revision is where the real writing happens. I love drafting. And I usually don’t have trouble with that part of the process. Revising, though, can be rough for me. Having to revise on a deadline—and knowing people were counting on me to get it right—that was really hard.

The biggest surprise so far has been having strangers reach out to tell me they’re excited about Story or that they just finished an advanced copy. It’s still completely surreal to think that people are out there reading my words right now!

Jennifer Camiccia: I think, since I’m an introvert, my greatest challenge will be anything that involves putting myself out there in front of people. My biggest surprise is how kind everyone in the book community is. Fellow writers, bloggers, teachers, booksellers, editors and even publishers—they are all there to help us get our book babies out into the world. My interactions, so far, have been filled with wonderful, giving people and it’s made the whole experience such a positive one.

Quinn Sosna-Spear: I think the greatest challenge for me was writing one book while preparing for the release of my debut. It was an incredibly difficult juggling act that I thought I was prepared for, but actually was completely bulldozed by. It has been one of the most impacting professional difficulty I have experienced thus far. And the biggest surprise? I think it was seeing my cover for the first time (illustrated by the phenomenal Gediminas Pranckevicius). I hadn’t really known what to expect, but I definitely never thought it’d end up being a fantasy landscape like the one he produced; the details in it are really amazingly beautiful.

MR: What advice would you give to other kidlit authors facing their debut year? What would you have done differently?

Naomi Milliner: Try not to get so caught up in the ups and downs that you can’t enjoy the ride. Also, join debut groups ASAP and find a close circle of like-minded authors within those groups. Their kinship, empathy and friendship is priceless (shout-out to #JPST!). As for what I would have done differently? Since I’m right in the middle of it all, I will have to get back to you on that!

Gail Shepherd:You’ve got to join a debut group. Seriously. You’ve got to jump in and do what’s required, and your mates in the debut groups will help you in every conceivable way. Any question or confusion I had, there was somebody to help. When I felt down, my debut pals lifted me. When I needed inspiration, somebody would hand me a book, an article, a link. Everything from contracts to marketing to working on your second book to school visits—somebody has the vital info you need. It’s remarkable. My editor and agent alone would neverhave been able to do this much hand holding—and I never would have dared ask them.

J. Kasper KramerThe Story That Cannot Be Told doesn’t hit shelves till October 8, so I’m still about six months out to release. I’m sure, if you ask me in the fall, I’ll have a long list of advice! So far, though, I think the best thing I’ve done is build relationships. If it weren’t for some of my online debut author groups, like Class of 2K19 and Novel Nineteens, I don’t know where I’d go to ask the hard questions. These groups have also paved the road to some seriously incredible friendships with other authors. The support and encouragement we give each other is invaluable. I really don’t know how I’d make it without them!

Jennifer Camiccia: Join a debut group. It’s so helpful to have other writers to commiserate with and learn from. A support system is vital in this industry, especially since writing is so solitary. As for doing anything differently—maybe not comparing myself with other writers? It’s so easy to do, but it negates what I’ve accomplished. Maybe I didn’t have a huge advance or a big splashy campaign behind my book, but I did have my dream come true. Not everyone can say that.

Quinn Sosna-Spear: I would say to just do the best you can without stretching yourself too thin. There are very few things, I think, that a debut author can do alone to really move the needle. Maybe the most successful thing I’ve witnessed is just being consistently present in the community. I think it can be enticing to just spend your time planning a few very big events, but in the long run I think a slow grind actually produces a better outcome.

MR: Marketing a book can be extremely challenging. What has your approach to marketing been thus far? Have any of your decisions been influenced by watching other debut authors launch and market their books?

Naomi Milliner: My basic approach has been equal parts begging and bribing, LOL. I often feel like a juggler, hoping one of many balls will miraculously land where it’s supposed to. I do think social media is a powerful and crucial tool these days, along with a network of friends and fellow writers. We encourage, help, and promote each other. I have absolutely learned a tremendous amount from my fellow debuts, as well as from more established writers who have been extremely kind and generous in advising me. (If the list weren’t so long, I would happily name names here.)

Gail Shepherd: Oh, gosh, yes… the debut authors have been a godsend. But you have to figure out what you have the energy for, and you can’t let marketing interfere with writing. My editor was quite straightforward in telling me that the best thing I could do for my career was to write a second book. I took that to heart. But I still reserve a few hours a day, every day, for marketing-related work. The bulk of that is arranging appearances and outreach to book stores and librarians, plus any commitments I have to the debut groups as a whole (giveaways, interviews, social, etc).

J. Kasper Kramer: Having a fall release feels a bit (I suspect) like being a younger sibling. I’m getting to watch all my friends do amazing things months before I go through similar trials—and you better believe I’m taking notes. As for marketing, I’ve never really felt comfortable having a big presence online—especially when it comes to self-promotion. I much prefer my computer time to be spent hiding deep in a Word doc. However, I admire the way some of my friends interact with their readers—it looks fun and genuine and often leads to great connections. Because of this, I’ve been working hard to step a bit out of my comfort zone this year. I also love having business cards with my cover to pass out to people I meet. My novel comes up at the most unexpected times—especially when I’m traveling—and I think placing that card in a person’s hand after a meaningful conversation often does translate to real sales.

Jennifer Camiccia: I try to say yes as much as possible, even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone. And this is where joining a debut group is so important. I wouldn’t have known about so many of the different events and possibilities for marketing out there without watching what those who debuted in the months ahead of me did. I learned from them and implemented many of their suggestions.

Quinn Sosna-Spear: My approach to marketing has been simply to do what seems fun. I think, aside from being pleasant and present, I’m not sure how much sway an average author’s personal marketing has on book sales (particularly for middle-grade authors). Maybe I’m undervaluing it, but I feel it does more to improve relationships with readers and other people in the industry. That feeling has definitely been strengthened by watching and speaking to other authors. For that reason my approach has been largely to just do what feels fun to me, as opposed to what I think will “hit,” you know?

MR: What are you working on now?

Naomi Milliner: I recently finished the thousandth draft of a middle-grade novel about an 11-year-old girl named Daisy who is trying to discover what (if anything) makes her stand out among a bouquet of five floral-named sisters. I’m hoping to start a middle-grade prequel to my YA SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS homage.

Gail Shepherd: A middle grade historical adventure, set in the swamps of west Florida in the 1930s.

J. Kasper Kramer: I have two books in the drafting stage. One is YA, set in 1850s Poland, and revolves around a strange young woman whose parents believe is a changeling. When a group of traveling entertainers called the Summerfolk make camp in the nearby forest, strange things begin to happen on the family potato farm—things that seem more fairytale than reality. The other book is MG and set in 1909 on a quarantine island in New York City. It follows an Irish immigrant girl named Essie, who is terrified of everything—especially her brooding new stepfather. Things take a turn for the frightening when she begins to suspect that the island is haunted.

Jennifer Camiccia: I’m working on a young-adult thriller set in Hawaii. I grew up on Kauai and this has been percolating for a while. I actually wrote it as a rom-com at first but I’m rewriting it now as a thriller. I’m having a blast with it!

Quinn Sosna-Spear: I am currently working on my second middle-grade novel, currently titled The Thirteenth Hour, which tells the story of Aaron, a 12-year-old boy who is given a mysterious pocket watch. He finds when he sleeps holding the watch he is transported to one of twelve magical worlds, corresponding with the time he fell asleep. Once he arrives in the ‘clock world,’ he uncovers a terrible mystery that only he can solve. It has been both the most interesting and challenging project I have ever worked on.

MR: And finally, no MUF interview would be complete without a brief mention of food. What is your favorite writing snack? Beverage?

Naomi Milliner: Only a brief mention? And snack singular, not plural? This is the hardest question of all! JI suppose anything chocolate would qualify, and probably a nice, (hopefully) calming cup of tea.

Gail Shepherd: A snack in a beverage: Really strong high-quality espresso with heavy cream and honey.

J. Kasper Kramer: I lived in Japan for several years—the land of awesome snack food—and I have a few favorites that friends still kindly ship over, like corn potage flavored puffs and a spicy peanut rice cracker treat. As for drinks, I love black coffee, tea, and coconut La Croix.

Jennifer Camiccia: When I’m not on a strict schedule—popcorn, apples, and tangerine slices. But when I’m on deadline—anything chocolate. Beverage of choice is always a chai latte.

Quinn Sosna-Spear: My dad wouldn’t be happy with me if he knew how much Coke Zero I drink (both when I write and when I don’t)—but let’s just say that I drink approximately as much Coke Zero as will literally fit inside of my body. I have replaced my blood, bones, organs, and all other useless things with Coke Zero.

Thanks for participating, Class of 2K19 authors! And congratulations!!

April’s New Releases

No fooling! April has some seriously great new middle grade releases: Fiction that ranges from funny to fantastic; books that tell true life stories; an interactive journal; a novel written by a fictional TV character; and two new books (a biography and a historical novel) by our own Julie K. Rubini and Rosanne Parry. Congrats to Julie, Rosanne, and all our featured April authors!

 

Eye to Eye: Sports Journalist Christine Brennan by Julie K. Rubini

Christine Brennan, the USA Today sports columnist, author, and commentator, uses her voice to advocate for diversity and equality in the world of sports, and her wisdom to encourage future journalists. Her passion for sports was sparked by her dad, who encouraged her to participate in athletics and, as he said, “smell the game”—go watch baseball and football games together. As a child, Christine wrote daily entries in her diary and listened to play-by-play coverage on her radio. She pursued this love of words through journalism school and applied her passion for sports by reporting on them for various newspapers. Since then, she has portrayed the setbacks and triumphs of athletes, all the while fighting her own battles for success—and respect—as a female journalist. From knocking down barriers in NFL locker rooms to covering every Olympics since 1984 to being the go-to commentator whenever scandal occurs in the sports world, Christine Brennan has done it all. Eye to Eye invites young readers to learn more about this remarkable journalist and perhaps to nurture their own dreams of investigating and telling important stories.

 

Last of the Name by Rosanne Parry

Twelve-year-old Danny O’Carolan and his sister, Kathleen, arrive in New York City in 1863. Kathleen refuses to be parted from her only remaining relative, so she finds a job in domestic service for herself and her younger … sister. Danny reluctantly pretends to be a girl to avoid being sent to the children’s workhouse or recruited as a drummer boy for the Union army. When he occasionally sneaks off to spend a few hours as a boy and share his rich talent for Irish dancing, he discovers the vast variety of New York’s neighborhoods. But the Civil War draft is stoking tensions between the Irish and free black populations. With dangers escalating, how can Danny find a safe place to call home?

 

 

The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin

When Caitlyn Breen enters the tiny Mitchell School in rural Mitchell, Vermont, she is a complete outsider: the seventh grade has just ten other kids, and they’ve known each other since kindergarten. Her classmates are in for a shock of their own: Paulie Fink–the class clown, oddball, troublemaker, and evil genius–is gone this year. As stories of Paulie’s hijinks unfold, his legend builds, until they realize there’s only one way to fill the Paulie-sized hole in their class. They’ll find their next great Paulie Fink through a reality-show style competition, to be judged by the only objective person around: Caitlyn, who never even met Paulie Fink. Who was this kid, anyway–prankster, performance artist, philosopher, or fool? Caitlyn’s quest to understand Paulie is about to teach her more about herself than she ever imagined. Told via multiple voices, interviews, and other documents, The Next Great Paulie Fink is a lighthearted yet surprisingly touching exploration of how we build up and tear down our own myths…about others, our communities, and ourselves.

 

 

A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan

Thirteen-year-old Jamie Bunn made a mistake at the end of the school year. A big one. And every kid in her middle school knows all about it. Now she has to spend her summer vacation volunteering at the local library—as punishment. What a waste of a summer! Or so she thinks. A Kind of Paradise is an unforgettable story about the power of community, the power of the library, and the power of forgiveness.

 

 

 

Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-Mcginnis

Eleven-year-old December knows everything about birds, and everything about getting kicked out of foster homes. All she has of her mother is the book she left behind, The Complete Guide to Birds: Volume One, and a message: “In flight is where you’ll find me.” December believes she’s truly a bird, just waiting for the day she transforms and flies away to her real home. The scar on her back must be where her wings have started to blossom – she just needs to find the right tree and practice her flying. She has no choice; it’s the only story that makes sense. When she’s placed with Eleanor, a new foster mom who runs a taxidermy business and volunteers at a wildlife rescue, December begins to see herself and what home means in a new light. But the story she tells herself about her past is what’s kept December going this long, and she doesn’t know if she can let it go… even if changing her story might mean that she can finally find a place where she belongs.

 

 

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal 

by Jeff Kinney

Get ready for a whole new look into Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Introducing the newest Wimpy Kid author—Rowley Jefferson! Rowley’s best friend Greg Heffley has been chronicling his middle-school years in thirteen Diary of a Wimpy Kid journals . . . and counting. But it’s finally time for readers to hear directly from Rowley in a journal of his own. In Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, Rowley writes about his experiences and agrees to play the role of biographer for Greg along the way. (After all, one day Greg will be rich and famous, and everyone will want to know his life’s story.) But Rowley is a poor choice for the job, and his “biography” of Greg is a hilarious mess. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal offers readers a new way to look at the Wimpy world—one fans won’t want to miss!

 

Spy School British Invasion by Stuart Gibbs

Stranded in Mexico after nearly capturing the leaders of SPYDER, thirteen-year-old Ben Ripley desperately needs to take a shower. But even more so, he and his spy school friends need to come up with a new plan to defeat their enemies, their only clue a key that opens…something. The Mission: Go rogue from the CIA, join up with the British MI6 to locate the leader of SPYDER, the enigmatic Mr. E, and bring down the evil organization once and for all. Only it won’t be easy. They’ll have to deal with rival evil splinter factions, devious double-crosses and learning to drive on the opposite side of the road. But they have no other choice: this is their last and final chance to crack the code on SPYDER.

 

Warriors: The Broken Code #1 Lost Stars by Erin Hunter

For the first time, all five warrior Clans have settled into their true homes in the territory around the lake. But when a shockingly harsh leaf-bare season descends on the forest, a new darkness begins to spread—a shadow that threatens a beloved Clan leader, the cats’ connection with their ancestors in StarClan, and the very warrior code they live by. Packed with action and intrigue, the beginning of this sixth Warriors series is the perfect introduction for readers new to the Warriors world. And dedicated fans will be thrilled to discover the new adventures that unfold after the events of A Vision of Shadows.

 

It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah, the funny guy who hosts The Daily Show, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa, with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child like him to exist. But he did exist–and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his keen smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government. This compelling memoir blends drama, comedy, and tragedy to depict the day-to-day trials that turned a boy into a young man. In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself, thanks to his mom’s unwavering love and indomitable will. It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime not only provides a fascinating and honest perspective on South Africa’s racial history, but it will also astound and inspire young readers looking to improve their own lives.

 

Wild Rescuers: Escape to the Mesa by Stacy Plays

From YouTube gamer StacyPlays comes the exhilarating sequel to her Minecraft-inspired adventure novel about a girl raised by wolves. Stacy would do anything to protect the Taiga where she lives with the pack of intelligent wolves who raised her. But when humans start to encroach on their forest, their only choice is escape to a place no Arctic wolf has gone before: the desert. The Mesa, with its canyons, snakes, and coyotes, will be like nothing the pack has ever seen. Even in this unfamiliar territory, Stacy is determined to rescue animals in need. But as she and her wolves face new dangers and old secrets, Stacy can’t help but wonder—where does she truly belong?

 

Share Your Smile: Raina’s Guide to Telling Your Own Story by Raina Telgemeier

Calling all fans of Raina Telgemeier! Have you ever thought about telling your own story, whether it be true or imagined? Are you interested in writing, drawing, or both? If the answers are yes, this fun, colorful, and interactive journal is for you! With guidance from Raina herself, brainstorm ideas, make lists, paste in personal photos, and use your imagination like never before to create your own stories. For additional inspiration, behind-the-scenes info from Raina’s own comics-making adventures is featured inside. BONUS: Raina’s next graphic novel, Guts, will be published on September 17, 2019. A special sneak peek is included in this book!

 

The Legends of Greemulax by Kimmie Schmidt and Sarah Mlynowski
Penn dreads the day that he will start to become a monster, but it’s inevitable. The youngest of his tribe in Greemulax, he knows that as boys become men, they turn into powerful, hairy blue creatures called Grabagorns, and that their solemn vow is to never again be weak. Legend has it that dragons all but destroyed Greemulax years ago during a terrible time known as the Great Scorch. Not one of the tight-knit community’s girls or women survived, and the men, ruled by Grabagorn Prime, have lived in mourning and anger ever since. But when one of Penn’s dragon traps catches a real live girl named Kristy, he starts to question everything he thought was true. Together, Penn and Kristy set off on an adventure that will take them to a tugboat in a tree and through a treacherous lake of pudding, toward a candy forest guarded by dragons that might hold the answers they seek. The more time they spend with each other, however, the faster Penn transforms into the monster he fears, and the more Kristy seems to fade away into nothing. Can they reach their destination before it’s too late?

 

Aru Shah and the Song of Death (A Pandava Novel Book 2) by Roshani Chokshi
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents best-selling author Roshani Chokshi and her sequel to Aru Shah and the End of Time. Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

 

Spill the Beans (Whatever After #13) by Sarah Mlynowski
My brother Jonah’s dream has come true. We have FINALLY landed in his favorite fairy tale: Jack and the Beanstalk! It’s a lot of fun meeting Jack. But then we accidentally mess up his story, which means Jack can’t climb up the magic beanstalk to find the giant’s riches. It’s time to take matters into our own hands. Now we have to:
– Make a deal with a sneaky trader
– Climb a beanstalk into the sky
– Try not to get eaten by a giant
– Find the goose that lays golden eggs
Otherwise, Jack won’t get his treasure, and our troubles will be GIGANTIC . . .

 

 

Mirror, Mirror: A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita

Mirror, Mirror: A Twisted Tale poses the question, what if the Evil Queen poisoned the prince? Following her beloved mother’s death, the kingdom falls into the hands of Snow White’s stepmother, commonly referred to as “the Evil Queen” by those she rules. Snow keeps her head down at the castle, hoping to make the best of her situation. But when new information about her parents resurfaces and a plot to kill her goes haywire, everything changes for Snow. With the help of a group of wary dwarfs, a kind prince she thought she’d never see again, and a mysterious stranger from her past, Snow embarks on a quest to stop the Evil Queen and take back her kingdom. But can she stop an enemy who knows her every move and will stop at nothing to retain her power… including going after the ones Snow loves?

 

 

Katt vs. Dogg by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
Oscar is a happy dogg–a rambunctious kid who loves being a Dogg Scout. Thanks to his family, he knows that snobby katts are good for nothing but chasing up trees. Molly is a clever katt who just knows she’s destined for fame and fortune as an actress. She comes from a family of well-bred katts who despise drooly, disgusting doggs!
For their whole lives, Oscar and Molly have been told that katts and doggs hate each other. One day, they each get hopelessly lost in the woods, but those lifelong prejudices flare up when they cross paths. Slowly, they realize that the only way to survive and find their way home is to…work together?! Yeah, that’s not going to happen!

 

Flashback Four: The Hamilton-Burr Duel by Dan Gutman

In this jaw-dropping final installment of New York Times bestselling author Dan Gutman’s action-packed series, four risk-taking friends travel back in time to record the most infamous duel in American history. Billionaire Miss Z might be out of the picture, but a top-secret agency wants to send Luke, Julia, David, and Isabel on one final mission. This time, the Flashback Four are headed to Weehawken, New Jersey—in 1804—to videotape the fateful duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. But once they arrive, the team faces a question of historic proportions: Should they capture the tragic details of the duel or try to change them? With real photographs to help put young readers right in the action, plus back matter that separates fact from fiction, The Hamilton-Burr Duel tells the story of one of history’s fiercest rivalries from a fun and fresh new angle.

 

 

Welcome to Wonderland: Beach Battle Blowout by Chris Grabenstein

Welcome to the Wonderland Motel–the funnest place on earth! Contestants, start your engines! The race to be the best on the beach is on, and this year the Wonderland is FINALLY going to win! The competition is fierce! But who needs ROLLER COASTERS and JET PACKS and PIRATES when you have not one but two SECRET WEAPONS? That’s right–P.T. and Gloria, of course! Now they just need to SLEUTH OUT who the secret contest judges are and come up with enough brand-new attractions to WOW them and OUT-FUN the competition! Can they do it? Or will the Wonderland crash and burn? Anything’s possible when you live in the FUNNEST PLACE ON EARTH! Extras include P.T. and Gloria’s famous fact-or-fiction quiz and P.T.’s (Not Exactly) Patented Storytelling Tips!

 

A Black Woman Did That! by Malaika Adero

A Black Woman Did That! spotlights vibrant, inspiring black women whose accomplishments have changed the world for the better. A Black Woman Did That! is a celebration of strong, resilient, innovative, and inspiring women of color. With a vibrant mixture of photography, illustration, biography, and storytelling, author Malaika Adero will spotlight well-known historical figures and women who are pushing boundaries today—including Ida B. Wells, Madam CJ Walker, Shirley Chisholm, Serena Williams, Mae Jamison, Stacey Abrams, Jesmyn Ward, Ava DuVernay, and Amy Sherald. Readers will recognize some names in the book, but will also be introduced to many important black women who have changed history or who are reshaping the cultural landscape.

 

Fast Break (Jeter Publishing) by Derek Jeter and Paul Mantell

Between promising Vijay that he’ll compete in the school talent show and promising Dave that he’ll try out for the basketball team, Derek Jeter has a lot he’s trying to juggle. A commitment is a commitment, and Derek is determined to work hard and try his best, but he worries he might be in over his head and fears he’s going to let his friends or himself down. How can Derek do it all? Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, Fast Break is the sixth book in Jeter Publishing’s New York Times bestselling middle grade baseball series that focuses on key life lessons from Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

 

 

The Last Last-Day-of Summer by Lamar Giles

Otto and Sheed are the local sleuths in their zany Virginia town, masters of unraveling mischief using their unmatched powers of deduction. And as the summer winds down and the first day of school looms, the boys are craving just a little bit more time for fun, even as they bicker over what kind of fun they want to have. That is, until a mysterious man appears with a camera that literally freezes time. Now, with the help of some very strange people and even stranger creatures, Otto and Sheed will have to put aside their differences to save their town—and each other—before time stops for good.

 

 

National Geographic Welcomes MG Explorers Back for Another Thrilling Adventure

Join Cruz Coronado and his friends at The Explorer Academy as they travel around the globe training to be the next generation of explorers and uncovering Cruz’s family’s dangerous past. This is the second adventure in which Cruz and his teammates use real-world science and technology to solve mysteries and outwit their enemies. The first in the series is The Nebula Secret.

 

Welcome Back to the Explorer Academy!

Welcome to Day #5 of the Explorer Academy: The Falcon’s Feather Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Explorer Academy: The Falcon’s Feather by Trudi Trueit on March 19th, blogs across the web are featuring special content from Trudi and the Explorer Academy team, as well as 5 chances to win an Explorer Academy DRONE Prize Pack!

Ten Terrible Titles for Explorer Academy Book 3

The rules of the game are: “Scroll through the manuscript and stop on a random place. Whatever you land on becomes one of ten terrible titles.”

1. Guess It Wasn’t Such a Brilliant Idea After All

2. Is the Spot in the Corner a Pit or Not?

3. The Eye of the Birsh!

4. Photo 51: It’s Only the Most Important Photograph Ever Taken

5. It Could Be a Temple, or a Tomb

6. A Drawer! It Had to Be a Secret Drawer!

7. Nature Was Random

8. Most Certainly the Mummy Inside

9. After All, We Are Trespassing

10. Your Life is…Complicated

Of course, the real title for Explorer Academy #3, the sequel to The Falcon’s Feather, is…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available September 3rd, 2019!

Blog Tour Schedule:

March 18th – BookTrib

March 19th – Big Shiny Robot

March 20th – Always in the Middle

March 21st Novel Novice

March 22ndFrom the Mixed Up Files

A fun, exciting and action-packed ride that kids will love.”

J.J. Abrams, director of Star Trek, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost and Alias

Explorer Academy is sure to awaken readers’ inner adventurer and curiosity about the world around them.”

LeVar Burton, host of “Reading Rainbow”and “LeVar Burton Reads”

 

Buy: National Geographic | Amazon | Indiebound

Add on Goodreads

Visit the Explorer Academy Official Site

Educator Guide

 

 

 

 

Follow Trudi: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

Follow National Geographic Kids: Website | Twitter | Books Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

It’s an adventure of a lifetime when Cruz Coronado sets sail for the shores of Iceland and Norway aboard the Explorer Academy ship to continue his studies at sea. But, things take a turn while exploring the icy north, when he embarks on a dangerous mission to uncover the first piece of an important puzzle his mother left behind.

In the exciting follow-up to The Nebula Secret in the 7-book Explorer Academy series, Cruz, Sailor, and Emmett, along with their new ally Bryndis, embark on their first globe-trotting mission aboard the ship Orion. Cruz jumps right back into school and starts using the latest technology in submersible underwater dives, but is soon reminded of the dangers of exploration when his equipment fails and he almost drowns. Determined to keep his eyes on the prize, Cruz sneaks away to try to find answers, but unknowingly lures his friends into bigger trouble. When a friend of Cruz’s mom meets an untimely end, Cruz’s luck really seems about to run out and the questions multiply. What does the message mean? Where will it lead? Who is following him? And why?

This captivating book is the sequel every Explorer Academy fan is waiting to read!

About the Author: Author Trudi Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences. She has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction, including The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Trueit lives in Everett, Washington.

GIVEAWAY

 

  • One (1) winner will receive SIGNED copies of Explorer Academy books 1 and 2, an ADVANCE copy of Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure (not otherwise available to the public until May!), an Explorer Academy pin, baseball cap, t-shirt, and bag, and a Quadcopter DRONE!
  • US/Canada only
  • Ends 3/31 at midnight ET

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Plus! Enter to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip!

One lucky family of four will embark on a spectacular ship-based adventure, just like the students at Explorer Academy. Experience the remarkable beauty of Alaska’s famed Inside Passage on this thrilling 8-day voyage, courtesy of National Geographic Expeditions. Get up close to icebergs and calving glaciers. See orcas and humpback whales, then listen to them with the ship’s hydrophone. Visit Glacier Bay National Park, learn about Alaska’s rich Native American heritage, and pass islands teeming with wildlife, including brown bears, sea lions, sea otters, and perhaps the world’s highest density of nesting bald eagles. Visit natgeoexpeditions.com to see a detailed itinerary for Alaska’s Inside Passage Cruise. Enter here!

Explorer Academy: The Falcon’s Feather Author Tour

Friday, March 22, 2019

Kepler’s Books

1010 El Camino Real

Menlo Park, CA

Event details:

6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.— Public event with talk by author Trudi Trueit and National Geographic Explorer Erika Bergman, followed by book signing. Purchase tickets in advance.