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Just in case your summer’s  gotten dull, we’re giving away two adventure-packed middle grade novels.

itchFourteen-year-old Itchingham Lofte, nicknamed Itch, has an unusual hobby: collecting every element in the periodic table. So what if that means he’s had a few… accidents? But when he gets his hands on a suspiciously warm rock made of a new, previously unknown element, things really begin to explode. Soon, a sinister teacher, an evil corporation, and a top-secret government agency are all after him. Can his science know-how keep him one step ahead of everyone…and help him and his friends stay alive?

Simon Mayo, who lives in England, is at work on the sequel, due in 2014.

And book number two:

worse things happen at sea

The kooky residents of Ratbridge are clamoring for the miracle medicine Black Jollop, but the Nautical Laundry, the famed rat-pirate vessel, must journey afar to gather the medicine’s secret ingredient. Things aren’t what they seem…and soon the ship is under attack. Can young Arthur and his Ratbridge friends triumph and return with the cure for the town’s ills? 

Illustrated throughout with hundreds of detailed and delightful black-and-white drawings, this imaginative novel will captivate young sea-faring scallywags and brave buccaneers who love a daring, humorous, and extraordinary adventure.

Alan Snow, also from England,  has also written  Here Be Monsters! likewise set in the wonderfully weird world of Ratbridge.

To win copies of both novels, just enter a comment below!

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Tricia Springstubb
Tricia is the author of many books for middle grade, most recently "Every Single Second" (HarperCollins) and the third book in the Cody series, "Cody and the Rules of Life" (Candlewick Press). A frequent speaker at schools, libraries, and conferences, she lives in Cleveland OH. You can find out more about her and her work at
  1. Wonderful!

  2. I always wondered what the pure form of the elements would do to humans. What a great idea for a novel!