Last year it was… … first book in my series for younger MG readers. And as of today it’s…
…book two! I’m headlong in love with these characters, so it’s wonderful to continue spending time with them ( two more books to come).
For me, writing early middle grade, which I think of as geared to roughly 7-10 year olds, is a happy challenge. A maximum of 15,000 words— sheer torture for a meander-er like me. And while Cody and best bud Spencer deal with real-life issues including sibling problems, the ups and downs of friendship, succeeding (or not) in school, deciding what is right and what’s wrong, and experience feelings like jealousy, loneliness, confusion, frustration (whew! growing up is a lot of work)—their lives are more sheltered and innocent than the lives of older middle graders. So writing these books is a balancing act that requires treating things that loom large in kids’ lives in a respectful yet light (never lite) way. These are books for kids who love to laugh and like happy endings. Bonus: because they have lots of illustrations, they appeal to older, reluctant MG readers, t0o. It’s a wonderful coincidence that Sarah Pennypacker, who wrote the brilliant Clementine series, is debuting a new young MG hero this month. I like to think that Waylon, of “Waylon! One Awesome Thing”, would hit it off with Cody if they ever met.
The Booklist review of “Mysteries of the Universe” really describes what these books are about when it says they center on “the ever-shifting questions asked by readers this age as their awareness of the universe around them grows in leaps and bounds. ” Oh what the heck, I’ll blush and add the review’s last line: “Brimming with charm, delight, and a diverse cast of characters.”
To help celebrate Cody # 2’s publication, and Cody #1 being out in paperback, I’m giving away a signed copy of each. Please leave a comment below! (Only U.S. residents please).
These look wonderful!! I’m a huge fan of your Mo Wren books as well as Moonpenny Island, Tricia 🙂
Cannot wait to read the next Cody story!
These sound like entertaining reads
My daughters would love these! She is a voracious reader and loves to discover new stories. I love early middle grade novels and how they focus so specifically on their audience. It’s a magical time =)
Congrats! I love your covers! I’d love to win!
My 4th graders would love this series! Books with male protagonists, that are like them, are hard to find. Congrats on the new book
What fun! Congratulations!
Oh, I LOVE early middle grade books~ this is the type of book that my 7YO is getting close to reading independently! And I loved hearing more about the challenges and methods of writing for a slightly younger audience (I’m so wordy and bad at paring things down that I fear this age group of books will never be something I can grasp writing). Thanks so much for the giveaway, and congrats on the release!
I’m always on the lookout for early MG books that I can share with my 2nd and 3rd grade readers. Even if I don’t win, I’ll put these on my order list! Thanks!
Congrats! These sound wonderful and I so love the covers.
My fourth-grade students would love this series. They like to read stories about students their own age.
Treating kids’ issues with respect but in an approachable way is so key to hooking a new reader! (the illustrations help too, I bet, if they are as cute as the covers!)
I see kids struggle with these issues all the time. I know I did with two brothers and a sister. Reading always helped me like the siblingvlove in Narnia or the growing up issues in the Golden Compass series and different Tamora Pierce series. Combining these issues with illustrations in a cute book though? What a great library addition that makes!