Happy release day – and a giveaway!

Hello Middle Grade readers! Today we’re interviewing TMUF member Jen K Blom! Her debut, POSSUM SUMMER, released this month!

First, a little about the book:

A lonely girl.

An orphaned possum.

A dad that says no way.

How do you keep that a secret? And what happens when you’re found out?

TMUF: Well, Jen, happy release day! Your book was blurbed by Bill Wallace (A DOG CALLED KITTY). What did you do when you read what he said? And I quote: “Jen K. Blom’s Possum Summer, is a heartwarming, vibrant story of a western Oklahoma ‘country’ girl [that] mixes themes of honor, resolve, and courage with just the right blend of adventure, excitement, humor, danger, love, compassion, and a small touch of romance. It’s a book that middle graders will want to read. The author should brace herself for all the letters and emails she’ll receive asking ‘did this really happen?’ –Bill Wallace, author of A Dog Called Kitty and many other books”

JKB: I thought I’d died and gone to heaven, actually. My school had had him visit when I was in fourth grade, and after I’d sat through his visit I decided I would be a writer too. It just took a bit longer than I expected, back then. (Teachers: schedule author visits for your students! *g*)

TMUF: So how much of the book is personal experience? How will you answer those kids?

JKB: Ha! I had a possum, back in the day. I rescued him in the *exact* way that the first chapter plays it out, too. Not much else is the same, except I did happen to grow up in Oklahoma. (GO SOONERS!) Oh, and Gran in the story is very much like my beloved Gran. She was a hoot. Maybe there is some stuff in there, after all.

TMUF: Did you know a girl named Princess?

JKB: Yes, my Gran! Her name was Princess, and I decided there was no better name than that.

TMUF: What scene reminded you most of your childhood in Oklahoma when you wrote it?

JKB: P slides down the sides of a red canyon early on in the book, and I definitely remember that iron-tasting red dirt.

TMUF: Well, we’ve got to wrap this up. What do you hope readers will take away from POSSUM SUMMER?

JKB: Oh. Well. I’d love to have them come away wondering what they’d do in P’s situation, especially the military kids – they’ll recognize many of P’s foibles, I think. I really appreciate P’s determination: she made a call, and she saw it through to the end, even though that end wasn’t what she wanted.

And I also hope they’d be interested in taking part in the Oklahoma Showdown, later this year.

TMUF: Thanks, Jen!

JKB: Thanks, guys! I hope you enjoy POSSUM SUMMER!


Leave a comment in the comments section below and our random generator will choose a lucky winner on Saturday, June 25th, to win a


Consisting of a signed POSSUM SUMMER hardcover, a personalized Lookbook (just like P!) and an Awesome Possum t-shirt!

You’ll get extra entries for sharing a link on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or if you click the ‘Follow this blog’ button in Networked Blogs on the lower right side of our site.

***Please mention each link in a new comment so the generator will add your extra entries.  This contest is open internationally.  Good luck!


Mixed Up Files member
  1. My affection for possums goes back a long way, and I applaud anyone who shares my affinity enough to write a book. Thanks, Jen!

  2. Congratulations, this looks amazing!

  3. Best of luck with your debut novel, Jen. It sounds wonderful.

  4. Would love to win this!

  5. Congratulations Jen!

  6. Sounds like a fun book to share. Animal books are always popular at my school.

  7. I’m a blog follower.

  8. The book and the fun extras sound great. Please enter me in the drawing.

  9. Jen, this sounds like a terrific book. Possums are cool animals. I think lots of kids will be drawn to this. Please enter my name in the drawing.


  10. I’d love to play please.