Seven Clues to Home, co-written by the fabulous Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin, releases this week, and I couldn’t be happier to feature the novel on The Mixed-Up Files. Learn about the book, the authors, and the characters below. And don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book (U.S. Only).
Here’s a bit about the book.
Joy Fonseca is dreading her thirteenth birthday, dreading being reminded again about her best friend Lukas’s senseless death on this day, one year ago — and dreading the fact he may have heard what she accidentally blurted to him the night before. Or maybe she’s more worried he didn’t hear.
Either way, she’s decided to finally open the first clue to their annual birthday scavenger hunt Lukas left for her the morning he died, hoping the rest of the clues are still out there. If they are, they might lead Joy to whatever last words Lukas wrote, and toward an understanding of how to grab onto the future that is meant to be hers.
And here’s a bit about the authors:
Gae Polisner is a lawyer by trade, but a writer by calling. Her books have received multiple awards including a Bank Street Best, Pennsylvania School Library award, multiple Nerdy Book Club awards, and a Golden Archer, Wisconsin’s Children’s Choice Award. Her bestselling book, The Memory of Things is used in schools around the country. Gae lives on Long Island with her husband, two musical sons, and a suspiciously-fictional looking dog. When she isn’t writing, you can find her in a pool or the open waters off Long Island. She has swum a 10K and holds out hope that one day her wetsuit will morph her into a superhero.
Nora Raleigh Baskin is the author of fourteen novels for middle-grade readers and young adults and a contributor to several short story collections. Her books have won several awards, including the 2010 American Library Association Schneider Family Book Award for Anything But Typical (S&S), and in 2016, an International Literacy Association Notable Books for a Global Society for Ruby on the Outside (S&S).
While we tried to interview Gae and Nora, the two main characters of the novel insisted on having their say. As a result, today we’re talking with Joy Fonseca and Lukas Brunetti of Seven Clues to Home.
Read what they had to say and chat back in the comments section for a chance to win a copy of the book (U.S. only). I’ll pick a winner June 10 at 11:59 PM and announce it on June 11.
The story you tell is called Seven Clues to Home. Can you tell us what “home” means to you?
Joy: My mom and dad. Isabel and Davy, of course. I love my room. The smell of food coming from my kitchen when it’s around dinner. My mom bakes a lot, too. She makes cupcakes on my birthday.
Lukas: Home is weird for me. I lived in one place, not far from here, then my Dad died and now we live here. It’s not as nice, but I don’t even remember the other place that much, and maybe I wouldn’t have met Joy the way I did if I only lived there. So, yeah. Here is home. *shrugs*
Does what “home” means stay the same or change during difficult times?
Joy: Well until lately, I haven’t really had many difficult times. I know other people do, though (looks at Lukas) but I’m lucky I always have my family.
Lukas: This question is so weird. Home is where my mom and brother are. Same whether it’s hard or easy, I guess. Right?
Well, but, how are you finding joy in these difficult times?
Lukas: Haha, “Joy.” People always do that to her. I find her how I always do. I go up to her apartment.
Joy (sort of pushes Lukas with her shoulder): Yeah, I get that one a lot. But, um, I guess I really like being with Lukas. Since he moved into the Dolphin apartments where we live, we hang out a lot together.
Lukas: Yeah, our scavenger hunts are fun. We’re trying to make them harder. We like to stargaze together, too. I find Joy doing that too, get it?
Here is an easier question. Do you have any favorite books?
Joy: That’s an impossible question to answer.
Lukas: No it’s not. I thought we both agree. Love that Dog.
Joy (giggling): Oh, right.
What about music?
Joy (sitting up in her seat excitedly): What I really love would be to be able to play the guitar! I love love love Ariana Grande.
Lukas: My brother likes rap. So I guess that’s pretty cool.
Do you have any fun plans for the summer?
Joy: Well, we both have birthdays in the summer, three days apart, which used to suck —
Lukas: But don’t suck now because of our annual scavenger hunt tradition. Wait’ll you see . . . Never mind . . . (ears redden)
Joy (blushes): What? What do you mean?
Lukas: Can we end this now?
Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Seven Clues to Home.
I’ll pick a winner Wednesday night at midnight and announce on Thursday.