Welcome to the debut issue of Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids. I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing new endeavor. Good books have the power to entertain, to spark imaginations, and to transform lives, which is precisely why Middle Shelf came into being. We want to connect middle grade readers with the very best books, whether they are on the best-seller lists, published by small and indie presses, or self-published. What will you find in this issue? First, Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of many popular books for kids and teens, gives us a glimpse into the latest book in her The Missing series. Gilbert Ford and Nicole de las Heras discuss how they worked together to create the cover for Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, who is interviewed in this issue as well.

Welcome to the debut issue of Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids. I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing new endeavor. Good books have the power to entertain, to spark imaginations, and to transform lives, which is precisely why Middle Shelf came into being. We want to connect middle grade readers with the very best books, whether they are on the best-seller lists, published by small
and indie presses, or self-published. What will you find in this issue? First, Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of many popular books for kids and teens, gives us a glimpse into the latest book in her The Missing series. Gilbert Ford and Nicole de las Heras discuss how they worked together to create the cover for Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, who is interviewed in this issue as well.


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68<br />

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0<br />



<strong>MARGARET</strong><br />

<strong>PETERSON</strong> <strong>HADDIX</strong>


Margaret Brown founder and publisher<br />

Laurisa White Reyes editor in chief<br />

Christina Davidson creative director<br />

Ben Minton circulation manager<br />

Patricia McClain copy editor<br />

Anne McCain associate editor<br />

Kelly Bergh book reviewer<br />

Teak Balena book reviewer<br />

Jandy Jace accounting manager<br />

For advertising inquiries:<br />

call 214.704.4182 or<br />

e-mail margaret@shelfmediagroup.com<br />

For editorial inquiries:<br />

e-mail laurisa@shelfmediagroup.com<br />

or write to Middle Shelf, 28020 Newbird Dirve,<br />

Saugus, CA 91350<br />

staff<br />

What to read next?<br />

Sign up for a<br />

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to Middle Shelf at<br />

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6 margaret peterson haddix<br />

interview with the author of Risked<br />

10 chris grabenstein<br />

interview with the author of Escape<br />

from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library<br />

12 new author<br />

interview with McKenzie Wagner<br />

14 new author<br />

interview with Jennifer Gooch Hummer<br />

16 genre fiction excerpts<br />

44 halloween picks<br />

premiere issue: fall 2013 contents<br />


4 a word from the editor<br />

26 under the covers<br />

32 spotlights<br />

36 reviews<br />

38 publisher’s corner<br />

40 on our shelf<br />

42 best of the blogs<br />

46 poetry<br />

48 character spotlight<br />

50 bookshelf<br />

58 contributors<br />

60 last words<br />

On the cover:<br />

Risked by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Simon<br />

& Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013,<br />

www.simonandschuster.com<br />

Images from Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Gilbert Ford, 2013, Random House<br />

Children’s Books and Up in the Air by Anne Marie Meyers, illustrated by Ethan Aldridge, 2013, Jolly Fish Press

a word from the editor<br />

4<br />

W<br />

elcome to the debut issue of Middle Shelf: Cool<br />

Reads for Kids. I am thrilled to be a part of this<br />

amazing new endeavor. Good books have the<br />

power to entertain, to spark imaginations, and<br />

to transform lives, which is precisely why Middle<br />

Shelf came into being. We want to connect middle<br />

grade readers with the very best books, whether<br />

they are on the best-seller lists, published by small<br />

and indie presses, or self-published.<br />

What will you find in this issue? First, Margaret<br />

Peterson Haddix, author of many popular books for<br />

kids and teens, gives us a glimpse into the latest<br />

book in her The Missing series. Gilbert Ford and<br />

Nicole de las Heras discuss how they worked together<br />

to create the cover for Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris<br />

Grabenstein, who is interviewed in this issue as well. You’ll also meet 12-yearold<br />

author McKenzie Wagner and debut author Jennifer Gooch Hummer.<br />

With Halloween just around the corner, check out our selection of fun and<br />

spooky titles. In addition, you will find excerpts, reviews, and a feature called<br />

Publisher’s Corner, introducing you to the people who transform great stories<br />

into books.<br />

Beginning with our January 2014 issue, we plan to include Letters to the Editor.<br />

Tell us what you like about the magazine, which books you’ve enjoyed reading,<br />

and what you’d like to see in future issues. Or respond to our READERS<br />

CHALLENGE (below). Email your letters to: Laurisa@shelfmediagroup.com<br />

[Kids, make sure you have permission from an adult.]<br />

We hope Middle Shelf will become a cherished resource for parents, teachers,<br />

librarians, and, of course, kids.<br />

Laurisa White Reyes<br />

editor-in-chief<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

READERS CHALLENGE: Write a 2- to 4-line poem about or<br />

using the word “SNOW.” Selected entries will be published in<br />

the January 2014 issue of Middle Shelf.<br />

Find Middle Shelf on Facebook: www.facebook.com/middleshelfmagazine



Nothing makes you smarter than reading.<br />

But to become a strong reader, you need books. And many kids from<br />

low-income families don’t have books of their own at home.<br />

First Book is a nonprofit that makes sure all kids have books of their own.<br />

Find out how YOU can get involved at firstbook.org.

6<br />

feature author interview<br />

Margaret Peterson<br />

Haddix<br />

Risked: The Missing, Book 6<br />

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers<br />

http://haddixbooks.com/books/risked.html<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 8-12<br />

RISKED<br />

The Missing Series #6<br />

Jonah thought that after his last adventure in<br />

1903, he and his sister Katherine would have a<br />

break from time travel for a while. For the first<br />

time, he’s willing to look into his own identity in<br />

the past, and he thinks this is his chance.<br />

But he barely has time for a single Google<br />

search before he, Katherine, and their<br />

friend Chip are tricked and zapped back to<br />

1918 — and to the house where the Romanov<br />

family was imprisoned after the Russian<br />

Revolution. Trapped without a fully working<br />

Elucidator, the three kids still hope they can<br />

escape and save the lives of Anastasia and<br />

Alexei Romanov.<br />

But is it possible to change time that much<br />

when modern-day scientists have identified the<br />

entire Romanov family’s remains?

Middle Shelf: Tell us about your new<br />

book, Risked.<br />

Margaret Peterson Haddix: In Risked,<br />

the time-traveling siblings Jonah and<br />

Katherine and their friend Chip end up<br />

imprisoned with the Romanov family in<br />

the tumultuous summer of 1918, more<br />

than a year after Tsar Nicholas II abdicated<br />

his throne. Jonah, Katherine and Chip<br />

desperately want to be able to save the<br />

two youngest Romanovs,<br />

Anastasia and Alexei—and<br />

any of the rest of their family<br />

as they can. But the<br />

kids wonder: Is that even<br />

possible, when they already<br />

know from research in their<br />

own time that the entire<br />

family was assassinated?<br />

How can they rearrange<br />

time that much?<br />

MS: Risked is the sixth<br />

book in the Missing series. Tell us about<br />

the series as a whole.<br />

Haddix: The Missing series begins with<br />

36 babies mysteriously showing up on an<br />

otherwise abandoned airplane. Siblings<br />

Jonah and Katherine and their friends<br />

face an FBI cover-up, double-crossing<br />

adults, and risks to time itself as they<br />

try to solve the mystery and then travel<br />

through time rescuing various children<br />

endangered by their native time periods,<br />

ranging from the 1400s on.<br />

MS: What inspired you to write Missing?<br />

Haddix: I first became intrigued by the<br />

notion of a mysterious planeload of<br />

babies. Then, once I figured out who<br />

those babies should be, I was fascinated<br />

by the idea of writing about kids who<br />

were raised in the twenty-first century<br />

getting to explore dangerous time periods<br />

of the past.<br />

MS: You’ve published<br />

30 books, including the<br />

popular Shadow Children<br />

series. Which book(s) are<br />

particularly special to you<br />

and why?<br />

Haddix: The easy answer<br />

is that all of them are special,<br />

although the books<br />

tend to be special for different<br />

reasons. For example,<br />

Among the Hidden,<br />

the first Shadow Children<br />

book, is special partly because it came<br />

so naturally to me and I felt like I knew<br />

the main characters, Jen and Luke, so<br />

thoroughly right from the start. Another<br />

book, Uprising, is special because it was<br />

very challenging to write, and I was constantly<br />

wondering if I could carry off the<br />

balance between the actual history and<br />

the three differing characters at the heart<br />

of the story, Bella and Yetta and Jane. I<br />

could probably go on this way, mentioning<br />

every single one of my 30 books!<br />


8<br />

MS: What books did you enjoy reading<br />

when you were younger and how have<br />

they influenced you as a writer?<br />

Haddix: I was a huge reader as a kid,<br />

and read everything I could get my<br />

hands on. I think the variety of reading<br />

material—sci fi, realistic contemporary<br />

fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, biographies,<br />

etc.—influenced me in that I<br />

have now also written books in a variety<br />

of genres, and enjoy bouncing back<br />

and forth between various<br />

types of books as a writer<br />

as well as a reader. Some<br />

of my favorite books were<br />

older ones that in some<br />

cases had belonged to my<br />

mother or grandmother—<br />

like Little Women, Rebecca<br />

of Sunnybrook Farm,<br />

A Little Princess, Anne of<br />

Green Gables, etc. I liked<br />

a lot of the character-driven<br />

books, where reading<br />

felt like hanging out with a beloved<br />

friend. But I also liked more adventurous<br />

stories, many of which I borrowed from<br />

my brothers’ bookshelves. Some books I<br />

remember particularly enjoying that were<br />

adventures with girls as main characters<br />

were From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs.<br />

Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsberg;<br />

The Long Journey, by Barbara Corcoran;<br />

and She the Adventuress, by Dorothy<br />

Crayder.<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

MS: Could you share a little about<br />

your initial road to publication?<br />

Haddix: I studied creative writing in college,<br />

but also studied journalism because<br />

I thought it was a safer bet in terms of<br />

allowing me to support myself after college.<br />

So I worked as a newspaper reporter<br />

in Indianapolis for four years, which gave<br />

me a lot of valuable writing experience<br />

and also exposed me to a lot of interesting<br />

people and ideas. When my husband’s job<br />

took us to a small town in<br />

Illinois where there wasn’t<br />

much job opportunity for<br />

me, I switched to teaching<br />

part-time at a community<br />

college and told myself<br />

that this was my chance<br />

to use the rest of my work<br />

time for writing fiction. Like<br />

most writers, I endured way<br />

more of the “submit—then<br />

get rejected” cycle than I<br />

wanted to. (Because who<br />

wants to endure any of it?) After about two<br />

years, I got an agent; a year later, Simon<br />

and Schuster accepted my first two books<br />

for publication: Running Out of Time and<br />

Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey.<br />

MS: What were some of the most<br />

interesting things you learned during<br />

your research for the Missing Series?<br />

Haddix: I’m a history buff anyway, so I<br />

was fascinated by pretty much everything

about the time periods and personalities<br />

I researched for the books in the Missing<br />

series. There are now a host of historic<br />

people I would love to go back in time to<br />

meet to see if they are really the way history<br />

portrays them—not just the obvious<br />

ones like, say, Albert Einstein, but also his<br />

first wife, Mileva (who played a huge role in<br />

Caught), Elizabeth Woodville (who became<br />

queen and mother of the princes in the<br />

tower in Sent), John White (the despairing<br />

grandfather in Sabotaged,<br />

who was also an amazing<br />

artist). All of them seemed<br />

to have been able to think<br />

very differently and, in some<br />

cases, behave very differently,<br />

than others of their<br />

time period. That intrigues<br />

me. Of all the time periods,<br />

people, and events I’ve<br />

researched for the series,<br />

I was probably most fascinated<br />

by all the oddities<br />

connected to the Lost Colony of Roanoke<br />

Island. So many very bizarre, unexplained<br />

things happened on that island. I want to<br />

have all the mysteries solved, not just the<br />

most famous ones!<br />

MS: What can we expect from you in<br />

the future?<br />

Haddix: Besides the Missing series, the<br />

next middle grade book I have coming out<br />

is a book called Palace Of Lies, which is<br />

due out in the fall of 2014. It is a companion<br />

book to two of my earlier books, Just Ella<br />

and Palace Of Mirrors. Now that there will<br />

be three, the plan is to call the whole trilogy<br />

“The Palace Chronicles.” Palace Of Lies<br />

picks up the story from the perspective of<br />

Princess Desmia, who was something of a<br />

mysterious character in Palace Of Mirrors.<br />

Here’s the official description of the<br />

book: Desmia and her twelve sister-princesses<br />

are finally ruling Suala together, as<br />

a united front. All seems<br />

to finally be well, and Suala<br />

seems to have gotten its<br />

happily ever after at last. But<br />

Desmia, trained by a lifetime<br />

of palace intrigue, is not<br />

so sure. She desperately<br />

wants to believe everything<br />

will be fine, but she can’t<br />

help but see danger around<br />

every corner.<br />

And then the unthinkable<br />

happens, and Desmia’s<br />

worst fears are confirmed. Now, without<br />

the support of the sister-princesses she’s<br />

grown to rely on or the trappings of royalty<br />

that have always made people listen<br />

to her, Desmia must find the courage to<br />

seek out the truth on her own terms—and<br />

determine the course of two kingdoms.<br />

Beyond Palace Of Lies, I have plans to<br />

write middle grades books that will come<br />

out in 2016 and 2017, but that is too far<br />

ahead to really talk about yet!<br />


Chris<br />

Grabenstein<br />

10<br />

feature author interview<br />

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library<br />

Random House Books for Young Readers<br />

www.randomhousekids.com<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 8-12<br />

Middle Shelf: You started out as an<br />

improv comedian. Have any rules of<br />

improv influenced your fiction writing?<br />

ESCAPE<br />

FROM MR.<br />



Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library<br />

is a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory<br />

for the 21st century—at once a flashlight-under-the-covers<br />

adventure and a<br />

literary delight.<br />

Chris Grabenstein: Yes, indeed! I use<br />

the basic improv principle of saying<br />

“Yes, and...” every day when I write.<br />

When you’re improvising a scene with

a partner, the only real rule is to not deny<br />

what your partner creates and then build<br />

on it. For instance, if you say, “Hands<br />

up, I have a gun!” and I say, “No, that’s<br />

your finger” our scene dies. But, if I say,<br />

“Hey, isn’t that the gun the Martians left<br />

last time they landed in our trailer park?”<br />

we’re off and running. In my author visits<br />

to schools, I try to teach kids how to use<br />

this technique so they never have writer’s<br />

block. It’s a great way to let your subconscious<br />

come out and play. Of course,<br />

once you improvise that scene on paper,<br />

you go back and tighten it up and make it<br />

better. (The second lesson of my school<br />

visits is that the secret to writing is rewriting.)<br />

But, utilizing the “Yes, and...” technique<br />

opens you up to all sorts of opportunities<br />

your rational brain may never find.<br />

MS: You’ve written books for kids as<br />

well as a number of mysteries and<br />

thrillers for adults. What does writing<br />

for middle readers allow you to do or<br />

explore that writing for adults does not?<br />

Grabenstein: I find that I get to use more<br />

of my imagination when I’m writing for<br />

Middle Grades readers. That said, I borrow<br />

the pacing, cliffhangers, and twists<br />

of my adult mysteries and thrillers to keep<br />

kids burning through the pages. I suspect<br />

this is why my books have done so well<br />

with reluctant readers. The nicest e-mails<br />

I receive are from parents who tell me<br />

that their son or daughter wasn’t a reader<br />

until they picked up one of my books<br />

and couldn’t put it down. Also, at book<br />

signings, kids sometimes hug your book<br />

while they wait on line for you to sign it.<br />

Very few adults are book huggers.<br />

MS: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s<br />

Library is a celebration of literature<br />

and libraries and even the Dewey Decimal<br />

System. Did you frequent the<br />

library as a kid, and what were some<br />

of your favorite books that you discovered<br />

there?<br />

Grabenstein: Unfortunately, in my own<br />

life, the opposite is true. After being born<br />

in Buffalo, NY my family moved to a part<br />

of Tennessee where, at the time, libraries<br />

and books and even education weren’t<br />

celebrated very much. I don’t think our<br />

small town even had a public library. At<br />

school, our library wasn’t considered an<br />

important part of the learning experience.<br />

Visiting schools and public libraries for<br />

the past five years, I have been extremely<br />

impressed by the libraries and librarians<br />

that are out there helping young minds<br />

find books to devour. Often, the favorite<br />

part of my school visit day is early in the<br />

morning, drinking coffee with the librarians,<br />

listening to them interacting with the<br />

eager kids who come through the door<br />

at 8 a.m. hungry for a new book to read.<br />

“Oh, if you liked X, you’ll love Z,” they say.<br />

And I ask myself, where were these libraries<br />

and librarians when I was a kid?<br />


12<br />

feature author interview<br />

McKenzie<br />

Wagner<br />

The Stones of Horsh (Benotripia, Book 2)<br />

Cedar Fort | www.cedarfortbooks.com<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 11-15<br />

Middle Shelf: Congratulations on<br />

your books, McKenzie. How does it<br />

feel to be a published author at your<br />

age? And how old are you?<br />


The Stones of Horsh<br />

With the queen gone, the Darvonians<br />

have the perfect opportunity to invade<br />

Benotripia, find the Stones of Horsh, and<br />

harness their great powers. Only three<br />

children stand in their way: Roseabelle,<br />

Jessicana, and Astro. But this time, the<br />

Darvonians know not to underestimate<br />

these children, and the invaders come<br />

prepared. Roseabelle and her friends must<br />

survive long enough to save the stones.<br />

McKenzie Wagner: It feels amazing to<br />

be a published author! I love everything<br />

about it—doing signings, speaking to<br />

kids, and most of all, the writing. And I<br />

am currently twelve years old.

MS: Your second book, Benotripia:<br />

The Stones Of Horsh, came out in<br />

September with Cedar Fort Publishing.<br />

Could you tell us about the story?<br />

Wagner: Sure! In The Stones Of Horsh,<br />

the Darvonians have secretly invaded Benotripia<br />

to find mystical artifacts. These artifacts,<br />

the Stones of Horsh, are extremely<br />

powerful. Roseabelle, Jessicana, and<br />

Astro return in this exciting sequel. It’s a<br />

race against time between<br />

the three friends and the<br />

Darvonians. The outcome<br />

will decide the fate of Benotripia.<br />

MS: When did you decide<br />

to become an author?<br />

Wagner: It all started with<br />

reading. I learned how to<br />

read when I was four years<br />

old and instantly loved it. I<br />

was hooked on all kinds of<br />

books. In first grade my teacher, Ms. Kunz,<br />

taught me how to put a book together.<br />

When I went home, I started to write my<br />

first book. At the end of the summer, my<br />

parents read it and thought it was pretty<br />

good. We decided to submit to a publisher<br />

in Oklahoma. And let me tell you, I was not<br />

expecting what came next. The publisher<br />

actually liked my work and decided to publish<br />

it! My next book I wrote when I was<br />

nine, and it was called Benotripia: The Rescue,<br />

which is the first book in the Benotripia<br />

series. Cedar Fort, a publisher in Utah, had<br />

heard of me and decided to publish The<br />

Rescue and its sequel.<br />

MS: What has been the biggest or<br />

best surprise about being an author?<br />

Wagner: Probably meeting all of the new<br />

people. I had heard in a lot of older stories<br />

that authors are hermits, but that is<br />

definitely not true. I’ve talked with kids,<br />

telling them to follow their<br />

dreams. I’ve spoken with<br />

teachers who are trying<br />

to motivate their students.<br />

And of course, I’ve talked<br />

to other authors. In truth, I<br />

never thought I’d meet so<br />

many fantastic people.<br />

MS: What advice can you<br />

offer other young writers<br />

like yourself?<br />

Wagner: Never give up.<br />

Getting rejected by publishers is not<br />

exactly a picnic, and sometimes it makes<br />

you feel like you should just quit. But let<br />

me tell you—if your story is rejected, that<br />

doesn’t mean it’s not a good story. It just<br />

means that maybe that’s not what genre<br />

or type of book the publisher was looking<br />

for. I know an author who has two<br />

hundred rejection letters, and she’s now<br />

a New York Times Bestseller! So please<br />

don’t give up, and keep following your<br />

dreams.<br />


14<br />

feature author interview<br />

Jennifer<br />

Gooch<br />

Hummer<br />

Girl Unmoored<br />

Fiction Studio Books | www.fictionstudiobooks.com<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 10-14<br />

GIRL<br />


Everyone’s new favorite seventh grader is<br />

Apron Bramhall, the unmoored star of Girl<br />

Unmoored. We talked to author Jennifer<br />

Gooch Hummer about Apron, writing, and<br />

the upcoming film adaption of the book.<br />

Middle Shelf: You started writing Girl<br />

Unmoored when you were 10. What did<br />

it start out as? How did it develop over<br />

time?<br />

Jennifer Gooch Hummer: When I was 10<br />

years old, Apron knocked on my head. I<br />

don’t know where her name came from; as<br />

far as I know there has never been a girl<br />

named Apron in the history of the world.

But I started A Girl Named Apron in a<br />

red spiral notebook that I still have today.<br />

Not much happened in this first story; all<br />

Apron did was pack up to go live with her<br />

grandmother in Maine. I put the notebook<br />

aside, but Apron stayed with me all these<br />

years. It wasn’t until I met my friend Mike<br />

15 years later that her story came to me.<br />

MS: What lesson have you learned<br />

about writing that you would share<br />

with your 10-year-old self?<br />

Hummer: Promise your characters you will<br />

tell their story, no matter what. Because<br />

the truth is, no one really cares if you finish<br />

that story. Obviously, this isn’t the case if<br />

you are writing for a homework assignment<br />

— your parents and teachers care a<br />

great deal about you finishing your work.<br />

But writing fiction as a passion or a hobby<br />

can be hard to stay focused on. There’s<br />

just so much to do in a day, and sitting<br />

down to write for yourself can become last<br />

on your list. But by promising your characters<br />

to tell their stories, your self-destructive<br />

thoughts have no choice but to take a<br />

hike. After all, your character showed up at<br />

the page. You should too.<br />

MS: Tell us about your main character,<br />

Apron Bramhall.<br />

Hummer: Apron has just lost her mother<br />

and is about to lose her best friend. And<br />

if those two things aren’t bad enough,<br />

her father is about to marry the evil<br />

manipulating nurse who took care of<br />

Apron’s mother. Apron is floating in a sea<br />

of trouble, until she meets Mike. Apron<br />

is 13 and Mike is in his 20’s. But Mike is<br />

handsome and charming and sweet, so<br />

it’s only natural that Apron would have<br />

a crush on him. Growing up is hard and<br />

spicy and foggy. One minute you think<br />

you know where you’re headed and the<br />

next minute someone switches the map<br />

on you. Mike and Chad show Apron what<br />

love means — not necessarily the romantic<br />

kind, but the kind that can save you.<br />

MS: What were some of your favorite<br />

books as a middle grade reader?<br />

Hummer: In middle grade, my favorite<br />

author was Judy Blume. Blubber and<br />

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing were two<br />

of my favorites. There was no one writing<br />

like Judy Blume at the time. Now, of<br />

course, there are many great contemporary<br />

middle grade fiction writers, but she<br />

was the leader of her genre.<br />

MS: Was it hard to say goodbye to Apron<br />

when you finished Girl Unmoored?<br />

Hummer: Yes! But then a great thing happened.<br />

Girl Unmoored was optioned for a<br />

film. I just finished writing the screenplay,<br />

so I spent my summer once again with<br />

Apron, Chad, Mike, and unfortunately, the<br />

evil M. Writing Girl Unmoored for the big<br />

screen was just about as fun as it gets as<br />

a writer. Now, it’s onto my next book.<br />


16<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

excerpts<br />


1<br />

2<br />


HUMOR<br />


COOL<br />

KIDS<br />

Find your next favorite book right here.<br />

3 4 5 6<br />


eorge Nelson saw your brother. They<br />

“G fished him from a barrel in a pond<br />

and he said it was ‘the Weaver boy,’ and<br />

then he up and died. Your brother is going<br />

to pay this time. He can’t get out of this<br />

one.”<br />

“No, you got it wrong,” Shad said again,<br />

but the moment the words were out of his<br />

mouth, he knew he shouldn’t have spoken.<br />

He gritted his teeth and watched as the<br />

realization came over Rachel’s face. Her eyes<br />

grew silver-dollar bright. Her neck stretched<br />

up and her shoulders down. Then her mouth<br />

fell open and she covered it with her hand,<br />

even as she spoke. “You were there.”<br />

Shad’s tongue grew thick. He wanted to<br />

speak, but he couldn’t form words.<br />

“Get on! What do you know?”<br />

“I—I—”<br />

“You tell me. You tell me right now! You<br />

know what happened.”<br />

He shook his head.<br />

“I see it in your eyes.”<br />

“Rachel—”<br />

“Don’t you Rachel me, Mr. Weaver. Sir!”<br />

Maybe it was the way she said sir. Maybe<br />

it was the way she saw through him.<br />

Maybe it was the way Mama had shaken<br />

all over this morning. Or the way they’d<br />

taken Jeremiah when he was so fast asleep<br />

and hung-over, he hadn’t put up a fight.<br />

Maybe it was Rachel saying George Nelson<br />

had died.<br />

He didn’t know, but he grabbed Rachel’s<br />

historical<br />

Ages 10-14<br />

Brotherhood by A.B. Westrick<br />

Viking Juvenile | www.us.penguingroup.com<br />

Winner of the 2012 SCBWI Book Launch Award<br />


wrists and twisted them. He bent them into<br />

each other and heard her let out a little<br />

shriek, and he didn’t let go. Through her<br />

arms he felt her weight shift and knew her<br />

knees had buckled, but still he didn’t let go.<br />

Her eyes bored into him and he held her<br />

wrists and he felt strong.<br />

From Brotherhood by A.B. Westrick, Viking Juvenile,<br />

2013. http://www.us.penguingroup.com/<br />

nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780670014392,00.<br />

html?Brotherhood_Anne_Westrick. Reprinted<br />

with permission. All rights reserved.<br />


2 humor<br />

18<br />

My name is Lulu Harrison, daughter of<br />

the super cool actor Lincoln Harrison<br />

and famous film director Fiona. I’m little<br />

sister to fashionable, fancy fifteen-year-old<br />

Alexis. My address is 15000 Stone Canyon<br />

Road, Bel Air, California (that area<br />

between Beverly Hills and Brentwood).<br />

You’d think my life was pampering and<br />

parties. Well, it could be, but the problem<br />

is, I’m the Not Fitter Inner. I love to garden.<br />

The rest of my family loves to groom.<br />

I love to bake. They love to buy. I love<br />

science experiments. They love strenuous<br />

exercise (like yoga or Pilates). Are you<br />

starting to understand?<br />

Here’s what it means to be a Not Fitter<br />

Inner. Everyone who ever meets my dad<br />

or reads about him thinks he’s dreamy.<br />

They’re not wrong. He’s got thick, wavy<br />

brown hair and forest-green eyes. BUT I<br />

have this secret idea he doesn’t even know<br />

where my room is in the house. I’m one<br />

gazillion percent sure he doesn’t know the<br />

name of my best friend, my favorite food,<br />

or what grade I’m in.<br />

My sister, Alexis, is flaw free, or at least<br />

that’s what she’s always telling me. She<br />

has thick, dark hair that’s always blown<br />

out. She has an L.A.-style toothpick body.<br />

People constantly mistake her for a young<br />

actress. She loves that beyond belief.<br />

Here’s how I look: plain. I have frizzy,<br />

shapeless brown hair that I never have<br />

time to cut or brush. I’ve got pale skin with<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 9-12<br />

Lulu in LA LA Land by Elisabeth Wolf<br />

Sourcebooks, Inc. | www.sourcebooks.com<br />

www.luluinlalaland.com<br />


overlapping freckles. I’m average height<br />

and just a little teeny-tiny bit extra chunky.<br />

I sure don’t want to look like those walking<br />

skeletons you see around L.A. My best<br />

feature on the outside is my deep-green<br />

eyes. My other best parts that you can’t<br />

see, like my brain and my feelings, my family<br />

doesn’t care about. Out of sight, out of<br />

mind.<br />

From Lulu in LA LA Land by Elisabeth Wolf,<br />

Sourcebooks, Inc. 2013. http://www.sourcebooks.com.<br />

Reprinted with permission. All rights<br />


3 multi-cultural<br />

Shida ran back to her own cooking<br />

hut. Mama was stirring their ugali to<br />

a thick consistency. Shida handed her the<br />

two tomatoes and, after hesitating for a<br />

moment, offered her the onion as well.<br />

“Good, Shida. That was fast.” Mama<br />

began peeling the onion with their dull<br />

kitchen knife.<br />

Shida handed Mama their other pot and<br />

threw the peeling scraps over her shoulder<br />

into the yard before propping herself up in<br />

the doorway. “Mama, I think this move to<br />

Njia Panda could be a good thing for us.”<br />

Mama grunted and raised her eyebrows.<br />

“I could go to school and learn from the<br />

nurse. She could teach me how to become an<br />

even better healer and then when I’m older —”<br />

“Shida, stop!” Mama put down the knife.<br />

Her eyes were suddenly focused. “You’re a<br />

girl now, a child. Yes, you have healing skills.<br />

So did I when I was a girl. But how many<br />

medicine women do you know in our village?”<br />

Shida stared at the flames. “But, Mama —”<br />

“No, Shida. You don’t know any. Only<br />

men. And now try to imagine one of these<br />

medicine women you dream about coming<br />

from what people call a dishonorable family,<br />

a family without a father. Do you see? That’s<br />

you, Shida. Is that the sort of luck people are<br />

looking for when they go to a healer?”<br />

“No,” Shida said. She shifted back and<br />

forth between her feet and pulled at a hole<br />

in the waist of her dress.<br />

“You have to understand this, Shida.<br />

Ages 10-14<br />

A Girl Called Problem by Katie Quirk<br />

William B. Eerdman’s Publishing | www.eerdmans.com<br />

She who hates, hates herself. —South African proverb<br />


Now, you’re a girl. But tomorrow, you’ll be<br />

a woman. People have room in their lives for<br />

girls with crazy mothers and dead fathers.<br />

They feel sorry for these girls. How many<br />

fathers will choose to have their sons marry<br />

a young woman without a father? A young<br />

woman whose family has an unlucky history?<br />

Your best hope is to get married now<br />

while people still think of you as a girl.”<br />

From A Girl Called Problem by Katie Quirk, William<br />

B. Eerdman’s Publishing, 2013. www.eerdmans.<br />

com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.<br />


4 dystopian<br />

20<br />

ilas, you know what you’ve got to do.<br />

“SThis is it. This is everything.”<br />

My head bobs in recognition as Father<br />

rubs the back of my shoulders and neck. I<br />

stare at the shimmer and listen to the static<br />

buzz of the domed Shield overhead. Then<br />

one of the race officials steps to my side,<br />

and I hold out my hand. He scans my wrist<br />

and then moves on to the other racers.<br />

To my right, five contestants are surrounded<br />

by family and friends, but Gregg<br />

stands alone on my left. There’s no one to<br />

cheer him on, and I can tell his indifference<br />

is just an act. He stands tall and resolute,<br />

but I see his eyes roam the crowd as if<br />

hoping his father will miraculously appear,<br />

forgiving him for his second-place failure<br />

on the exams yesterday. I should be more<br />

focused on the Regency Race, but I can’t<br />

help feeling a little sorry for him. In a way,<br />

I’m the cause of his father’s abandonment.<br />

Gregg rotates his neck, plants the spiked<br />

toes of his shoes into the soft ground, and<br />

then returns my stare. He growls. His lips<br />

tighten and his jaw clenches as he places<br />

the tips of his fingers onto the dirt. His<br />

biceps flex and I laugh at his attempt to<br />

intimidate me. He should know better by<br />

now, but then there’s never been a day<br />

quite like today—at least not for us.<br />

Father digs his fingers into my shoulders<br />

and pulls me tight against his body. His<br />

warm breath tickles my ear as he whispers,<br />

“Get your head in this. Do you hear me?<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 10+<br />

A Nothing Named Silas by Steve Westover<br />

Cedar Fort | cedarfortbooks.com<br />


You must win.”<br />

I nod in agreement. “I always do, Father.”<br />

He usually appreciates my confidence, but<br />

not today.<br />

His whisper sharpens. “This isn’t like the<br />

other races. Silas, you will win this. The<br />

scouts are watching. The Regents are watching.<br />

The draft is tomorrow. This is your life.<br />

Do you hear me, Silas? You cannot fail.”<br />

From A Nothing Named Silas by Steve Westover,<br />

Cedar Fort Books, 2013. www.cedarfortbooks.com.<br />

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Find your next<br />

favorite book in<br />







5 contemporary<br />

22<br />

“G<br />

abe, honey, come sit down,” says my<br />

mom. The line between her eyebrows<br />

doesn’t go with the smile on her face. “We<br />

need to talk to you about something.” It<br />

looks like the weird thing is coming my way.<br />

I search around in my brain and try to<br />

figure out what I did wrong or how I messed<br />

up. I come up blank. Nothing out of the<br />

ordinary has happened the last few days,<br />

my room is kind of picked up, and I did my<br />

homework last night. I don’t even think I’ve<br />

been too rotten to my sister lately.<br />

“What’s going on?” I flop into the chair<br />

that’s the only other place to sit. Too late,<br />

I remember this is not a chair for flopping.<br />

I wince and rub the spot on my butt that<br />

hit first.<br />

“Well, Champ, Mr. Dooley called today<br />

and told your mom something interesting,”<br />

says my dad.<br />

Everyone knows that nothing good has<br />

ever happened to a kid after a call from the<br />

principal. My stomach clenches up like a fist.<br />

I hold myself perfectly still and wait for more.<br />

“Do you remember those tests that you took<br />

at the beginning of the year?” my mom asks.<br />

“Yeah, the whole seventh grade took them.<br />

It was two days of boring. What about them?<br />

Did I do something wrong?” They seemed<br />

pretty easy, but maybe I used the wrong kind<br />

of pencil or filled in the wrong bubbles.<br />

“No,” says my mom. “Just the opposite.<br />

It seems that you did exceptionally well.”<br />

She stops and looks at my dad. My dad<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 10-14<br />

A.K.A. Genius by Marilee Haynes<br />

Pauline Books & Media | www.pauline.org<br />

“What do I think about that? A genius? That can’t be right.”<br />


jerks his chin toward me, which I guess<br />

means he wants my mom to tell me.<br />

“It seems that the tests showed that you<br />

have a very high IQ.” My mom smoothes<br />

her already-smooth blonde hair. “Actually<br />

your IQ is so high that you’re—”<br />

“A genius! A real genius,” my dad blurts.<br />

“What do you think about that?”<br />

From A.K.A. Genius by Marilee Haynes,<br />

Pauline Publishing, 2013. http://www.pauline.<br />

org/PublishingHouse/tabid/1006/Default.aspx.<br />

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


68 what to read next in independent publishing<br />

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0<br />


GL<br />

OB<br />

AL<br />

READ<br />

GLOBAL<br />



6<br />

24<br />

LUCY<br />

I float in and out of sleep.<br />

It is strange to be blind. I’m used to a life<br />

of light. Now everything is dark.<br />

Someone bursts into my tent, bringing a<br />

rush of cool air. “The queen wants water,”<br />

she says. It’s Caro.<br />

Kheelan is with me, holding my hand.<br />

“You can’t take this water,” he says.<br />

“Lucy needs it.”<br />

I want to smile, to thank him, but I am<br />

frozen in my body. I can’t move.<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

fantasy<br />

Ages 9-13<br />

Hope (Faerieground Book 2)<br />

By Beth Bracken and Kay Fraser<br />

Capstone Press | www.capstoneyoungreaders.com<br />


I can only listen.<br />

“Lucy doesn’t need it,” Caro says. “She’s<br />

dying.”<br />

Kheelan’s grip on my hand tightens, and<br />

then he lets go and stands up. I hear him<br />

walk toward Caro, and I imagine what<br />

they must look like: Kheelan calm and<br />

dark, Caro light and angry, her hands on<br />

her hips.<br />

“Calandra will die years before Lucy<br />

does,” Kheelan says.<br />

“That’s what you think,” she says. “They<br />

won’t let Calandra die.”

“Who?” Kheelan asks. “The Crows?”<br />

Caro says, “That’s right. Now give me<br />

that water. Soli asked for it for the queen.”<br />

“Soli is with her?” Kheelan asks. He<br />

sighs.<br />

“I’ll take her a cup. You stay here with<br />

Lucy.”<br />

The cool air brushes my face again, and<br />

Caro grabs my hand. She leans her face<br />

close to mine—I can feel her breath. “Now,<br />

Lucy,” she says. Her voice is still low and<br />

angry. “Let’s go.”<br />

And I hear the flap of wings.<br />


SOLI<br />

Calandra is asleep when Kheelan bursts<br />

into the tent.<br />

I drop her hand.<br />

“Here,” he says, thrusting a cup of water<br />

toward me. “Caro said you needed this.”<br />

“Thank you,” I say.<br />

I reach for the water. My hand brushes<br />

his as I take the cold cup, and I feel the<br />

familiar tingle slide down my spine.<br />

I smile up at him, and he reaches out and<br />

strokes my cheek.<br />

Then Calandra moans from her bed.<br />

“Andria, find Mommy,” she says. “Find<br />

Mommy, I’m sick.”<br />

“Who is Andria?” Kheelan asks. “Isn’t<br />

that Lucy’s mother?”<br />

“My sister,” the queen says, shaking her<br />

head. “Tell her to find my mother.”<br />

I try to help her drink the water, but it<br />

mostly drips down her face.<br />

The proud queen, once so beautiful,<br />

looks broken, dying.<br />

Then she’s asleep again.<br />

Motherbird races into the tent, her face<br />

flushed.<br />

“Come, Soledad,” she says. “Quickly.<br />

Lucy has been taken.”<br />

She holds up one black feather.<br />

From Hope by Beth Bracken and Kay Fraser,<br />

Capstone Press 2013. www.capstoneyoungreaders.<br />

com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.<br />


26<br />

feature under the covers<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library<br />

By Chris Grabenstein<br />

Random House Children’s Books | www.chrisgrabenstein.com/kids<br />

Cover Artist: Gilbert Ford<br />

http://gilbertford.com<br />

Art Designer (Random House): Nicole De Las Heras

More often than not, our first impression of a<br />

book is its cover. If the art grabs our attention,<br />

we are more likely open to the first page. The<br />

cover gives us a glimpse into the story and the characters. It<br />

sparks our imaginations. But how much thought do we give<br />

to how that cover came to be, or the people who created it?<br />

In Under the Covers we explore not the story between the<br />

covers of a book, but the story of the cover itself.<br />

Gilbert Ford’s distinctive artistic style graces the covers of<br />

many books including Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage,<br />

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Johnathan Auxier, and<br />

Write This Book by Pseudonymous Bosch.<br />

with Gilbert Ford & Nicole De Las Heras<br />

Middle Shelf: How did you become a cover artist?<br />

Gilbert Ford: I went to Pratt Institute to become an illustrator. After I<br />

graduated I worked as a designer and illustrator of children’s educational<br />

toys while I did freelance illustration for magazines and books during<br />

the nights and weekends. Eventually, I picked up enough clients to work<br />

for myself full time. So I actually illustrate all kinds of things, including<br />

picture books. Covers are just one of my specialties.<br />

MS: How does the story influence the cover art for a particular book?<br />

Nicole De Las Heras: When I first started working on the cover for<br />

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, only a partial manuscript was<br />

available—Chris [Grabenstein] was still putting the finishing touches on<br />

it. Luckily, Chris is an author who uses an inspiration board when he<br />


28<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3

writes, so he had lots of inspiration for me and the illustrator to work<br />

with. In addition to sending character and setting descriptions, Chris<br />

also created a helpful list of some of the fun things the characters find<br />

inside of the library, including the rare white tiger and the Sherlock Holmes<br />

and Huck Finn silhouettes that appear on the final jacket.<br />

Book jackets are always a collaborative process, and I think after<br />

we’d all read the manuscript, it was pretty clear to everyone that the<br />

jacket for the book needed to evoke a board game in some way. After<br />

all, the book centers around Luigi Lemoncello, the master game maker.<br />

The next task was pairing the right illustrator with the project and watching<br />

it come to life. I had been a fan of Gilbert Ford’s work for a while. To<br />

me he seemed like the perfect fit, and I was given the go-ahead to hire<br />

him for the project. Luckily, he accepted!<br />

MS: Gilbert, do you read the books for which you design covers?<br />

Ford: I actually do make the time to read the books that I illustrate. In<br />

middle grade fiction, the design team prefers to see specific scenes<br />

from the book that might entice the reader into picking up the book.<br />

If there is a wraparound cover (where the front and back cover are<br />

illustrated), the back usually includes other characters from the story<br />

to further tease the reader with a taste of what lies inside. All of these<br />

scenes include details from the story that I could only get from reading<br />

the manuscript.<br />

MS: How much contact do you have with the author during a cover<br />

project?<br />

Ford: I have very little contact with the author during the process of<br />

designing the covers. Sometimes the author gets last say before the<br />

cover gets final approval. I generally hear from authors after their books<br />

hit the shelves.<br />

MS: What art mediums did you use for Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s<br />

Library?<br />

Ford: Nicole already knew that she wanted a wraparound cover to<br />

resemble a game board. Before I illustrated full time, I designed educational<br />

toys and their packaging, so I found myself beginning the process<br />


30<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3

more as a toy designer. The sketches that I sent were a little tighter<br />

than my other cover concepts since Nicole was clear about what she<br />

wanted. I used Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Indesign<br />

at first, and later came in with brush and ink for the characters.<br />

Sometimes with my other covers I will paint a chunk of it in watercolor,<br />

but not for this one.<br />

MS: How was the interior art developed?<br />

Heras: In addition to the jacket art, this book also required some interior<br />

puzzles to be created. These needed to be very specific as they<br />

help to advance the plot and serve as clues for the reader to solve<br />

the game along with the characters. Chris provided reference for what<br />

everything needed to be, and I hired another illustrator to execute all of<br />

the interior spots, which I then put together in the right order to create<br />

the rebuses. We decided to have these drawn in a silhouette style to<br />

keep consistent with the silhouettes on the jacket.<br />

MS: What’s the process of developing a cover from start to finish?<br />

Ford: My agent usually sends me the work order. The designer then<br />

sends me the manuscript and I spend a day reading it and taking notes.<br />

I create at least three rough sketches and send them to the designer<br />

and the art director. The editor, who is the person in charge of overseeing<br />

all aspects of the book, including finding the story and helping the<br />

author make it even better, discusses the sketches with the designer<br />

and art director. We work back and forth until the cover is good enough<br />

to show in a meeting with the editorial and sales and marketing teams.<br />

If sales and marketing think that people will buy the book for the cover,<br />

then I have done my job and I can create the final art (which by now<br />

is just putting on finishing touches). If they don’t think people will pick<br />

up the cover, however, I have to start over with fresh sketches. About a<br />

week before the book goes to print, I usually get an emergency call that<br />

one last small change must be made to the cover. This whole process<br />

takes about six months.<br />

Heras: We probably went through just a couple of rounds of sketches<br />

... and ended up with the really fun package we have today! I’m really<br />

happy with how this package came together.<br />


nonfiction<br />

spotlight<br />

32<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 8-12<br />

“When the sun god Ra shone his light<br />

through the moisture goddess Tefut, a<br />

rainbow arched across the world.”<br />

Treasury of Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods,<br />

Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals<br />

by Donna Jo Napoli and illustrated by Christina Balit<br />

National Geographic Society | http://books.nationalgeographic.com/books<br />

This over-sized hardbound book with<br />

its bold, colorful illustrations and<br />

astounding collection of stories and facts<br />

is itself a treasure. The author’s lyrical<br />

retelling of the myths and legends of ancient<br />

Egypt makes each God and Goddess leap<br />

off the page, transporting readers back to a<br />

time long ago when these myths were first<br />

imagined.<br />

The many photos and sidebars detailing<br />

Egyptian history, artifacts, and culture are<br />

not only informative, they enhance the<br />

myths themselves, grounding them in the<br />

real day-to-day existence of the ancient<br />

people who once used these stories to explain<br />

the world around them.<br />

Treasury of Egyptian Mythology is the<br />

companion to the equally stunning Treasury of<br />

Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses,<br />

Heroes and Monsters, also written by Donna Jo<br />

Napoli. Both books deserve a permanent place<br />

on every school and home library shelf.

graphic novel spotlight<br />

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes<br />

Edited by Kazu Kibuishi<br />

Amulet Books<br />

Ages 8 & up<br />

Seven clever stories answer one<br />

simple question: what’s in the box?<br />

Funny, fantastic, spooky, and suspenseful,<br />

each of these unique and<br />

beautifully illustrated short graphic<br />

works revolves around a central<br />

theme: a mysterious box and the marvels—or<br />

mayhem—inside. Artists<br />

include middle school favorites Kazu<br />

Kibuishi, Raina Telgemeier (Smile),<br />

and Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy),<br />

as well as Jason Caffoe, Stuart Livingston,<br />

Johane Matte, Rad Sechrist<br />

(all contributors to the groundbreaking<br />

comics anthology series Flight),<br />

and upcoming artist Emily Carroll.<br />

Explorer 2: The Lost Islands<br />

Edited by Kazu Kibuishi<br />

Amulet Books<br />

Ages 8 & up<br />

The highly anticipated second volume<br />

to the critically acclaimed<br />

Explorer series, The Lost Islands is a collection<br />

of seven all-new stories written<br />

and illustrated by an award-winning<br />

roster of comics artists, with each story<br />

centered around the theme of hidden<br />

places. Edited by the New York Times<br />

bestselling comics creator Kazu Kibuishi,<br />

this graphic anthology includes<br />

well-written, beautifully illustrated stories<br />

by Kazu, Jason Caffoe, Raina<br />

Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Jake Parker,<br />

Michel Gagné, Katie and Steven Shanahan,<br />

and up-and-coming new artist<br />

Chrystin Garland.<br />


novelty book<br />

spotlight<br />

You’ve never seen<br />

a doodle book<br />

quite like this one!<br />

Photo Doodles invites<br />

young artists and<br />

designers to complete<br />

more than a hundred<br />

different photographs,<br />

everything from<br />

rollercoasters and<br />

soda can labels to<br />

book covers and<br />

imperial palaces.<br />

Photo Doodles<br />

repackages the most<br />

kid-friendly activities<br />

from Quirk’s Fill in the<br />

Blank, with a smaller<br />

trim size, a lower price<br />

point, and dozens<br />

of new just-for-kids<br />

creative challenges.<br />

Get ready to think<br />

outside the box, color<br />

outside the lines,<br />

and exercise your<br />

imagination!<br />

34<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 8+<br />

Photo Doodles<br />

by Viiiz<br />

Quirk Publishing<br />


Can I get<br />

Shelf Unbound on the<br />

iTunes<br />

Newsstand?<br />

App-solutely!<br />


36<br />

TEAK<br />

recommends<br />

Teak Balena is 12 years old and in<br />

the 7th grade. He has one pet and<br />

one younger brother. His favorite<br />

books are The Heroes of Olympus<br />

series by Rick Riordan. His other<br />

interests include chess and<br />

soccer. Teak wants to either be an<br />

architect or a lawyer. His dreams<br />

never end, and he is always<br />

looking for an adventure.<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

The Expeditioners<br />

by S.S. Taylor and Katherine Roy<br />

McSweeney’s McMullins<br />

Ages 10 - 14<br />

[Summary] Computers have failed, electricity is extinct, and the<br />

race to discover new lands is underway! Brilliant explorer Alexander<br />

West has just died under mysterious circumstances, but<br />

not before smuggling half of a strange map to his intrepid children—Kit<br />

the brain, M.K. the tinkerer, and Zander the brave. Why<br />

are so many government agents trying to steal the half-map?<br />

(And where is the other half?) It’s up to Alexander’s children—the<br />

Expeditioners—to get to the bottom of these questions, and fast.<br />

[Review] This entertaining book called The Expeditioners by<br />

S.S. Taylor is a fun and exciting page-turner and always keeps<br />

you on your toes. This book has action, mystery, and pure<br />

thrill. You can’t stop reading this great novel.<br />

This book spotlights the futuristic adventures of three children<br />

of a famous explorer who mysteriously died. The teens<br />

live in their parents’ house until a corrupt government agency<br />

called the BNDL confiscates all of their father’s records in an<br />

attempt to find the hidden treasure. The three kids M.K, Kit,<br />

and Zander set out on a quest to stop the BNDL from finding<br />

and misusing the treasure.<br />

Their cross-country expeditions take them to the Arizona<br />

desert where discoveries await. Will the BNDL take the glory,<br />

or will the Expeditioners claim victory???

Ages 8-12<br />

A Greyhound of a Girl<br />

by Roddy Doyle<br />

Amulet<br />

[Summary] Mary O’Hara is a sharp twelve-year-old Dublin<br />

schoolgirl bravely facing the fact that her beloved Gran is<br />

dying. But Gran can’t let go of life, and when a mysterious<br />

young woman turns up on Mary’s street with a message<br />

for Gran, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The<br />

woman, Tansey, is a ghost—Mary’s great-grandmother who<br />

has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved<br />

ones and guide her safely out of this world. To persuade Gran,<br />

she needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who<br />

embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women<br />

travel on a midnight car journey: one of them is dead, one of<br />

them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just<br />

starting out.<br />

[Review] A Greyhound of a Girl is an absolutely charming<br />

novel, engaging from the very first page. For readers like me<br />

who are usually wary of novels with ghostly elements, Roddy<br />

Doyle’s witty Irish dialogue eliminates all potential creepiness<br />

while still allowing the plot to fit the supernatural genre.<br />

Because its characters span four generations of women, I<br />

would recommend this book not only to middle grade readers<br />

but to anybody of any age looking for a beautiful story about<br />

the timelessness of family support.<br />

KELLY’S<br />

reads<br />

Kelly Bergh is a senior in high<br />

school. She works at her local<br />

library and has found that she<br />

quite likes reading. She plans to<br />

enter college next fall to study to<br />

become an editor.<br />


38<br />

publisher’s<br />

corner<br />

Tanglewood Press<br />

was founded in 2003<br />

by Peggy Tierney and<br />

is the home of many<br />

wonderful books<br />

for children of all<br />

ages, including the<br />

popular picture book<br />

The Kissing Hand<br />

by Audrey Wood.<br />

Today Peggy shares<br />

a glimpse into the<br />

publishing world and<br />

the process behind<br />

creating entertaining<br />

and memorable books.<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Tanglewood Press<br />

Peggy Tierney, Editor & Publisher<br />

www.tanglewoodbooks.com<br />

Middle Shelf: How do you<br />

choose books to publish?<br />

Tanglewood Press: The first<br />

step of publishing a book is the<br />

selection of the manuscript to<br />

publish. We have an employee<br />

whose sole duty is to read<br />

the manuscripts received (the<br />

“slush pile”) and select a few<br />

that stand out, maybe thirty or<br />

forty in any year. Then the editor<br />

will go through those few and<br />

select one or two to publish.<br />

MS: How often do you publish<br />

books?<br />

TP: Books are published by<br />

season — the main ones being<br />

spring and fall —and the work<br />

on a book begins twelve to<br />

eighteen months before its<br />

release. Marketing and sales<br />

plans also begin right away.<br />

Bookstores ideally want to have<br />

sample books and marketing<br />

materials six to nine months<br />

before a book is released. So<br />

at the same time a manuscript<br />

is being edited, marketing plans<br />

and pieces are being created.<br />

MS: How important is the<br />

cover of a book?<br />

TP: People often assume that a<br />

cover is the last thing done for<br />

a book, but it’s often the first.<br />

Why? Because it is the most<br />

important marketing piece of a<br />

book. The ideal cover expresses<br />

the story but should also be so<br />

cool looking or create some curiosity<br />

that it makes the customer<br />

want to pick it up off a bookstore<br />

shelf. Cover creation is a joint<br />

effort between designers, illustrators,<br />

editors, and the marketing<br />

and publicity team. And it’s<br />

way harder than it looks!<br />

MS: Can you explain the process<br />

of editing and printing<br />

books?<br />

TP: While the manuscript is<br />

being edited, a developmental<br />

editor looks at things like<br />

character development, pacing,<br />

tone, plot. Writers will rewrite<br />

parts that can be improved. A<br />

copy editor handles punctuation,<br />

grammar, spelling. A proofreader<br />

will then give the book<br />

a final reading. Still, even with<br />

so many editors working on a<br />

book, little mistakes can slip<br />

through.<br />

After that, the designer takes<br />

the manuscript and cover image<br />

and puts them into book form,<br />

ready to print. A production<br />

manager arranges the printing<br />

process, which is always done<br />

by a printing company, not the<br />

publisher. The marketing team<br />

has prepared lots of materials<br />

describing the book and why<br />

stores should sell it, and the

sales people take those materials<br />

and visit bookstores and the<br />

people in charge of selecting<br />

titles for bigger chains (they are<br />

called the “buyers”).<br />

There are many other things<br />

that have to happen behind the<br />

scenes, as publishing is a very<br />

complex business.<br />

MS: What books will Tanglewood<br />

Press publish this fall?<br />

TP: We here at Tanglewood are<br />

very excited about The Rock<br />

of Ivanore, the first book of<br />

The Celestine Chronicles. It is<br />

a great introduction to classic<br />

fantasy, with a mysterious<br />

quest, wizards and dragons,<br />

strange creatures and exotic<br />

kingdoms, and lots of surprises.<br />

It is coming out in paperback in<br />

October. Available at the same<br />

time will be the second book of<br />

The Celestine Chronicles, The<br />

Last Enchanter, and it is just as<br />

thrilling as the first one (some of<br />

us think it is even better!).<br />

Also new is Mickey Price: Journey<br />

To Oblivion, a story of three<br />

kids who are sent on a secret<br />

mission to the moon to save it<br />

from a space station’s nuclear<br />

meltdown. It, too, is a book that is<br />

full of action that keeps building in<br />

excitement and suspense to the<br />

very end. Our favorite part is the<br />

humor —it really is funny in a way<br />

that we think readers will enjoy.<br />

Tanglewood’s goal is simple:<br />

to find and publish books kids<br />

will love.<br />

Mickey Price:<br />

Journey to Oblivion<br />

by John Stanley<br />

Tanglewood Press<br />

ages 8-12<br />

The moon is under threat of a nuclear<br />

meltdown due to a space station<br />

malfunction. Complicating things is<br />

the presence of pleurinium, a magnetic<br />

material that makes humans instantly,<br />

seriously ill — well, all humans who are 14 years old and up.<br />

Mickey Price is an orphan in Orlando; Trace Daniels is<br />

a go-kart champion in Nevada; Jonah Jones is a budding<br />

scientist in Illinois. They don’t know each other, but they<br />

are all being watched and studied by men in white shirts,<br />

thin black ties, and distinctive gold-colored sunglasses. The<br />

three kids are invited to a NASA camp, but this camp isn’t<br />

for summer fun. It’s a training camp for a mission full of<br />

dangers that will test each of them to the maximum, but it’s<br />

also an adventure full of thrills, fun, and some unexpected<br />

companions, not all of whom are human.<br />

The Last Enchanter<br />

(The Celestine Chronicles, Book 2)<br />

by Laurisa White Reyes<br />

(editor of Middle Shelf)<br />

Tanglewood Press<br />

ages 8 – 12<br />

Months have passed since Marcus<br />

and Kelvin succeeded in their<br />

quest to find the Rock of Ivanore.<br />

Kelvin is living as royalty in Dokur, and<br />

Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When Fredric is murdered<br />

and Kelvin becomes king, Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in<br />

hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though<br />

it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and<br />

Marcus has had disturbing visions of Zyll’s death. With the help<br />

of his old friends Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a<br />

feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful<br />

secret that will change the course of his life forever. TRAILER<br />


on our shelf<br />

Ages 10 +<br />

Remember Dippy<br />

By Shirley Reva Vernick<br />

Cinco Puntos Press<br />

www.cincopuntos.com<br />

40<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

“My cousin Remember<br />

is what polite people call<br />

different. I call him weird.<br />

He’s the reason I have to get<br />

up so early, the reason I got<br />

into it with Dirk the Jerk,<br />

the reason I’m always late to<br />

meet my friends, the reason<br />

my whole summer’s going to<br />

be a bust. This was definitely<br />

going to be a disaster.”<br />

When Johnny’s mom takes a job in New York, Johnny winds<br />

up at his Aunt Collette’s house for the summer looking<br />

after his older cousin Remember. Yes, that’s his name:<br />

Remember Dippy. Mem for short. Mem isn’t your typical<br />

teenager. He is high-functioning autistic, prone to tantrums, brilliant at<br />

video games, and fiercely loyal to his friends.<br />

At first Johnny is anything but happy about spending his vacation toting<br />

Mem with him everywhere he goes, especially when he’s trying to<br />

catch the attention of Jo, his friend Mo’s sister, but after some unexpected<br />

turns of events Johnny begins to see Mem, and some other people in<br />

his neighborhood, a little bit differently.<br />

Remember Dippy, his cousin Johnny, and all the characters from<br />

Hull, Vermont, hooked my interest from the very first page. These are<br />

normal kids facing not-so-normal situations, like rescuing the neighborhood<br />

bully from a near-drowning, or helping the local pizza owner fish<br />

an engagement ring out of a floor vent. Even Mem’s beloved pets, two<br />

furry ferrets, are unusual. But that’s what makes this story so compelling.<br />

It’s a fast read about false assumptions and the importance of accepting<br />

people for who they are, something Johnny discovers over the course of<br />

this little gem of a story.<br />

The book is listed as Young Adult because the characters are in<br />

their mid-teens, but this story is perfectly accessible and appropriate<br />

for younger readers. With no profanity or other “mature” material,<br />

Remember Dippy is a book I can recommend with confidence.

“Sara said my wings would<br />

choose me, but the blue ones<br />

are perfect. Those are the<br />

ones I want.”<br />

10-year-old Melody wants to fly. When she jumps off a park swing<br />

and lands in the magical realm of Chimeroan, her wish finally<br />

comes true. This is where the dreams of children become reality.<br />

Melody receives a set of beautiful wings with a mind of their<br />

own, but to keep them she must solve three riddles. But more difficult<br />

than any of the challenges she must face in Chimeroan is facing her<br />

own past and the guilt she feels over the car accident that left her father<br />

paralyzed.<br />

What first drew me to Up in the Air was the delightful cover, which<br />

reminded me of my own childhood and that momentary freedom I’d feel<br />

when leaping off a swing. But the story wasn’t at all what I expected.<br />

After a brief introduction to Melody and her parents, all of whom bear the<br />

burden of the accident, I was quickly transported, along with Melody, to<br />

a world of magical realism inhabited by dragons, unicorns, leprechauns,<br />

giants, and even aliens. Like the imaginations of children, there are no<br />

limits in Chimeroan, or in Meyers’ bold yet tender tale. Fans of all kinds of<br />

stories from fairytales, to fantasy adventure, to realistic fiction will easily<br />

connect with Melody’s troubles—and triumphs. Adult readers will appreciate<br />

Meyers’ depiction of the young mind: her fears, her aspirations, and<br />

her capacity to make difficult decisions crucial to her own happiness and<br />

the happiness of those she loves.<br />

Up in the Air is a story about a regular little girl who finds herself in the<br />

most extraordinary of circumstances, and the value of living the life we<br />

are given. This little gem is a delight and deserves to be read.<br />

on our shelf<br />

Ages 8-12<br />

Up in the Air<br />

By Anne Marie Meyers<br />

Jolly Fish Press<br />

www.annmarie-meyers.com<br />

www.jollyfishpress.com<br />


est of the<br />

Ages 8-12<br />

THE BOOK<br />


http://www.<br />

thebookmonsters.com/<br />

book-review-the-cats-oftanglewood-forest/<br />

42<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

book blogs<br />

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint<br />

Illustrated by Charles Vess<br />

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers<br />

[SUMMARY]<br />

In this whimsical, original folktale<br />

written and illustrated throughout<br />

in vibrant full color by two<br />

celebrated masters of modern<br />

fantasy, a young girl’s journey<br />

becomes an enchanting comingof-age<br />

story about magic, friendship,<br />

and the courage to shape<br />

one’s own destiny.<br />

Lillian Kindred spends her days<br />

exploring the Tanglewood Forest,<br />

a magical, rolling wilderness that<br />

she imagines to be full of fairies.<br />

The trouble is, Lillian has never<br />

seen a wisp of magic in her hills—<br />

until the day the cats of the forest<br />

save her life by transforming her<br />

into a kitten. Now Lillian must set<br />

out on a perilous adventure that<br />

will lead her through untamed<br />

lands of fabled creatures—from<br />

Old Mother Possum to the fearsome<br />

Bear People—to find a way<br />

to make things right.<br />

[REVIEW]<br />

Lillian is a girl that reminded me<br />

of myself, in love with old tales of<br />

fairies and magic. When she falls<br />

asleep one day beneath a tree, she<br />

is bitten by a snake and the cats<br />

of Tanglewood Forest turn her into<br />

a kitten to save her life. The only<br />

problem is she is not happy to be<br />

a kitten instead of a little girl and<br />

seeks out a way to change back.<br />

What she finds is that turning<br />

back into a little girl may mean a<br />

worse fate for her dear Aunt, who<br />

takes care of her and is her only<br />

family in the world. Lillian must<br />

now find a way to save her only<br />

family. But what is she willing to<br />

give up to save her Aunt? Through<br />

this journey, Lillian learns more<br />

than any little girl about what it<br />

means to be human.<br />

I loved the illustrations in this<br />

novel, enough that I am putting<br />

this one on my “to buy” list. I<br />

have always been a fan of de<br />

Lint’s storytelling and paired with<br />

Vess’s illustrations, I felt completely<br />

transported into the story. I<br />

felt that I was Lillian, trying to save<br />

my only family while wanting to<br />

keep my true human form.<br />

Final verdict: The Cats of Tanglewood<br />

Forest is a fantastical<br />

read that will transport you to<br />

Lillian’s world — filled with magic<br />

and unbelievable characters.

Ages 8-12<br />


I was so excited when<br />

I was asked to review this<br />

book. I’m a longtime lover<br />

of Johnny Cash’s music. I<br />

even did a painting of him<br />

years ago (my starving<br />

artist days), so when<br />

I was asked to review<br />

John Carter Cash’s book,<br />

Johnny Cash’s son, I was<br />

mega thrilled!<br />

John Carter Cash is a<br />

musician and a picture<br />

book writer. This is his first<br />

middle-grade novel and<br />

given how well written this<br />

debut is, I can only imagine<br />

we will see more to come<br />

by this great author.<br />

http://project-middlegrade-mayhem.blogspot.com/2013/08/review-lupusrex-by-john-carter-cash.html<br />

Lupus Rex by John Carter Cash<br />

Rebellion<br />

[SUMMARY]<br />

Ysill and Cormo are two quail who<br />

must risk their lives when they are<br />

driven from their home by crows,<br />

and find they must find a common<br />

cause with other creatures if they<br />

are to find safety in a world full of<br />

perils and adventure.<br />

The crow king is dead, and in<br />

the field below all the creatures<br />

tremble as the Murder gathers to<br />

choose a new king from the rival<br />

sons Sintus, Milus and Nascus.<br />

When the crows drive everyone<br />

from the field to keep the reckoning<br />

secret, the quail Ysil, Cormo<br />

and Harlequin believe they must<br />

simply follow their elders to safety.<br />

But when the crows turn against<br />

each other, the forest becomes<br />

full of danger. In the confusion the<br />

last wolf, Asmod, shucks off his<br />

isolation and begins to raise an<br />

army to claim the kingdom for his<br />

own. As hidden truths are brought<br />

to light and enormous sacrifices<br />

are made Ysil and his friends<br />

must make an epic journey and an<br />

unthinkable alliance if the lesser<br />

animals are to survive.<br />

[REVIEW]<br />

What I Liked:<br />

Small heroes: Cash has quails<br />

fighting wolves! That right there<br />

says we are in for an epic struggle.<br />

Great bad guy: Asmod is an awesome<br />

bad guy wolf. If any of you<br />

have read my books, you know I<br />

like the baddies and Asmod is a<br />

villain among villains!<br />

It is realistic: Some might say it<br />

is a little too real, but I disagree.<br />

Animals are violent, bottom line.<br />

They don’t call it the food chain for<br />

nothing.<br />

History: Cash gives the different<br />

species their own history and<br />

tradition, which only lends to our<br />

love of these characters.<br />

Epic factor: This is a perfect<br />

example of an epic animal adventure<br />

that will keep kids interested.<br />

You want to see the good guys<br />

win, but you want to watch them<br />

get there too.<br />

Douglas Smith: Anyone recognize<br />

the style of that cover? Okay,<br />

it’s the same guy who did the<br />

Wicked (Gregory Maguire) covers,<br />

Douglas Smith, one of my favorite<br />

illustrators! Extra points for that!<br />

In closing: If you like epic animal<br />

fantasy this is the book for you.<br />

It’s full of rich characters and<br />

an inventive storyline. It’s available<br />

in hardcover, paperbook, and<br />

ebook...so go get it!<br />


themed books:<br />

44<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />


Monster in the Mudball<br />

by S.P. Gates<br />

Tu Books<br />

www.leeandlow.com/<br />

books/505/hc/the_monster_in_<br />

the_mudball<br />

Ages 8 – 12<br />

A<br />

monster is loose in London!<br />

And it’s kind of Jin’s<br />

fault that Zilombo got<br />

loose. He tracked the monster<br />

to slimy Oozeburn Creek, but<br />

how does he get Zilombo to go<br />

back into her mudball, where<br />

she can’t hurt anyone?<br />

That’s when Jin meets Chief<br />

Inspector of Ancient Artifacts<br />

A.J. Zauyamakanda—Mizz Z,<br />

for short—who has arrived to<br />

inspect the mudball and insists<br />

that Jin help her find the monster<br />

that hatched from it.<br />

But Zilombo gains new,<br />

frightening powers every time<br />

she reawakens. She’s cleverer<br />

than ever before ... and she likes<br />

to eat babies. When Jin’s older<br />

sister gets distracted along the<br />

Oozeburn and forgets to watch<br />

their baby brother, Smiler is<br />

easy pickings for Zilombo!<br />

Will Jin’s baby brother be the<br />

next baby on Zilombo’s menu?<br />

As Zilombo’s powers grow, Jin<br />

and Mizz Z team up to outsmart<br />

Zilombo!<br />

The Emerald Ring:<br />

Cleopatra’s Legacy, Book I<br />

by Dorine White<br />

Sweetwater Books<br />

(Cedar Fort)<br />

http://blog.cedarfort.com/<br />

category/sweetwater-books/<br />

Ages 8 – 12<br />

Ordinary “tween” life turns<br />

upside down when Ancient<br />

Egypt intrudes on modern<br />

middle school life. Twelve-yearold<br />

Sara Guadalupe Bogus<br />

reads about adventures, but<br />

unexpectedly is drawn into one<br />

when a mystical emerald ring<br />

that once belonged to Cleopatra<br />

becomes stuck on her finger.<br />

The fun of discovering the<br />

ring’s unique abilities turns to<br />

fear when she finds out a dangerous<br />

cult bent on restoring<br />

Rome to power is after the<br />

ring. Forced to choose between<br />

keeping the ring and saving her<br />

friends, Sara learns the price of<br />

bravery in this electrifying read!

Substitute Creature: Tales<br />

from Lovecraft Middle School<br />

#4<br />

by Charles Gilman<br />

Quirk Publishing<br />

www.quirkbooks.com<br />

Ages 9 – 12<br />

When a giant nor’easter<br />

dumps a blanket of<br />

snow on the village of<br />

Dunwich, Massachussetts,<br />

Robert Arthur and his friends<br />

find themselves marooned<br />

inside Lovecraft Middle School.<br />

The kids have no choice but to<br />

spend the night—while snacking<br />

on cafeteria food, sleeping<br />

on classroom floors, and<br />

facing off against a mysterious<br />

substitute teacher who may<br />

have a sinister secret. The latest<br />

adventure in the Lovecraft<br />

Middle School series features<br />

more adventures, more outrageous<br />

monsters, and another<br />

terrifying lenticular cover!<br />

Desmond Pucket Makes<br />

Monster Magic<br />

by Mark Tatulli<br />

Andrews McMeel Publishing<br />

http://andrewsmcmeel.com<br />

Ages 7 – 12<br />

Meet Desmond Pucket—<br />

professor of frightology<br />

and master of monsters.<br />

Someday Desmond will be<br />

famous for his special effects<br />

wizardry, but for now he’s just<br />

trying to make it through sixth<br />

grade which means he needs<br />

to stay one step ahead of the<br />

school’s disciplinary officer, Mr.<br />

Needles.<br />

The only problem is Desmond<br />

just can’t stop pulling<br />

pranks—like the time he<br />

attached a shrieking rubber<br />

goblin to the toilet seat in the<br />

teachers’ bathroom. Or the time<br />

he put giant motorized worms<br />

into the mashed potatoes in the<br />

cafeteria.<br />

And now Desmond has to<br />

stay prank-free for the rest of<br />

the year, or he won’t be able<br />

to go on the class trip to Crab<br />

Shell Pier, home of the Mountain<br />

Full of Monsters ride! It’s<br />

going to be tough, but Desmond<br />

has to try.<br />


46<br />

poetry<br />

Crazy About Basketball<br />

by Loris Lesynski, Illustrated<br />

by Gerry Rasmussen<br />

Annick Press<br />

http://www.annickpress.com/<br />

Ages 8-12<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Basketball = Life<br />

the world is made<br />

of bounce and aim<br />

basketball’s<br />

not just a game<br />

in every little cell alive<br />

you’ll find a move,<br />

a bounce, a jive<br />

atoms vibrate all the time<br />

in people, puppies,<br />

trees, and slime<br />

a grain of sand<br />

a drop of blood<br />

a gasp of air<br />

a blob of mud<br />

everything has<br />

bounce inside it<br />

even rocks<br />

although they hide it<br />

everything<br />

you’ll ever know<br />

is always moving,<br />

on the go<br />

the universe?<br />

this brilliant game?<br />

they sometimes seem<br />

a lot the same

Nightball<br />

I can’t go in<br />

I know it’s night<br />

but I have to get<br />

my shooting right<br />

playground’s empty<br />

dark and cold<br />

but I’ll stay here<br />

until I’m old<br />

if that’s how long it takes<br />

to get<br />

the hang of landing in<br />

the net<br />

streetlight shows<br />

a perfect arc<br />

the swish sounds louder<br />

in the dark<br />

a lot of shots, a little spin,<br />

but some still miss<br />

—but more get in!<br />

I bet I’m better<br />

really soon<br />

my biggest fan tonight?<br />

the moon.<br />

From Crazy About Basketball, Annick Press,<br />

2013. http://www.annickpress.com/. Reprinted<br />

with permission. All rights reserved.<br />


character<br />

spotlight<br />

48<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

Ages 8-12<br />

Stella Batts is the young star of a series of books written by<br />

Courtney Sheinmel and published by Sleeping Bear Press. Perfect<br />

for fans of Clementine and Junie B. Jones, Stella has five books out so<br />

far: Stella Batts Needs A New Name; Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow; Pardon<br />

Me; Who’s In Charge; and A Case Of The Meanies.

Today Stella visits with Middle Shelf magazine to tell<br />

us a little about herself and her books.<br />

Middle Shelf: Welcome to Middle Shelf, Stella. Could you introduce<br />

yourself to our readers?<br />

Stella Batts: Hey I’m Stella Batts. I’m eight-years-old and I live in Somers,<br />

California, with my parents, my younger sister Penny, and my new baby<br />

brother Marco. My family owns a candy store, which is super cool because<br />

eating fudge is one of my favorite things in the whole entire world. Another<br />

favorite thing is writing—which is why I’ve written FIVE books so far. You can<br />

read about my latest adventures in Stella Batts: Who’s In Charge?<br />

MS: Who are you most like, your mom or your dad?<br />

Stella: I look the most like my mom—especially our eyes and our hair. My<br />

hair used to be much longer than it is now, but I had a little accident with a<br />

stick of gum. So now it’s cut short, but not as short as my dad’s! Sometimes<br />

I act more like him, though. Like, my dad and I both like elevators (my mom<br />

is afraid of them), and we’re both inventive (my dad invents candy things and<br />

I invent stories).<br />

MS: What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?<br />

Stella: It’s not something I like to talk about, but fine, I’ll tell you. At the<br />

beginning of school this year, we were on our nature walk and I tripped and<br />

fell in front of everyone, right into something really gross. Ever since then,<br />

the meanest boy in my class has called me Smella. (I wrote a bit more about<br />

it in my first book, Stella Batts Needs A New Name.)<br />

MS: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re by yourself?<br />

Stella: Writing, of course!<br />

MS: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?<br />

Stella: I think I would go to London. That’s a famous city in England, and it’s<br />

also where my new best friend Evie is from. She has a cool accent and says<br />

things like “lift” for elevator and “loo” for bathroom. She’s the only person I<br />

know who talks like that, but if I went there, everyone would! Except I think<br />

I’d only want to go if Evie were with me. That way I wouldn’t get lost.<br />

MS: Thank you for stopping by, Stella! It was really great meeting you!<br />


BOOK<br />

Seven Moon Circus:<br />

The Adventures of a<br />

Wild Boy in a Space<br />

Traveling Circus<br />

by Randy Morrison<br />

Keep your action<br />

boys excited<br />

about reading with<br />

Seven Moon Circus:<br />

The Adventures of a<br />

Wild Boy in a Space<br />

Traveling Circus.<br />

Sample chapters and Educator’s Common Core<br />

Guide: 7mc.com.<br />

www.7mc.com<br />

Available at Amazon.<br />

Girl Unmoored<br />

by Jennifer Gooch Hummer<br />

Set in Maine, 1985, Apron<br />

Bramhall has come<br />

unmoored. Her mother has<br />

died, her father is about to<br />

marry a wicked witch and<br />

her best friend has dumped<br />

her for a newer model. Then<br />

she meets “Jesus”—the actor who plays him<br />

in Jesus Christ Superstar—and his boyfriend.<br />

These three unlikely friends form an unbreakable<br />

bond not even death can separate.<br />

“Girl Unmoored may be the undiscovered young<br />

adult novel of the summer.”<br />

—Entertainment Weekly<br />

www.jennifergoochhummer.com<br />

Available at Amazon, BarnesandNoble,<br />

iTunes and other online retailers.<br />

Black Pool—A Jack<br />

Flynn Adventure<br />

by C.H. Garbutt<br />

Helpless to save<br />

his mum from<br />

drowning off the coast<br />

of County Kerry,<br />

Ireland, and just<br />

barely surviving<br />

himself, young Jack<br />

Flynn is rescued<br />

by a mysterious<br />

pair of webbed hands reaching up from the<br />

ocean depths. Jack recalls nothing of his<br />

narrow escape until years later when he meets<br />

Lillay, a young teenage mermaid, at the Dublin<br />

docklands, where his past and future meet.<br />

www.blackpoolthebook.wordpress.com<br />

Available at Amazon.<br />

Flying with<br />

a Broken Wing<br />

by Laura Best<br />

est creates<br />

“Ban authentic<br />

portrait of post-<br />

Second World War<br />

life in a rural Nova<br />

Scotia community.<br />

Her descriptions of<br />

Saturday nights at the<br />

bootlegger’s house,<br />

women gossiping at the general store and a<br />

dance at the local hall capture a strong sense of<br />

time and place.”<br />

—Atlantic Books Today<br />

www.lauraabest.wordpress.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indigo.

BOOK<br />

A Box of Gargoyles<br />

by Anne Nesbet<br />

Nesbet creates<br />

threatening evil<br />

and an engagingly<br />

magical setting.<br />

She gives Maya<br />

real doubts and<br />

worries, particularly<br />

about protecting<br />

her family and her<br />

mother’s recurring<br />

illness. Fans of the<br />

first book will enjoy this next installation, but it<br />

functions smoothly on its own as well.<br />

—School Library Journal<br />

www.annenesbet.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

Aces Wild<br />

by Erica Perl<br />

Zelly’s story is<br />

essentially a<br />

coming-of-age tale<br />

about moving to a<br />

new place, dealing<br />

with grief, and learning<br />

what is important in<br />

life. This book stands<br />

on its own, although<br />

readers will certainly<br />

be interested in what happened the summer<br />

Zelly took care of an orange-juice bottle in the<br />

previous book.<br />

—School Library Journal<br />

www.ericaperl.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

*<br />

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Middle Shelf in our Special<br />

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Authors. Each issue of Middle<br />

Shelf is distributed to more<br />

than 125,000 people in the U.S.<br />

and 62 countries around the<br />

globe. Our introductory ad rate<br />

for this section is $375/quarter<br />

page as seen here.<br />

Contact publisher Margaret Brown<br />

to reserve your space.<br />

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com<br />

214.704.4182.<br />

Sky Jumpers<br />

by Peggy Eddleman<br />

“A general<br />

sense of<br />

adventure and<br />

wonder permeates<br />

this tale, making it<br />

a fun, quick read.<br />

Eddleman brings<br />

a strong sense of<br />

atmosphere to this<br />

post-apocalyptic<br />

coming-of-age<br />

piece, and the underlying message—that it’s<br />

possible to contribute in unexpected ways—is a<br />

positive one.”<br />

—Publishers Weekly<br />

www.peggyeddleman.blogspot.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.

BOOK<br />

Wild Boy<br />

by Lloyd Jones<br />

This book grabs<br />

you from the<br />

very first page and<br />

pulls you right in, not<br />

least because of the<br />

hugely likeable Wild<br />

Boy and his sparring<br />

partner, Clarissa. The<br />

setting is vivid and<br />

gritty and some of the scenes are not for the<br />

squeamish.<br />

—Inis Magazine<br />

www.roblloydjones.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

Iris Brave<br />

by Ali B.<br />

Iris Brave isn’t as<br />

courageous as her<br />

name suggests. That’s<br />

about to change. On<br />

a summer visit to her<br />

grandpa’s farm, a<br />

mysterious stranger<br />

shadows Iris, leaving<br />

her cryptic messages.<br />

When this outsider<br />

turns out be a phantom from her family’s past,<br />

Iris sheds her timid ways to uncover the truth<br />

and protect the family she loves.<br />

www.facebook.com/alibbooks<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

Friends of Liberty<br />

by Beatrice Gormley<br />

Set against the<br />

forging of the<br />

Boston Tea Party<br />

and the American<br />

Revolution, this<br />

engaging novel tells<br />

a tale of friendship<br />

and of fighting for<br />

one’s beliefs. It<br />

will appeal to kids<br />

who like historical<br />

fiction, and it is a good choice for classroom<br />

discussions of the war.<br />

—School Library Journal<br />

www.beatricegormley.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

Constable & Toop<br />

by Gareth P. Jones<br />

ones is interested<br />

“J in giving readers<br />

more than spooky<br />

thrills; his characters<br />

have moral heft<br />

and are concerned<br />

with issues such as<br />

culpability, whether<br />

people can be<br />

considered good if<br />

they have done bad things, and the importance<br />

of living life to its fullest.”<br />

— Kirkus Reviews<br />

www.garethwrites.co.uk<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.

BOOK<br />

Merits of<br />

Mischief:<br />

A Bad Apple<br />

by T.R. Burns<br />

It’s easy to get<br />

drawn into this<br />

fast-paced, funny,<br />

and entertaining<br />

adventure, filled<br />

with sympathetic,<br />

eccentric, and<br />

mischievously talented characters. At its heart,<br />

it’s a story about the importance of individuality<br />

and being a good friend, and a last-minute twist<br />

will leave readers hungry for the next book.<br />

—Publisher’s Weekly<br />

www. authors.simonandschuster.com/T-R-<br />

Burns/85716264<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

The Templeton<br />

Twins: Make A<br />

Scene<br />

by Ellis Wiener<br />

Make a Scene is<br />

as irresistible<br />

and hilarious as<br />

its predecessor.<br />

Holmes’s artwork<br />

throughout is both<br />

unique and intricate,<br />

adding to the story<br />

and its characters. This humorous story is sure<br />

to entertain reluctant and avid readers alike.<br />

—School Library Journal<br />

www.ellisweiner.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

Keeper of the Lost<br />

Cities: Exile<br />

by Shannon<br />

Messenger<br />

his debut novel<br />

“Tis a powerful<br />

and appealing<br />

package of skillful<br />

world-building,<br />

fantasy, suspense,<br />

mystery, and middleschool<br />

relationships<br />

A slew of interesting and well-drawn characters,<br />

careful plotting, and just plain good storytelling<br />

will have readers racing through the pages”<br />

—School Library Journal<br />

www. ramblingsofawannabescribe.blogspot.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

*<br />

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Middle Shelf in our Special<br />

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Authors. Each issue of Middle<br />

Shelf is distributed to more<br />

than 125,000 people in the U.S.<br />

and 62 countries around the<br />

globe. Our introductory ad rate<br />

for this section is $375/quarter<br />

page as seen here.<br />

Contact publisher Margaret Brown<br />

to reserve your space.<br />

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com<br />


BOOK<br />

Charlie Bumpers<br />

vs. Teacher of<br />

the Year<br />

by Bill Harely<br />

“C harlie’s<br />

kindness to<br />

a new classmate<br />

from Chile and<br />

his growing<br />

appreciation of Mrs.<br />

Burke supplements<br />

the comedy.<br />

Dynamic and skillfully drafted ink-and-watercolor<br />

spot illustrations from Gustavson, who illustrated<br />

Harley’s Lost and Found, help chronicle the<br />

hijinks.”<br />

—Publishers Weekly<br />

www.billharely.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

The Story of the<br />

Blue Planet<br />

by Andri Snaer<br />

Magnason<br />

“M agnason’s<br />

beautifully<br />

illustrated and expertly<br />

translated book is<br />

charming, eccentric,<br />

moving, and humbling<br />

—often reminiscent<br />

of Roald Dahl or William Steig. It’s a magical<br />

coming-of-age story that may also remind adults<br />

to appreciate the here and the now, and that the<br />

grass on the other side may appear greener, but<br />

that doesn’t mean it’s better.”<br />

—Typographical Era<br />

www.andrimagnason.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

Jack Strong<br />

Takes A Stand<br />

by Tommy<br />

Greenwald<br />

Jack Strong just<br />

wants to be a<br />

regular kid. But<br />

his parents have<br />

overscheduled his<br />

week with every<br />

extracurricular<br />

activity under the<br />

sun. His parents<br />

want him to be “well-rounded” and prepared for<br />

those crucial college applications. Jack’s just<br />

about had enough. “A cautionary tale the whole<br />

family will find amusing and enlightening.”<br />

—Kirkus Reviews<br />

www.tommygreenwald.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

The Show Must<br />

Go On<br />

by Kate Klise<br />

The Klises maintain<br />

a light touch with<br />

the messaging, giving<br />

the book a comforting<br />

thematic unity around<br />

the importance of<br />

kindness; and humor is<br />

apparent in every detail,<br />

from the smallest conversational exchanges to<br />

the extravagantly silly set pieces that mark the<br />

book’s major plot points. Readers will eagerly<br />

await the next volume of over-the-(big)-top<br />

hijinks.<br />

—The Horn Book Magazine<br />

www.kateandsarahklise.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.

BOOK<br />

Trapper Boy<br />

by Hugh R.<br />

MacDonald<br />

Set in a 1920s<br />

coal-mining town,<br />

Trapper Boy is the<br />

story of 13-year-old<br />

JW Donaldson, a<br />

good student with a<br />

bright future. JW was<br />

looking forward to<br />

summer. But there is<br />

something worrying<br />

his parents. His father’s hours at the mine have<br />

been reduced and they face difficult decisions<br />

[that] will have a[n] unimagined impact on the<br />

young man’s life.<br />

www.facebook.com/hughrmacdonaldauthor<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

Brilliant! Shining<br />

a Light on<br />

Sustainable<br />

Energy<br />

by Michelle Mulder<br />

n upbeat<br />

“Aexploration of the oftencurious<br />

world of<br />

alternative energy...<br />

The book is peppered with exotic photographs,<br />

as well as quick-shooting boxed items, to catch<br />

the attention of busy eyes. A smart, welcoming<br />

introduction to alternative fuels, one that puts the<br />

greater world in readers’ hands.”<br />

—Kirkus Reviews<br />

www.michellemulder.com<br />

Available Amazon and Indiebound.<br />

Animal Andy<br />

by Kathy Sattem<br />

Rygg<br />

Ten-year-old<br />

Andy Ohman<br />

is spending his<br />

summer working<br />

at the Aksarben<br />

City Zoo where his<br />

dad is curator. An<br />

anonymous donor<br />

has given the zoo<br />

an antique animal<br />

carousel, and Andy’s dad is hopeful it will help<br />

boost attendance. When Andy takes it for a spin,<br />

he unlocks the magic that will help save the zoo.<br />

www.smashwords.com/profile/view/<br />

kathyrygg<br />

Available at Amazon.<br />

*<br />

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Authors. Each issue of Middle<br />

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and 62 countries around the<br />

globe. Our introductory ad rate<br />

for this section is $375/quarter<br />

page as seen here.<br />

Contact publisher Margaret Brown<br />

to reserve your space.<br />

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BOOK<br />

I.Q.: The Alamo<br />

by Ronald Smith &<br />

Michael P. Spradlin<br />

About the I.Q.<br />

series: “The<br />

best-developed<br />

character, Boone,<br />

steals the show<br />

as the paternal,<br />

James Bond-loving<br />

intelligence officer<br />

whose crime-solving<br />

dog is a sidekick.<br />

Action lovers will find just enough substance to<br />

keep them coming back for future episodes.”<br />

—School Library Journal<br />

www.rolandsmith.com<br />

Available Barnes and Noble.<br />

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Authors. Each issue of Middle<br />

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and 62 countries around the<br />

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for this section is $375/quarter<br />

page as seen here.<br />

Contact publisher Margaret Brown<br />

to reserve your space.<br />

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com<br />

214.704.4182.<br />

Fatty in the<br />

Back Seat<br />

by Deborah Prum<br />

his page-<br />

“Tturner is<br />

easy to read but<br />

left me thinking<br />

long after I<br />

finished. Anyone<br />

who knows (or has<br />

been) a kid who<br />

struggles—family<br />

issues, school issues, self-esteem issues—will<br />

relate to Fatty. I liked the characters, I liked the<br />

prose, I liked the story.Five stars.”<br />

—Amazon Customer Review<br />

www.deborahprum.com<br />

Available Barnes and Noble.<br />

Mimi Power and the<br />

I-Don’t-Know-What<br />

by Victoria Miles<br />

Artist, animal lover<br />

and would-be<br />

swimming sensation<br />

Mimi Power knows what<br />

it’s like to live under the<br />

tyranny of a three-yearold<br />

sister. But with the<br />

school art show looming<br />

and a prize too-good-to-give-up-on at stake,<br />

Mimi will have to tap into her big-sister-power<br />

and find her own little piece of the sky.<br />

www.magnifico-victoria-miles.blogspot.com<br />

Available Barnes and Noble.

BOOK<br />

Touched by Fire<br />

by Irene N. Watts<br />

“<br />

...Watts provides<br />

a fascinating<br />

account of what the<br />

great unsinkable<br />

ship was like.<br />

The catastrophe<br />

is rendered in a<br />

heartbreakingly<br />

graceful style,<br />

and Lou performs<br />

heroically in shepherding her two little girls to<br />

safety on a lifeboat in this uniquely engaging and<br />

satisfying coming-of-age historical adventure<br />

tale.”<br />

—Starred Review, Booklist<br />

www.irenenwatts.com<br />

Available Barnes and Noble.<br />

My Monster Bubble<br />

Writer Book<br />

by Linda Scott<br />

Monstrously fun<br />

and in time for<br />

Halloween, this is<br />

an activity book that<br />

teached children how<br />

to create spooky<br />

hand lettering. Highly<br />

educational, this is a<br />

book with lessons hidden within fun activities.<br />

Inspiring writing and drawing, My Monster<br />

Bubble Writer Book encourages kids to create<br />

alphabets with attitude.<br />

www.facebook.com/thebubblewriter<br />

Available Amazon and Barnes and Noble.<br />

Lucy at Sea<br />

by Barbara<br />

Mariconda<br />

torms and<br />

“Shigh seas,<br />

a mysterious<br />

house and a more<br />

mysterious ship, a<br />

magical sparkling<br />

cloud that brings<br />

new hope—they<br />

are all here. This<br />

novel is a hymn to<br />

courage, with a tempo that turns the pages, a<br />

rhythm that stirs the spirit.”<br />

—Newbery Honor winner, Gary D. Schmidt<br />

www.barbaramariconda.com<br />

Available at Amazon.<br />

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Authors. Each issue of Middle<br />

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for this section is $375/quarter<br />

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Contact publisher Margaret Brown<br />

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KATE BOURNE is the co-creator of the blog The Book<br />

Monsters. She currently holds a B.A. in English and is<br />

married to her high school sweetheart. Kate previously<br />

blogged at The Neverending Shelf.<br />

BETH BRACKEN is a children’s book editor living in Minneapolis,<br />

Minnesota, with her husband and son. When<br />

she’s not reading, writing, or editing books, Beth spends<br />

most of her time knitting endlessly, watching reruns on<br />

TV, and drinking lots of tea.<br />

JOHN CARTER CASH is the only son of Johnny Cash<br />

and June Carter Cash. John is a singer-songwriter and<br />

record producer. He is the author of his mother’s biography,<br />

Anchored in Love. His first children’s book, Momma<br />

Loves Her Little Son, was published in 2009. Lupus Rex<br />

is his first novel.<br />

NICOLE DE LAS HERAS is an award-winning graphic<br />

designer with Random House, Inc. and has been working<br />

on children’s books for fifteen years. She designs both<br />

covers and interiors for a variety of formats, including picture<br />

books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels.<br />

CHARLES DE LINT’s numerous awards and honors<br />

include the World Fantasy Award, the Canadian SF/Fantasy<br />

Aurora Award, and the White Pine Award. He has written<br />

over 70 books and has been the main book reviewer<br />

for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction since 1987.<br />

RODDY DOYLE is the author of nine novels. He won the<br />

Man Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His<br />

novels have been made into popular films, including The<br />

Commitments and The Snapper.<br />

GILBERT FORD’s toys have won several Oppenheimer<br />

awards, and his illustrations have been recognized by many<br />

prestigious organizations including The Society of Illustrators<br />

Original Art and The Society of Publication Designers.<br />

He has illustrated more than 30 covers and 13 books.<br />

S.P. GATES is a former teacher who once taught in Malawi.<br />

She has authored over one hundred books and has been<br />

commended for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the<br />

Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. She has twice won the<br />

children’s-choice Sheffield Children’s Book Award.<br />

CHARLES GILMAN is the author of The Tales of Lovecraft<br />

Middle School series and the pen name of Jason<br />

cool reads for cool kids.<br />

fall 2013 contributors<br />

Rekulak, an editor who lives in Philadelphia.<br />

CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is an award-winning author, playwright,<br />

screenwriter, and former advertising executive and<br />

improvisational comedian. Winner of two Anthony and<br />

three Agatha Awards, he is also a former writer for Jim<br />

Henson’s Muppets and past president of the New York<br />

Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America.<br />

<strong>MARGARET</strong> <strong>PETERSON</strong> <strong>HADDIX</strong> has written more<br />

than 25 books for kids and teens. Her books have been<br />

honored with New York Times bestseller status; the International<br />

Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award;<br />

American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick<br />

for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and more<br />

than a dozen state readers’ choice awards.<br />

MARILEE HAYNES lives with her husband and three<br />

young children just outside Charlotte, North Carolina.<br />

a.k.a. Genius is her first novel. Its sequel, Genius Under<br />

Construction, comes out in January 2014.<br />

KRISTEN HARVEY, co-creator of the blog The Book<br />

Monsters, is an Elementary School Library Media Specialist<br />

in Chicago. Kristen previously blogged at Bookworming<br />

in the 21st Century.<br />

JENNIFER GOOCH HUMMER received her B.A. in English<br />

from Kenyon College. She lives in Los Angeles and<br />

Maine with her husband, their three daughters, and their<br />

dog, Apple. Girl Unmoored is her first novel.<br />

KAZU KIBUISHI is the creator of Amulet, the awardwinning<br />

New York Times bestselling graphic novel series,<br />

and the editor and art director of eight volumes of Flight,<br />

the influential Eisner-nominated anthology series. He lives<br />

in Alhambra, California.<br />

LORIS LESYNSKI’s first book, Boy Soup, was published<br />

in 1996 and became an instant success. Twelve books<br />

later, Loris has become known as one of the most inventive,<br />

humorous and talented poets for young people in<br />

North America. She lives in Toronto.<br />

ANN MARIE MEYERS grew up in Trinidad and Tobago<br />

and graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University,<br />

Halifax, Nova Scotia. She later worked at the Trinidad and<br />

Tobago Tourist Board and later at the United Nations. She<br />

went on to become a freelance translator.

DONNA JO NAPOLI is both a linguist and a writer of children’s<br />

and YA fiction. She holds a BA in mathematics and<br />

a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures, both from<br />

Harvard University. She also studied at MIT. She has since<br />

taught linguistics at several distinguished universities.<br />

KATIE QUIRK wrote the middle-grade novel A Girl Called<br />

Problem after living and teaching in Tanzania. She currently<br />

lives in Maine and is working on a book about raising<br />

her son in India.<br />

GERRY RASMUSSEN is an internationally syndicated<br />

cartoonist who draws the comic strip Betty. Gerry’s first<br />

book, Crazy About Soccer!, paired his talents with those<br />

of poet, Loris Lesynski. Following in the footsteps of that<br />

success is Crazy About Basketball!<br />

KATHERINE ROY is an author and artist living in New<br />

York City. The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned<br />

Man’s Canyon is the first novel she has illustrated.<br />

JOHN STANLEY and his wife, both lawyers, hope their<br />

twin boys will grow up to be explorers or scientists or historians<br />

or teachers but will still love them if they become<br />

lawyers, too. This is his first book. He lives in Durham, N.C.<br />

COURTNEY STEINMEL is the author of All the Things<br />

You Are, Sincerely, Positively, and My So-Called Family.<br />

She graduated with honors from Barnard College and<br />

attended Fordham University School of Law.<br />

MARK TATULLI is an internationally syndicated cartoonist<br />

best known for his popular comic strip Heart of the City<br />

and Lio. Tatulli is also an accomplished filmmaker and animator,<br />

and the recipient of three Emmy Awards.<br />

S.S. TAYLOR has a strong interest in books of all kinds,<br />

expeditions, old libraries, mysterious situations, longhidden<br />

secrets, missing explorers, and traveling to known<br />

and unknown places. The Expeditioners and the Treasure<br />

of Drowned Man’s Canyon is her first novel.<br />

PEGGY TIERNEY founded Tanglewood Publishing in 2003.<br />

She has been a children’s book editor and publisher in the<br />

UK and in the US since 1995. She has a degree in comparative<br />

literature from the American University of Paris.<br />

SHIRLEY REVA VERNICK’s writing has appeared in many<br />

national publications. She also runs a popular storytell-<br />

fall 2013 contributors<br />

ing website, storybee.org. Her first novel, The Blood Lie,<br />

was the recipient of several awards, including the Simon<br />

Wiesenthal Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award.<br />

VIIIZ, Vahram Muratyan and Elodie Chaillous are founders<br />

of ViiiZ, an art direction and graphic design studio created<br />

in 2005 in Paris. They graduated from the acclaimed<br />

Parisian design school ESAG-Penninghen. They are the<br />

authors of Fill in the Blank (Quirk Books, 2012).<br />

MCKENZIE WAGNER, Twelve-year-old McKenzie Wagner<br />

wrote her first book, The Magic Meadow and the Golden<br />

Locket, at the early age of seven, and wrote her second book,<br />

The Blue Lagoon and the Magic Coin, shortly thereafter. The<br />

Benotripia series are McKenzie’s first published novels.<br />

HILARY WAGNER is the founder of the blog Project<br />

Mayhem. Her first novel, Nightshade City debuted in 2010.<br />

The White Assassin released in 2011, and her latest book,<br />

Kings of Trillium, comes out this year. She also writes for<br />

National Geographic School Publishing.<br />

STEVE WESTOVER graduated from Brigham Young University<br />

with a BA in Political Science, and currently works<br />

in banking. Steve is the author of the Crater Lake series<br />

and has also published two FBI thrillers: Defensive Tactics<br />

and Gold Clash.<br />

A.B. WESTRICK has been a teacher, paralegal, literacy<br />

volunteer, administrator, and coach with Odyssey of the<br />

Mind and Reading Olympics. A graduate of Stanford<br />

University and Yale Divinity School, she received an MFA<br />

from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2011.<br />

DORINE WHITE is the founder of the blog The Write Path. She<br />

earned a BA in Humanities from Brigham Young University.<br />

She lives in Washington state with her husband and six children.<br />

Cleopatra’s Legacy: The Emerald Ring is her first novel.<br />

ELISABETH WOLF, Lulu in La La Land is Elisabeth’s first<br />

book. Lulu in Honolulu comes out in 2014. Before writing the<br />

Lulu series, Elisabeth worked in media and government. She’s<br />

a graduate of Smith College and Stanford’s School of Education.<br />

She was a Fellow with the National Coro Foundation.<br />

Middle Shelf is published bimonthly by Shelf Media Group<br />

LLC, 3322 Greenview Drive, Garland, TX 75044. Copyright<br />

2013 by Shelf Media Group LLC. Subscriptions are FREE,<br />

go to www.shelfmediagroup.com to subscribe.<br />

cool reads for cool kids.

60<br />

“<br />


Two people are<br />

lost when a soul<br />

jumps—the jumper<br />

and the person<br />

whose body we enter.<br />

P R E M I E R E I S S U E : F A L L 2 0 1 3<br />

”<br />

— from Iris Brave: Soul Jumpers, Book I by Ali B.

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