Here we go…

…into a bright new year. MOONPENNY ISLAND publishes in one month, two days (not that anyone is counting) and I’m tickled at some of the company it will keep. Here are three more middle grade novels I’m really looking forward to this winter/spring.

A debut that promises to be both hilarious and unique:

And the final books in two series about sisters, one of my own favorite topics. Very different from one another, both superb:


Another book that came out at the very end of last year and that I’m now enjoying immensely is

It’s written for younger writers, but brims with observations and advice for all of us.  A typically pithy bit, on how to write an effective villain:  “If our villain hates the world with one exception, our main character, the reader will discount the world.”

And I’m finally getting the chance to dip into this treasure box:

I could spend forever quoting the little-known fun facts these guys have turned up, including how Sendak’s illustrations for an edition of “The Hobbit” were nixed by Tolkein himself, how in order to do the illustrations for “Make Way for Ducklings”  McCloskey  kept 16 ducks in his Greenwich Village apartment and fed them red wine so they’d be easier to sketch, and the possibility that Pa of “The Little House” books once took part in a vigilante killing. Wild indeed! It’s more than just juicy bits, though–see the chapters on censorship, and publishing BP and AP (before and after Harry Potter).

Onward upward and sideways too!

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