Middle Grade Madness is a panel of amazing authors who write books for ages 9-13. Join us on Zoom on Monday, August 3rd as James Bird, Jess Redman, and Gilbert Ford talk their latest books and more. You must send an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to attend this event.
The Brave by James Bird
Collin can't help himself—he has a unique condition that finds him counting every letter spoken to him. It's a quirk that makes him a prime target for bullies, and a continual frustration to the adults around him, including his father. When Collin asked to leave yet another school, his dad decides to send him to live in Minnesota with the mother he's never met. She is Ojibwe, and lives on a reservation. Collin arrives in Duluth with his loyal dog, Seven, and quickly finds his mom and his new home to be warm, welcoming, and accepting of his condition. Collin’s quirk is matched by that of his neighbor, Orenda, a girl who lives mostly in her treehouse and believes she is turning into a butterfly. With Orenda’s help, Collin works hard to overcome his challenges. His real test comes when he must step up for his new friend and trust his new family.
About the Author:
James Bird is a screenwriter and director at the independent film company, Zombot Pictures; his films include We Are Boats and Honeyglue. A California native of Ojibwe descent, he now lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts with his wife, the author and actor Adriana Mather, and their son. The Brave is his debut novel.
Quintessance by Jess Redman
Find the Elements. Grow the Light. Save the Starling. Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she’s told her parents that they have. She’s homesick and friendless and every day she feels less and less like herself. But one day she finds a telescope in the town’s junk shop, and through its lens, she watches a star—a star that looks like a child—fall from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and she knows that it’s up to her to save the star. And so, with the help of some unlikely new friends from Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of science, a little bit of magic, and her whole self.
About the Author:
Jess Redman is a therapist and psychology teacher. She currently lives in Florida with her husband, two young children, and an old cat named Soul Pie. The Miraculous is her debut novel.
The Mysterious Messenger by Gilbert Ford
Eleven-year-old Maria de la Cruz is trapped under the thumb of Madame Destine, her pseudo-psychic mother. Destine is a bona fide con artist who will stop at nothing to swindle her customers into believing she can communicate with the dead. But Maria, unlike her mother, has a big secret—she really can communicate with the dead, most frequently with a ghost named Edward who has been her only friend since she was a child. It’s not long before this clairvoyant young sleuth gets wrapped up in an epic journey that combines bookish mystery with the literary movement of the Beat poets and art and jazz history. Maria may have the power to unlock extraordinary secrets, but can she find the treasure Edward sends her clues about? More importantly, can she find true friendship?
About the Author:
Gilbert Ford holds a BFA in illustration from Pratt Institute and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author-illustrator of How the Cookie Crumbled and The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring, which is a Best STEM Book of the year, and has illustrated many New York Times-bestselling middle grade jackets, as well as the award-winning picture book Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.