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Posts Tagged ‘middle-grade’

  1. Hijinks Abound in THE LAST BOY AT ST. EDITH’S

    March 16, 2016 by Kiersi

    The Last Boy at St. Edith's by Lee Gjertsen Malone

    Title: THE LAST BOY AT ST. EDITH’S

    Author: Lee Gjertsen Malone

    Category & Genre: Middle-grade Contemporary

    Publish Date: Out now!

    Blurb: Jeremy is the last boy remaining at an all-girls school.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    To me, one of the greatest struggles faced by children’s fiction is the limiting dichotomy of “boy books” versus “girl books.” Especially in the middle-grade sphere, this strict gender exclusivity—most noticeably on the matter of boys being rarely asked or required to read narratives told by girl characters—leaves out a whole slew of important perspectives to younger readers. When our media is dominated by male stories featuring token female characters, the female perspective becomes, naturally, tokenized; and by extension, rendered unimportant. (more…)


  2. Eagar’s powerful debut, HOUR OF THE BEES

    March 8, 2016 by Kiersi

    Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

    Title: THE HOUR OF THE BEES

    Author: Lindsay Eagar

    Category & Genre: Middle-grade Magical Realism

    Publish date: March 8, 2016

    Blurb: Carol has to spend her summer on her grandfather’s ranch—when strange things start happening.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    Carolina didn’t know quite what she was getting into when she went with her parents, sister, and brother down to her Grandpa Serge’s sheep ranch. Carol’s skipping out on a whole summer full of having fun with her friends just to help her parents clean out the house, and move the obstinate Serge into a home. Worse, her dad—who spent the last twelve years estranged from his own father—is putting the place up for sale against Grandpa Serge’s will. (more…)


  3. Maschari’s REMARKABLE JOURNEY is a triumph

    February 23, 2016 by Kiersi

    The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price

    Title: THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE

    Author: Jennifer Maschari

    Genre: Fantasy Middle-grade

    Publish date: Febrary 23, 2016

    Blurb: After the death of their mother, Charlie and his sister Imogen discover a secret world where Mom is still alive.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    Review:

    I received an ARC of this beautiful little novel in exchange for an honest review, and it is my absolute pleasure to extoll all its many virtues.

    In some ways, CHARLIE PRICE is about grief and mourning. In some ways, it’s about bravery and adventure. And in some ways, it’s about denial, hope, and redemption—and the resilience of the human heart in the face of all of it. Tackling these subjects in the middle-grade sphere can be a challenge, but Maschari writes with incredible wit, humor, and kindness. (more…)


  4. Come with tissues for PAPER WISHES

    January 5, 2016 by Kiersi

    Cover of PAPER WISHES

    Title: PAPER WISHES

    Author: Lois Sepahban

    Genre: Historical Middle-grade

    Publish date: January 5, 2016

    Blurb: A moving debut novel about a girl whose family is relocated to a Japanese internment camp during World War II–and the dog she has to leave behind.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    Review:

    I had the immense privilege of reading an ARC of PAPER WISHES in exchange for my honest review. But I want to warn you before you pick up this book—which you will, if you know what’s good for you—to have a big pile of tissues ready.

    I don’t make these kinds of statements lightly. Over the course of this wee little novel, I sobbed probably five or six times—big, gulping sobs, the kind that sends big, fat, raindrop-tears streaming down your face like Alice about to drown herself. That kind of sobbing. (more…)


  5. We’ve Got A New Horse Book Series!

    October 3, 2014 by Kiersi

    Kiersi Burkhart riding her horse at 12

    Me at 12 years old, running the poles event at a gymkhana show with my Appaloosa pony, Frosty

    All right, everyone. Do me a favor and, before we go any further, run and get your cowboy hats on. Then shrug on your cowboy boots. And prepare a good old holler: WHOOPAH!

    First: This whole thing came about because of a story I told on Twitter about a horse I loved as a girl. When my friend Amber Keyser heard I’d grown up a cowgirl, she approached me about a possible opportunity for a series of horse books, aimed at the middle-grade age range.

    Then we started dreaming. We dreamed and dreamed and had this really wild Vulcan-esque mind meld, where suddenly the perfect idea came to us.

    And so SECOND CHANCE RANCH was born—a place for troubled kids to find themselves with the help of a horse. The series is set on a cattle ranch in the mountains of my home state, Colorado, and based loosely on a cattle ranch owned by Amber’s relatives (also in Colorado). It draws on a lot of the things we loved about horse books as youngsters ourselves—the child helping the horse, and the horse helping the child; the magic of learning to ride for the first time; and the deep relationships we form with animals.

    Second: Here is the announcement in Publisher’s Marketplace!

    Publisher's Marketplace announcement SECOND CHANCE RANCH

    So, after giving birth to this crazy idea, we handed it over to Amber’s agent, Fiona Kenshole, at Transatlantic Literary Agency.

    And she loved it.

    She asked us to write some sample chapters right away for two of our proposed books in the series. Though we dreamed up this world together, we each took control of one story—my debut in the series will be SHY GIRL AND SHY GUY, and Amber’s PUSHOVER AND PRINCE.

    Third: Since then, I have signed with Fiona as my agent, and I couldn’t be happier! Fiona has done a fantastic job helping us hone our proposal for the series and negotiating our 4-book deal with Andrew Karre at Darby Creek, an imprint of Lerner Books.

    The books are scheduled to release twice a year beginning in Spring 2016. I’m so excited to be working with the folks over at Darby Creek and, of course, my great friend and truly talented co-author Amber!

    (Seriously, you guys don’t even know how awesome this woman is. I am pretty much the luckiest girl on the planet.)

    And that’s it for today, my friends. It’s time for me to go eat some celebratory sushi!


  6. My Writing Process Blog Tour

    May 13, 2014 by Kiersi

    Well, I was tagged in this blog challenge by not one, but two lovely ladies: Amber J. Keyser, my oft-partner-in-crime and a devilishly talented writer, and Lauren Spieller, a recently-agented author and spectacular friend. So, without further ado:

    1. What am I working on?

    For reasons, I am revisiting my middle grade novel, Gryphon. Gryphon is an epic fantasy starring a princess, an orphan, gryphons, and even a dragon. It’s that kind of book!

    I’m also in the trenches plotting a new novel, but I’m not ready to talk about it just yet. However, I can tell you it will be YA (I’m returning to my roots!) and it’ll have a retro 1920s sci-fi feel. The mood of the story really captured me and I’m so psyched to start telling it! (more…)


  7. I Hate Editing

    January 8, 2013 by Kiersi

    I have no idea what this is, but it is awesome

    "Crazy Frog" by moffoys - Who even cares what it is, it is perfect

    There are some superstar authors who don’t hate editing or revising. I spend a lot of my revision time envying them, instead of doing what I’m supposed to be doing, because that’s how I roll. And that’s probably also why I still haven’t finished a revision of my middle-grade book, Gryphon. Because I hate revising.

    I do love writing, though.

    So, over time I’ve been building up my resolve, and packing it together like a mud pie from lots of little shredded pieces of sanity (they fall off now and again, and must be collected in a handmade wicker basket). The following bullet points have occurred to me:

    -Print it all out, to stop the ever-present I must change this word right now, this isn’t right, and now I am so hung up on this one stupid line that I am so frustrated with myself and I wish this had all never happened at all goodbye world. (more…)


  8. The Art of Story Fermentation

    December 21, 2012 by Kiersi

    The moldiest thing I've ever eaten by Jer Thorp

    "The moldiest thing I've ever eaten" by Jer Thorp - flickr

    The Art of Story Fermentation,
    or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Set an Idea Aside

    I’m back from my quest and coming to terms with an uncomfortable realization: the manuscript I had intended to query agents with is just not the one. Now I am slowly accepting the fact that the first manuscript isn’t ready yet. And that’s OK.

    So. Story fermentation. What the heck does that mean, and why am I writing a whole blog post about it?

    I use story fermentation to refer to the process of letting a concept, plot, idea or story just… sit. When you push it to the back of your mind, let it gather some mold and dust, let it age and change and grow as you work on other, more prescient things.

    Another term I’ve come to use a lot lately is the idea pipeline. Let’s say you have a great idea. You wake up, having just had the most incredible dream, and you know it has to become a story. A short story, a manuscript, whatever. You start to work out the characters, the premise, the point A and point B (A referring to where a story begins, and B referring to where you want it to end). Once the idea has fully formed, like some kind of chicken fetus, it breaks from the shell and you give it life on the keyboard. (more…)


  9. Vision Quest 2012: The big city, a new book

    December 13, 2012 by Kiersi

    The epic Golden Gate Bridge. Taken during the Bay Cruise on a peculiarly calm, un-blustery winter day.

    This post has two parts: first, my adventure south to San Francisco, where I met up with some friends and experienced the city for a weekend. Second, an update on the Vision Quest, and other bookly-things. I’ll be reviewing Stephenie Meyer’s The Host tomorrow, so please check back for a review that will probably surprise the hell out of you.

    So, on to part one: I love San Francisco. Not in the way I love Portland (for its culture, art scene, and greenness), and not in the way I love Los Angeles (drivers I actually understand, beautiful people, also Venice Beach). I love San Francisco because it is insane. (more…)


  10. Vision Quest 2012: The Mission

    December 3, 2012 by Kiersi

    Three-way goat fight!

    I leave first thing in the morning tomorrow for my friend’s ranch in northern California. As seen above, there are goats, which I will be herding and milking in exchange for my room and board. I’ll be living in a grounded boat on the property with no internet connection and very little phone service, if any.

    The perfect place to write. (more…)