Tag Archive for art theraphy in middle-grade ficiton

SUPER SHORT EXCERPT from SHAKEN, a middle-grade novel coming on September 10th

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some excerpts and background info on my upcoming novel, Shaken

Very briefly, a 7th-grade soccer player suffers a severe concussion that effects her life in profound ways. She gets behind in school, feels stress and anxiety, suffers from panic attacks, and ultimately goes to therapy sessions (including art therapy!) which are depicted in the book. The story is about how Kristy responds to these setbacks, the new friends she makes, the mistakes and the good decisions, too. 

Light breaks through the curtains, bringing with it a sharp pain to her forehead. Kristy imagines a jagged crack running from eyebrow to hairline. She can’t bear to call out her mother’s name. So she waits, eyes squeezed shut, pillow over her face, like an aphid on the underside of a leaf. A black dot of silence. She’ll be better soon. As good as new. Running the field and scoring goals. This is the worst of it. Yes, she tells Megan Rapinoe, who is staring back at Kristy from a soccer poster on the wall, this is the very worst.

Something like the poster I imagine hanging on Kristy’s wall.

 

SHAKEN: Coming in Fall, 2024

If her injury means the end

of what she loves most,

then what’s left?

 

COMING SEPTEMBER 10th!

GREAT NEWS: Four Books Coming in 2024!

 

Four new books? Well, ish.

I’ll explain.

 

COMING APRIL 23rd . . .

BLOOD MOUNTAIN

 

 

Not quite new, but . . . a new cover and new in paperback. Surely that counts for something. Grace and Carter and their dog, Sitka, struggle to survive in a mountain wilderness. Ages 9-up.

A Junior Library Guild Selection!

 

COMING JUNE 25th . . .

SCARY TALES: 3 SPOOKY STORIES IN 1

I’m thrilled about this 300-page collection, which brings together Nightmareland, One Eyed Doll and Swamp Monster in one heart-stopping, fast-paced collection. All for only $8.99. It is literally the deal of the century. Featuring the incredible art of Iacopo Bruno. Ages 8-up.

COMING SEPT. 10th . . .

SHAKEN (Hardcover)

For 7th-grader Kristy Barrett, soccer is life. It has always been at the center of Kristy’s world. Her friendships and self-worth, her dreams and daily activities, all revolve around the sport. Until she suffers from a serious concussion and has to set soccer aside. Kristy begins to experience stress, anxiety, and panic attacks which ultimately bring her to some questionable decisions . . . and the care of a therapist. Ages 10-up.

 

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST . . .

 

COMING IN SEPTEMBER 24th . . .

TWO BIRDS . . . AND A MOOSE!

 

A Level 1 easy-reader featuring an aspirational moose! I’m so happy to have a new book out for the youngest readers. My first at this age level since Wake Me In Spring and Hiccups for Elephant. Ages 3-6.

 

So that’s that.  My year in books. 

 

I’m proud of the range here. A well-reviewed wilderness survival thriller . . . three popular “horror” tales for readers who can’t get enough of heart-pumping, scary stories . . . an ambitious hardcover about a 7th-grade athlete whose life spirals after suffering from post-concussion syndrome . . . and an irrepressible moose who only wants to go up, up, up!

 

It’s not too early to think about school visits in 2024-25!

 

New Book, SHAKEN, Is Coming Along (Fall, 2024)

I’ve been slowly, methodically going through the final edits for SHAKEN, my upcoming middle-grade novel (Macmillan, Fall 2024). The book involves a soccer-obsessed 7th grader, Kristy, who suffers from post-concussion syndrome. It’s a story about identity, anxiety, panic attacks, art therapy, new friendships, making mistakes and, finally, coming true to one’s ever-evolving self. Anyway, it’s a great relief to read through all these words once again, months later, and still feel like, yeah, I like this — I’m proud of it — this is what I hoped to say.

I’m grateful to my editor Liz Szabla and, always, Jean Feiwel, for the opportunity and the steadfast support. True story: I published my first book 38 years ago . . . and Jean was there for that one, too. She’ll never learn. Grades 5-8. 

COMING SOON: Two Birds and a Moose!

SNEAK PEEK: It’s nice to have something coming out for the youngest readers that promotes violence. Ha-ha. I mean, a Looney Tunes-inspired brand of violence. And not much of that, actually. But, yes, here comes a new book.
Thirty years ago I wrote two very successful easy-to-read titles, Wake Me In Spring and Hiccups for Elephant. I still meet people who remember those books fondly. Both sold about 1.5 million copies. Long out of print. Try as I might, I couldn’t get a third one published and eventually gave up, moved in a different direction.
So, yeah, it’s time.
I’m very much looking forward to the arrival this fall of Two Birds and a Moose (Simon & Schuster). It’s part of S & S’s “Ready-to-Read” line, level 1. 
Rough sketch by the talented Abigail Burch.
By the way, I also have a new middle-grade novel coming out at around the same time, Shaken (Macmillan, Fall, 2024). It centers around a 7th-grade girl, Kristy Barrett, who is a soccer player with Division 1 dreams. Early in the book, Kristy suffers a severe concussion with lasting effects. Forced to give up the game she loves, Kristy experiences stress, anxiety, self-doubt, panic attacks  — and eventually goes on to spend time in the care of a therapist. Two therapists, actually. And a couple of new friends. The book is about how Kristy navigates this challenging time in her life. More on that, another day. 
Thanks for stopping by.