Tag Archive for Shaken by James Preller

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.


Megan Rapinoe & My Work In Progress

I imagined this iconic image on a poster in the bedroom of a 13-year-old character, Kristy, who I’ve been writing about for a couple of years.  A middle-grade novel that is 98% done. Working title: Shaken.
Briefly: A soccer-obsessed athlete suffers from a concussion and post-concussion-syndrome. The book includes multiple scenes in a therapist’s office. And chickens, friendship, shoplifting, panic attacks, conflict, sneaking out at night, other stuff.
I think it will be a great book. What can I say?
This is, of course, Megan Rapinoe during the 2019 World Cup. She announced the timing of her retirement today. So much more than just a soccer player.