Children’s and Young Adult Newsletter 8: March 2014


Seventeen-year-old Ryan Poitier Sharpe’s greatest joy is hurling herself out of planes at her parent’s skydive center in the Mojave Desert. With business in bad shape, the family plans a big dive to advertise their airstrip as the perfect home for the X-Games. Desperate to be part of it and willing to do almost anything to prove she’s ready, Ryan pulls off a dangerous stunt for which her father grounds her-in all senses of the word. Angry, defiant, and in need of some excitement, Ryan tries LSD with a group of friends in an abandoned motorhome and ends up in the hospital. After her brush with death, Ryan is not the same girl she once was. Her daring is replaced with caution, excitement with quiet, joy with sadness. Things begin to unravel as her behavior becomes more bizarre and dangerous, and everyone, including Ryan, is at a loss. What really happened that night in the trailer? Will she ever get her life back? Tracy Clark‘s MIRAGE is a riveting young-adult psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the shocking conclusion. Please note, Michael Bourret is the agent on this project.

S. Y. Lee‘s ( illustrations have appeared in Ladybug and Spider magazines, and now she makes her debut as an author/illustrator with MELINDA THE NOT-SO-WICKED WITCH. Melinda is young witch who wants to be wicked, just like her mother, Ursula. There’s just one problem: Melinda’s magic always comes out good! Ursula sends Melinda to a camp for wicked witches where her good magic gets her in trouble time and time again. When the counselors gang up on her at the final awards ceremony, Melinda decides that a little joy and cheer for the rest of the campers wouldn’t be such a bad thing–but will Ursula understand? A charmingly subversive romp about believing in yourself, Melinda the Not-So-Wicked Witch is perfect for little troublemakers all year long. Please note, this project is represented by John Rudolph.

Death is so boring. At least, that’s how Callie Chesterfield finds it, until she discovers an abandoned baby in the creepy old wagon in the woods. Determined to save the infant, she turns to the only person who can help–13-year-old Laney Thornby, who barely survived the same car accident that took Callie’s life three years earlier (and whose mother caused the accident in the first place). Three years after the accident, the two families are still dealing with the repercussions–with Laney’s mother serving jail time for vehicular manslaughter, and the Chesterfields unable to escape from the devastating loss of their only child. Through Laney, Callie finds a way to get her parents to foster the abandoned child, igniting a flicker of hope for her as she sees how the arrival of the newborn changes things in her small town of Rosemary Bluffs, and for her parents. Perhaps, if she can help her parents heal from the other side, she will finally be able to move on to whatever is next. NEWBORN by Kim Smith is a compelling contemporary middle grade debut told from alternating narratives that tackles the emotions between the two main characters as they struggle with guilt and forgiveness – and growing up in two very different places. Please note, Stacey Glick is the agent on this project.

Confident and irrepressible, Ross “the Ginger” of Lady Bird Johnson Elementary cleverly overcomes the dramas and dilemmas of 4th grade with an epic coolness. In the first book of this proposed chapter book series, Ross’s school-aide-mom treks out to the playground with a bee-striped cap for him to wear, and Ross senses a near-total loss of swag. So begins his quest to survive his friends’ jokes and taunts in order to be a hit with his science presentation at the Fall Festival. The school may be bee-hat-a-buzzing, but the boy with the red hair knows how to own his awesome and has a plan to get the whole festival a-rockin’. A Ferris Bueller for chapter book readers, THE GINGER AVENGER IN…HOW MY MOM BUSTED MY SWAG by Jill S. Alexander has enough charm and moxie to go sneaker-to-sneaker with Judy Moody. Please note, Michael Bourret is the agent on this project.

It’s the hottest summer of Evangeline’s life and she feels like her future has stalled. While her best friend Leona is having fun in college, nature-loving, sensitive Evie is stuck working to pay for art school, dreaming of getting out of the concrete SoCal valley. She spends her free time taking care of her little brother Ronnie ever since her mother left and her failed-musician father checked-out of parenting responsibility. Then Evie meets charismatic, artistic Jane at a party with Leona, and sees in her the enthusiasm for life that she’s been missing. After a fight with her dad, she takes off with Jane and Leona on a road trip to Portland, eager for some fun and adventure. But on the way, Evie discovers cracks in the protective shell she’s built up since her mom left, and learns that Jane has even deeper cracks in hers–a revelation that forces Evie to face the dilemma of how to balance the need for freedom with responsibility, and lends her a new perspective on her family life and dreams for the future. And once the girls are in Portland, a surprise reunion causes Evie to question all she thought she knew. Evangelineby Simone Snaith is a classic road trip novel that explores the limits of friendship and the unbreakable bonds of family. Please note, Michael Bourret is the agent on this project.