Summer Release Must Reads - Round Up

 


Fortune Tellers by Lisa Greenwald (May 7, Katherine Tegen Books)
MG | Timeless story | For fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and That’s So Raven

 

What if your fortunes really came true?

 

Once upon a time, Millie, Nora, and Bea were best friends who loved slumber parties, exploring their Manhattan neighborhood, and making fortune tellers with their Magic Markers. Now, in the summer before seventh grade, they haven’t spoken in over a year—thanks to a big fight, the pandemic shutting down their school, and each girl moving away for different reasons. The girls routinely check each other’s social media, but none of them can muster the courage to reach out, even if they might want to.

 

Then their long-ago paper fortune tellers start popping up in the most unexpected places. The fortunes carry some eerily accurate wisdom for each girl: Your future is hidden in your past. Hold on to the memories. Go back to where you started. Could this be the push the girls need to reconnect and reunite? Or is the gap between them too wide to mend?


“Greenwald sensitively captures the social dynamics of middle school, where popularity can take precedence over friendship. Tears and cheers abound in this endearing take on friendship.” — Kirkus Reviews

 

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets That's So Raven in this 90s throwback!



Grace Notes by Naomi Shihab Nye (May 7, Greenwillow Books)

Poetry collection | Ages 10+ | Familial themes

 

With themes of family, love, kindness, empathy, grief, growing up, and resilience, these one hundred never-before-published poems by the beloved poet, speaker, and teacher Naomi Shihab Nye will resonate with a wide audience.

 

National Book Award Finalist and former Young People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye’s Grace Notes: Poems about Families celebrates family and community. This rich collection of one hundred never-before-published poems is also the poet’s most personal work to date. With poems about her own childhood and school years, her parents and grandparents, and the people who have touched and shaped her life in so many ways, this is an emotional and sparkling collection to savor, share, and read again and again.


  • Gift package–perfect for gifts for any occasion but especially Mother’s Day!
  • Naomi is a beloved author and poet, and an immensely popular and sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally.
  • Crossover appeal for kids and adults!
  • This is a tribute to her mother, who died in 2021, and explores the mother/daughter relationship.



True Love and Other Impossible Odds by Christina Li (May 14, Quill Tree Books)

YA | Sapphic | AAPI

 

College freshman Grace Tang never meant to rewrite the rules of love. She came to college to move on from a grief-stricken senior year and to start anew. So she follows a predictable routine: Attend class, study, go home and visit her dad every weekend. She doesn’t leave any room in her life for outliers or anomalies.

 

Then, Grace comes up with an algorithm for her statistics class to pair students with their perfect romantic partners. Though some people are skeptical, like Julia, Grace’s prickly coworker, Grace is confident that her program will take all the drama out of relationships. That’s why she keeps trying to make things work with her match, a guy named Jamie. But as the semester goes on and she grows closer to Julia, Grace starts to question who she’s really attracted to.

 

In award-winning author Christina Li’s YA debut, Grace will have to make a choice between the tidy equations she knows will protect her from heartbreak or the possibility that true love doesn’t follow any formula.


An incredible roster of author praise includes:

“A reminder that love and joy can be found in the most unexpected places, and that there is no pain or tragedy that precludes us from finding our way to the happy ending.” —Sonora Reyes, National Book Award finalist and bestselling author of The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School

 

"Every now and then you read a book that you know will stay with you for a long time. True Love and Other Impossible Odds is one of those books. Honest, raw, and breathtakingly real." —Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick, New York Times bestselling authors of She Gets the Girl 

 

"The blueprint for contemporary coming-of-age. True Love and Other Impossible Odds navigates the complex, beautiful time of burgeoning adulthood, where imperfect understandings of love inspire the greatest plunge toward growth."  —Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights



The Only Light Left Burning by Erik J. Brown (May 28, Balzer + Bray)

YA | Postapocalyptic | For fans of Heartstopper and They Both Die at the End

 

After a long and treacherous journey south, Andrew and Jamie have finally found safety in the Florida Keys. But they soon learn that safety doesn't always mean happily ever after.

Settling into life in the Islamorada colony with other survivors of the bug, Andrew believes they've finally found themselves a home, even a family. But anxious Jamie is less comfortable in their new community and is eager to return north to keep the promise they made to their friend Henri—to bring her to the colony and reunite her with her daughter. Besides, would it really be so bad to find someplace just for the two of them?

 

When a hurricane and a shocking betrayal force them to leave the colony in search of new shelter, it brings their tensions to a head—and puts them in the path of some old enemies. Andrew and Jamie must set aside their differences to survive once more and find a new home. But what if "home" means different things to each of them?


*An LGBTQ Reads Most Anticipated Pick!

  • A SEQUEL FULL OF WIT AND HUMOR: Though the premise is harrowing, this story is smart, absorbing, and funny. Readers can't help but be charmed by Andrew and Jamie’s banter even as they root for them to survive, and the compulsive readability of the first book has made Erik a breakout debut, appealing to fans of Adam Silvera and Alex London.
  • BESTSELLING COMPS: This series is best described as What If It's Us meets the apocalypse—two teen boys find unexpected romance after a deadly pathogen wipes out most of the world population—and Jamie and Andrew’s sweet, banter-y chemistry calls to mind a teen version of Patrick and David from Schitt’s Creek.
  • HOPING FOR A HAPPILY EVER AFTER: In All That's Left in the World, readers fell head over heels for Andrew's wry humor and Jamie's gentle heart and affinity for made-for-TV romances. But while the two found safety—and each other—now they must face new dangers...including tension in their growing relationship. Readers will be on the edges of their seats wondering if Jamie and Andrew will finally find their happily ever after. Perfect for fans of Heartstopper!
  • AN AUTHOR ON THE RISE: Erik J. Brown's debut, All That's Left in the World, earned a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, a spot on the Waterstones Children's Book Prize shortlist, and an incredibly enthusiastic—and growing!—readership.




One Killer Problem by Justine Pucella Winans (June 4, HarperTeen)

Campy YA | Mystery/thriller | For fans of Only Murders in the Building

 

When Gianna “Gigi” Ricci lands in detention again, she doesn’t expect the glorified study hall to be her alibi.

 

But when she and her friends receive a mysterious email directing them to her favorite teacher, Mr. Ford’s room, they find him lying in a pool of blood. But calling the math teacher’s death an accident doesn’t add up, and Gigi needs all the help she can get to find the truth. Luckily, she’s friends with her high school’s “mystery club,” and so with her best friend, Sean, and longtime crush, Mari, Gigi sets out to solve a murder. But it turns out, murderers are extremely unwilling to be caught, and the deeper Gigi gets in this mystery, the more dangerous things become. Between fending off a murderer, continual flare-ups of her IBS, and her archnemesis turning flirtatious . . . making it out of junior year is going to be one killer problem.

 

With a wry, hilarious voice and a main character who is the walking definition of a disaster bi, this book is an ode to cozy mysteries, queer found families, and fighting for the people you love, no matter what. 


An incredible roster of author praise includes:

One Killer Problem is a fun, endearing, and delightfully quirky murder mystery, with a sleuth whose hilarious voice leaps off the page and fantastic IBS representation that will make kids living with chronic stomach pain feel SEEN.” — Diana Urban, award-winning author of All Your Twisted Secrets

“Punny, thrilling, and oh so charming, One Killer Problem weaves suspense and queer feels into a heart-pounding, laugh-out-loud mystery that proves why Justine Pucella Winans is a must-read name for all queer YA fans.” — Emery Lee, award-winning author of Meet Cute Diary

“Voicey and immersive, this witty, fast-paced YA mystery was a one-sitting read. With its cast of lovable, well-rounded characters and emotionally charged mystery, it kept the pages turning long into the night.” — Wendy Heard, author of She's too Pretty to Burn and We'll Never Tell

“This book slays—an emotionally complex and queer cast, an edgy murder, and loads of campy banter. Winans has once again cunningly crafted a laugh-out-loud mystery.” — Page Powars, author of The Borrow a Boyfriend Club

“My lawyers will be in touch with Justine Pucella Winans for the damages caused by this book. My abs hurt from laughing, my throat hurts from screaming, and my heart hurts from melting. None of this is okay. Five stars.” — Sonora Reyes, National Book Award Finalist and bestselling author of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School



Keep It Like a Secret - Book Blog Tour!

 




As someone who did NOT grow up with siblings, but has two kiddos, this was very eye opening in how important those relationships truly are. I have always assumed just because my husband has a sister and I see how strong their bond is. With kids though, giving them that time to build that relationship is so important, and we saw that with Morgan and Claire. 
This story is definite Ms. Bixby's Last Day vibes if you know what I'm saying.. the emotion was heavy and relatable. The hardest part would be justifying Claire's behavior, but those of us who have been teenagers, most of us know what it is to rebel. Claire's character arc is a great study in the classroom to truly analyze the depth of her emotions, but also how Morgan, being 12, reacts. 
Overall, it would be a great addition to any middle grade classroom, even a book study to dive in to Morgan and Claire and even their mother's behavior, how the setting affects their behaviors, and the overall plot development. 
Bring some tissues. Anderson always knows how to get in your feelings and write for kids. 



About Keep It Like a Secret by John David Anderson

 

From the first moment Morgan can remember, Claire has always been there. Big sister and little brother. Cat and Mouse. They’ve always understood each other, saved each other, seen each other. And they stuck to their own personal code, unwritten but understood, that siblings were inseparable, that they had each other’s backs, no matter what.

 

At least, they used to.

 

Somewhere along the line, things between them shifted. Claire started fighting more with Mom, storming out of the house, spending more and more time away, and Morgan felt his sister and best friend slipping away. Now he spends nearly every night sitting awake in his room, waiting for the sound of her key in the lock.

 

It’s a sound he hasn’t heard in nearly a week, ever since her and Mom’s worst fight ever. So when Claire finally calls and tells Morgan she wants to spend the day together, just the two of them, he knows this might be his only chance—not just to convince her to come home, but to remind her how good things used to be, and could be again.

 

But Claire has her own plan for the day. One that will mean that, no matter what happens, things between them are going to change forever.



About the Author

 

John David Anderson is the author of more than a dozen beloved and bestselling books for kids, including the New York Times Notable Book Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, Posted, One Last Shot, Stowaway, Riley’s Ghost, and many more. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his ever-patient wife and two ornery cats, MJ and Parker, in Indianapolis, IN. You can visit him online at johndavidanderson.org.


14-May

Nerdy Book Club

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16-May

Teachers Who Read

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17-May

Lit Coach Lou

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20-May

Maria's Mélange

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21-May

A Library Mama

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22-May

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

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26-May

Bluestocking Thinking

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Harriet Tells the Truth Blog Tour!

Click to purchase! 


 

HARRIET TELLS THE TRUTH marks the third and final title in the funny and heartwarming middle grade series by Elana K. Arnold that began with JUST HARRIETand continued with HARRIET SPIESWith this title, readers will return once more to world of Marble Island and its quirky cast of characters. 

 

Here is a description of HARRIET TELLS THE TRUTH.

 

There are some things you should know about Harriet Wermer:

  • She used to lie a lot, but not anymore.
  • Seriously, she only tells the truth now.
  • Even though she hadn’t wanted to come to Marble Island in the first place, now she

doesn’t want to leave.

 

It’s the truth. With her mom and new baby brother home from the hospital, it’s almost

time for Harriet to pack up and head home from Marble Island and all the friends she’s made.

But Harriet doesn’t have time to think about that—not when she discovers that Moneypenny,

her Nanu’s adorable basset hound, has been poisoned!

 

Harriet suspects the culprit is one of the guests staying at Nanu’s bed-and-breakfast, and she

and her best friend, Clarence, are once again on the case. But when someone else falls ill,

Harriet’s going to have to sleuth harder, spy sneakier, and be willing to see that sometimes

the truth is more complicated than it seems.



 

 


Elana K. Arnold is the award-winning author of many books for children and teens including Just Harriet, Harriet Spies, The House that Wasn’t There, Sydney Taylor Book Award winner The Blood Years, Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls are Made Of, and the Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat and its sequels. She is a member of the faculty at Hamline University’s MFA in writing for children and young adults program, and lives in Long Beach, CA, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. You can find her online at www.elanakarnold.com

 

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

 

Dung (pronounced Dzung) Ho was born and raised in Hue citadel, Vietnam, where she studied graphic design at the Arts University. She is the New York Times-bestselling illustrator of many

books for children, including Joanna Ho’s Eyes That Kiss in the Corners and Laura Ruby’s Me and Ms. Too. She finds inspiration in nature: the beauty of plants, flowers, and leaves. She also

loves to draw interesting characters with unique personalities. She now lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. When she’s not drawing, she loves spending time cooking (eating), watching movies,

and tending her plants. Visit her at www.behance.net/hanhdungor follow her on Instagram @dunghanhho.

 

BLOG TOUR STOPS

 

January 31 Nerdy Book Club @nerdybookclub

February 2 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers @grgenius

February 5 Bluestocking Thinking @bluesockgirl

February 6 Teachers Who Read @teachers_read

February 7 Maria's Melange@mariaselke






"I am a sucker for shorter middle grade chapter books. There's something about that transition period for kids that is so beautiful to watch. What I have specifically loved about Harriet is that it's a series and kids can continue the journey and fall in love with the idea of being immersed into another place, which Elana makes so easy with Harriet. When I was younger, I grew up playing "detective" in our little neighborhood. It was one of those neighborhoods where everyone knew everyone (including all of their business) and because I was always playing outside, I could explore the whole neighborhood and eyes were watching me all the time to keep me safe. I made up stories' day in and day out with random trash I would find, new people at a house, new cars, new landscaping - all of the things I turned into a crime I needed to solve. When I read Harriet I am immediately transported back to being 8/9 years old and being Harriet. It's funny because I also remember exaggerating my stories, and lying. Much like Harriet has been in trouble of before. Harriet allows students to use their imagination. To read someone else using their imagination. It's so lost on so many kids anymore, and I love that there are stories out there showcasing how important it is to use your brain and be imaginative. Harriet is a character that will stay with students long after they leave her world. We all could use a little Harriet within us." 




Not Quite a Ghost - Anne Ursu Book Tour

 



BULLET BOOK REVIEW


  • paranormal
  • spooky
  • medical misdiagnosis
  • family dynamics
  • friendship
  • relatable 
IN THE CLASSROOM: 

 As a read aloud you could deep dive into the evolution of Violet from start to finish. Analyze the plot development. Make deep inferences of theme and deeper meaning. Connections for students either personal, life, or another story they might be able to reference. Highly recommend for middle grade AND middle school. 



ABOUT THE BOOK

 

The house seemed to sit apart from the others on Katydid Street, silent and alone, like it didn’t fit among them. For Violet Hart — whose family is about to move into the house on Katydid Street — very little felt like it fit anymore. Like their old home, suddenly too small since her mother remarried and the new baby arrived. Or Violet’s group of friends, which, since they started middle school, isn’t enough for Violet’s best friend, Paige. Everything seemed to be changing at once. But sometimes, Violet tells herself, change is okay. 

 

That is, until Violet sees her new room. The attic bedroom in their new house is shadowy, creaky, and wrapped in old yellow wallpaper covered with a faded tangle of twisting vines and sickly flowers. And then, after moving in, Violet falls ill — and does not get better. As days turn into weeks without any improvement, her family growing more confused and her friends wondering if she’s really sick at all, she finds herself spending more time alone in the room with the yellow wallpaper, the shadows moving in the corners, wrapping themselves around her at night.

 

And soon, Violet starts to suspect that she might not be alone in the room at all.


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anne Ursu is the author of acclaimed novels The Troubled Girls of Dragomir AcademyThe Lost GirlBreadcrumbs, and The Real Boy, among others. Her work has been selected as a National Book Award nominee, a Kirkus Prize finalist, and as a best book of the year by Parents MagazinePublishers Weekly, Amazon.com, and School Library Journal. She lives in Minneapolis with her family and an unruly herd of cats. Find Anne online at anneursu.com.

 

BLOG TOUR STOPS

 

January 16 Nerdy Book Club @nerdybookclub

January 17 A Library Mama (@librarymama)

January 18 Charlotte's Library (@charlotteslibrary)

January 21 Teachers Who Read (@teachers_read)

January 22 Bluestocking Thinking (@bluesockgirl)

    ReadWonder (@patrickontwit)

January 23 A Foodie Bibliophile In Wanderlust (@bethshaum)

January 25 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers (@grgenius)

Rock, Scissors, Paperbag blog tour!!

$9.99 on Amazon! Click to purchase! 

Rock, Scissors, Paperbag by Elizabeth Godley 

Rock, Scissors, and Paperbag are the bestest of friends! Paperbag is afraid of everything, Rock is a talented musician, and Scissors is an excellent Orange Ball player. After the school bullies, The Bucket Kids, steal Scissors’ fake orange-ball, the kids decide to get back at the bullies. What if they could get a real orange-ball from The Great Orange Tree? That would show The Bucket Kids!

Recalling the local legend, they embark on a fantastic adventure to find The Great Orange Tree. However, while solving the riddle within the ancient map, they encounter a cave monster, a tornado of rapping cooties, and the horrid Land of Smells. How will they face each challenge? Will they end up back home with a
 real
 orange-ball? And if they do, will they share it?

Throughout their adventure, Rock gains confidence, Paperbag conquers his fears, and Scissors makes peace with being imperfect. Best Buds!


Winner of the 2023 International Firebird Book Award, 
Rock, Scissors, Paperbag is a spellbinding tale of friendship, fantasy, and adventure. A perfect book to be shared and treasured.


Y'all this is seriously the cutest story! I love how creative Elizabeth was in her storytelling. The character growth is something that kids everywhere will be able to relate to and honestly probably feel more comfortable discussing as a group considering it is inanimate objects having these feelings/experiences. The perfect chapter book to cross off from early readers into middle grade! You won't want to miss this. 




   Elizabeth Godley is an award-winning children’s writer, originally from Louisiana. She writes to bring joy to children's lives, ensuring they feel connected and supported. She has traveled all over the world and loves learning about other cultures. Her favorite places are Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Florence, Italy. She has toured Italy as a clown, portraying her self-created character Nimrod, who is a lot like Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp. Previously, she worked as Starbelle, a face-painting fairy-friend to children. Currently, she resides in Los Angeles, CA, where she teaches elementary math, works as a voice over artist, and writes. She dreams of touring internationally, reading to children all over the world. Find out more about her books at www.nobodysbananapublishing.com



 






 

Elly Swartz Interview - Hidden Truths

 

Praise for Hidden Truths

 "A warm testament to the healing power of mutual respect—and doughnuts."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 "Swartz’s latest is realistic fiction at its best."—SLJ, starred review

Great things happen when you preorder HIDDEN TRUTHS!

You can win a free virtual visit with me! All you have to do is: 

♥ Pre-order a copy (oh, please pre-order a copy : )  

♥ Send proof to hiddentruthspreorder@gmail.com  

Easy Peasy. Once you do that, you’ll be entered to win the free virtual visit with me. 

If you want a personalized, signed copy, order from either of my amazing, local independent bookstores:  

♥ Eight Cousins  

♥ Wellesley Books  





Q: Welcome to TWR! We are so excited to share about your upcoming release, Hidden Truths, with kids everywhere! Can you start by telling us a little background about yourself?

A: Hi, my friends. And huge thanks for having on TWR! I love your blog. 


So, a bit about me. I grew up in Yardley, a small town in Pennsylvania. At the time, there were many cornfields and cows. Boredom was a popular sport. I lived in a red, brick house on Queens Drive with my mom, dad, two older brothers who picked on her regularly as a kid (less so as a grown-up) and dogs (first Missy and later Sam). My childhood was a happy one with many laughs, family dinners and crooked birthday cakes.

I love writing for children but didn’t take a direct path to this career. I studied psychology at Boston University and got my law degree at Georgetown University School of Law. I was a ride operator at Sesame Place, spent time working in a furniture store, was a messenger, law library assistant, legal author, litigator, legal research and writing professor and college essay adviser.

Bazooka Joe

Not long after I began writing, I got the first sign that, indeed, this was the right path for me. I opened a piece of Bazooka Joe gum and wrapped around the sugary, pink delight was a fortune that read, “You have the ability to become outstanding in literature.”

I keep this fortune tacked to the bulletin board next to my desk. It reminds me of luck, hope, perseverance, and joy—the feeling I get every time I hear from a reader.


Q: Tell us about your upcoming book.

A: Hidden Truths is about Danielle (Dani) and Eric who are neighbors and best friends navigating the challenges of middle school, mean girls, social media fame, bullying, and crushes. Not to mention, a rift in their own friendship. Written in dual points of view, the reader gets to hear from both Dani and Eric as they each tell their side.

Dani is strong, empowered and knows exactly what she wants—to be the first girl on the all-boys’ baseball team. She’s tired of hearing, “Blah, blah, blah, you’re good for a girl.”

Eric is loyal and goofy, loves crossword puzzles and Iron Man, and has ADHD. Unlike Dani, he has no idea what he wants, but is totally okay doing lots of different things.

They share a love of donuts and hotdogs and superheroes.

Until an accident happens on their annual camping trip. Dani’s injured and her dream is sidelined. Eric fears it’s all his fault. 

Lies are told, secrets are kept, promises are made.

Dani drifts away from Eric, and in the end, learns it isn’t what you do that matters, but who you are. 

Eric, defying expectations, takes on a big company to keep his promise to Dani and fight for what he thinks is right. He learns what others see as a weakness in him, is really his superpower. 

Both stories come together to breakdown stereotypes and explore issues of guilt and the healing power of forgiveness.

So, the real question is are you #TeamEric or #TeamDani?


Q: Did any of your own life experiences become a muse for Hidden Truths? 

A: There were several aspects of my life that informed this story. The first is the bullying that Eric experienced. This stemmed, in part, from a personal bullying experience I had in 7th grade. There were mean things written on a bathroom stall, threats, shoulder bumps in the hallway, and mean looks. Truth is that even today when I think about those moments, I’m back to being 12 and feeling scared. I think there are times in life that stick to you and for me, that was one of them. I often wonder about this person and what was going on in her life that made her behave that way. Like with Leo in Hidden Truths, there is always something we don’t see. 


This is me at 12.


A child with long hair smiling

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The second aspect was Eric’s ADHD. There is someone in my life that I love who has ADHD. While I saw them struggle in the traditional school setting, I also saw them shine in ways that I found truly amazing. They viewed the world in a beautifully curious manner, did the deep dive into things they loved, and solved problems in the most creative ways. Just like Eric. I wanted this person to see what I saw – that this was their superpower. 


There are many moments in the story that I relate to. But another aspect I connect with is the idea of having forever people in your life – loving them, fighting for them, and forgiving them.

Q; What makes this book a perfect fit for middle grade classrooms? 

A: Everything! I love this question because I truly feel Hidden Truths addresses so many aspects of a middle schooler’s life: changing friendships, social media fame, peer pressure, first crushes, bullying, identity, honesty, forgiveness, and making a difference in the world. And because this story is written from dual points of view, I feel there is something or someone for every reader to connect with.

Q; What are some challenges you faced during your writing process? 

A: Ha! This book took me 22 years to write! I would say that was the biggest challenge. But some stories you can never walk away from. And this was one of them.


I’m so proud of this story. And that I stayed with it for all those years. Recently, I was honored to learn that Hidden Truths has received 2 starred reviews! A first for me. When I learned about the stars, there were many happy tears! And a full heart!!


 "A warm testament to the healing power of mutual respect—and doughnuts."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 "Swartz’s latest is realistic fiction at its best."—SLJ, starred review



Q; Was there anything different about writing Hidden Truths versus your other titles

A: This was the first story I wrote with dual points of view. And I loved sharing both Eric and Dani’s stories, their hearts, and experiences. I think kids—or maybe people of all ages—often believe their experience is the only way to process a particular event. What they don’t realize is that there are many ways to experience something. There is never just one way. 


Each person brings their own life moments and emotions to a particular event. That changes how that event impacts them. My hope is that Dani and Eric’s journeys will help readers see this. Understand that no one’s experience is THE experience or THE right way. It is just theirs. And I hope that readers can honor that. Respect the differences. See past their own way of processing something to understand, empathize, and connect with another.


Q; What is the biggest takeaway you want kids to get from your story.

A: From Hidden Truths, I want readers to know that they are more than the way the world defines them. They are not one thing. Dani’s not just baseball and Eric’s not just forgetful. They are each a blend of the wonderfully imperfect traits that make them unique and special. 


I want them to know the power of forgiveness. It is harder to stay mad than it is to forgive.


I want them to know they are not alone. 


I want them to know their voice matters. They can make a real difference in the world.


I want them to know that I see them. I respect them. And I honor them. 


Q: What’s the best thing about being a writer?

A: Getting lost in the world you’re creating and meeting readers. Those are my favorite aspects about being a writer.

Q: What else would you like us to know? WIPs?

A: I’m so excited to share my next next book with you. Stand By Me, is about a take-charge sixth grader Bess Stein who brings together friends, a crush, and a group of rockstar librarians called the Book Warriors to fight a book ban happening at her middle school. This book will fly into the world in 2025.  I love this book and can’t wait for you to meet Bess!



Bio

Elly Swartz is the acclaimed author of six middle grade novels: Finding Perfect, Smart Cookie, Give and Take, Dear Student, Hidden Truths, and Stand By Me (coming 2025). Swartz’s books reflect her commitment to raising awareness about mental health and neurodiversity. Her debut novel, Finding Perfect, was named one of the Best Children’s Books About Mental Health by the Child Mind Institute, Dear Student was recommended by Parents Magazine, and her upcoming book Hidden Truths has received 2 starred reviews–one from Kirkus and one from School Library Journal. 

Swartz studied psychology at Boston University and received her JD at Georgetown University School of Law. She travels the country meeting with thousands of students each year to empower their own personal narrative. Swartz resides in Massachusetts. Connect with Elly at ellyswartz.com, on Twitter @ellyswartz, on Instagram or Threads @ellyswartzbooks. 

HIDDEN TRUTHS (Delacorte/ Random House Children's Books - coming Halloween 2023)
STAND BY ME (Delactore/ Random House Children's Books - coming spring 2025)
DEAR STUDENT (Delacorte/ Random House Children's Books) 
FINDING PERFECT (FSG/Macmillan)
GIVE AND TAKE (FSG/Macmillan)
SMART COOKIE (Scholastic)