I have spent ten years teaching English to seventh and eighth graders, so it’s no coincidence that most of the stories I write are either about characters who are twelve or thirteen years old. I love funny and poignant, realistic books that bridge the gap between younger middle grade novels that kinds tend to love in fourth and fifth grade, and older young adult books that are about seventeen or eighteen-year-olds. So that’s what I write!
I co-wrote my debut middle grade novel, EVERY SHINY THING, with my good friend Cordelia Jensen. It’s very much inspired by the passionate, empathetic students I have worked with, and it’s set in Philadelphia, where Cordelia and I both live. There are even a couple of scenes set in the park where my husband took the bridge photo you can see on this page.
Here’s the announcement from when the book sold!
You can also check out this post about the process of writing the book.
My next book, UP FOR AIR, is another upper middle grade novel. It’s set in Gray Island, a fictionalized island off the coast of Massachusetts, which is loosely based on the island where I used to vacation with my family when I was little…except in this book, I imagined a character who lives on the island year-round. It’s about a girl who loves swimming but isn’t so crazy about school, and who has to deal with the pressures and temptations of hanging out with older friends.
Here’s the announcement for this one!