New Kids’ Book

So A Little Bit of Spectacular was released yesterday, and tomorrow, May 7, 4:30 -6:30 p.m., we’ll have the book launch party at Trattoria Centrale in downtown Birmingham. For anyone who’s able to come, it’s worth it for a) free tasty scones, and b) checking out the bathroom walls where the main character in the book first discovers a strange message.

The book starts out with scones at Trattoria, and you’ll read about the bathroom walls by page 3. So, hey, come enjoy the visual aid.

I’ll also be at Capitol Book and News in Montgomery on May 11, 4 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Here’s my favorite review so far of the novel, from The Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books….

“We are Plantagenet. We are chosen,” says the bold writing on the bathroom wall of Olivia’s favorite coffee shop, and eleven-year-old Olivia is instantly intrigued. Soon she sees the message elsewhere in town, and she’s determined to find out its meaning. This pursuit provides a welcome distraction for Olivia, who’s ill at ease in her new school and her new home (she and her mother have moved in with her grandmother) and who’s worried about her mother’s recovery from recent illness and surgery. Phillips (author of The Hidden Summer, BCCB 7/13) writes with clar- ity and understanding of Olivia’s struggle to reboot herself in a new situation; it’s refreshing that Olivia is neither star nor outcast, just somebody who can’t remember the skills that got her friends before, so once she does get some age-mate contact she makes friends fairly readily. The Plantagenet explanation doesn’t live up to its initial mystery, but then that’s the almost inevitable fate of any such tantalizing hint; the underlying story of Olivia’s anxiety about her mother and difficulty in letting go of her caretaking role spools out subtly underneath the main plot and deftly intersects with it. Offering both accessibility and originality, this will enrich the middle-elementary shelves—and bump up the interest in restroom graffiti.

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