The Book Cellar
Come to The Book Cellar for a special Local Author Night devoted to Middle Grade Readers including authors: Abby Cooper (Sticks & Stones), Mike Grosso (I am Drums), and Andrew Brumbach (The Eye of Midnight).
Abby Cooper lives in Minnesota with her miniature poodle, Louis, and a whole bunch of books. A former teacher and school librarian, her favorite things in the world (besides writing) are getting and giving book recommendations and sharing her love of reading with others. In her spare time, she likes eating cupcakes, running along the Mississippi River, and watching a lot of bad reality TV.
Sticks & Stones
Ever since she was a baby, the words people use to describe Elyse have instantly appeared on her arms and legs. At first it was just "cute" and "adorable," but as she's gotten older and kids have gotten meaner, words like "loser" and "pathetic" appear, and those words bubble up and itch. And then there are words like "interesting," which she's not really sure how to feel about. Now, at age twelve, she's starting middle school, and just when her friends who used to accept and protect her are drifting away, she receives an anonymous note saying "I know who you are, and I know what you're dealing with. I want to help." As Elyse works to solve the mystery of who is sending her these notes, she also finds new ways to accept who she is and to become her best self.
"Elyse's struggles toward self-confidence will resonate with fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012) and all readers learning how to be comfortable in their own skins." - Kirkus starred review!
"A quirky, clever, and lighthearted look at what it means to accept oneself. Highly recommended for most middle grade collections." - School Library Journal
Mike Grosso is a musician and a fourth-grade teacher who always keeps a guitar in his classroom. His father gave him his first lesson, and his mom taught him how to keep a steady rhythm. Mike continues to write and record music at his home in Oak Park, Illinois, where he lives with his wife, son, and a drum set he plays much too loud. I AM DRUMS is his first novel.
I Am Drums
Sam knows she wants to be a drummer. But she doesn’t know how to afford a drum kit, or why budget cuts end her school’s music program, or why her parents argue so much, or even how to explain her dream to other people. But drums sound all the time in Sam’s head, and she’d do just about anything to play them out loud—even lie to her family if she has to. Will the cost of chasing her dream be too high? An exciting new voice in contemporary middle grade, Mike Grosso creates a determined heroine readers will identify with and cheer for.
"An appealing, goodhearted story for all young people yearning to march to the beat of their own drums. "
“Readers will feel Sam’s desire to play and sympathize with her decision to sneak around in order to pursue her dream. VERDICT: A great read for middle graders with their own obsessions and dreams. Recommended.”
–School Library Journal
“This is a worthy and entertaining read about how talent develops and what the potential consequences of pursuing it are: drumroll, please, for a fine homage to spirited single-mindedness.” –Kirkus
Andrew Brumbach grew up square in the hippie community of Eugene, Oregon, surrounded by artists and musicians and storytellers. He studied art in Texas, traded options in Chicago, and spent a few years lost in the neon neighborhoods of Tokyo. Somewhere along the way, he married the girl of his dreams and had four practically perfect kids, but he never overcame his weakness for the power and transport of story. Now he lives in suburban Illinois but secretly daydreams of chasing bandits across the desert with Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell under cloudless, starry skies.
The Eye of Midnight
On a stormy May day in 1929, William and Maxine arrive on the doorstep of Battersea Manor to spend the summer with a grandfather they barely remember. Whatever the cousins expected, Colonel Battersea isn’t it.
Soon after they settle in, Grandpa receives a cryptic telegram, he promptly whisks the cousins off to New York City so that he can meet an unknown courier and collect a very important package. But before he can do so, however, Grandpa vanishes without a trace.
When the cousins stumble upon Nura, a tenacious girl from Turkey, she promises to help them track down the parcel and rescue Colonel Battersea. But with cold-blooded gangsters and a secret society of assassins all clamoring for the same mysterious object, the children soon find themselves in a desperate struggle just to escape the city’s dark streets alive.
“A fast-paced, action-packed adventure…danger at every turn… Murders, mayhem, chases, capture, and daring feats… vivid descriptions and terse, to-the-point dialogue keep the action moving and readers constantly engaged and surprised." --KIRKUS REVIEWS
"Nonstop adventure involving gangsters and a secret society of assassins . . . This debut novel is a youthful mystery worthy of John Bellairs, with lyrical language reminiscent of Edith Nesbit; yet it stands on its own, creating a fully realized world with clearly defined lines of good and evil, and just a dash of magic."--BOOKLIST