Today we are lucky to host the gorgeous middle grade cover reveal for MOONPENNY ISLAND by Tricia Springstubb, author of What Happened on Fox Street and Mo Wren, Lost and Found! Stay tuned for a signed ARC giveaway below, but first, here's the blurb for this middle grade contemporary which releases February 10, 2015, from Balzer & Bray:
Flor and her best friend Sylvie live on a small island in a great lake. An island so small, it’s barely more than a lump of limestone. So miniscule that when the ferries shut down and the summer people leave, fewer than two hundred people live there. Flor and Sylvie are the only eleven-year-olds for watery miles and miles. How wonderful is that? In Flor’s opinion, very.
Until very bad things begin to happen. Sylvie is mysteriously whisked away to school on the mainland. Flor’s mother leaves the island to care for a sick grandmother and doesn’t come back. Flor’s big sister is keeping a secret, and Flor’s afraid it’s a dangerous one. And then there’s the peculiar geologist and his even more peculiar daughter who arrive and begin excavating the abandoned quarry…
A miniscule island in the off season, peculiar people and mysterious disappearances? Count us in! Here's the inside scoop from Tricia on writing a mystery for middle grade readers:
I titled my first file for this book Can Tricia write a mystery? Because I love to read them, because I know kids clamor for them, I ardently hoped the answer was Yes. I kept that hope alive through three or four (maybe possibly five) major revisions, through wakeful nights of scribbling in the dark, through switches in point of view and tense and a main character gender change. It was a long, torturous time before I at last had to admit, No, apparently she can’t.
Throughout, one thing never changed--my setting. Moonpenny is inspired by a small Lake Erie island where I spend some time every autumn. For years I’ve fantasized about what it would be like to be among the tiny, sturdy band of people who live there year round. Once I abandoned the idea of a who-dunnit mystery, I quickly realized I could write another kind, this one a mystery of the heart. Moonpenny Island came tumbling out.
We love the idea of a mystery of the heart! And in our opinion, that's exactly what this cover promises. Without further ado, here's the cover reveal!
What do you think? We LOVE the colors, the weathered wooden sign, and the girl waving to the ship on the horizon. Who IS she? We can't wait to find out! Now, here's the inside scoop from Tricia on the cover design:
I’m thrilled and honored that the genius Gilbert Ford did my cover! It has such depth, drawing the eye from the foreground of fossils (trilobites play a big role in the story) to the girls on the beach, to the ferry and the great wide world beyond. Color saturates every inch. The whole thing just thrums with feeling and possibility and yes, that bit of mystery I hoped for! Though my main character is a girl, I really hope this cover signals to boys that this book is for them too.
By the way, Gilbert also did the map of the island at the front of the book. I have always loved me a book with a map, and his is wonderful!
The first entry in her new chapter book series, Cody and the Fountain of Happiness, will publish in April 2015. Tricia lives happily in the Rust Belt of Cleveland, where she also works as a book critic.
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A map! We're so excited to hear that! Maps are so much fun, and based on this incredible cover, we can't wait to see what secrets the map reveals. Thanks, Tricia, for sharing MOONPENNY ISLAND with us today!