ALA Mid-Winter Preview Post

Sky Pony is very excited that we’ll be attending ALA Mid-Winter this year. Here’s all the information you need to know about booth number, panels, signings, and giveaways.

For more on the books, look below the schedule.

Stop by the booth and say hi!  We can’t wait to see you!

ALA Mid-Winter

Friday, January 20 – Sunday January, 23

Booth #1944

Friday, January 20

6:00-7:00pm GIVEAWAY: The Ender Eye Prophecy by Cara J. Stevens, art by David Norgren and Elias Norgren (Middle Grade)

6:00-7:00pm GIVEAWAY: Gorillas in Our Midst by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones (Picture Book)

Saturday, January 21

ALL DAY GIVEAWAY: Touch the Earth Mini Poster

10:00-11:00am GIVEAWAY: Rock Away Granny by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Mike DeSantis (Picture Book)

2:00-3:00pm AUTHOR SIGNING: Sarah Reida, Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production (Middle Grade)

4:00-5:00pm GIVEAWAY: Project Droid #2: Soccer Shocker! by Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran (Chapter Book)

4:00-5:00pm GIVEAWAY: Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson (Chapter Book)

Sunday, January 22

10:00-11:00am AUTHOR SIGNING: Melissa E. Hurst, The Edge of Forever (YA)

12:00-12:50pm PANEL: “YA Gets Real: Character Driven Contemporary Fiction” at the Pop Top Stage – J.C. Davis, author of Cheesus Was Here (YA)

2:00-3:00pm AUTHOR SINGNING: J.C. Davis, Cheesus Was Here (YA)

4:00-5:00pm GIVEAWAY: That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson (YA)

4:00-5:00pm GIVEAWAY: Abigale Hale by Lauren A. Forry (Adult)

Monday, January 23

10:00-11:00am GIVEAWAY: Secrets of an Overworld Survivor Book #1: Lost in the Jungle by Greyson Mann, illustrated by Grace Sanford (Chapter Book)


Throughout the weekend we will be raffling off a

SPECIAL EDITION LIMITED giclee print from TOUCH THE EARTH.

You must be an attendee at the show to win. Stop by our booth for a chance to win! 

TouchTheEarthCoverHighRes


 

The Ender Eye Phrophecy by Cara J. Stevens, art by David Norgren and Elias Norgren

This advenEnder Eye Prophecy 9781510714830ture series is created especially for readers who love the fight of good vs. evil, magical academies like Hogwarts in the Harry Potter saga, and games like Minecraft, Terraria, and Pokemon GO!

Peace has finally been restored in Xenos, but Phoenix longs to return home to her family of miners. Sheltered by the monks who guard the border world, she spends her days searching for clues about her real identity.

Just when Phoenix is losing hope that she’ll ever discover the truth, two miner ambassadors arrive at the monastery, looking for a girl from their ancient legends who is said to wear an enchanted Ender eye necklace and is destined to save their village. Could that girl be Phoenix?

Determined to follow every clue that could set her free, Phoenix decides to join them on their quest to restore peace to their land. But along the way, zombie pirates attack, capturing Phoenix and taking her to the Nether. Now it’s up to Xander to convince the villagers and miners to put aside their differences and come to Phoenix’s rescue. The fate of their world depends on it.

Fans of Minecraft will be on the edge of their seats in this thrilling follow-up to Quest for the Golden Apple and Revenge of the Zombie Monks!

 

9781632206077-frontcover


Gorillas in Our Midst by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones

Gorillas can be hard to spot, because they are masters of disguise and really good at hiding. Gorillas often have jobs where they get to wear masks—that’s why so many gorillas are surgeons, astronauts, scuba divers, and ninjas. There are adult gorillas and kid gorillas. There are even gorillas that go to school with you. You may think you’ve seen a gorilla swinging by before, but it’s much more likely that he was an orangutan—orangutans are terrible at hiding. You will know when there are lots of gorillas living in your midst because the grocery stores will be entirely out of bananas. In fact, you should always carry a banana with you, because you never know when there might be a gorilla around.

Gorillas in Our Midst is all silliness and fun, and is destined to become a new favorite. Comic artist Richard Fairgray’s illustrations are filled with wonderful details for kids to discover with each read. Kids will love spotting the gorillas on each page and are sure to laugh out loud at the gorillas’ many disguises. And, of course, a story like this can’t end without a surprising twist!


TouchTheEarthCoverHighRes

Touch the Earth by Julian Lennon and Bart Davis, illustrated by Smiljana Coh

Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want. Just press a button printed on the page, and point the plane up in the air to fly, or down to land it.

The Flier’s mission is to transport readers around the world, to engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach one and all to love our planet.

Fly to the top of a mountain. Send clean water to thirsty people. Dive deep into the ocean (the Flier turns into a submarine!) to pick up pollution and bring back the fish.

Explore the planet, meet new people, and help make the world a better place.
An inspiring, lyrical story, rooted in Lennon’s life and work, with beautiful illustrations that bring the faraway world closer to young children.

The book includes words to a special poem written by Julian Lennon, specifically for Touch the Earth.

Touch The Earth is the first book in a planned trilogy.

A portion of the proceeds from books sales will go to support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation.


 

Rock Away Granny by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Mike DeSantisRock Away Granny Cover (2)

Getting dropped off at Grandma’s house could be a total snooze. Hours of sitting in the rocking chairs. But not this Grandma. Up she hops to wheel out the record player. And then, with kitty as the DJ—a dance party! The twist, the swing, the Monster Mash—they rock, rock, rock, at Granny’s house tonight.

Then right as Mom returns, everyone crashes out in the rocking chairs. Just another boring night at Grandma’s (Mom thinks). Wink!

Includes pictures of easy to follow dance steps like the side pass, cuddle, and underarm turn.

 


monsterville-9781510707337Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production by Sarah S. Reida

Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is miserable when her parents force her to move from New York City (the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress) to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s nothing to do there, except play her little sister Haylie’s favorite new game, Monsterville, and hang out with her new neighbor Adam.

But when a walk in the woods lands her face-to-face with a swamp monster hungry for brains and then a Sasquatch that moos, even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring. With Adam’s help, she catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s fled from the monster world of Down Below.

And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? Make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will be the secret to her big break.

But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and the monster must venture Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.

Monsterville is a fusion of The Boxtrolls, Jumanji, and Candyland, weaving together friendship, family, and monsters into a funny fantasy-horror brimming with heart from a great new middle grade voice.

 


Soccer Shocker 9781510710191

Project Droid #2: Soccer Shocker! by Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran

When Mom tells Logan that Java is joining his soccer team, the Purple Wombats, he’s not thrilled. It’s a lot of work teaching his new robot cousin how to act like a human—and keeping him out of trouble—and Logan needs a break.

Still, being programmed for success means that Java’s also great at scoring. He might just turn the Wombats into a championship team, beating Sherry and Jerry Silverspoon and their Red Polar Bears . . . if he’d just let the other kids play, too. After being replaced as the Wombats’ MVP, Logan’s had enough.

But when Java gets wet and goes on the fritz, can the whole team—even a short-circuiting Java—come together to score the winning goal?

The second in a fantastically funny new chapter book series by internationally bestselling author Nancy Krulik and her daughter, Amanda Burwasser, Soccer Shocker is destined to win tons of fans.


Harper and the Scarlet UmbrellaHarper and the Scarlet Umbrella by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson

Once there was a girl named Harper who had a rare musical gift. She heard songs on the wind, rhythms on the rain, and hope in the beat of a butterfly’s wing.

Harper lives in the City of Clouds, an enchanting place where it rains every day and an umbrella is always a good idea. With her Aunt Sassy, her beloved cat, Midnight, and all of her neighbors in the Tall Apartment Block, every day is full of possibility.

But when every cat in the city goes missing—including Midnight—Harper is determined to find all of the precious pets. And she’ll need a magic, flying umbrella to help in her search. Recruiting friends from her building to help, the magic umbrella whisks them into the sky on the trail of the cats and adventure.

They stumble on the Midnight Orchestra—tabbies on triangle, Siamese singing, Persians on piccolo—all under the direction of its fearsome, wild conductor. But can the group use their talents, quick thinking, musical skill, and a little magic to stage a rescue like no other?

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella is a spellbinding tale of friendship, music, and magic featuring a diverse cast, brought to life through stunning illustrations. A perfect book to be shared and treasured.


The Edge of Forever by Melissa E. HurstEdge of Forever 9781632204240

In 2013, sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea how she got there. The one thing she is certain of? Someone is following her.

In 2146, seventeen-year-old Bridger is one of a small number of people born with the ability to travel to the past. While on a routine school time trip, he sees the last person he expected—his dead father. The strangest part is that, according to the Department of Temporal Affairs, his father was never assigned to be in that time. Bridger’s even more stunned when he learns that his by-the-book father was there to break the most important rule of time travel—to prevent someone’s murder.

And that someone is named Alora.

Determined to discover why his father wanted to help a “ghost,” Bridger illegally shifts to 2013 and, along with Alora, races to solve the mystery surrounding her past and her connection to his father before the DTA finds him. If he can stop Alora’s death without altering the timeline, maybe he can save his father too.


Cheesus Was Here Cover Cheesus Was Here by J. C. Davis

Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.

Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late-night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved Saved!


That Burning Summer by Lydia SysonThat Burning Summer 9781510711723

It’s July 1940 on the south coast of England. A plane crash-lands in the marsh, and sixteen-year-old Peggy finds its broken pilot—a young Polish airman named Henryk. Afraid and unwilling to return to the fight, Henryk needs a place to hide, and Peggy helps him find his way to a remote, abandoned church.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s eleven-year-old brother Ernest is doing his best to try to understand the war happening around him. He’s reading all the pamphlets—he knows all the rules, he knows exactly what to do in every situation. He’s prepared, but not for Peggy’s hidden pilot.

Told in alternating points of view, this is a beautifully written story about growing up in wartime and finding the difference between following the rules and following your heart.


Abigale Hall FINAL

Abigale Hall by Lauren A. Forry

Amid the terror of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Eliza and her troubled little sister Rebecca have had their share of tragedy, having lost their mother to the Blitz and their father to suicide. Forced to leave London to work for the mysterious Mr. Brownwell at Abigale Hall, they soon learn that the worst is yet to come. The vicious housekeeper, Mrs. Pollard, seems hell-bent on keeping the ghostly secrets of the house away from the sisters and forbids them from entering the surrounding town—and from the rumors that circulate about Abigale Hall. When Eliza uncovers some blood-splattered books, ominous photographs, and portraits of a mysterious woman, she begins to unravel the mysteries of the house, but with Rebecca falling under Mrs. Pollard’s spell, she must act quickly to save her sister, and herself, from certain doom.

Perfect for readers who hunger for the strange, Abigale Hall is an atmospheric debut novel where the threat of death looms just beyond the edge of every page. Lauren A. Forry has created a historical ghost story where the setting is as alive as the characters who inhabit it and a resonant family drama of trust, loyalty, and salvation.

 


Secrets of an Overworld Survivor #1: Lost in the Jungle by Greyson Mann, illustrated by Grace Sanford

Will has spent his whole life in the shadow of his older brother, Seth. Sure, his brother is a master buildLost in the Jungleer who is known throughout the entire Overworld, but Will knows he could make his own mark in Minecraft if anyone would give him the chance to prove himself. So when Will gets the chance to go on his first solo adventure, he jumps at the opportunity.

Seth urges Will to stay at home where he’ll be safe, or at least take some time to prepare for the journey, but Will knows he has the courage and strength to face whatever strange biomes or hostile mobs the Overworld has in store for him.

Will’s quest gets off to a great start when he meets Mina, a fellow adventurer, and they decide to look for excitement together. But when the two get separated and night starts to fall, Will realizes he is lost. With spiders and creepers spawning all around him and no shelter in sight, can Will survive the night all on his own?

Beginning readers—and gamers—will be on the edge of their seats in this thrilling first installment in the Secrets of an Overworld Survivor chapter book series!

 

 

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NCTE Preview – All the Sky Pony Details You Need to Know

Sky Pony is very excited that we’ll be at NCTE this year. Here’s all the information you need to know about booth number, panels, signings, and giveaways.

For more on the books, look below the schedule.

Stop by the booth and say hi!  We can’t wait to see you!

NCTE

Friday, November 18 – Sunday November, 20

Booth #236

 

Friday, Nov 18

1:00-2:00pm GIVEAWAY: Project Droid #1: Science No Fair! by Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran (Chapter Book)

3:00-4:00pm GIVEAWAY: The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs (Adult)

 

Saturday, Nov 19

8:00-9:15am PANEL: Making Space for Advocacy in YA Speculative Fiction – Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – B218 (YA)

10:00-11:00am AUTHOR SIGNING: Melissa Hurst, The Edge of Forever (YA)

12:30-1:45pm PANEL: Diverse Voices in YA Historical Fiction Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – B402 (YA)

2:00-3:00pm GIVEAWAY: The Phantom Virus (Middle Grade)

2:45 – 4pm PANEL: Authors Exploring Diverse Perspectives in the Classroom – Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – A404 (YA)

4:00-5:00pm AUTHOR SIGNING: Tara Sim, Timekeeper (YA)

 

Sunday, Nov 20

9:00-10:00am GIVEAWAY: The Inspired Teacher by Donna Quesada (Adult, Educator)

10:00-11:00am AUTHOR SIGNING: Sarah Reida, Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production (Middle Grade)


science-no-fair-9781510710184When you have an android cousin, losing your head takes on a whole new meaning.

There’s nothing Logan Applebaum has ever wanted more than to have another kid around the house. So when his inventor mom builds him a robot cousin, Logan’s really excited–until he finds out that it’s not so easy keeping Java;s android identity a secret. Because even though Java is really smart, he doesn’t seem to understand anything.

Still, with the third grade science fair coming up, having a cousin with a computer for a brain just might come in handy. Does having Java around mean Logan finally has a chance at winning first prize? Or will those nasty, super-sneaky Silverspoon twins outsmart him again?

 

 

 

hamilton-affair-9781628727203


Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of legendary characters, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from passionate and tender beginnings to his fateful duel on the banks of the Hudson River.

Hamilton was a bastard and orphan, raised in the Caribbean and desperate for legitimacy, who became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and improbable—heroes. Admired by George Washington, scorned by Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the new nation. Elizabeth was the wealthy, beautiful, adventurous daughter of the respectable Schuyler clan—and a pioneering advocate for women. Together, the unlikely couple braved the dangers of war, the perils of seduction, the anguish of infidelity, and the scourge of partisanship that menaced their family and the country itself.

With brilliantly drawn characters and an epic scope, The Hamilton Affair tells a story of love forged in revolution and tested by the bitter strife of young America.

 

 


timekeeper-9781510706187-2I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now. 

An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time–and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.

A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.

A boy who would give anything to relive his part, and one who would give anything to live at all.

A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

The first book in a dazzling new steampunk-fantasy trilogy, Timekeeper introduces a magical world of mythology and innovation that readers will never want to leave.


In 2013, sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea how she got there. The one thing she is certain of? Someone is following her.

edge-of-forever-9781632204240In 2146, seventeen-year-old Bridger is one of a small number of people born with the ability to travel to the past. While on a routine school time trip, he sees the last person he expected—his dead father. The strangest part is that, according to the Department of Temporal Affairs, his father was never assigned to be in that time. Bridger’s even more stunned when he learns that his by-the-book father was there to break the most important rule of time travel—to prevent someone’s murder.

And that someone is named Alora.

Determined to discover why his father wanted to help a “ghost,” Bridger illegally shifts to 2013 and, along with Alora, races to solve the mystery surrounding her past and her connection to his father before the DTA finds him. If he can stop Alora’s death without altering the timeline, maybe he can save his father too.

 


phantom-virus Herobrine has crafted an evil game for Gameknight999 to play.

Herobrine, the artificially intelligent virus, was deleted. The computer it resided in was completely destroyed. Without their leader, the few survivors of its evil army were cast away into the shadows. It looked as if there would finally be peace and happiness throughout the servers of Minecraft.

But suddenly, and mysteriously, software began misbehaving. Sheep fell from the sky. Snowballs appeared out of nowhere. What seemed at first like harmless glitches quickly became dangerous. Pigs begin walking backwards, it starts to snow in the middle of the desert, and sheep are falling from the sky.

Gameknight999, the User-that-is-not-a-user, has no choice but to investigate. But the odd yet harmless pranks are turning deadly, and it’s not long before entire villages are completely destroyed. Examining the arrogant clues, Gameknight is no longer so sure that Herobrine was destroyed after all. Is it possible he escaped? Everything points towards a deadly trap far worse than anything that Minecraft has seen before. Will Gameknight solve the puzzle before the Overworld is destroyed?

 


9781632203410-frontcover

Donna Quesada had been teaching for about a dozen years when the first signs of burnout hit her. Rather than give in to her frustration, she reached for Buddha’s teachings, the Zen wisdom that formed the basis of her own longtime spiritual practice. She survived the semester and gradually rediscovered the joy in her job that had been progressively declining. In this wise and inspirational book, she shares the lessons she learned—lessons that revealed, time and again, that no matter the situation, it’s always about getting your head in the right place first. Resolution begins in our own minds. Some days, some semesters, and even some years will be more challenging and more wearisome than others, she warns. But in The Inspired Teacher, Quesada offers a lasting source of encouragement and Zen. Although the book draws from Eastern teachings, the wisdom is for everyone, regardless of personal background, creed, or faith.

With elements of The Last Lecture as well as Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul, this is the perfect gift for teachers—but also for anyone needing inspiration.

 


monsterville-9781510707337 Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is miserable when her parents force her to move from New York City (the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress) to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s nothing to do there, except play her little sister Haylie’s favorite new game, Monsterville, and hang out with her new neighbor Adam.

But when a walk in the woods lands her face-to-face with a swamp monster hungry for brains and then a Sasquatch that moos, even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring. With Adam’s help, she catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s fled from the monster world of Down Below.

And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? Make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will be the secret to her big break.

But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and the monster must venture Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.

Monsterville is a fusion of The Boxtrolls, Jumanji, and Candyland, weaving together friendship, family, and monsters into a funny fantasy-horror brimming with heart from a great new middle grade voice.

 

 

 

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Top 5 Monsters from the Big Screen by Sarah S. Reida, author of MONSTERVILLE: A LISSA BLACK PRODUCTION

Halloween season means monster movies! Thank goodness we have Monsterville author, Sarah S. Reida, to help us pick the best scary guys from the big screen. Now, if you need us, we’ll be hiding under the bed and hoping we don’t find ourselves Down Below!


The title character of Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production, is a huge movie fan. That’s why she’s bummed when her family moves from exciting NYC to the sticks of Freeburg, Pennsylvania. How can Lissa break into the movie business if she’s trapped in the middle of nowhere?

If she finds a shape-shifting goblin, that’s how! Add the ready-made set of her parents’ creepy new woods, and Lissa has all the makings of her very own monster movie. Freeburg ain’t so boring after all.

To create her masterpiece, Lissa does some research – she watches monster movies! Now, just in time for Halloween, she’d like to share her top five monster picks with you. Sure, you probably recognize all of them, but did you know Lissa’s fun facts before reading this blog?

 

Number Five – Sully (Monsters, Inc.)

 

thumbnail_sully

Voiced by John Goodman, an actor with the rare distinction of appearing in two successive Best Picture winners (The Artist, Argo), Sully is a towering, huggable-looking creature. Bill Murray was the top pick to voice this character in Pixar’s monster hit, but he had (has) no agent and the filmmakers were unable to reach him to give him the part.

Number Four – Maurice (Little Monsters)

thumbnail_little-monsters

 

Played by America’s Got Talent judge, Howie Mendel, Maurice befriends Brian (Fred Savage) after climbing out from underneath his bed in his new home in Chicago. Capitalizing on the enormous popularity of Fred Savage (who was then appearing in The Wonder Years), the film also features Daniel Stern, who provided the voice-over in that show, as well as Fred’s real-life little brother, Ben (of Boy Meets World).

 

Number Three – The Gremlins

thumbnail_gizmo

 

Gremlins, as they came to be known in Steven Spielberg’s 1984 film, were loosely based on Roald Dahl’s (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) very first children’s picture book, which was about mythical, mischievous creatures fond of sabotaging the British Royal Air Force’s aircraft. Howie Mandel (Howie! Again!) provided the voice for Gizmo (above).

Editor’s note: We  hope Lissa learned the importance of following the rules from these little guys. Gizmo may look cute, but watch out if you feed these guys after midnight or get them wet!

 

Number Two – Pennywise the Clown (It)

thumbnail_pennywise

Singlehandedly responsible for ruining clowns for children across multiple generations, Pennywise is quite possibly Stephen King’s scariest creation. Played by Tim Curry in the television mini-series, Pennywise tempts children with balloons and is known for the phrase, “they all float down here!” You may recognize Tim Curry from his lead role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and as the hotel staffer intent on busting Kevin in Home Alone II.

Number One – Beetlejuice

beetlejuice

Even though he refers to himself as “the ghost with the most,” Beetlejuice is more monster than ghost given his shenanigans. An early Tim Burton creation, Beetlejuice was played by Michael Keaton, who did such a great job that Burton insisted he be cast as the title character in Batman (across from the prolific Jack Nicholson as the Joker), which Burton was also directing. Years later, Michael Keaton would be robbed of the Best Actor Oscar for his incredible role in Birdman.

Not only does Lissa know movie trivia backwards and forwards, she knows monster movie rules. That comes in handy when Lissa’s little sister Haylie is kidnapped to the monster homeland of Down Below, and Lissa must use her movie knowledge (and a mysterious board game called Monsterville) as a vital tool to get her back.


MONSTERVILLE: A LISSA BLACK PRODUCTION

9781510707337-frontcover Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is miserable when her parents force her to move from New York City (the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress) to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s nothing to do there, except play her little sister Haylie’s favorite new game, Monsterville, and hang out with her new neighbor Adam.

But when a walk in the woods lands her face-to-face with a swamp monster hungry for brains and then a Sasquatch that moos, even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring. With Adam’s help, she catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s fled from the monster world of Down Below.

And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? Make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will be the secret to her big break.

But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and the monster must venture Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.

Monsterville is a fusion of The Boxtrolls, Jumanji, and Candyland, weaving together friendship, family, and monsters into a funny fantasy-horror brimming with heart from a great new middle grade voice.


“What a fun read! The perfect book for the boy scout who wants to be prepared in Monsterville, for the monster who can’t decide what to become, and (of course) for the director who might have to take on a starring role.” —Kelly Jones, author of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

“An absolute delight. Full of humor with a fresh voice, and just plain fun to read.” —Penny Warner, two-time award-winning author of The Code Busters Club series

“Chutes and Ladders with monsters—and an aspiring filmmaker determined to capture them all. Sarah Reida’s Monsterville is creepy good fun! —Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, Mark Twain Award finalist for Ordinary Magic

“This book is the best fun, overflowing with humor and fabulous in its overturning of many movie cliches. While adults are chuckling at the jokes, kids will love puzzling over the chain of clues that lead Monsterville’s lovable heroes through the world of Down Below.” —Claire Fayers, author of Voyage to Magic North


sarah-edited Sarah Schauerte Reida is a writer, lawyer, and ugly animal advocate. Growing up in the Midwest (Illinois, to be precise), she read everything she could get her hands on, as well as watched many, many movies during her parents’ “camping” trips involving electricity and s’mores in a microwave. A member of The Sweet Sixteens, Sarah’s debut middle grade novel, “Monstervile: A Lissa Black Production,” is her first novel.
A graduate of Saint Louis University (B.A). and Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D.), Sarah makes a living helping veteran business owners compete for federal contracts. She and her husband Scott live in the Atlanta area with their dog and four cats. By the time this biography reaches print, they will probably have acquired another animal.

For fun movie trivia and resources for teachers and young film-makers, visit Sarah S. Reida’s website at www.lissablackproductions.com  and follow her on Twitter at @SarahSReida.

 

 

 

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Q&A with MONSTERVILLE author Sarah S. Reida

We’re delighted to have Sarah S. Reida, author of Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production joining us today on the blog. We can’t wait for her to share a little more about herself with us!

sarah-edited


stitch hi

1.. Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?

I grew up in a pretty rural area, and some of my best memories are of finding new hideouts in our woods, where I’d stay for hours to read. Fuzzy book memories!

Also, when I was in grade school, I connected so much with books. I was moved by them, read the same ones over and over, wanted to know the characters. . . . I write books for middle schoolers because of how much books meant to me when I was that age.

2. What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading The Clinet by John Grisham. I’m a lawyer, so it’s fun to read fiction about the legal field and be like, “THAT’S NOT HOW IT GOES DOWN!” Grisham’s pretty good, though. And hey, I like Legally Blonde, and we all know THAT’s not accurate.

3. If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?

Hmm. Harry Potter came to mind first, but there’s so much responsibility for poor Harry. Probably Charlie Bucket, after he got the factory. Maybe my decision shouldn’t be based on candy, but when I was growing up, my dad owned a convenience store and we went to candy conventions every year. That was pretty much the best experience a kid could have.

 

candy ya

 

4. Where’s your favorite place to write? (Please include a picture!)

Aw, I don’t have some picturesque place to describe. Usually I hang out on my porch, or I go to Panera Bread Company and fill up on bagels and coffee. There’s also my office, but where’s the fun in that?

5. What’s your favorite classic movie?

I really enjoyed Whatever Happened to Baby Jane with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. They’re both so good in that! That’s one of the rare ones I think could be re-made successfully, though I hope that doesn’t happen because of the risk.

6. If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

I immediately thought “squishy white bunny trained to hug and sleep in bed with me,” but that was followed by the image of what my cat, Wyatt, would do to it. So I’ll go traditional and stick with cats. I’m a writer. We’re cat ladies.

cat computer morning

7. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

Dark chocolate, unless it’s Christmas, and then white peppermint bark.

8.What’s your favorite holiday?

Guess!

Here are some hints: my husband and I were married on Halloween, my debut book is all about Halloween, and my first child is expected around Halloween.

9. What’s your favorite emoji? OR What’s your favorite GIF?

To be honest, I’m not a fan of those, BUT when I was in law school and used IM a lot. I had an IM avatar that looked like a white baby seal with huge eyes that made the cutest expressions. I called him Mopsie.

animals baby snow white seal

(Editor’s Note: Not Mopsie, but terribly cute.)

10. What did you want to grow up to be when you were Lissa’s age?

Oh, I always wanted to be a writer. Always.

 


 

monsterville-9781510707337

Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production

Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure!

Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is miserable when her parents force her to move from New York City (the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress) to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s nothing to do there, except play her little sister Haylie’s favorite new game, Monsterville, and hang out with her new neighbor Adam.

But when a walk in the woods lands her face-to-face with a swamp monster hungry for brains and then a Sasquatch that moos, even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring. With Adam’s help, she catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s fled from the monster world of Down Below.

And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? Make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will the the secret to her big break.

But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and the monster must venture Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.


“The perfect book for the director who might have to take on a starring role.” —Kelly Jones, author of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

“An absolute delight. Full of humor with a fresh voice, and just plain fun to read.” —Penny Warner, Two-time award-winning author of The Code Busters Club series

“Chutes and Ladders with monsters–and an aspiring filmmaker determined to capture them all. Monsterville is creepy good fun!”—Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, Mark Twain Award finalist for Ordinary Magic

“Overflowing with humor and fabulous in its overturning of many movie clichés. Kids will love puzzling over the chain of clues that lead Monsterville‘s lovable heroes through the world of Down Below.” —Claire Fayers, author of The Voyage to Magical North


Sarah S. Reida loves Halloween, classic movies, and fostering underdog animals. Growing up in the Midwest (Illonois, to be precise), she read everything she could get her hands on and watched many, many movies during her parents’ “camping” trips involving electricity and s’mores in a microwave. By day, she is an attorney and lives with her husband, dog, and four cats with big personalities in Marietta, Georgia. By the time this post goes live, they will probably have acquired another animal. Monsterville is her first novel.

Visit her online at www.lissablackproductions.com or on Twitter at @SarahSReida.


Not Blue and Haylie, but they could be:

boo monsters inc sully

 

 

 

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#teasertuesday

Today’s #teasertuesday post comes from Sarah S. Reida’s Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production out September 20th!


Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production

Monsterville 9781510707337

“We climbed down from the deer stand, and as I dropped onto the loose dirt, I heard a tree splinter and crash.

‘What was that?’ Adam asked sharply.

I pressed myself against the tree. ‘It’s the—’ Could a swamp monster knock down trees?

Another tree cracked and fell, closer now. Birds squawked and flew up and into the sky. Twigs snapped, branches broke, bushes shook, but I couldn’t see a thing. Adam and I stayed planted at the base of the tree, craning our heads. I imagined what this would look like from an arc shot—the camera swiv­eling around us as we cowered, waiting for whatever came next.

There was a brown flash about thirty feet away. ‘Th-th-there,’ I stuttered, pointing.

‘Quick!’ Adam barked, grabbing my arm so hard it hurt. ‘Back up to the deer stand! Flat on the floor!’

We raced up the ladder, hitting the floor of the plat­form and pressing ourselves against the wood. I willed myself to stop shaking. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts. Kittens. Chocolate. Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

Loud footsteps boomed below us. They were far away at first, but getting closer, closer . . . I squeezed my eyes shut, breathing in the earthy smell of the deer stand.

The footsteps stopped right below us. I squeezed my eyes shut tighter, counting in my head. One-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, three-Mississippi, four-Mississippi.

I was up to fifty-seven Mississippis before I realized that not just the footsteps had gone quiet. Everything had. No more birds chirping, no woodpeckers peck­ing, no small animals rustling in the bushes.

I counted to one hundred and opened my eyes. A huge, furry brown thing was six inches away, staring at me. It had a wide, flat nose and sunken eyes. They reminded me a lot of the swamp creature’s—brown and liquid.

‘Adam,’ I tried to say, but nothing came out. I tried to lift my hand to poke him, but I couldn’t move. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that Adam was motion­less beside me, his arms over his head like we were hiding under our desks for an earthquake drill.

‘Adam,’ I mouthed again, this time managing a squeak. He lowered his arms and peeked at the mon­ster. His face drained of color.

The monster leaned closer. Its breath smelled like hot, fifty-year-old garbage. The muscles in its massive neck tensed as it opened its mouth.

‘Moooooooooooo!'”

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