Middle Grade Novels
Most of my novels are written for kids who are somewhere between third and eighth grades.
If you're a little - or a lot - older (or younger) than that, you have my permission to read them, too.
The Capybara Conspiracy
"Humorous and cleverly constructed, this deserves a 'hoof five.’” (Kirkus)
Seventh-grade playwright Olive Henry is frustrated by her sports-obsessed middle school. While the principal drones on and on during morning announcements about the sports teams’ victories, all non-athletic club meetings are relegated to the school basement, never to be mentioned on the loudspeaker. So Olive and her best friend, Reynaldo, hatch a plan to kidnap the school’s capybara mascot, planning to return it, heroically, just in time for the school’s pep rally and claim a reward: permission for their drama club to practice in the auditorium. And, hopefully, some overdue respect for the school’s non-athletes. But when an animal-rights student activist and an undercover athlete with murky motivations join in the conspiracy, their plans—along with Cappy the capybara—veer wildly out of Olive’s control. Written in the form of a play, this book practically begs to be read aloud or staged (and provides extensive back matter to support those who decide to go for it!).
- NPR Best Books of the Year list
Zelly Fried has finally convinced her parents to let her get a dog, with the help of her grandfather Ace. Unfortunately, said dog (also named Ace) is a shoe-chewing, mud-tracking, floor-peeing kind of dog. Despite Zelly's best efforts to drag Ace (literally!) to puppy kindergarten, his flunking report card says it all: "This Ace is wild."
Also wild is the other Ace in Zelly's life. Grandpa Ace has decided to begin dating again and is dining and dancing every night, against his doctor's orders. Determined to get both Aces under control, Zelly enlists the help of her two best friends, Allison and Jeremy (despite the fact that they don't quite see eye to eye). They need to come up with a plan, fast. But how? It's not like either Ace ever does what he's told. This is a companion book to When Life Gives You O.J. While it is possible to read one without reading the other, I highly recommend that you read them BOTH!
When Life Gives You O.J.
For years, almost-eleven-year-old Zelly Fried has tried to convince her parents to let her have a dog. After all, practically everyone in Vermont owns a dog, and it sure could go a long way helping Zelly fit in since moving there from Brooklyn. But when her eccentric grandfather, Ace, hatches a ridiculous plan involving a "practice dog" named O.J., Zelly's not so sure how far she's willing to go to win a dog of her own. Is Ace’s plan so-crazy-it-just-might-work… or just plain crazy?
Teens Read Too Gold Star Award Winner! (teensreadtoo.com)
(Please note that this is a YA novel, so it is best for kids 13 and up!)
Veronica Walsh is 15, fashion-minded, fat, and friendless. Her summer job in the Consignment Corner section (Employees Only!) of a vintage clothing store is a dream come true. There Veronica can spend her days separating the one-of-a-kind gem garments from the Dollar-a-Pound duds, without having to deal with people. But when two outrageous yet charismatic salesgirls befriend her and urge her to spy on and follow the mysterious and awkward stock boy Veronica has nicknamed the Nail, Veronica’s summer takes a turn for the weird. Suddenly, what began as a prank turns into something else entirely. Which means Veronica may have to come out of hiding and follow something even riskier for the first time: her heart.