We kick off our celebration of the release of Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s middle-grade novel, BOOK SCAVENGER, with stories about the impact that found items have had our lives. But first, some excerpts from her book’s fabulous reception from reviewers. (Hold your applause, please!) Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, calling it ” Full of heart and replete with challenging ciphers for readers to decode.” Kirkus praised it: “A debut that challenges the brain while warming the heart.” Booklist commended it: “A lively first novel.” And, finally, a chuckle from Goodreads: “ I love this book! Disclaimer: I also wrote this book. 🙂 Jennifer.” CLAP! CLAP!
Here’s the plot summary: Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold’s attackers make them their next target.
One winter as I hauled out the dead Christmas tree, I solved the mystery of why my kids had been so much better about cleaning up the family room during the holidays. Apparently, when I told them to clean up, they’d just been stashing all the toys inside the tree. As I dragged it down the driveway, it started to shed toys–dozens of hotwheels cars, tinker toys, legos, action figures and someone’s socks. The volume of what they’d stashed in those conveniently bushy branches was astounding!
Donna Bowman Bratton:
One December, when I was about ten years old, I came across something mysterious in our garage. It was large. Very large. And covered with blankets. I peeled one away and found a beautiful white and gold dresser. I was dumbfounded. At that moment, my older brother walked in. “You have to keep it a secret,” he said. “That’s Mom’s Christmas present.”
Penny Parker Klostermann:
I found a book of handwritten poems written by my maternal great- grandfather, Placido Costa. The worn and tattered notebook is dated, 1913, and they’re written in Italian, in numbered verses. I remember having a feeling of deep satisfaction and connection. It may sound strange, but that poetry was somehow in my blood—that it was his legacy to me somehow. I later found out that his son, my great uncle Salvadore, a Catholic priest, also wrote poetry in his spare time, but I never knew him very well. The poetry bug then skipped a generation— neither my mother or any of her siblings were interested in writing, but I was bitten.
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Thanks for joining us here at Emu’s Debuts! Please visit again on June 3rd, 4th, and 5th for new and exciting posts on Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s BOOK SCAVENGER.