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SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY: Launch Event & Pre-Order Campaign with WORD

January 17, 2019

THE LAUNCH OF SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY IS AROUND THE CORNER.

With March 5 fast approaching, I'm absolutely thrilled that WORD—a truly wonderful set of indie bookstores in the NYC/NJ area—is not only hosting my launch event in Jersey City, but is also running a fantastic pre-order campaign.

Absolutely check out their website for details, but the gist of it is as they say: Pre-order through WORD and receive a signed/personalized copy AND an exclusive poster.

(Of course, if you’d prefer, the book is also up on Amazon, BN, and elsewhere!)

Did I mention that I'm absolutely thrilled about this? And not just because I enjoy writing my own name.

BECAUSE OF THE POSTER!

What poster, you ask? (Oh! Thanks for asking!) It's glossy, 11x17 and, well, this:

BUT WHAT IS IT?

A fair question.

And if you haven't yet read the book (which, as of right now, you probably haven’t), there's no context for this. But there doesn't really need to be. Because it's exactly what it looks like:

A set of terms and conditions for the use of an alien time machine. You know what they say—Nothing appeals to middle grade readers quite like convoluted legal disclaimers.

Now, I could explain, but…NO SPOILERS! You'll just have to read the book to find out more. And remember: Some alternate universes may result.

SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY: It's a Map!

December 5, 2018

IT’S A BLOG POST!

My very first on this site. And I can think of no better occasion for it than today, EXACTLY THREE MONTHS before the launch of SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY, my middle-grade sci-fi book coming out on March 5, 2019 from Lerner/Carolrhoda.

Have you seen the cover? Probably. But what’s one more time between friends?

IT’S A COVER!

So cool, right?!

But I know, I know, you’re not here to be bludgeoned with the cover—you’re here (maybe?) because I hinted on Twitter that you could get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at one of the million things I absolutely love about SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY: The map/floor-plan of the school.

You see, a lot of the book takes place in the future, onboard the PSS 118, this old, rundown, “Public School Spaceship” orbiting Ganymede (one of Jupiter’s moons). Like any typical school, the PSS 118’s got classrooms, a gym, a cafeteria, a library, fusion reactors, and artificially intelligent lunch robots. That’s all pretty typical, right?

When my editor at Lerner told me they were game for including the school’s “Fire Escape Plan”—which is mentioned in the book—I was THRILLED. And I really think it came out great. Take a look!

IT’S A MAP!

Need to get to Dorm Bloc A from the Library/Media Center? Just walk past the Gym and head starboard. Can’t miss it. Need to pop into the teacher’s lounge from the Principal’s Office? Stairwell C’s your best bet. Get lost? There are plenty of AI Interface/Access Panels scattered about. So just ask the Ship. (Can’t promise it won’t give you a snarky answer, however. The Ship can be a little…cranky.)

SO MUCH thought went into this design. Which rooms are next to which? (Sometimes mentioned in the book, sometimes not.) How far down from one section to another? How big is a given room? How much dorm space do you need to house 100 5th, 6th, and 7th graders in space?

But we had to start somewhere. And that somewhere was my VERY INFORMAL, poorly drawn mockup that I scratched together on a medium-sized whiteboard. Note: I AM NOT AN ARTIST. And I’m DEFINITELY not a Space Architect. (Are there “Space Architects”? There should be.) But still. No bad ideas in brainstorming, right?

What do you think?!

IT’S A DRAFT!

Did you know that the Virginia Department of Education recommends 11-14 square feet of space per student in a middle school cafeteria if you’re going with “Rectangular Tables with Stacking Chairs”? Well, me neither. Not until I did research for the map, anyway. Something tells me that this is not exactly what the state government had in mind, when they put together their guidelines…But thanks, Virginia!

And thank YOU for reading this post, for being interested in the adventure that is SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY, and—oh yeah!—for entering the ARC (and more!) giveaway contest I’ve got running! (If you want to, of course.)

What’s the “more”?! It’s a pre-order of a copy of the final book too. I love my ARCs. But I love the finished product even more. You GOTTA have both!

Anyway, as I wrote on Twitter, just Retweet (don’t “Quote Tweet”) the original Tweet linking this post/announcing the contest AND follow. Open to US residents/addressees. Ends December 11, 2018, at 11:59pm. And I’ll have some randomizer Internet robot choose a winner on 12/12. Good luck!

And oh yeah. One more thing. Between now and the book launch date (March 5, 2019!), I’ll keep coming back here to tell you more (no spoilers!) behind-the-scenes stuff about SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY. I’m SO EXCITED for kids (and grown-ups too!) to read it. Hope you enjoy!