Summer Changes Everything
(Young Adult Fiction)
As sure as the seasons dissolve from one into the next, things will change. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing…
Dylan Martin is a street-hardened teen and top-notch skateboarder from Philadelphia. When he’s on his board, he’s in the Zone and can master tricks that others envy, but off his board, he’s often flailing and fighting just to stay grounded. Now he has hit rock bottom. A string of poor choices has placed him on a collision course with his parents and the police. He faces a looming court date and worse—he’s now being forced to spend the summer with his grandparents in the sleepy, backwater town of Russell, Pennsylvania.
Summer Changes Everything is a coming of age novel that explores the struggles that many teens face: addiction, family crisis, and identity. But it’s also a story of how unconditional love can make all the difference in a person’s life. When Dylan unexpectedly meets his first love, what he once called a death sentence turns out to be the summer that changes everything. With the help of this extraordinary girl, Dylan rediscovers his love of skateboarding and channels it into a positive force in his own life and the lives of those around him. But as old demons re-emerge, Dylan must come to grips with the person he once was and fight to overcome his past before it finally catches up with him.
If We’re Really Quiet, It Won’t Find Us
Famous Last Words Series
Something strange is going on in the woods around Camp Calamity. It started with the disappearance of the Davison’s chickens; then it was Mrs. Nussbaum’s cat, and now the Albertson’s dog has gone missing, too. Some say the disappearances are just a coincidence. Others say it’s something more sinister: a large wolf-like creature called the Hollow Howler that is rumored to roam the woods near Camp Calamity. When the mysterious disappearances threaten to close their beloved summer camp, four young friends, George, John, Peter, and Abby, devise a plan to find out the truth. They’re sure if they stick to their plan, they’ll be safe. The creature is said to have extremely poor eyesight from spending most of its existence in dark hibernation, but it is also said to have an acute sense of hearing, which it uses to home in on its unsuspecting prey. Rumor has it, if you’re really quiet, it won’t find you, but sometimes rumors are wrong, and sometimes your words can come back to haunt you.
If We’re Really Quiet, It Won’t Find Us is the first book in a series for kids ages 8-12 called Famous Last Words. Famous Last Words is an idiom used to describe an ironic comment that is made in a seemingly sure situation that is proven wrong by events (sometimes fatally). In this series, one of the main characters’ words always comes back to haunt them, thus explaining the book’s title.
(Middle Grade Historical Fiction)
It’s the eve of Independence Day 1876, and Patrick and Sissy are running for their lives. Their only hope lies in unlocking the mystery of a stone that emerged From Blue Ground.
Set in 1876 in the coal hills of Pennsylvania, the story follows two unwitting orphans, Patrick and Sissy Hughes, who are propelled on a desperate journey after witnessing the murder of their father. They carry with them a wooden box retrieved from a secret compartment beneath their father’s bed. His dying words to them: “keep it safe, keep it hidden.” Powerful men are looking for what’s inside the box and they will do anything they can to get it.
One hundred miles to the South, large crowds have gathered at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Patrick and Sissy’s father had promised to take them there for the Fourth of July celebration. Instead, they are running for their lives. Alone and on the run, they are pursued by their father’s murderer, James McKenna, a Pinkerton Security Agent who is working undercover investigating the Molly Maguires for the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. Patrick and Sissy’s only hope is to unlock the mystery of the contents of the box: a diary, a translucent blue stone and a bag of blue ground. That hope lies in Philadelphia with Henry Carvill Lewis, a professor of mineralogy at the Academy of Natural Sciences. As they make their way to Philadelphia, their pursuers grow in numbers and Patrick and Sissy must fight against time and the odds to stay together.