Friday, March 19
The Sixty-Eight Rooms
is the first novel by friend Marianne Malone (sister of close friend, Emilie Nichols, who introduced us.) It is a fantasy adventure novel for young tweens, happily bridging that awkward gap between Juvenile and Young Adult (which latter genre I personally think should be re-named Young Depressive...mostly all angst and tragedy. Not much fun for the still sparkle-eyed tweenagers.)
Anyway, I can't say enough about how terrific this book is! Marianne, a mom herself, has a great feel for the zeitgeist of this age group: an itch for action, developing intellectual curiosity, new emotions arising, burgeoning social awareness and of course... a huge appetite for fun! The book reminds me of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, only with more of a magical twist. It is charmingly illustrated by Greg Call.
I was privileged to be an early reader of the manuscript when Marianne asked me for my unvarnished opinion before she'd even gotten a book deal. What a pleasure it was to honestly be able to say "This is a winner!" (And how extremely nice to be proven right, too.) Released by Random House last month, Marianne is already juggling a number of book events. If there is a young middle-schooler in your life, I recommend you run right out and get it: spring break, a.k.a. "Mom, I'm bored!"-ville is on its way!
Here are some additional links:
Publisher's Weekly Interview