JeanBookNerd Storytellers BOX

Let your adventure begin...

Gregory Funaro


Sean Penn


Pocket Universe Productions

THE VAULT OF HORROR Official Nerd Blast

Tom Bilyeu

Impact Theory

Heather Burch

ANGEL BORN Official Nerd Blast

William L. Myers Jr.


Kelly Breffet

THE UNWILLING Official Blog Tour

E.E. KNight


Raymond Fleischmann


Gregg Olsen


Josh Duhamel


Erin Yun


Susann Cokal

MERMAID MOON Official Blog Tour

Anne Charnock

BRIDGE 108 Official Blog Tour

Charlie N. Holmberg


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Olivia Hayfield Author Interview

Photo Credit: © Helena Copsey

Olivia Hayfield is the pseudonym of British author Sue Copsey. Sue is usually in her office editing other people’s books, while Olivia is often in her writing hut at the bottom of the garden. After several years in London Zoo’s press office, Sue became an editor at Dorling Kindersley. She later moved to New Zealand, where she continues to work in publishing. Sue has written several children’s books, including The Ghosts of Tarawera, which was a Storylines Children’s Literature Trust Notable Book. Wife After Wife is her first adult novel. She is married with two children.


What inspired you to pen your first novel
I usually write for children and teens – Wife After Wife is my first novel for adults. The train of thought that led to this book was sparked by the #MeToo movement. I was pondering on the behaviour of certain high-profile men – one in particular – and Henry VIII, who has always fascinated me, popped into my head. He’s behaving just like Henry! I thought. But firing people rather than beheading them, obviously.

I took this thought forward. (Actually, it went of its own accord. Once it took hold, there was no stopping it.) What if Henry were alive today? What if he were reincarnated – the same person but with different influences. What if his wives were reincarnated too. How would they react to his behaviour? Strong, intelligent, forward-thinking women like Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr. Wouldn’t it be interesting (and fun) to see how things would play out in modern times? Perhaps I could give Henry VIII his come-uppance, by pitching him against modern versions of his six wives.

Tell us your latest news
As I write this I’m just weeks away from the launch of Wife After Wife. It’s incredibly exciting being published worldwide and seeing the response from readers to the advance copies Penguin have been sending out. Meanwhile I’ve been writing the sequel, Sister to Sister, which is told mainly from the point of view of Harry Rose’s daughter Eliza (Elizabeth 1st), but with Harry’s voice in there too. Eliza has a big influence on Harry, and we see him continuing his journey towards redemption.

While I wrote Wife After Wife mostly for fun, and was as surprised as I was delighted when it was picked up by two major publishers, writing the sequel has been a very different experience as there were deadlines – and I have a full-time day job and a family. So it’s been an intense year, and I’ve only just completed the second round of rewrites (I have a brilliant but demanding editor!). I’m thrilled with how it’s come together, and can’t wait to share it with readers who’ve enjoyed the first book.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I’m a book editor (the day job), and I continue to learn so much from working with good authors. Things like how to inject emotion into a scene, how to keep up the pace, how to make your characters believable and relatable (and loveable! Quite a challenge when it came to Harry Rose …)

For research into historical characters, I read Antonia Fraser, Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory. I love the insight of these female writers into those characters’ relationships and how they fared in the context of the times in which they lived.

As a reader I’ve always enjoyed contemporary fiction; books about relationships, moral dilemmas and so on. Recently I loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine; other favourites are Sebastian Faulkes, Jojo Moyes, Deborah Moggach, and David Nicholls. I like stories that sweep me away, that make me think deeply, and while I don’t read a great deal of literary fiction I do love those moments when the writing is so beautiful it stops me in my tracks, or makes me think about something in a new way. While I aim to make my writing accessible (publishing speak for not too taxing) I do try (hard!) to touch the reader’s heart, to make them think about things, perhaps even open their mind a little more. It’s up to us as writers to help change attitudes, to get readers to see things from another point of view. This seems particularly important at the moment.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Being contracted to write the sequel to Wife After Wife meant I could take a month off from my day job and hide myself away in my writing hut at the bottom of the garden, and do nothing but write from dawn to dusk (and beyond – sometimes past midnight if I was on a roll). Having always been a snatcher of writing time, this was a dream come true. I usually start my day with a walk (ideas come only when I get away from the computer). I live in the beautiful subtropical city of Auckland, and striding along the beach, letting those characters fill my head, imagining what they’d be like if they lived today … then coming home, ducking into my little hut and letting it all spill out, those characters coming alive on the page, the story pulling together – it was the most rewarding experience of my writing life.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I’d like them to be on the lookout for the parallels with the historical events mirrored in Wife After Wife. I think those who know something of Henry VIII and Tudor history will get more out of it than those who don’t, however, as I was writing the book I also wanted it to be a good read for those who know little or nothing of this period in English history. So there are nods in there to make Tudorphiles smile knowingly, e.g. Harry’s love of tennis (Henry VIII invented the game); Katie singing ‘I had a little nut tree’ to her baby (‘The King of Spain’s daughter’ is Katherine of Aragon) and I hope many readers will pick up on these.

But mostly I want them to entertained, and perhaps be inspired to learn a little more of the real story of Henry VIII and his wives. It’s fascinating how his impact has rippled on down the centuries, for example his split with Rome (mirrored as Harry’s pro-Brexit stance in Wife After Wife). And in England, there’s still no escaping the man. Every gift shop, every castle – there’s Harry in his power pose, legs apart, those broad shoulders, that mean little mouth. On trips home to the UK, my kids would say, ‘Who is this man? He’s everywhere!’

In your new book; WIFE AFTER WIFE, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it
The premise of Wife After Wife is that Henry VIII is reincarnated in the 20th century, but instead of being a prince, Harry is heir to media giant Rose Corp. He’s the same person, but with vastly different influences.

I asked myself the question, What turned Henry VIII from a handsome, intelligent, golden king into an obese tyrant? The most important factor to me was Henry’s absolute power – no one dared say no to this man. The other was his ill health later in life, which was the result of a nasty leg injury that wouldn’t heal, exacerbated by his burgeoning weight.

So … what if he didn’t have absolute power, modern medicine healed his leg, and his wives kept an eye on his diet? One consequence would be that he would remain hot! Harry Rose is pretty damn irresistible. But in these days of #MeToo, would his wives, who in this modern version are strong, independent women, stand for his behaviour? Would they stay with him if he strayed?

What part of Harry did you enjoy writing the most?
I don’t have the words to describe how much I enjoyed creating Harry. If I had to choose which part of him I love most, it would be his wit. Harry has an acerbic, quintessentially British sense of humour, and I hope this appeals to readers as much as it does to me!

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
This is such an interesting question! I’d like Harry Rose to meet a modern-day Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice). She’d think Harry was far too full of himself, but he’d wear her down, and she’d discover that he’s sweet underneath, and she’d visit his enormous Richmond mansion and that would probably swing it; they’d fall in love and there would be no wife number two, three, four, five or six.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
I worked for a year as an editor on a children’s encyclopaedia so I’m a mine of useless information. Longest river, biggest carrot, fastest-swimming fish – I know it all. One that I always enjoy surprising children with is that starfishes can turn their stomachs inside-out – they send their stomach out to engulf their prey then bring it back inside.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?
In a maharajah’s palace in India I was horrified to see a hollowed-out elephant’s leg used as an umbrella stand, while its ear and trunk had been turned into a hall table.

Best date you've ever had?
For our wedding anniversary a few years ago I was expecting dinner at a favourite Auckland harborside restaurant, but my husband walked me straight past it and onto a pier where a beautiful boat was waiting, along with our best friends, fabulous catering, champagne, a playlist of my favourite music … We sailed up the harbour; the moon was up and the night was warm. Doesn’t get much better!

What is your favorite restaurant in town and why?
There’s a cafĂ© called Buoy, down at the local yacht marina, where we’ve been going for brunch for years. There’s something about seaside cafes. The sound of tinkling ropes on masts, the seagulls, the turquoise water of Auckland Harbour. And damn fine coffee.

What did you do for your last birthday?
It was a bit different, in that my husband and son were overseas so it was just me and my daughter, who’s nineteen. But it was fun! We phoned up for a curry and watched my favourite movie (Out of Africa). I couldn’t wait to share it with her, but she said Robert Redford was ‘old’ and was generally underwhelmed by the story. Disappointing.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
That time when Netflix asked who I thought should play Harry Rose in the movie adaptation of Wife After Wife, and I said Henry Cavill, and they said would I like to attend the screen test, and he and I got along so well and went for cocktails … yes, it’s my job to make things up.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
When my agent phoned to tell me Penguin Random House in New York had made an offer for Wife After Wife. I may have screamed a little.

  • Harry Rose (Henry VIII). Loves tennis, London, women, fast cars, but most of all himself. He’s bad. But he learns from the women in his life how to be less bad. His character arc continues into the sequel. Will he learn his lesson?
  • Kit Marley, a main character in the sequel. Based on Elizabethan playwright and Shakespeare’s contemporary, Christopher Marlowe. Enigmatic, outrageously sexy, wild – even badder than Harry. Random fact: he’s the only character in either book who gets what’s really going on.
  • Terri Robbins-More. Potty-mouthed editor of The Rack; a working-class Yorkshire lass who loathes upper-class schoolboy types (Harry) on principle. Based on Sir Thomas More, in that she’s the voice of Harry’s conscience and stands her ground on the things that matter. Random fact: Thomas More wrote Utopia, about an imaginary ideal island nation.
  • Eliza Rose (Elizabeth 1st). Harry’s kick-ass feminist daughter and heir to Rose Corp. Beautiful, vivacious, brilliantly clever; loves glamorous men but won’t let them close. Random fact: Elizabeth 1st received a marriage proposal from Ivan the Terrible. She turned him down – he’d already had seven wives. Even more than her dad. No wonder she remained a virgin.
  • Ana Lyebon (Anne Boleyn). My trickiest character. Even today, nearly five hundred years after her death, Anne divides opinion. Take a peek into the Tudor Facebook groups and read the pro- and anti-Anne spats! Ana’s ambition is her downfall, but my 20th-century version won’t put up with Harry’s behaviour. Random fact: Anne Boleyn’s ‘sixth finger’ was a myth perpetrated after her death. Her body was exhumed in the 19th century and there was no evidence of a sixth digit.
  • Rob Studley (Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester). Eliza’s love interest in the sequel. A drop-dead-gorgeous metrosexual; exuberant, clever, a real wide boy. He reminds us of Harry, in many ways. But he has a problem with Eliza being the boss – and also with her friendship with the wild, beguiling Kit Marley. Tension! Every author’s favourite tool. Random fact: Robert Dudley’s castle is just up the road from where I was born.
  • Clare Barr (Catherine Parr). Harry’s beloved sixth wife, so wise and calm and intelligent – does Harry deserve her? Is she in fact perfect? Does she have any vices? Random fact: Catherine Parr had a fondness for black satin lingerie.
  • Sue, the Press Officer at London Zoo who organises Harry’s family photo shoot. A brief appearance, but a favourite character, because this is me (Olivia Hayfield is her pseudonym). Random fact: Sue once kept a giant panda company in the back of a van on the way to Heathrow Airport.
  • Will Bardington (William Shakespeare) – another main character in Sister to Sister. A real sweetheart and best friend of Eliza Rose. Has a tendency to overdramatize things, and gets into regular creative spats with Kit Marley, with whom he’s secretly in love. Random fact: my ancestors in Warwickshire were neighbours of the Shakespeares. True!
  • Maria Rose (Mary Tudor, ‘Bloody Mary’): troubled, socially awkward eldest daughter of Harry Rose. Sets out to improve the moral landscape of the British media, sparking conflict with her father and sister. Falls for US TV evangelist Phil Seville (King Philip of Spain) with tragic consequences. Random fact: Elizabeth 1’s coffin was placed directly on top of Mary Tudor’s in Westminster Abbey, symbolising how Mary was in life overshadowed by her younger sister. While Elizabeth got a monument, Mary only got an inscription.

If Philippa Gregory and Jackie Collins went out for cocktails and wrote a book, they'd come back with Wife After Wife.

A wickedly entertaining and utterly absorbing modern take on the life and marriages of Henry VIII...if he were a twenty-first-century womanizing media mogul rather than the king of England.

Master of the universe Harry Rose is head of the Rose Corporation, number eighteen on the Forbes rich list, and recently married to wife number six. But in 2018, his perfect world is about to come crashing to the ground. His business is in the spotlight--and not in a good way--and his love life is under scrutiny. Because behind a glittering curtain of lavish parties, gorgeous homes, and a media empire is a tale worthy of any tabloid.

And Harry has a lot to account for.


“You don’t have to be a Tudor aficionado to adore Wife After Wife, however, those in the know will be especially delighted with this modern-day retelling of the six wives of Henry VIII. For all others, Hayfield’s clever novel is a delicious read for anyone looking to sink into a big juicy story about love, lust, betrayal and other unfortunate consequences of the heart.” —Renee Rosen, bestselling author of Park Avenue Summer

“This page-turner will delight both Tudorphiles and readers who love a dishy tellallabout rich people behaving badly.” —Booklist

“This story will resonate with readers, even those less familiar with British royal history. For fans of updated Jane Austen books, such as Soniah Kamal’s Unmarriageable and Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, and those who are ready to branch out.” Library Journal

You can purchase Wife After Wife at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you OLIVIA HAYFIELD for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Wife After Wife by Olivia Hayfield.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal

Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (March 3, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1536209597
ISBN-13: 978-1536209594


“Susann Cokal’s latest miracle, Mermaid Moon, springs from the tides where Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid once swam — and walked to land. But she delivers something even more rich and strange, and a mermaid heroine who will swim away with your heart.” —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon

An award-winning author tells of a mermaid who leaves the sea in search of her landish mother in a captivating tale spun with beautiful prose, lush descriptions, empathy, and keen wit.

This is just a children's tale; would you wreck your ship for it?
Would you drown for a mere mother's story?

Sanna is a mermaid -- except her mother was landish, not seavish. The undersea witch who delivered her cast a spell that made her people, and her mother, forget her birth. Sanna longs to find her mother so much that she apprentices herself to the witch, learns the magic of making and unmaking, and fashions herself a pair of legs to go ashore on the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands, the nearest anyone can remember to where they left her mother. There, Sanna stumbles into a wall of white roses and a community desperate for a miracle -- and into a baroness who would do anything to live forever. From the author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book The Kingdom of Little Wounds comes an original fairy tale of belonging, sacrifice, choice, hope, magic, and mortality.

You can purchase Mermaid Moon at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from Susann Cokal

Susann Cokal is a moody historical novelist, a pop-culture essayist, book critic, magazine editor, and sometime professor of creative writing and modern literature. She lives in a creepy old farmhouse in Richmond, Virginia, with seven cats, a big dog, a spouse, and some peacocks that supposedly belong to a neighbor.

Susann's third book, The Kingdom of Little Wounds, received several national awards, including a silver medal from the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award series. It also got starred reviews in Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, and Publishers Weekly, and praise from Booklist, The New York Times Boook Review, and other venues. It was #3 on the Boston Globe list of best YAs of the 2013 and won an ALAN citation from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Look under "1572" for fun and not-so-fun facts about life in the era in which The Kingdom is set. And look ahead a year or so for a follow-up young adult novel, Mermaid Moon.

Susann's other novels, Mirabilis (PenguinPutnam 2001) and Breath and Bones (Unbridled Books 2005), also came in for some recognition; see reviews, articles, and related ephemera under "BOOKS."

And now I'll drop the third person: I hope you'll spend some time looking around at my short stories, essays, articles, and the magazine I edit, Broad Street. This page is mostly about The Kingdom; I hope you'll find something interesting in a corner here or elsewhere.

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*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

Monday, January 20, 2020

Charlie N. Holmberg Author Interview

Photo Content from Charlie N. Holmberg

Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance, and her novel The Fifth Doll won the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. She is a board member for Deep Magic Ezine and lives with her family in Utah.


Print Length: 265 pages
Publisher: 47North (January 21, 2020)
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English


“…An immersive, dangerous fantasy world. Holmberg draws readers in with a fast-moving plot, rich details, and a surprisingly sweet human-monster romance. This is a lovely, memorable fairy tale.” —Publishers Weekly

“Holmberg ably builds her latest fantasy world, and her brisk narrative and the romance at its heart will please fans of her previous magical tales.” —Booklist

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
My very first one, unpublished and green as can be, was inspired by anime. Anime is what made me want to write—I watched The Vision of Escaflowne when I was thirteen and yearned to create a story like that one.

My very first finished book, unpublished, was called “The Oracle Seals” and was inspired by the video game Tales of Symphonia.

My very first published book, The Paper Magician, was inspired by a general love of origami and the thought, what if this paper crane could come to life?

Tell us your latest news.
The Will and the Wilds, my standalone fantasy romance, releases January 21st! After that I have the first book of my new duology, Spellbreaker. It’s a historical fantasy and releases September 8th. 

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Two of my biggest influencers have been Hayao Miyazaki and Brandon Sanderson. I love that they tell different stories in a different way, and I strive to be unique in my storytelling as well. I want to write books people haven’t read before. I want to take readers by surprise.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Truthfully and honestly, it’s seeing complete strangers praise a book I wrote. Goodreads, blogs, social media. It still boggles my mind that people I’ve never met, sometimes who are on the other side of the world, have read and enjoyed a story I’ve penned. It’s an amazing feeling.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I want them to feel like they’re in a fairytale. I want it to feel familiar, even though there’s new things to discover. I want them to hurt for the characters, because I love it when books tug at my heartstrings. If I can make a reader cry, I feel like I’ve done my job.

Can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about your new book, THE WILL AND THE WILDS?
Absolutely! The Will and the Wilds is about an amateur scholar named Enna who is fascinated by mystings, or otherworldly monsters that often trespass the wildwood near her home. But one day a mysting gets too close. To combat him, Enna hires a mysting of her own—a demon named Maekallus. Their deal creates a magical bond between them. But Maekallus gets trapped in the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. With his life tied to Enna’s, she’s at risk as well. The only way to stave off the realm’s feasting is to give Maekallus pieces of her soul, which she can only do by kissing him. Now Maekallus is starting to feel for the first time, while Enna is losing herself little by little.

What part of Enna did you enjoy writing the most?
Her desire to know. Her yearning to learn and to study and to be taken seriously as an academic. She didn’t really have those traits in the first draft of the book, and once I gave them to her, the novel really came to life. We’re able to better experience the world through Enna’s eyes because of her thirst to discover.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
You know, it might be interesting to introduce Maekallus to Ignifex from Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. I think they’d be good friends. ;)

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Love yourself. Don’t be afraid to embrace your quirks. Be unashamedly you. God doesn’t make mistakes; He has purpose in everything.

Best date you've ever had?
Me and my husband’s first date was pretty stellar! It was 11.5 hours long. We went to an amusement park with another fun couple and then out to frozen yogurt afterwards. I’d had a crush on him for six years, and it was Halloween season… so I got to cling to his arm through all the haunted houses!

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
Princess Anne of Bohemia started the side-saddle riding trend for women in the 14th century. She thought it would protect her virginity.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride? 
Virginia! Only a few years ago, too.

Favorite things to do alone?
Talk to myself. That might sound weird, but I figure out a lot of personal and book stuff when I talk it out.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I would give my junior high self a backbone. I would stand up for myself more.

What according to you is your most treasured possession?
One of them is definitely this “Santa dog” stuffed animal I have. I got it for Christmas before my second birthday and it’s stayed by my side ever since.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
Either a story idea or my hair. ;)

  • “Monsters are only ever fascinating from afar.”
  •  “The mortal realm will devour a mysting’s body. The monster realm will destroy a human’s mind.”
  • “What is a soul, if not an extension of the heart?”
  • “Only Maekallus can mend my soul, if such a thing is possible.
    “Could Tennith mend my heart?”
  • “To understand my father’s sacrifice, why he risked so much for a simple stone, one need only look to the horror in which I came into this world.”
  • “Of all the injury I’ve suffered, none of it compares to the misery of that disintegrating hope.”
  • “Do I lose the man Maekallus has become by retrieving my own soul? The man who bathed in my tears, who held me as I fell asleep, who kept the nightmares away?
    “Does that man even exist?”
  • “Without my soul inside him, what has he become?”
  • “It would take only one kiss. One kiss, and I could feel his arms around me, his mouth against mine. A moment of bliss for a piece of my dwindling spirit.”
  • “There can be no happy ending for us.”

A spellbinding story of truce and trickery from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician series.

Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.

Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.

Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.

You can purchase The Will and the Wilds at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHARLIE N. HOLMBERG for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive a Copy of THE WILL AND THE WILDS by Charlie N. Holmberg.
JANUARY 21st TUESDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
JANUARY 22nd WEDNESDAY Random Bookish Banter REVIEW
JANUARY 24th FRIDAY J.R.'s Book Reviews REVIEW

JANUARY 27th MONDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
JANUARY 28th TUESDAY Wishful Endings REVIEW 
JANUARY 31st FRIDAY Life Within The Pages REVIEW

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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{Nerd Blast} Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Fabled Films Press (February 4, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944020268
ISBN-13: 978-1944020262


"An empowering celebration of identity, friendship, and embracing one’s roots, Yun’s loose reimagining of Great Expectations follows a first-generation Korean-American girl learning to navigate her new life at an elite private school.... author Yun writes of Korean-American family life with heart- warming, authentic detail..." —Publishers Weekly December 1st issue

“Pippa is a magnetic heroine, funny and good-hearted, and young readers will relate as she makes one honest mistake after another in an effort to fit in. A nice balancing act between sports action, middle-school drama, and the struggles of an underprivileged immigrant family that will appeal to a wide audience.” —Booklist November 1st issue

“In this reimagining of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, familiar themes and predictability are offset by the depiction of Korean culture and language, which add texture and depth to the narrative. Readers will sympathize with this likable heroine as she struggles to succeed. VERDICT An enjoyable read with a buoyant contemporary twist on an old classic.” —School Library Journal November 1st issue

“This is a highly engaging and relevant title for schools that takes up issues of social class, ethnic identity, and the venture of staying true to oneself which will lend itself well to educators and parents looking to support growth in today's tweens. Highly Recommended.” —School Library Connection March 2020 issue

“In Erin Yun’s enchanting Pippa Park Raises Her Game, a girl starts a new school and tries to reinvent her image... an exciting middle grade novel about middle school struggles and feeling out of place.” —Foreword Reviews March 2020 issue

This is a Nerd Blast, you will post the promotional info we provide you with, including the giveaway. No reviews required. Please mark your Calendar.

A Contemporary Reimagining of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for Middle Graders

Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. It seems like everyone, from her family to the other kids at school, has a plan for how her life should look. So when Pippa gets a mysterious basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself by following the “Rules of Cool.”

At Lakeview, Pippa juggles old and new friends, an unrequited crush, and the pressure to perform academically and athletically while keeping her past and her family’s laundromat a secret from her elite new classmates. But when Pippa begins to receive a string of hateful, anonymous messages via social media, her carefully built persona is threatened.

As things begin to spiral out of control, Pippa discovers the real reason she was admitted to Lakeview and wonders if she can keep her old and new lives separate, or if she should even try.

Author Q&A and Discussion Questions included in book

A Contemporary Reimagining of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for Middle Graders
Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. It seems like everyone, from her family to the other kids at school, has a plan for how her life should look. So when Pippa gets a surprising basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself.

At Lakeview, Pippa struggles with popularity and the pressure to perform academically and athletically while keeping her past and family’s laundromat a secret from her elite new classmates. Juggling jealous Queen Bees, old and new friends, her own place at Lakeview, and an unrequited crush on the school's most handsome— and most haughty— 8th grader is hard enough. But when Pippa begins to receive a string of hateful, anonymous messages via social media that threaten to unmask her carefully built persona, things begin to spiral out of control. 
With pressure mounting, Pippa discovers the real reason she was admitted to Lakeview Private, and wonders if she can keep her old and new lives separate, or if she should even try.

You can purchase Pippa Park Raises Her Game at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from Erin Yun

Debut author Erin Yun grew up in Frisco, Texas. She received her BFA in English from New York University and served as president of its policy debate team. This experience came in handy for her job as the debate consultant for the Tony-nominated Best Play on Broadway—What the Constitution Means to Me. Erin is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and has written reviews and articles for BookBrowse. She currently lives in New York City, and yes—she used to play basketball as a middle grader!


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