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Archives - September 2018

Interview: Jonathan Auxier, author of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Sep 16, 2018

Monsters, chimney sweeping and a strong girl lead are the ingredients for a heartwarming tale of friendship and hope. Jonathan Auxier's latest middle grade novel SWEEP: The Story of a Girl and her Monster portrays 11-year-old Nan Sparrow in the a gritty world of Victorian London where, for nearly a century, the city has relied on “climbing boys” --- orphans owned by chimney sweeps --- to clean flues and protect homes from fire. Nan is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived --- and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time after time. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic, and huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature made from ash and coal. In anticipation of the novel's release on September 25, we interviewed Auxier and asked him all about the world of Victorian London, the power of friendship and stories and what he hopes his young readers will take away from his book. Read on to see his answers!

Interview: Mary Downing Hahn, author of The Girl in the Locked Room: A Ghost Story

Sep 4, 2018

Accomplished author Mary Downing Hahn has been writing historical and ghost stories for children for over 30 years. Following last year's ONE FOR SORROW, Hahn returns this September with her newest novel, THE GIRL IN THE LOCKED ROOM. When Jules, a young girl in a new town, discovers a ghost locked in an abandoned house nearby, she initially can't shake her fear. After a while, however, she begins to become interested in the girl's story. Meeting Maisie, another girl who lives in the area, at the public library, she learns some of the history behind the town, history that might explain where the ghost came from, and why she is locked away. Soon the two girls begin working together to try to free the ghost stuck in the locked room. No stranger to the ghost story genre, Mary Downing Hahn joined us for an interview to discuss her writing process, her favorite novels and her own experience with the supernatural.