Thanks so much for subscribing to my newsletter. This month, I have three extra-special things for my beloved subscribers - an early cover reveal for my Fall 2022 novel CONTROLLED BURN, exclusive info on how to sign up to be a member of THE PEACH PACK (this opportunity will only be offered through my newsletter!), and NEW BOOK NEWS!
I am thrilled to share this absolutely gorgeous and perfect cover for my next middle-grade novel, CONTROLLED BURN, which will be published by Scholastic Press on November 1, 2022! The art for the jacket was drawn by Oriol Vidal, who has created some of my favorite book covers over the past few years (These Unlucky Stars, Glitter Gets Everywhere)! This novel will be available a little earlier in the fall (in paperback) through Scholastic's book clubs and book fairs, and will release in hardcover on the very first day of November. Drumroll, please...
We've already received several INCREDIBLE blurbs for this story, from two of my all-time favorite authors - Anne Ursu (The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy and The Lost Girl) and Hena Khan (More to the Story and Amina's Song). Anyone who has chatted books with me over the past decade has heard me recommend both of these authors' novels over and over again. I love all of Anne and Hena's books, but Anne's Breadcrumbs and Hena's Amina's Voice are two of the very best books I have ever read. I am honored they were both willing to read and share their thoughts about this story for the jacket of the book:
"Controlled Burn is a testament to the power and beauty of everyday moments of bravery, compassion, and love. It shows us that though these moments might feel small, they can add up to something profound and even help a wounded heart find healing. A gorgeous, tender, wonderful book."
-Anne Ursu, author of The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy
“A compelling and moving exploration of the bonds of family, overcoming fears, and the power of friendship.”
-Hena Khan, author of More to the Story
This past summer, my then-13-year-old son and I set off on Lake Superior's north shore, to complete a 100-mile hike along the Superior Hiking Trail. We went on this outing for various reasons - fun and fitness, love of the outdoors, quality time together, and also to help me research a story I've been working on this past year. Well, guess what? That story is gonna be a book! This hasn't been officially announced yet, but I signed a contract this past week and can share the good news that JUST KEEP WALKING will be published by Scholastic Press in the spring of 2024. I get to work with Sam Palazzi, my amazing Controlled Burn editor, again and we are both SO excited about this adventurous, heartfelt, and thrilling follow-up to my first middle-grade novel with Scholastic.
Here's what JUST KEEP WALKING is about:
Two years after her parents’ surprising and painful split, twelve-year-old Jo and her mom attempt a 100-mile hike on the Superior Hiking Trail along Lake Superior’s north shore together, on a quest to try to rediscover their strength, build resilience, and prove they can survive—deep in the woods, and in their new life together—on their own.
Along the trail, they suffer through endless aches and pains, scorching heat, and crippling self-doubt; deal with bears, moose, and other wildlife; meet and befriend a collection of other hikers; and stuff their entire lives into a pair of thirty-pound packs so they can experience the beauty and power of wilderness in a whole new way. Just when Jo and her mom begin to think they might successfully achieve their goal of hiking 100-miles in just under two weeks, Jo’s mom succumbs to a major injury and can’t carry on. But thanks to the kindness and support of some fellow-hikers-turned-friends, Jo has the chance to try to finish the journey for the two of them and, in the process, begins to figure out how to overcome her fear of being alone.
Just Keep Walking is a story about personal strength and resilience, a powerful mother-daughter bond, and (much like Soderberg Downing’s forthcoming novel Controlled Burn) the healing and restorative power of wilderness and nature.
If you enjoyed Alone by Megan Freeman, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart, or The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling, you'll love JUST KEEP WALKING!
Want to join THE PEACH PACK?
My publisher - Pixel+Ink - and I have been working on some fun ideas to celebrate the upcoming release of THE GREAT PEACH EXPERIMENT 2: THE PEACH PIT, and we'd like to invite you to be a part of THE PEACH PACK. Here are some loose details of what it is - for those who sign up, I'll send you an email with more information in the next week or so (if you signed up when I sent out my last newsletter, you should have already received an email from me!).
1) I would love to celebrate this release by doing a bunch of virtual visits with schools, just like I did last spring on my Peach Pie Truck tour - so I will be offering FREE visits to Peach Pack members to celebrate the launch of Book 2!
2) We have a very limited number of printed ARCs for this book, and signing up for The Peach Pack is one of the only ways to get one (most of my ARCs are being saved for those who signed up to participate after I sent my last newsletter, but there are a few more up for grabs....)!
3) I have tons of bookmarks available to give to students, and would love to send them to you to share with kids!
If you would like to be a part of THE PEACH PACK (or, Peach Peck, if you will), please check out the details and sign up via the button below. I'll get you lots more info via email.
THE PEACH PIT is filled with lots of recipes, sketchbook entries, and tons of other fun stuff tucked between chapters (all the bonus goodies/art have made this book run a bit longer than Book 1!). Here's a tasty recipe Freddy created for the Peach family's B&B guests to send you off hungry....
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
ERIN SODERBERG DOWNING has written more than fifty books for kids, tweens, and young adults. The first book in her new middle-grade series - THE GREAT PEACH EXPERIMENT: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie - rolled into stores in Spring 2021 and is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Some of her other popular titles include two fun series – Puppy Pirates and The Quirks – and the magical middle-grade novel Moon Shadow. UPCOMING: The Great Peach Experiment 2: The Peach Pit will be released in April 2022, and Erin's next middle-grade novel - Controlled Burn - will be published by Scholastic Press in Fall 2022. Before becoming an author, Erin was a children’s book editor, a cookie inventor, and also worked for Nickelodeon. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, three hilarious kids, a cuddly goldendoodle named Wally (the star of Puppy Pirates!), and Nutmeg the mischievous mini aussiedoodle puppy.