Middle Grade Mavens: Dana Alison Levy, Jen Malone, Anna Staniszewski, Jennifer Ann Mann

Four Massachusetts authors join forces to share their new books for readers between 8 and 12:

  • Dana Alison Levy, The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher
  • Jen Malone, At Your Service
  • Anna Staniszewski, The Prank List
  • Jennifer Ann Mann, Sunny Sweet is So Dead Meat

Meet the Fletchers. Their year will be filled with new schools, old friends, a grouchy neighbor, hungry skunks, leaking ice rinks, school plays, wet cats, and scary tales told in the dark! There’s Sam, age twelve, who’s mostly interested in soccer, food, and his phone; Jax, age ten, who’s psyched for fourth grade and thinks the new neighbor stinks, and not just because of the skunk; Eli, age ten (but younger than Jax), who’s thrilled to be starting this year at the Pinnacle School, where everyone’s the smart kid; and Frog (not his real name), age six, who wants everyone in kindergarten to save a seat for his invisible cheetah. Also Dad and Papa. The Family Fletcher is fun to know.

Dana Alison Levy was raised by pirates but escaped at a young age and went on to earn a degree in aeronautics and puppetry. Actually, that’s not true—she just likes to make things up. That’s why she always wanted to write books. She was born and raised in New England and studied English literature before going to graduate school for business. While there is value in all learning, had she known she would end up writing for a living, she might not have struggled through all those statistics and finance classes. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher is her first published novel, but she has a trunk full of other attempts, which vary in degrees of awfulness.

Thirteen-year-old Chloe Turner wants nothing more than to follow in Dad’s footsteps as a respected concierge in a posh NYC hotel. After all, living at a hotel is heaven, and perks like free concert tickets and all-access passes to boutiques, restaurants, and attractions aren’t too shabby either.

When the spoiled brat child of an important guest is only placated by some quick thinking on Chloe’s part, Chloe is awarded the role of Junior Concierge. But she might be in over her head when tasked with tending to the every whim of three royal guests: a twelve-year-old princess who can’t stand Chloe, a cute fourteen-year-old prince(!), and their ten-year-old sister, who has a nasty knack for getting herself lost. After the youngest princess slips Chloe’s care, Chloe and the remaining royals must embark on an event-filled hunt for her through NYC’s best tourist spots. 

Jen Malone's debut At Your Service publishes with Simon & Schuster/Aladdin Mix in August 2014 and a new co-written series, RSVP, will follow with book one launching in 2015. Her debut young adult novel Wanderlost will publish with HarperCollins in 2016. Jen lives north of Boston with her husband, her identical twin sons and their little sister, teaches at Boston University, and has a slight obsession with hedgehogs. Please visit her website at www.jenmalonewrites.com. If you spot a hedgehog, click on it to see something extra cool!

Rachel never thought she'd fight for the right to clean toilets, but she has to save her mom's business. Nothing can distract her from her mission - except maybe Whit, the cute new guy in cooking class. Then she discovers something about Whit that could change everything. After destroying her Dirt Diary, Rachel thought she was done with secrets, but to save her family's business, Rachel's going to have to get her hands dirty. Again.

Anna Staniszewski lives and works in the Boston area. She's the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series and the Dirt Diary series–-both published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky–-as well as the occasional dinosaur/robot picture book. You can visit Anna at www.annastan.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/annastanisz.

When a bottle of ketchup explodes all over Masha Sweet, she thinks it’s an accident. She’s trying to be kinder to her little sister, Sunny, so she shouldn’t jump to conclusions…or should she? Turns out Sunny has devised a special science experiment that requires Masha to look totally weird all day. But Masha is not having it. If it kills her (or Sunny!) she will figure out how to get them home from the science fair without causing a scene. But add in a pair of little brothers who take Masha on a wild goose chase through the school, a short detour through a cemetery, and a run-in with a cute boy and this whole day is one big scene. Which just might be what Sunny had in mind...she is so dead meat!

Jennifer Ann Mann lives in Brookline with a houseful of friends and family and writes funny chapter books for kindergarten through 3rd graders. Sunny Sweet is So Not Sweet published in 2013. 

Event date: 
Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
Porter Square Shopping Center
25 White Street
02140 Cambridge
Staff Pick Logo
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385376525
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers - July 22nd, 2014

Sunny Sweet Is SO Dead Meat Cover Image
ISBN: 9781599909783
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books - May 13th, 2014

The Prank List Cover Image
ISBN: 9781402286391
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - July 1st, 2014

At Your Service Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481402835
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - August 26th, 2014