We always feature the latest YA releases here at Novel Novice, but we’re also building up our coverage of top-notch quality Middle Grade novels. After all, we have our very own Middle Grade expert — that is, our reviewer, 11-year-old Elena. She recently raved about Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky — which is in stores today.
And if Elena’s review wasn’t enough to convince you, here’s an excerpt & illustration released to us from Walden Pond Press to help entice you even more:
As Juniper and Giles entered the room, the man stood. He was extremely tall, taller than any man Juniper had ever seen. In fact, almost everything about him had length. Each body part was extended: long legs, long arms, long neck, long fingers. He was enveloped in a ratty hooded cloak, his elongated face concealed in shadow. His bony pale fingers wrapped around a wood staff and Juniper noticed his nails were long and dark as if painted midnight blue. As the shroud pulled tight against his body with each movement and gesture it was clear how very feminine it was. There seemed to be no fat whatsoever and little muscle – a fragile, lank, and stretched frame. Barefoot – his feet were nearly skeletal – he leaned against the staff, hunched over and shifting all his weight to one hip. He was a gangly creature, and would have seemed close to the point of breaking if not for the fact that he nearly slithered about, his limbs like anacondas in their movement.
The man, if he could be called such a thing, stepped closer, slinking his way toward the children, his face still hidden but for a smile that glowed like moonlight. It was all teeth, long yellowed teeth that stretched his purplish lips wide across his face – a twisted triangle of sneering terror. “I’m so glad you came,” he nearly squealed.
Juniper didn’t know what to say for she wasn’t glad to be in that room with him, far from it. She considered running, fleeing for safety, but convinced herself to remain if she wanted to help her parents. She had to be brave even as a fearful voice repeated over and over in her head, He has too many teeth. He has too many teeth. He has too many teeth.
Juniper Berry is in stores today! But thanks to our friends at Walden Pond Press, we’re giving you a chance to win a finished copy!
Just fill out the Novel Novice Juniper Berry Contest Entry Form to be entered in a drawing!
One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of Juniper Berry.
- U.S. or Canada Only
- One Entry Per Person
- Use the Entry Form
All entries are due by this Friday, April 29th at midnight (PT).
Questions? Leave ’em in the comments & we’ll reply!
Here’s the official synopsis & book trailer:
Juniper Berry’s parents are the most beloved actor and actress in the world—but Juniper can’t help but feel they haven’t been quite right lately. And she and her friend Giles are determined to find out why.
On a cold and rainy night, Juniper follows her parents as they sneak out of the house and enter the woods. What she discovers is an underworld filled with contradictions: one that is terrifying and enticing, lorded over by a creature both sinister and seductive, who can sell you all the world’s secrets bound in a balloon. For the first time, Juniper and Giles have a choice to make. And it will be up to them to confront their own fears in order to save the ones who couldn’t.
M.P. Kozlowsky’s debut is a modern-day fairy tale of terror, temptation, and ways in which it is our choices that make us who we are.