[Note: I was honored to be invited to the Indies Introduce Children’s panel last summer. A group of ten booksellers from all over the country read through middle grade and young adult novels by first-time novelists. We had regular conference calls discussing each book and eventually selected what we considered to be the ten best books by debut authors. Those books are now (woot!) being published and I’m excited to introduce them to the Eight Cousins community. Over the next few days, I’ll discuss each of the books.]
Todays Featured Indies Introduce titles are Knightley and Son by Rohan Gavin and Steering Toward Normal by Rebecca Petruck.
Knightley & Son is the perfect book for lovers of mystery, intrigue, British humor, and nefarious self-help books. Detective Alan Knightley has been in an unexplained coma for four years. Son Darkus has been reading up on his father’s case files determined to find the explanation. When Knightley suddenly wakes up, Darkus insists that his father needs his help, especially since there seem to be odd side-effects of the coma. What do self-help books have to do with it? Everything! Obviously. Well, probably. It’s hard to
tell prove. Enter Knightley & Son.
Diggy, like many 8th graders, has a hobby. A hobby that takes up most of his out-of-school hours. It requires dedication, perseverance, practice, patience, and rope. He raises calves for competition at the Minnesota State Fair and this year, he is ready to win. He is not ready to have classmate Wayne dropped off at his house with the declaration that Wayne is his half-brother. Wayne’s mother has recently passed away and his father decides he doesn’t want to raise another man’s son. The events hit a little too close to home, because Diggy himself was once dropped off at that same farm when his own mother decided she wasn’t ready to take care of a baby. While Diggy, and then Wayne, try to raise two calves, their father tries to raise both of them, which also takes dedication, perseverance, and patience (no rope). Steering Toward Normal is a family story; it’s about families who unexpected end up together and families who chose to stay together, and it’s about dedication, perseverance, practice, and patience.