Laurel Snyder is a poet, essayist, and author of picture books and novels for children, including National Book Award nominee Orphan Island, the Theodore Seuss Giesel Award-winner Charlie and Mouse, The Longest Night, Bigger than a Bread Box, and Seven Stories Up. She is also the editor of the nonfiction anthology Half/Life: Jew-ish tales from Interfaith Homes, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a faculty member at Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and a commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. She lives in Atlanta with her family, and can be found online at laurelsnyder.com.
Whether somewhere else instead of home or somewhere frozen in time, these three middle grade novels show how the magical space of true friendship can get you through just about anything. In The Miraculous by debut author Jess Redman, two friends learn to believe in miracles again in spite of the weight of personal tragedy. Childhood is magical in Lamar Giles's The Last-Last-Day-of-Summer. When cousins Otto and Sheed find a way to freeze time and put off the start of the school year, they learn the true meaning of heroism and family bonds. Laurel Snyder, author of the acclaimed Orphan Island, joins in with My Jasper June, the tale of a summer friendship that is both mysterious and magical.
Terra Elan McVoy is the author of six young adult novels (Simon Pulse) and two middle grade (Katherine Tegen Books). She is the former manager of Little Shop of Stories, was Program Director of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, and has even answered fan mail for Captain Underpants. Her master’s degree is from Florida State University in Creative Writing. She has taught both adults and young people in a variety of courses, including the Yale Writers Workshop, Smith College Young Women’s Writing Workshop, and Agnes Scott College’s Agnes Writes program, among others. Her novel, Criminal, was a 2014 Edgar Award Finalist. In her free time, she really loves moderating panels with amazing authors.
My Jasper June
Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the life-altering friendships that show us what we can be.
The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels. . . lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone.
Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost.
Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find.
But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.