Happy Poetry Friday!
I spent the past week doing a local book tour with three other debut authors. We had a blast.
The other middle grade novelist in the group was Janet Sumner Johnson, author of THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY.
Janet is from Oregon, and she stayed with me and my family. Boy, did we hit it off! Not only do our book titles sound similar, Janet’s book and mine have some overlapping themes. This made the school Skype visits we did together very interesting.
The novel is about best friends Annie and Jason. Although Annie’s act first-think later personality makes this book laugh out loud funny, there are serious issues just under the surface. Jason learns that his family might lose their home to foreclosure. He is coping with his own stress and confusion, but also with a father who is handling the situation poorly. Annie is determine to save Jason’s house, so he won’t have to move away from her (and their ritual burial of smooshed PB&J sandwiches).
This book is perfect for MG readers. It’s funny, silly, and has a treasure map, but it also deals gently with the problems that real children face. While I was book-talking with Janet last week, I loved what she had to say about her book: Children are often left out of serious adult conversations — especially about money. But they are aware of and can feel the stress their parents are going through. In Jason’s character, Janet creates a boy who is sad, confused, but still hopeful, and still devoted to his zany, joyously immature best friend, Annie.
THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY launches on April 1. Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Some things are better together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Or Annie and Jason. So when her best friend’s house is threatened with foreclosure, Annie Jenkins is bursting with ideas to save Jason’s home. She could sell her appendix on eBay. (Why not?) Win the lottery. (It’s worth a shot!). Face the evil bankers herself. (She’s one tough cookie, after all.) Or hunt down an elusive (and questionably real) pirate treasure. Whatever the plan, it has to work, or this is undoubtedly THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY.
THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY is appropriate for third grade and through younger middle schoolers.
Who will like it?
- Kids who like humor based in reality.
- Fans of friendship stories.
- Children who, like Annie, are not in a rush to grow up.
What will readers learn about?
- How a family’s financial problem can affect children.
- How to cope with change, especially a close friend moving away.
- Sometimes “think before you act” is good advice.
The poem I’m pairing with THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY is an ode. To what? What else! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The poem comes from a great website where teens can share their creative writing, Teen Ink.
Ode to a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
by a Teen Ink Contributor from Pennsylvania
Oh, my double breaded friend,
We meet again.
I crafted you last night, right around 7,
put you in a plastic bag,
and set you in the refrigerator,
where you spent the night
conversing with the cream cheese,
ignoring the mustard.
This morning I placed you
In my lunchbox along with
The Jell-O cup, the spoon, and two napkins,
Where you will spend majority of your day.
Into my locker
I slam the door shut.
Every time you hear my combination slide and click
You anticipate my taking you,
But not yet.
You wait patiently;
Listening to laughter and gossip in the halls
The stories you could tell.