Join us for an evening with two exciting middle grade authors – Rajani LaRocca and Chris Baron – as they discuss their new books with Joy McCullough (author of Blood, Water, Paint, a National Book Award nominee).
Mimi sets out to prove herself in a baking contest in Midsummer’s Mayhem, a contemporary-fantasy retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, while A boy named Ari struggles with body image and weight in All of Me, a novel in verse about accepting the imperfect in oneself and in life.
Praise for Midsummer's Mayhem:
"Midsummer's Mayhem is an enchantment of a novel, bursting with magic, mystery, and mouth-watering baked goods. Readers who have their own baking-show dreams will be cheering for Mimi until the very last page." --Kate Messner, award-winning author of Breakout, The Seventh Wish, and All the Answers
"Taking its inspiration from one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies, Midsummer's Mayhem is a sweet and fun story about mistaken identity, bumpy romance, and the everyday magic of baking."--Barbara Dee, author of Star-Crossed and Halfway Normal
"Laugh-out-loud funny one moment and mouthwateringly delicious the next, Midsummer's Mayhem is an utter pleasure to consume from the very first page! LaRocca's debut novel entices and bewitches-I dare you not to fall under its spell."--Tara Dairman, author of The Great Hibernation and the award-winning All Four Stars series
Praise for All of Me:
"All of Me is for anyone who has been in search of a tribe, in love with a friend or in need of answers to questions that they can't bring themselves to ask. In other words, everybody." -- San Diego Union Tribune
"Baron's free-verse poetry is immediate and lyrical, allowing us access to Ari's thoughts and feelings in a way that prose would not. Baron's first-person narration allows the reader to experience Ari's pain and revelations, both of which are balanced with moments of grace and beauty....highly recommended for readers of all ages."--Bookpage
"I LOVE THIS BOOK. A moving and raw story that will stay with me."-- Remy Lai, author of Pie in the Sky
Praise for Blood, Water, Paint:
"An impassioned, lushly described account of a young woman who refuses to dwell in secret shame. Blood Water Paint fits smoothly into the current conversation surrounding the #MeToo movement."-- Chicago Tribune
"Coming out of the novel, I knew I would be haunted and empowered by Artemisia's story for the rest of my life."--Amanda Lovelace, bestselling author of the princess saves herself in this one
" Tragically relevant and unflinchingly feminist, Blood Water Paint is the kind of book all historical fiction should aspire to be." --Mackenzi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area with her wonderful family and impossibly cute dog. She earned a BA and an MD from Harvard, and spends her time writing novels and picture books, practicing medicine, and baking too many sweet treats. Midsummer's Mayhem is her first novel. Find her online at RajaniLaRocca.com and on Twitter and Instagram @rajanilarocca.
Chris Baron is a professor of English at San Diego City College. He's also the author of the (adult) poetry collection, Lantern Tree, which was published as part of a poetry anthology, Under the Broom Tree, winner of the San Diego Book Award. He lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and their three children. All of Me is his first novel.
Joy McCullough writes books and plays from her home in the Seattle area, where she lives with her family. She studied theater at Northwestern University, fell in love with her husband atop a Guatemalan volcano, and now spends her days surrounded by books and kids and chocolate. Her debut novel, Blood Water Paint, was longlisted for National Book Award and was a finalist for the William C. Morris Debut Award .