May 20, 2014


AWESOME shoes made by Whitney Winner Jennifer A. Nielsen
Click on picture for a 'close-up' view

Help readers and writers keep up with books eligible for Whitney Awards by following the NEW GoodReads page. 

Spread the word and add books if they qualify but are missing! 

Remember the 3 requirements: 
1) First published in 2014
2) Author is LDS
3) Book is at least 50K words (youth books 20K words)

went to Jennifer A. Nielsen for THE RUNAWAY KING

A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!

About the Author
For as far back as Jennifer can remember, she has shared her brain with imaginary characters. She figures it’s okay if she talks to them as she’s working on her stories, as long as they don’t start talking back.

Jennifer began writing in elementary school. Her first attempt at a full-length story was in 6th grade when she wrote about a girl who becomes trapped in her daydreams and that world becomes real. Not a bad idea, you say? Wrong. It was pretty awful, but Jennifer liked it at the time. She even called a locksmith to do research on how to pick locks. When he found out she was only 11, he ended the call and the story got set aside, unfinished.

But she began other stories, writing in spiral notebooks or plucking out keys on an electric typewriter (yep, she’s that old). Stories of a boy who tries to sell his annoying sister, of a celebrity who gets stuck in a small town (think Disney’s Cars, only with humans), and several other stories that all eventually wound up in a box in the back of her closet. She also drew cartoons and made up poems about the people in them. Jennifer has taken steps to ensure the cartoons never see the light of day again.

Jennifer has always loved reading and for most of her childhood, kept a tall stack of books at the side of her bed. She loved the Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown series’, but her favorite childhood book was The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. Her favorite book in junior high was The Outsiders. That book’s author, S.E. Hinton, published The Outsiders at the age of 17. Jennifer set a goal to be published sooner.

Jennifer didn’t make her goal, not even close. She got heavily involved in local theater and in school speech and debate competitions. The theater entertained the characters in her head, and the speech and debate filled her desire to never stop talking.

Jennifer completed her first book in her early 20’s. She told a neighbor she planned to be published one day. The neighbor smiled back like Jennifer had a greater chance of landing on the moon one day. That was understandable. The first book was pretty bad.

So was her second. And third. The fourth wasn’t terrible, but by then Jennifer had decided she was writing in the wrong genre. The characters in her head had changed from adult romantic suspense to young adult and children’s fantasy characters. Jennifer had to change her writing too.

Jennifer’s debut book was ELLIOT AND THE GOBLIN WAR (Sourcebooks, Oct 2010). That series became known as The Underworld Chronicles. The next series she released was The Ascendance trilogy, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE (Scholastic, Apr 2012). Her most recent release is the sixth book of the Infinity Ring series, BEHIND ENEMY LINES (Scholastic, Nov 2013).


Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris
I personally read this one and LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!
It SO NEEDS to be a movie :)

Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don't read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn't around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world.

Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather's inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins must follow a mysterious trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.

Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather's greatest secret—a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.

RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
This funny fractured fairy tale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. "A most magical feat," writes Newbery Honor-winner Kirby Larson, "Liesl Shurtliff spins words into gold."

In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.

Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
Escape one danger. Jump into another. . . .

Twelve-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town of inventors struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of compressed air that covers the crater left by the bombs—than fail at yet another invention. When bandits discover that White Rock has priceless antibiotics, they invade. With a two-day deadline to finish making this year’s batch and no ingredients to make more, the town is left to choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from the disease that’s run rampant since the bombs, or die fighting the bandits now. Help lies in a neighboring town, but the bandits count everyone fourteen and older each hour. Hope and her friends Aaren and Brock might be the only ones who can escape to make the dangerous trek through the Bomb’s Breath and over the snow-covered mountain. For once, inventing isn’t the answer, but the daring and recklessness that usually get Hope into trouble might just save them all.

Amazon * GoodReads

Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George
A castle that is constantly rearranging itself, and a young royal family sworn to protect it... Celie, Rolf, and their beloved Castle Glower are back in this exciting sequel.

When her brother Rolf dares her to catch magical Castle Glower creating a new room, Princess Celie takes the challenge! No one knows the Castle better than she does. But as usual, the Castle has ideas of its own.Celie finds the new room first, and inside it is hidden a giant egg. It looks like The Castle wants Celie to care for the egg and whatever creature it hatches! Celie hadn't bargained for a pet, and caring for this one will prove to be especially tricky, once Celie and her siblings realize what else the Castle is hiding....

And there you have it ~



  1. Great books, I'm still loving these and I'm 28 years old. Those shoes are awesome!

    1. You never grow too old for a good middle grade reader :)
      Thanks for leaving a comment!
      Come back again...and again :)

  2. I mostly read YA, but there are some middle grades that I absolutely love. Like Fablehaven for example. I saw The Runaway King at Barnes and Noble and I've wanted to read it ever since! I'm glad it won. The Inventor's Secret looks pretty cool too--it has a great book trailer. Shadow Mountain does well with their covers and book trailers. It's always fun to see what is coming out next!

    1. I SO APPRECIATE your comments!
      LOVE that you are one of MY followers!
      Keep coming by :)



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