Monday, February 1, 2010

Kyle's Island

Congratulations to my friend and writing group comrade Sally Derby on today's release of her first middle-grade novel, Kyle's Island. Sally has a long list of fabulous picture books to her credit (No Mush Today, Hannah's Bookmobile Christmas, My Steps), but this is the first longer work she's published.

I had the great pleasure of reading this in manuscript when Sally first began developing it, and I know how long and hard she's worked for this day. Sally is one of the most tenacious writers I know. This story is shaped by her love for a very special summer home, giving it a wonderful sense of place.

Here's a description from Booklist:
When Kyle and his family return to their beloved lake cottage in Michigan, his mother drops the bomb that this will be their last summer there. Newly divorced, she feels forced to sell the property to make ends meet. A veteran fisherman at age 13, and very much tuned into lake life and nature's simple pleasures, Kyle rages at the prospect and boils inwardly at his father for causing the family's upheaval. Stung by loss, and out of sorts with this unwelcome transition in his life, Kyle trudges through the days of what was supposed to be a great summer. He also makes a quest out of exploring an unihabited island in the lake. When he connects with a somewhat mysterious neighbor and takes him on fishing excursions, Kyle learns more about the island and begins to feel empathy for other people's stories. A sensitive coming-of-age tale that does not tie up ends too neatly.
 Sally has agreed to be a guest blogger and tell us more about this book's journey soon. Stay tuned!