Fiction for Children and YA
Novalee and the Spider Secret (September 2018)
Written in the voice of the child narrator, NOVALEE AND THE SPIDER SECRET tells the story of a young girl’s struggle and triumph over shame. Novalee has “a secret that sits at the back of her tongue like a balled-up spider.” Shortly after she conjures a way to transform herself from boring Nova into super Nova, her violin teacher does something that threatens her universe: he kisses her. Her world tumbles out of control, but an unlikely friendship with a fellow outcast, Toby, helps her find the courage, voice, and persistence to save her life. Set in a working-class Texas suburb, Novalee’s story transcends class and region, and her authentic struggle with relationships speaks honestly to and about children. (Dragonfeather Books)
Pierre François: 5th Grade Mishaps (January 2018)
Ten-year-old Pierre François—otherwise known at Pierre the Fantastic Flying Fish and Pierre the Genius Brain—is an expert at signing his school papers with original names. He’s also good at extolling the greatness of France, using weird words like “extolling,” dissecting owl vomit, and avoiding The Stinky Chair in math class. What he’s not good at is a foolproof bladder. Accidents happen, although this is Top Secret information. So when it’s time for the entire fifth grade to go to Adventure Camp, a two-night trip in the wilderness, Pierre would rather complain about the fifth grade meanies, dream of mastering the spelling bee with Jedi skills, and devise way to meet the fascinating new girl in school. But Adventure Camp is coming for him, along with a wet and icy cold front. Can Pierre muster all his courage and wit to survive nature’s onslaught of ice, rain, and other liquid fiascos? (Black Rose Writing)
Illustrated by Trevor Yokochi.
Some Act of Vision
Winner of the YA National Readers’ Choice Award (2013)
“There are poisons that bind you
and poisons that open your eyes.”
~ August Strindberg
After ten years of ballet lessons, Jordan Walker has finally landed her first principal role in Romeo and Juliet. Sweeter yet, “Romeo” has asked her to the May Fling Ball at Winston High. But a massive Texas earthquake triggered by the fracking activity nearby tears apart the community and Jordan’s future as a dancer. The Walker family survives the earthquake, but wake up the next morning utterly invisible.
Available in hardback and ebook at online bookstores
“Nuanced and lovely, written in the pitch-perfect voice of a narrator aching for a self, Song of the Orange Moons is an enchanting debut novel from an exciting new writer.” ~Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
“When I was four, I found God under our organ.” Beginning with what must surely be one of the most arresting and enticing opening lines in recent memory, Song of the Orange Moons, Lori Ann Stephens’ wonderful debut, gets right down to the business of beguiling the reader. The instruments of this magic, three female protagonists–two of them young girls struggling to establish their connection to the greater world, the third, their mentor, an elderly widow confronting her mortality–are spun so masterfully that when their stories finally converge, it seems their respective histories were always filaments in the same tapestry, destined to touch in ways that conjure meaning out of mere threads… ~ Jack Andrew Urquhart (Amazon Review)