This week, the Class of 2k8 celebrates Laurel Snyder and her middle-grade fantasy, Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains, due out tomorrow (August 26) from Random House Books for Young Readers. Congratulations, Laurel! (Is that the cutest cover you ever saw?)
This is the tale of Lucy and her best friend, Wynston. Until recently, they spent their days paddling in the river, picking blackberries and teasing each other mercilessly. But now, King Desmond has insisted that Wynston devote every spare second to ruby-shining and princess-finding. Lucy feels left out. So she sets off for the Scratchy Mountains to solve the mystery of her missing mother. When Wynston discovers that Lucy is gone, he tears after her, and together they embark on a series of strange and wonderful adventures.
Here’s what Kirkus Reviews had to say: This delightfully droll fairytale features a feisty milkmaid named Lucy and her best friend, Prince Wynston. Wynston has been forced to swap berry-picking adventures with Lucy for lessons in the rules and rituals of courtship, as his father insists that he must find a proper princess to be his future Queen. Dejected and lonely, Lucy decides to embark on a journey up the Scratchy Mountains in search of her mother, who disappeared when Lucy was a baby. In an uncharacteristic act of rebellion, Wynston abandons his lessons and follows Lucy to the hilltop town of Torrent, a town so obsessed with rules and regularity that even the rain must come and go on schedule. On their grand adventure Lucy and Wynston learn the answers to Lucy's questions about her mother and lots more, including the surprising facts that sometimes a prince in need of a future queen need look no further than his own best friend and that, while rules are very important and utterly necessary, so too are loopholes. (Fiction. 7-11)
Meet Laurel Snyder: When Laurel was in graduate school to become a serious writer, she was certain she'd grow up, get a teaching job, and go to a lot of parties with wine and cheese. Then she wrote Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains and discovered there was no need to grow up! In addition to writing middle grade novels (the next, Any Which Wall, will be out in 2009) Laurel is a commentator for NPR's “All Things Considered,” and the author of a picture book, Inside the Slidy Diner, as well as a collection of poems, The Myth of the Simple Machines. But most of all, Laurel is a mom. (That’s her with her two sons in the photo.)
Tomorrow: An interview with Laurel!