Far Away

Far Away

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

A book about life, loss, and the secrets families keep, reminiscent of Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons, by National Book Award nominee Lisa Graff.CJ lives and travels with her Aunt Nic, a famous psychic medium who tours the country communicating with her audience's deceased loved ones at sold-out theaters. Together, they give people closure and forgiveness, and pass important messages on from the Spirit world. While CJ doesn't have her aunt's same ability to talk to the dead, she enjoys playing a crucial role in connecting others with their dearly departed. After all, she knows firsthand what it's like to lose someone she loves—the only way she can talk to her mom, who died hours after CJ was born, is through Aunt Nic.     But when a magician bent on proving that Aunt Nic is a fraud shows up at their shows, CJ learns an impossible truth—that her mother is actually still very much alive. Now CJ no longer knows who...
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The Great Treehouse War

The Great Treehouse War

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

Kids vs. parents! An epic treehouse sleepover! An awesome group of friends! An exciting new book from National Book Award finalist Lisa Graff.Winnie's last day of fourth grade ended with a pretty life-changing surprise. That was the day Winnie's parents got divorced, the day they decided that Winnie would live three days a week with each of them and spend Wednesdays by herself in a treehouse smack between their houses, to divide her time perfectly evenly between them. It was the day Winnie's seed of frustration with her parents was planted, a seed that grew and grew until it felt like it was as big as a tree itself. By the end of fifth grade, Winnie decides that the only way to change things is to barricade herself in her treehouse until her parents come to their senses—and her friends decide to join her. It's kids versus grown-ups, and no one wants to back down first. But with ten kids in one treehouse, all with their own demands, Winnie discovers that...
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A Tangle of Knots

A Tangle of Knots

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born.  And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever.  However, these encounters hold the key to Cady's past and how she became an orphan.  If she's lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent. Lisa Graff adds a pinch of magic to a sharply crafted plot to create a novel that will have readers wondering about fate and the way we're all connected.Praise for A TANGLE OF KNOTS:"[A] blithe magical puzzle." --Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal"Lisa Graff has created a beautiful world of deliciously interconnected stories that draw you in." --Abby West, Entertainment Weekly [A-]"Subtle and intricate, rich with humor and insight, this quietly magical adventure delights." --Kirkus Reviews [STARRED]"Graff’s story has a warmth and gentle humor that, along with the premise, calls to mind Ingrid Law’s Savvy." --Publishers WeeklyReviewA book's title can be as much a warning as an enticement, so let readers ages 9-12 beware: They'll need to pay close attention to keep straight the many intertwined characters in Lisa Graff's blithe magical puzzle "A Tangle of Knots" (Philomel, 240 pages, 16.99). Here we find ourselves in a Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in which most people have a striking "Talent." Cady has a talent for baking the single most delicious cake for anyone she meets; Zane has a talent for long-distance spitting (surprisingly useful, it turns out); others have talents for origami, whistling, knot-tying and getting lost. Alas, the villain of the tale has a talent for stealing other people's talents, and it's his thievery that propels events through one twist after another until, like a magician's trick rope, all the narrative knots disappear at the end, with a flourish.(Meghan Cox Gurdon )A-  Author Lisa Graff has created a beautiful world of deliciously interconnected stories that draw you in. It looks an awful lot like our world, but things are slightly off. It's a world with magic running through it. One where people have Talents — that's right, with a capital "T." At the heart of it all is Cady, an orphan whose baking skills are unparalled. She's particularly adept at sussing out the perfect flavor of cake for a person, whether they know it or not. (In fact, each chapter begins with a cake and recipe, with names like V's Mystery Fudge Cake. Graff is said to have baked each of the recipes.) It soon becomes clear that Cady is unknowingly tied to a group of people staying at a boarding house above a lost luggage store: a family with three spirited kids, a woman who's lost the ability to speak, a loner, and the grouchy owner. If Cady is at the center of the story, which is told from multiple viewpoints, the thread through the tale is the large man in the gray suit enigmatic grin that 'suggested he knew more about the world than he's letting on.' He shows up just in time to give a nudge in the right direction to those who need it, imparting a little insight about fate along the way.Things get slightly confusing near the end as all the pieces come together, but the sheer enjoyment of the building storyline and a careful read of Graff's lyrical style mitigates that.(Abby West )STARRED REVIEW A mysterious man in a gray suit, an assortment of vintage, powder blue suitcases and a beguiling orphan girl with an amazing talent for baking cakes are among the tasty ingredients in Graff’s delicious new novel.Multiple, varied characters intersect to reveal long-held secrets and imaginative connections. Cady is the only orphan remaining at Miss Mallory’s Home for Lost Girls in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where people are either Fair or Talented. Those who are Fair, like Cady’s friend, Marigold, envy those like Cady with a special gift. Cady’s is for baking: She can look at any person and immediately know the flavor of their favorite cake. Cady makes the most beautiful cakes, guaranteed to win the hearts of their recipients—and baking-contest judges. Marigold, meanwhile, has no special Talent, and the mysterious, nefarious Owner has more than his fair share. Graff weaves a miraculous tale of whimsy with the same attention to detail as a master chef. Carefully blending past mistakes and regrets with future wishes and dreams, she shows us the power of loving ourselves and the pain of living in the past. The narrative shifts from character to character, always in the third person, revealing bits and pieces of the story; occasional cake recipes are sprinkled throughout.Subtle and intricate, rich with humor and insight, this quietly magical adventure delights. (Fantasy. 8-12)America’s got Talents in this cozy novel from Graff (Double Dog Dare), set in a contemporary world in which certain people have specialized abilities, from levitation to spitting perfectly. Eleven-year-old orphan Cady has a Talent for baking—not only does Cady create the most delicious cakes around, she innately knows what someone’s “perfect” cake is. When she gets adopted, her Talent helps unravel the mysteries of her past, but it also puts her in danger of losing her ability. Set mostly in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Graff’s story has a warmth and gentle humor that, along with the premise, calls to mind Ingrid Law’s Savvy. The author flips neatly between the perspectives of multiple characters, and the intricate connections between the narratives come together in a pleasing way as secrets are revealed. Readers who share Cady’s love of baking will appreciate the inclusion of several cake recipes, like Marigold’s lime pound cake and Mrs. Asher’s honey cake, which are mentioned throughout the story and tied to key characters. Ages 8–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (Feb.)About the AuthorLisa Graff is an award-winning novelist whose books have been named to a total of 15 state award lists. She has an MFA from The New School in Writing for Children and is an adjunct professor at McDaniel College. She lives in New York City.
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Sophie Simon Solves Them All

Sophie Simon Solves Them All

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

For a third-grader, Sophie Simon is one smart cookie. She enjoys teaching herself advanced calculus and has performed successful heart surgery on an earthworm. She's also very clever when it comes to dealing with her clueless parents. But Sophie is no genius when it comes to calculating the high value of friendship—until, that is, she has to use her incredible IQ to help out some classmates with their own parental troubles.
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Umbrella Summer

Umbrella Summer

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

Annie Richards knows there are a million things to look out for—bicycle accidents, food poisoning, chicken pox, smallpox, typhoid fever, runaway zoo animals, and poison oak. That's why being careful is so important, even if it does mean giving up some of her favorite things, like bike races with her best friend, Rebecca, and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Everyone keeps telling Annie not to worry so much, that she's just fine. But they thought her brother, Jared, was just fine too, and Jared died. It takes a new neighbor, who looks as plain as a box of toothpicks but has some surprising secrets of her own, to make Annie realize that her plans for being careful aren't working out as well as she had hoped. And with a lot of help from those around her—and a book about a pig, too—Annie just may find a way to close her umbrella of sadness and step back into the sunshine. With winsome humor and a dash of small-town charm, Lisa Graff's third novel is a...
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The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower

The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

From the critically acclaimed author of A Tangle of Knots comes a humorous story full of heart, courage and a touch of magic. Bernetta?s summer couldn?t be going any worse.First her ex-best friend frames her for starting a cheating ring in their private school that causes Bernetta to lose her scholarship for 7th grade. Even worse, Bernetta?s parents don?t believe she?s innocent, and forbid her from performing at her father?s magic club. Now Bernetta must take immediate action if she hopes to raise $9,000 for tuition. But that?s a near impossible task with only three months until school. Enter Gabe, a boy con-artist who?s willing to team up with Bernetta to raise the money. But only if she?s willing to use her talent for magic to scheme her way to success.
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A Clatter of Jars

A Clatter of Jars

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

One of the finest novelists of her generation, National Book Award nominee Lisa Graff returns readers to the world of A Tangle of Knots, where a camp for Talented kids just might be a recipe for disaster.In this magical companion to the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, it's summertime and everyone is heading off to camp. For Talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sing songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don't know is that they've been gathered for a reason—one that the camp's director wants to keep hidden at all costs.Meanwhile, a Talent jar that has been dropped to the bottom of the lake has sprung a leak, and strange things have begun to happen. Dozens of seemingly empty jars have been washing up on the shoreline, Talents have been swapped, and memories have been ripped from one camper's head and placed into another....
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Absolutely Almost

Absolutely Almost

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

From the author of the National Book Award nominee A TANGLE OF KNOTS comes an inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself.A perfect companion to Lisa Graff's National Book Award-nominated A Tangle of Knots, this novel explores a similar theme in a realistic contemporary world where kids will easily be able to relate their own struggles to Albie's. Great for fans of Rebecca Stead's Liar and Spy, RJ Palacio's Wonder and Cynthia Lord's Rules.Praise for ABSOLUTELY ALMOST* "Albie comes through significant emotional...
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Double Dog Dare

Double Dog Dare

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

What would you do to win a dare war?In a humorous and insightful novel reminiscent of her award-winning titles The Thing About Georgie and Umbrella Summer, Lisa Graff tells the story of fourth-graders Kansas Bloom and Francine Halata, who start out as archenemies, until—in a battle of wits and willpower—they discover that they have a lot more in common than either would have guessed.This dual-perspective novel will appeal to girls and boys alike—and to anyone who has ever wanted anything so badly that they'd lick a lizard to get it.
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Lost in the Sun

Lost in the Sun

Lisa Graff

Young Adult / Children's

From the author of A Tangle of Knots and Absolutely Almost, a touching story about a boy who won't let one tragic accident define him. Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent's pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is. If only Trent could make that fresh start happen. It isn't until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little—the girl with the mysterious scar across her face—that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren't always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to...
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