Young Adult Novelist
Michelle D. Kwasney
Coming in October 2009
from Chronicle Books
Blue Plate Special is a YA novel narrated in alternating chapters
by three very different young women: shy, overweight Madeline (late 1970s),
angsty, foul-mouthed Desiree (early 1990s), and smart but self-doubting Ariel (present day).
As their stories unravel their lives intersect, weaving a tale of loss, love, and forgiveness.
(Henry Holt, 2008)
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommeded Reading ListIRA Children's Book Award Notable Book
Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
Delores Colchester, nicknamed Itch, hasn’t been on her Thinking Swing since the day her beloved Gramps died. There’s a darn good reason for that. Thinking will only make Itch miss Gramps more. Plus it’ll make her miss the house they shared back in Beaver Creek, and her best friend Bailey—both of which she lost when stubborn Gram got the notion of pulling up roots and moving north to Ohio. Starting over is hard. And so is making new friends. When Itch befriends an almost-famous baton twirler named Gwendolyn, she’s tickled—until she discovers the dark secret Gwendolyn is hiding. “Speaking up takes courage,” Gramps had always told Itch. And she’s about to discover how much.
April 2008 / 256 pages
16.95 US / 21.00 CAN
Ages 10 & up
"The dramatic ending is emotionally satisfying, the story is layered with insight . . .
and the author's pleasure in language is contagious, but this novel's greatest strength is its indelible characters . . . Itch herself is a quirky and endearing heroine . . .
(her) coming-of-age is a rich and satisfying journey."
~ School Library Journal
A "moving, believable story. Sympathetic, well-drawn characters . . ." ~Booklist
"Kwasney's characters are . . . fully fleshed and memorable." ~ Kirkus
"The story is so well written that 12-year-old girls won't be able to stop
turning the pages." ~ Childrens Literature
Now available as an audiobook from
Click on the links below to listen to the first three chapters:
Chapter One: Unjust
Chapter Two: Melancholy
Chapter Three: Bob Dylan Was Right
Read an excerpt.
Watch the Itch book trailer.
Download/print an Itch Study Guide.
Blue’s family is coming apart at the seams. After Pa drowned in the river, Mama up and married Jinx, who Blue and Star know is big trouble. And now Star has run away, leaving Blue behind. It was hard enough to watch Mama get knocked around when Jinx was in one of his “moods,” but now, with Star gone, Jinx has spun out of control. It’s up to Blue to find Star and get help for Mama, to piece her family back together again. But Blue is running out of time. With biting realism and poignancy, this compelling young-adult novel explores Blue’s struggle to protect her family and stand up against what she knows is wrong.
-Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Read a Baby Blue excerpt.
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