Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Introducing AbrakaPOW!

Hey guys!!!

So if you follow me on twitter/tumblr/facebook, you know that the cover for my next book, AbrakaPOW, was released recently, and that it's now available for preorder. For the sake of all of you, here's the cover:

Isn't it pertiful? It was drawn by Dave Perillo and I'm so thankful for his work.

Here's the pub description:

Based on a true World War II story, Isaiah Campbell tells a charming mystery about a mishap at a magic show at a POW camp—featuring magic how-to diagrams throughout. 
Try as she might, cheeky middle schooler Maxine Larousse (you may call her Max “La Roo” or The Amazing Max, if you’d like) has yet to learn the one magic trick she needs the most: how to reappear in New York City. That is where she used to live with her parents before her father, Major Larousse, was put in charge of a Nazi POW camp in Abilene, Texas. At least in this desolate wasteland she’ll have plenty of time to practice her illusions, even if the only audience member is her ferret Houdini. 
When she’s tasked with entertaining the Nazi prisoners with a magic show, the pressure may be too much. But with the help of some classmates and an unexpected magic expert, the performance is a hit—until twelve Nazis escape during her final act. Will she be able to track them down before her reputation as a magician is destroyed forever?
So, yeah, that's the book. It comes out this November (on election day if all goes as planned), and I'm super excited for lots of reasons:

1. It's set in an area where I grew up. I actually grew up in Sweetwater, Texas, which is about forty-five minutes away from Abilene. So I'm pretty familiar with the area.

2. It's set in a time period that I (and most everybody) love to hear about, the World War II era. But it's about a story (a true story, mind you, except for the bits I made up) that you don't hear about very much: The Nazi POWs that were held in camps on American soil. (Not to mention the fact that the escape in this story ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!!!! Yeah, for real.)

3. It examines a question that I love asking: What makes a person evil? What makes a person good? Max, the hero of my story, is Jewish (her mom's maiden name was Schauder), and throughout the book, she and the other characters hear veiled rumors about the atrocities the Nazis are committing against the Jews in Europe. And yet she is encountering Nazis, daily, who seem like normal, everyday people. Is the monster really a man? Is the man really a monster?

4. I'm excited because, for better or worse, Max is probably my favorite character I've ever written. (I mean, I love Johnny Cannon, and his Troubles and Struggles are so fun, and his voice will always be a part of me, but dang, this girl...) If Kimmy Schmidt hadn't already taken it, this would totally be Max's theme song:

5. Finally, I'm excited because this book will have guides to the magic tricks Max uses in the story. Which is just so exactly what I would have looked for in a book when I was a kid, I can't get over it.

So, yeah, I hope you guys like this story. I hope you pre-order. And I hope you remember during this year, which is the sixty-fifth anniversary of the US entering WWII, all the sacrifices and acts of heroism so many people around the world, from the soldiers down to the kids, made to usher in a new era globally.


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