Read It Again Bookstore is excited to welcome middle grade authors, Chris Negron and J.L Esplin to our online author series. This should be a fun conversation about baseball, comics, family and writing kid's books.
This heartfelt middle grade debut about grief, creativity, and the healing power of friendship shows that not all heroes wear capes and is perfect for fans of John David Anderson and Ali Benjamin.
Whether they’re on the baseball field or in Nate’s basement devouring the newest issue of their favorite comic book, Dan and Nate are always talking. Until they’re not. After an accident at baseball practice, Nate’s fallen into a coma. And if Dan ever wants to talk to Nate again, he’s got to take a page out of his hero Captain Nexus’s book, and do whatever it takes to save the day. But heroes have powers—and without Nate, all Dan has is a closet stuffed with comics and a best-friend-shaped hole in his heart. There’s no way a regular kid can save the day all on his own. Right?
“Dan Unmasked is a grand slam of a debut: timeless, moving, and filled to the brim with heart. I can’t stop thinking about it.” (Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda)
"Dan Unmasked is about sports and comics but also about the complicated nature of guilt and grief and the healing power of community. A beautiful new addition to the middle grade canon." (Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound)
Chris Negron grew up outside Buffalo, New York, where he spent a huge chunk of his childhood collecting comic books and loving sports. But it was the hours of playing Dungeons and Dragons in friends' basements that first gave him the dream of one day writing his own stories. That dream kept him company through college at Yale University and years of programming computers for big companies. DAN UNMASKED is his debut novel, and he now lives outside Atlanta with his wife, Mary.
“A suspense thriller, survival story, and a story of the love between brothers. You'll turn the pages and be surprised again and again.”―Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor Award-winning author of The Wednesday Wars
“Fast-paced, believable, funny, and poignant. 96 Miles is a great read from the first sentence to the surprising and satisfying ending. I give Esplin’s debut novel 100%. Don't miss it!”―Roland Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Peak
21 days without power. 2 brothers on a desperate trek. 72 hours before time runs out...
The Lockwood brothers are supposed to be able to survive anything. Their dad, a hardcore believer in self-reliance, has stockpiled enough food and water at their isolated Nevada home to last for months. But when they are robbed of all their supplies during a massive blackout while their dad is out of town, John and Stew must walk 96 miles in the stark desert sun to get help. Along the way, they’re forced to question their dad’s insistence on self-reliance and ask just what it is that we owe to our neighbors, our kin, and to ourselves.
From talented newcomer J. L. Esplin comes this story of survival and determination as two young brothers confront the unpredictability of human nature in the face of desperate circumstances.
“Readers who enjoy realistic survival stories will not be able to put down Esplin’s debut…. Filled with survival techniques, danger, and overcoming realistic obstacles, this story will have readers turning pages. A great choice for lovers of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet or Roland Smith’s Peak.”―School Library Journal
“Esplin offers a richly layered look at the frustrations of sibling rivalry, the depths of family loyalty, and the challenges of forgiveness.”―Publishers Weekly
“For readers thirsting for a fresh survival story.”―Kirkus
J. L. ESPLIN grew up with a Secret Service agent father, who was intent on raising self-reliant kids, prepared for any emergency, especially natural disasters. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, on the edge of town with her husband and kids. 96 Miles is her first novel. When not writing, she enjoys teaching guitar the fun way, traveling to new places, and coming back home to the desert.