Please help me wish client, Samantha San Miguel, a VERY happy book birthday for her debut middle grade, SPINELESS, out today from Union Square Kids!
When his asthma lands him at a health resort in the wilds of South Florida, twelve-year-old Algie Emsworth is over the moon. The scientific treasure trove of unexplored swamps may launch his career as the most famous naturalist of the 19th century! But even Algie is startled when he happens upon a living specimen of Octopus Giganteus in the karst springs surrounding the resort.
Algie quickly realizes he must keep his discovery a secret: a famous collector of exotic animals is also staying at the hotel, and the octopus is threatened by his very presence. An apparent curse, too, has descended upon the hotel, bringing with it a deadly red tide. And the daughters of the hotel proprietor, also self-proclaimed naturalists, threaten the secrecy of his discovery. But when the pool starts filling with ink and guests start getting mysterious, sucker-shaped wounds, Algie must pluck up his courage to find the truth about the goings-on at the Grand Hotel, and save the octopus from destruction.
‘This exceptionally well-written story gives a nod to the late Victorian-era fascination with creepy hauntings and dastardly secrets as it expertly transports readers into the atmosphere of 19th-century Florida, uniting well-drawn, nuanced characters with imaginative and tension-building plot twists. Most characters default to White. Pure storytelling at its best. (Historical fiction. 9-14)‘ ~Starred Kirkus Review
‘San Miguel concocts a comical and exciting tale that leads to a wild, suspenseful, storm-tossed climax while weaving in thoughtful ruminations on the necessity of giving science, people, and nature their just dues, too. The healthy doses of natural science and a protagonist readers, particularly perceptive ones, will cheer on both for his ability to overcome deep anxieties in the clutch and his conviction that people, like nature, deserve respect will beguile audiences.’ ~ Starred Booklist Review
Congratulations, Samantha! To connect and congratulate Sam, check out her website!