Middle Grade Showcase: Anika Fajardo, Brian Farrey, and Kristin F. Johnson

1:30pm, Progress Center

Life is complicated when you’re a Middle Grader, and these three authors know it!  Join them to learn about their latest books, which offer poignant tales of relocation, making new friends, and facing unknown fates.

Anika Fajardo presents Meet Me Halfway (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), the story of a young girl who is forced to move from her beloved Minnesota to live with her new stepfamily in California. When she meets another girl there who looks just like her, the two girls (polar opposites, of course) decide to band together to find their long lost father who they’ve never known.

“I love Meet Me Halfway because of its pitch-perfect Parent Trap-style hijinks, because it celebrates unconventional families, and because it shows us that there’s nothing you can’t handle if you have a sister by your side. A perfectly delightful story with a huge heart.”

Anne Ursu, author of The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy

Brian Farrey presents The Counterclockwise Heart (Algonquin Young Readers), a fantastical tale set in the empire of Rheinvelt, where young Prince Alphonsus must face the prospect of impending war, the appearance of strange statues foretelling darkness, and his own clockwork heart as it begins to run backwards to an unknown fate.

“Farrey conjures a world bristling with spells and secrets. Readers will revel in this gripping, fable-like adventure.” 

—Stefan Bachmann, author of Cinders Sparrows

Kristin F. Johnson presents Fearless (KFJ Books). Set in St. Peter, Minnesota in 2010, the story follows Jessie Nelson, who misses her soldier mom who is fighting in Afghanistan. As a distraction, her Dad moves them to her grandfather’s farm, where she and two new friends steal a dog with PTSD. Will Jessie’s fears for her mother, the dog, and impending storms come true?

“With all that is going on in the world today, Fearless addresses how unsettling and upsetting events can cause us to grow when we rise up to meet them and help others along the way.” 

—Sarah, Goodreads Review