Anastasia Suen

Developmental Editor

Beneath Wandering Stars


Beneath Wandering Stars
by Ashlee Cowles (Author)

Booktalk: After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother’s best friend–a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother Lucas is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long, or risk her own happiness to keep a promise?

Snippet: “I’m fine. Just tired.” I roll over, struggling to get comfortable. A brigade of chirping insects fills the fields surrounding us, and their lullaby brings me back to that murky place where memories blur into dreams.

Cicadas. Big Red soda. Chlorine.

I’m in the sixth grade and Lucas is in seventh–our ages the first time Dad was stationed in Texas. We lived off-post and had to go to a nonmilitary school for the first time. We hated it. All of the other kids had known each other since kindergarten, so they ignored us. There was also this weird division between the white kids and the Latino kids, which we’d never experienced before. Military brats are used to hanging out with everyone, no matter if you’re black, brown, or blue.

September. Asphalt hot enough to fry an egg. All the grass in our subdivision is brown. Lucas is wearing his favorite San Antonio Spurs hat.

On our walk home from school. Lucas got into a fight with another Latino boy who teased me for “acting too white.” I had no idea what that even meant. All I knew was that I didn’t fit in anywhere or have a single friend, which meant I spent most of the lunch period hiding out in a bathroom stall. Not my finest hour, in addition to being totally disgusting.

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Hat On, Hat Off


Hat On, Hat Off
by Theo Heras (Author) and Renne Benoit (Illustrator)

Booktalk: It’s time for this little one to go out. But which hat will he choose? Red hat, blue hat, striped hat, penguin hat, teddy bear hat? Once that decision is made, that hat just doesn’t stay on, while shoes are tied and jacket is buttoned. One more visit to the potty. And once this child is in the stroller at last, will that hat be on his head?

Snippet:

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

3 of a Kind


3 of a Kind
by Rohan Gavin (Author)

Booktalk: Darkus Knightley is used to expecting the unexpected. An extraordinary crimesolver, with immense powers of deduction, and regularly found bedecked in tweed, Darkus is anything but the average 13 year old.

Despite trying to leave his detective ways behind and wanting to lead a normal life, when his father’s loyal housekeeper, Bogna, goes missing, Darkus must return to the family fold to solve the mystery. Alongside his father, Alan, and his stepsister Tilly, Darkus follows the trail to America and the bright lights of Las Vegas where they must once again face the deadly criminal organization the Combination — and this time, all bets are off. With danger at every turn, Knightley and Son will need an ace or two up their sleeves in order to win this game.

Snippet: Darkus and Tilly stood on tiptoe to peer inside. Darkus leafed through the files until he reached “Theo K.”

“Bingo,” he muttered, removing the file and confirming the image of a handsone, mustachioed man in the profile picture.

Darkus began speed-reading the contents while Tilly photographed them with her smartphone. Then Darkus stopped.

“The suspect’s name is Theodore Kojak,” he whispered into his earpiece.

“What?” Knightly crackled back.

“Who’s that?” asked Tilly.

“It’s clearly an assumed name,” Darkus explained. “Theodore Kojak is the name of a fictional TV detective with a penchant for lollipops, made famous by the actor Telly Savalas.”

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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