Takedowns and RPGs: Middle School Girl Athletes Rock And We’ve Got The Texts To Prove it!

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if characters from different books met each other? MG Book Village Author Friends  Laura Shovan (The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary) and Denis Markell (Click Here To Start) were telling each other about their upcoming books (Laura’s Takedown and Denis’ The Game Masters Of Garden Place) when they realized that both novels featured athletic girls who seemed like they might be friends in real life. What could be more fun than to create a conversation between these two fierce and lovable sporty girls?

So imagine if you will that you’re Mikayla Delgado, getting ready for wrestling practice, when your phone buzzes, and you see this…

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Laura Shovan’s debut middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, was an NCTE 2017 Notable Verse Novel, a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the year, and won a Cybils Award for poetry. It was named the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for New Voices honor book in 2018. Laura’s second children’s novel, Takedown, is about the first girl to join an all-boys wrestling team. Laura lives with her family in Maryland, where she is a longtime poet-in-the-schools for the Maryland State Arts Council.


Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 9.54.56 PM.pngDenis Markell, although not a games master himself, has been telling stories for most of his professional career. His stories have been featured in Off-Broadway Musicals and Revues, in sitcoms, and even in an episode of the legendary animated series ThunderCats. His own story took fantastic turn when he met and married the illustrator Melissa Iwai, with whom he has created two picture books, The Great Stroller Adventure and Hush, Little Monster. His debut novel, Click Here To Start (Delacorte Press), was a Junior Library Guild Selection and an Amazon Best Book of the Month. His next book, The Game Masters Of Garden Place (Delacorte Press) will be published in July of 2018. (Photo by Nelson Hancock)




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