Every book I’ve ever written starts with a “what if…?” question. For The Great Shelby Holmes series it was a pretty simple lightning bolt. I was watching Sherlock and thought “What if Sherlock Holmes was a nine year old girl?” The spark for my latest novel, The Best Worst Summer (coming May 4th), took a little longer to come together. I happened to read two books back to back (The Muse by Jessie Burton and Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes) that took place in two different timelines: one in which a painting was being created and another where the painting was being looked at. What were the chances? I really liked the dual timelines so I thought, hmmm, could I do that with a middle grade novel? What would be the item that could tie the two timelines together? Then I remember as a kid my school was repaving the playground and we decided to do a time capsule. Time capsule!
Next up was what year would the time capsule be from? This was all going on in the spring of 2019, where it was the 30th anniversary of a lot of pivotal moments from my childhood, namely, the release of New Kids on the Block “Hangin’ Tough” album. So yep, that pretty much did it. I was going to have a kid in the present day discover a time capsule that was buried by someone in 1989.
That’s the loooong “what if…” that started the story of Peyton who is having THE WORST summer ever thanks to moving to a small town where she doesn’t know anybody. She has nothing to do, until she uncovers a box buried in the backyard with random items in it, including a photo of two girls from 1989, a weird plastic thing she has no idea what it is (*cough* cassette tape *cough*), and a note that says, “I’m so sorry, please forgive me.” Back in 1989, Melissa and her best friend Jessica are having THE BEST summer ever. They have the entire summer to hang out and have fun…until one girl’s family secret starts to unravel.
The Best Worst Summer is a story of friendships–one beginning, another ending. It’s also a mystery. And it has A LOT of fun references to a simpler time with less technology, but a lot more freedom. (Who remembers making mixtapes from the radio?) I’m so excited to share the first two chapters with Middle Grade Book Village. Happy Reading! And Hang Tough. (Oh-oh-ohhhh-oh-oh, hangin’ tough!)
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Elizabeth Eulberg was born and raised in Wisconsin before moving to New York City to work in the publishing industry. While she got to work with amazing authors as a publicist, she also once had to play basketball dressed in a Clifford the Big Red Dog costume. Luckily life as a full-time author is just as exciting (and sometimes embarrassing) where she gets to research the best chocolate chip cookie in New York and how to pick a lock. She is the author of novels for teens and young readers, including internationally best-selling YA novels The Lonely Hearts Club and Better Off Friends, and the acclaimed Great Shelby Holmes middle-grade series. Her newest novel, The Best Worst Summer, is being released on May 4, 2021. Elizabeth now lives in London, where she spends her free time going on long walks around her favorite city in the world and eating all of the scones. ALL OF THEM.