"Morgan's ambitious plot ties up loose ends from Book 1 while creating additional tangles as it delves deeper into the power struggle on Ayda. . . This is a strong-boned story that is full of adventure and worldbuilding, and it neatly avoids middle-book syndrome. An adventure suffused with philosophical offerings that will appeal to readers who enjoy rich fantasy."
"This is a fast moving fantasy novel which will be enjoyed by readers of varying skill levels. A great deal of backstory is conveyed through the story element of the “fog of forgetting” which causes the children to forget what has happened in Ayda upon leaving, allowing readers new to the series to begin at the second book and still leap fully into the story. Much of the world-building occurs in the first book in the series, but readers of the first book will particularly appreciate the character growth afforded the young protagonists in this second volume. This vivid fantasy is particularly recommended for middle grade readers who enjoyed Suzanne Collins’s Gregor the Overlander (Scholastic, 2004/VOYA October 2003)." —Sherrie Williams, VOYA Magazine
"It is a welcome reminder that within childhood, endless possibilities for magic and bravery exist in worlds shared only between children . . . Ayda is not so different from Narnia, nor are the caves on the coast different from the magical wardrobe. Magic and fantasy, according to this author, are where you look for them."
—Maine Sunday Telegram
Islandport Press wins Three Children’s Book Awards
Islandport Press is pleased to announce that three of its children’s books were awarded medals in this year’s Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. One picture book and two pre-teen novels earned recognition, representing authors and artists from Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
“The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball,” written by Elizabeth Atkinson, won the Gold Medal for Pre-Teen Fiction. In the book, two unlikely best friends stumble across a mysterious fortune teller, and later that winter, their dreams come true—or so they think. “The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball”is set in a small New England town that is home to a large ski resort, which Atkinson, who lives part of the year in Lovell, Maine, based on North Conway in nearby New Hampshire.
Atkinson earned a BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and completed a Masters of Arts degree at Dartmouth College. Her other middle grade novels include the award-winning “I, Emma Freke,” “The Island of Beyond,” and “From Alice to Zen and Everyone in Between.” She has also published three nonfiction books. She also lives part of the year in West Newbury, Mass.
“Chantarelle,” written by G. A. Morgan, won the Silver Medal for Pre-Teen Fiction, Fantasy. “Chantarelle” is the second book in The Five Stones Trilogy, which tells the story of the three Thompson brothers and their neighbors, the two Boudreaux sisters, who travel to a mysterious island called Ayda, where four realms are locked in a destructive struggle for power. Book One, “The Fog of Forgetting,” was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award and earned the Silver Moonbeam award for Pre-Teen Fiction, Fantasy. The final book in the trilogy, “The Kinfolk,” will be released on October 25.
Morgan spent childhood summers on an island in Maine, where she discovered that many secrets lie deep in the fog. She was the managing editor of Chronicle Books before moving to Portland, Maine, where she has written for a variety of editorial and commercial clients. She has also authored several nonfiction books under her full name, Genevieve Morgan.
“Hold This,” written by Carolyn Scoppettone and illustrated by Priscilla Alpaugh, received a Silver Medal in the Picture Book (4- to 8-year-old) category. In “Hold This!,” a girl and her father go for a walk and experience all the sights, sounds, smells, and feels of the woods. With every step and stumble, Mika discovers the wonders of nature, as well as the ability to pick herself up after a fall.
After working as a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles, Scoppettone moved to Vermont to raise her children. In addition to picture books, Carolyn writes poetry, creative nonfiction, and middle grade novels. She lives in Montpelier with her husband Greg, their daughters, Sophia, Anna, and Nadia, plus two cats, one dog, and a puppy. Alpaugh makes illustrations for the children’s market as well as murals, traffic control boxes, design logos, bookplates, and digital animations. She lives in Maynard, Mass., with her family.
About the awards
The Moonbeam Children's Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. The Awards recognize and reward the best of these books and bring them to the attention of parents, booksellers, librarians—and to children themselves.
The Author's Bookshelf: G.A. Morgan
We had a chance to ask Morgan—who is finishing up on Book 3 in the Five Stones triolgy—the books she's reading for inspiration and why. Find out here, on the blog.