Brace yourself people, there’s just all kinds of adorableness coming your way by the bucket full. I mean it, you won’t be able to stand how cute the girls taking over my blog today are. These three little literary titans have managed to write and publish their first and second books all before completing middle school. With summer officially here, their literary sophomoric effort is right on time. Check out the deets below!
The talented trio that brought you The Perfect Present is back…with summer stories that will brighten your day, warm your heart, and prove that life is one of the greatest teachers there is. In Too Big for Teacups, Gabrielle Simone introduces us to the Fernandez family, who is on their way to Disney for a vacation. Marlena, the oldest, would rather stay home and practice with her dance team. But her parents make her go, and Marlena trudges through a miserable week of what was supposed to be a family bonding experience. In the midst of her complaining, her best friend, Jennifer, helps her learn a valuable life lesson and a new outlook on family time.
In Jackie Lee’s A Lesson for Summer, 14-year-old twins, Vanessa and Teresa, had planned their ideal summer vacation. But when their father announces that he’s taking over a new church in a new city, the girls find their summer ruined! Instead of spending their days shopping, talking about boys, and going to the movies, they were going to be moving and volunteering to mentor a bunch of snotty-nosed seven-year-olds. The twins do everything in their power to sabotage their parents’ plans for them. However, in the end, they learn life lessons that truly make this the perfect summer for both of them.
Morgan Billingsley is back with twins, Max and Mickey in A Country Summer. And this time, the suburban duo is unplugging from their iPads, Wi-Fi, and Netflix, to spend the summer with their extended family in a small Arkansas town. This was not at all Mickey’s idea of fun. In fact, she hates the boring country and her “classless” relatives. While Max fits right in with his cousins, Mickey soon feels left out and learns a valuable lesson about life – it doesn’t matter what you have…what matters is who you have. These three young writers will inspire and entertain…and leave you with a lesson or two yourself.
Excerpt from A Lesson for Summer by Jackie Lee
I knew that look meant that my twin sister did not like what she was hearing.
“There you are. We were wondering what was keeping you,” Dad said in a cheerful voice.
I politely smiled and took a seat beside my sister on the sofa. My eyes darted over to the
strangers in the living room. The man had fine gray hairs around his bald spot. He wore thick
glasses that made his eyes look like a huge red moon. He also wore too much cologne. Whew!
He had the living room lit up like the perfume part of Macy’s. The woman beside him wore this
big Kool-Aid smile. She had on a red dress with blue flowers. Her dress was loud enough for my friends
to hear her across the street. “I have heard so many wonderful things about you, young lady,” said the balding man.
The lady with the loud dress just kept smiling.
“Your parents tell me that you are the captain of the church praise dance team and worship
leader for the youth. That is wonderful! I love to see our youth active in church,” the man
continued. I just continued to stare at him. My sister elbowed me, so I managed to say, “Thank you.”
My mother jumped into the conversation.
* * *
Excerpt for a Country Summer by Morgan Billingsley
When that last bell rang, signaling the beginning of our summer vacation, I felt like I’d
just been given a Get Out of Jail card. I had been counting down to this day and was looking
forward to hanging out with my twin brother, Max, playing video games, and taking daily
swims in the pool my parents had built last winter. You know, just having fun.
I wasn’t expecting this. I mean, in the fun dictionary, a road trip to a
country town was nowhere in the book. Yet, that’s exactly what we were doing.
“Ugh! Are we there yet?” I asked my dad, who was driving our large SUV like a skilled
truck driver. My mom was next to him and they were singing some corny old people song on the radio.
* * *
Excerpt from Too Big for Teacups by Gabrielle Anderson
Six hours, four arguments and three stops later, they made it to the hotel in Birmingham. It was early evening and all Marlena wanted to do was swim. They were staying in a room that had two queen beds and a pullout sofa.
“I call the sofa bed,” Marlena said while putting her bag on it.
“I want the sofa bed,” whined Kyle.
“It’s big enough for the both of you,” her dad said.
Marlena protested. “I don’t want to sleep with him. I called it first.”
Her mother let out a loud sigh then gave Marlena a look.
“It’s been a long ride, let’s go swim,” her father suggested.
“Good idea,” her mom replied. “Get your suits on.”
Marlena and Kyle got dressed quickly. He in basketball shorts, and she in her one-piece. Of
course she wanted a two-piece, but her parents said that was out of the question. Not until she
was old enough to buy it herself. Marlena didn’t think it was such a big deal, most of her friends
had one. While her mom was in the bathroom, she decided to dress Chloe in her suit. She found
her little pick suit with ruffles around the bottom and put it on her. Chloe was such a cute little
girl. She and Marlena always got along. If her mom wasn’t around, she preferred Marlena to
anyone else. Sometimes Chloe even slept in Marlena’s room.
Eleven year old, Jackie Lee is a lover of the letters and the arts. She has starred in three theatrical productions produced by Cherie Garland. She portrayed Crystal in “The Christmas Present,” Glenda, The Good Witch in “The Wiz” and the Ballerina in “One Night with a King.” Jackie’s love of arts also extends to church. She participates in the praise dance ministry at East New Hope Baptist Church. She utilizes her musical talents as a clarinet player at Forest Hills Elementary School Band. Jackie can often be found at various literary events assisting her mother and guest authors. She also enjoys journaling and making sketches in her notebooks. She resides in Virginia with her parents and siblings. You can follow her at http://thecreativelifewithjackielee.blogspot.com/
Morgan Billingsley is a seventh grader, who loves writing, acting, swimming and volleyball.
She enjoys helping out and making people laugh. Everyone who knows her, applauds her nurturing heart. Morgan can often be found assisting her mother, ReShonda Tate Billingsley at book signings. She is active in her school organizations and serves as secretary for her Teen group in Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Follow her on Instagram @c_momo_b
Eleven year old, Gabrielle Simone attends Pulaski Academy College Preparatory School, where her teachers describe her as hardworking and passionate about learning. She is the student council representative for fifth grade, plays both basketball and soccer and has a personality bigger than life. The confident young writer is also the daughter of young adult author Celia Anderson. Having grown up tagging alongside her mom at book signings and lectures, it’s no surprise that she has become interested in the art. Gabrielle says that one day she would like to attend Stanford University in California, but that may change as she grows older. Currently she resides with her mother in Little Rock, Arkansas, enjoys playing dress up, singing and playing with her American Girl Dolls. She lists both her mother and maternal grandmother, whom she affectionately calls FeFe, as the people who have influenced her the most.
What did I tell you? Is this not the cutest idea? And those author photos: these girls are serving intellectual divatude all day! #GetYoLife Books for kids, written by kids with strong moral lessons. Do yourself a favor and snap one or two up for the child or tween in your life. I don’t think you’ll regret it!
Are there any book series you were obsessed with as a child? I was a Babysitter’s Club fanatic. I think my sister was into Nancy Drew. What about y’all? Also, I’m seriously considering writing in the tween or YA genres in the future. Any tips are appreciated!