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Sep 17 / Michael

Cover Reveal: ON THIN ICE. After a long journey, my next middle grade novel rolls into view!

You know how, when you get a big idea, you can be cautious and excited about it all at once? Well, I began whispering (cautiously! excitedly!) about this book idea to friends all the way back in 2012. I knew there was something there, but finding it… Hoo, boy! That took umpteen drafts, four major rewrites/overhauls, two editors, and three titles. I wrote eleven books and went through all of the ups and downs as eight of them (so far!) were published. You get the idea: It was a journey!

And now, suddenly, here it is. Well, here’s the cover anyway. 🙂 I love it. This beautiful design captures the feel of the story perfectly and wraps it up in a few key plot elements and lots and lots of blue!

So good, right?! That bike plays a big role in the book. (That ice too!)

On Thin Ice comes out August 2019 from Scholastic. Here’s the official description! (There may still be some tweaks coming, so I’ll make those updates as they come in.)

Life for 12-year-old Ked Eakins isn’t easy. A rare spinal condition makes him a social outcast, the school bully is after him, and then his dad gambles away their rent money.

Though it seems like everything’s against him and he should just give up, Ked decides it’s time to take his life back. He hatches a scheme to make enough money to save their home: He’s going to rebuild a vintage minibike and sell it at a profit. But the plan is a gamble of his own, and what seemed like a good idea quickly lands him in deeper trouble. Now Ked’s really on thin ice.

Ked has his determination and creativity, and the school’s maker space provides him with a place to build. But can Ked and the other Makers save his family from going under before it’s too late?

This contemporary response to Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is a classic underdog tale and Michael Northrop at his gritty, gripping, unflinching best.

It is a powerful portrait of a failing factory town and the families who are being dragged down with it. Ultimately, On Thin Ice is about daring to create when your whole world is crumbling.

Exciting, right? It’s too early for bookstore or Amazon links or anything like that—but you can add it on Goodreads! Anyway, I am very excited about this one. (What has happened to all that caution?!) I can’t wait for the world to meet Ked and the gritty little town of Norton, Maine!

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