Welcome to Day 3 of #MGRewind week!
Celebrate Middle Grade reads with Tantrum Books/Month9books.
Sharing her memories as an MG reader, we welcome SAMANTHA VERANT, author of the KING OF THE MUTANTS.
Come back everyday this week where we’ll feature another author, and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Can one boy stop a nefarious plot to turn kids into super-mutants?
Maverick Mercury enjoys his life as the sideshow attraction known as “Gator Boy” at Grumbling’s Traveling Circus and Sideshow.
His freakish mutations are the result of some billionaire geneticist’s experiments gone awry. But life as a mutant is about to get worse, as Maverick uncovers a plot to kidnap kids, turns them into super-mutants, and sells their powers to the highest bidder.
Now, Maverick is on a mission to find the mad scientist who may have created him and destroy his sinister plans!
As a middle grader, my answer to the above questioned varied daily, depending on whatever book I was reading at the time. Books fueled my dreams and I could be anything I wanted to be – a ballerina, a cowgirl, or a tightrope walker. I could be a pig farmer, the idea inspired by Fern in Charlotte’s Web. Or I could set off on a wild adventure, carried off into the blue sky by seagulls, thanks to James and the Giant Peach. Reading transported me into other worlds, opening up my mind to the possible and, sometimes, the impossible. I imagined myself in stories. Back then, if somebody asked me if I thought I’d work at a window-less office in advertising, I would have given them the stink eye and said, “No, I’m going to work in Oz or Wonderland or Wonka.”
An early reader, I tackled my first picture book on my own at the age of three. It was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and I loved it so much that I climbed (and hugged) many a tree to find one that would love me back, just like the boy. By middle grade, I was hooked on books – the more fantastical, the better. I remember when the teachers passed out the Scholastic Book Catalogues. It was like Christmas and I always ordered as many books my parents would allow. Ghosts stories and adventures and joke books – who could choose just one or two? The school librarian always shook her head when she saw me coming with a stack of books piled high to the sky. “Are you going to read all those in two weeks?” she’d ask.
Indeed, I did. Some I even read twice.
Don’t get me wrong. I was like all of the other kids, too. I played foursquare or double dutch with my friends until the sun went down. I watched TV and went to movies. I took ballet classes and gymnastics. I dove off mailboxes and roofs, neither of which were very good ideas. But I was also a book omnivore. Lights out? Give me ten more minutes, Mom! I’m reading. Mom, of course, always agreed.
Today, writing lets me live out my childhood dreams and fantasies, oftentimes transporting me back in time. On the page, I can be anything I want to be. I can create wild worlds. I can let my imagination run wild. Sorry, I have to go now. An evil scientist is turning kids into super mutants and I need to thwart his plans…because I can.
Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, French chef. Over the years, she’s visited many different countries, lived in many places, and worked many jobs— always on the search for the one thing that truly excited her. Then, one day, she found everything she’s been looking for: a passion for the written word and true love. Writing not only enabled her to open her heart, it led her to southwestern France, where she’s now married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met over twenty years ago, a stepmom to two incredible kids, and the adoptive mother to one ridiculously expensive Bengal cat. When she’s not trekking from Provence to the Pyrénées, tasting wine in American-sized glasses, or embracing her inner Julia Child while deliberating what constitutes the perfect boeuf bourguignon, Samantha is making her best effort to relearn those dreaded conjugations.
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