Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Tracy Barrett

Fake It Till You Make It

A junior entrepreneur and a budding drag queen set their sights on stardom

In Greg Howard’s second middle-grade novel, Middle School’s a Drag: You Better Werk!, entrepreneurial pre-teen Mikey Pruitt thinks his new talent agency can’t miss, now that he’s representing an eighth-grade aspiring drag queen. Readers won’t be surprised to find out that things don’t go as smoothly as Mikey anticipates. Howard will discuss the book at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 11, at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on February 13, and at the SE-YA Book Fest in Murfreesboro on March 12-14.

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The Best-Laid Plans

A fiercely independent teen must learn how to trust and rely on others

In Better Than the Best Plan, Lauren Morrill’s teenage protagonist finds herself unexpectedly tossed into the foster care system.

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Trapped in the Wrong Body

Meredith Russo’s new YA novel asks what you should do when everybody who “knows” you is wrong

In Birthday, Stonewall Award-winning novelist Meredith Russo traces the painful path Morgan must take to live as her true self. In installments spaced a year apart, Morgan travels from confusion to self-loathing—and finally to acceptance.

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You Just Have to Listen

In The Whispers by Greg Howard, a boy searches for his mother with the help of mysterious beings

In the debut middle-grade novel by Nashville author Greg Howard, a child turns to the “Whispers,” nearly invisible creatures in the woods, for help in solving his mother’s disappearance. Howard will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on January 15, at Star Line Books in Chattanooga on January 17, and at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on January 18.

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Home to the Mountain

In Ronald Kidd’s new middle-grade novel, a boy’s journey leads to understanding

Ronald Kidd’s new middle-grade novel, Lord of the Mountain, is set in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1927—the time and place of country music’s “big bang.” Kidd will appear at the 2018 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 12-14.

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A Road Trip with a Twist

In Sheba Karim’s Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, three Pakistani-American teens search for America

Like her earlier books, Sheba Karim’s new YA novel is populated with appealing characters who tussle with real-life issues. In Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, the Nashville author has put a new spin on the familiar road-trip tale.

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