Tuesday, June 4, 2013

PARCHED Debuts Today!

 Parched by Melanie Crowder
Harcourt Children's Books
144 pages  |  available in hardcover & e-book formats
ages 10+
ISBN: 9780547976518 

Today it is my great honor to champion the release of Parched, the brand-new novel for middle-grade readers by Lucky 13 Melanie Crowder. Here's a little about this beautiful book from Goodreads:

A mesmerizing debut about a girl, a boy, and a dog struggling to survive in a parched and barren land.

Sarel is a girl with secrets. She knows which tree roots reach down deep to pools of precious water. But now she must learn how to keep herself and her dogs alive. Nandi is the leader of those dogs. She knows they can’t last long without water—and she knows, too, that a boy is coming; a boy with the water song inside him.

Musa is that boy. His talent for finding water got him kidnapped by brutal men, yet he's escaped, running away across the thirsty land that nearly claims his life. And so Sarel, Musa, and the dogs come together in what might be their last hope of survival.
If you think this novel sounds bleak, it's because you haven't opened the cover and been drawn in by Crowder's gorgeous, lyrical writing. Told from three different viewpoints--Sarel's, Musa's, and Nandi's--this story grabs you from the first page and transports you to another world as only great writing can do. In a spare 144 pages, Crowder makes us care deeply about each of the characters as they struggle to survive in this unnamed place. The details--name of the country, exact place and time--are missing, but that's what gives the book its otherworld, yet everyworld, quality. The immediacy of Sarel and Musa's friendship and struggle brings the story into sharp focus and keeps the reader turning pages until the end.

Here's what other authors have to say about Parched:
"Brutally beautiful, this is a story that both inspires and sounds an alarm, a story of courage and heart. Just like Musa’s ability to tap into water, it asks us to tap into our own humanity, even though it might be more deeply hidden than we can imagine."—Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Underneath

"A thrilling, imaginative soul quencher. Crowder’s stunning debut is sure to become a modern classic."—Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor-winning author of One Crazy Summer

"Spare, unflinching, and beautifully written, this novel walks the line between magic and reality."—Franny Bilingsley, National Book Award finalist for Chime
And the critics:
"Thirst and heat are palpable as kids and dogs fight fatal dehydration. . . . A wrenching piece with a wisp of hope for the protagonists if not for the rest of their world."
"The writing, especially the descriptions of the drought conditions and extreme thirst, is excellent."
School Library Journal
"The direct powerful prose in this first novel dramatizes the exciting contemporary survival story. . . . Fans of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet (1987) will want this."
Here's where you can get your very own copy of Parched:

your local indie bookstore
Barnes & Noble
Powell's Books
Books a Million

More about Melanie Crowder:

her website
Facebook page

follow the blog tour this week on the Emu's Debuts blog

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