Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Monday night we headed into the city for a dinner with Kaui Hart Hemmings, the author of the brand new (out yesterday) YA book Juniors As you can probably gather from the title, Juniors is about juniors in high school on the island of Oahu. Kaui perfectly captures life at that age with the backdrop of a beautiful island that is one of my favorites. From awkward run-ins with the opposite sex, making and losing friends, and dealing with parents Juniors so realistically brings to life Lea Lane and her world on Oahu.

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You may recognize Kaui’s name from her bestselling book The Descendants which was later turned in to a fabulous film starring George Clooney and Shailene Woodley. In Juniors, Lea’s mother is an actress and is shooting scenes on Oahu which makes her someone that people flock to so that maybe some of her stardust will rub off on them. Kaui told me that she created Lea’s mother’s character a bit based on her experience while The Descendants was being filmed. As everyone knows, people tend to come out of the woodwork when success comes your way…sometimes that’s a good thing and relationships form with people you wouldn’t normally have interacted with, but often it’s a negative thing as these people didn’t care to interact with you when you weren’t in the limelight and are now only trying to get something from you.

It was so fun to hear about Kaui’s time on set while the movie was being filmed (and learning that Clooney goes in for the top-of-the-head kiss for shorties like myself and Kaui). Our group of Seattle-area booksellers is so much fun, we always have a great time at these author dinners, but we had a blast with Kaui who was absolutely delightful Thank you to Colleen and Penguin Random House for a wonderful evening.

Head to your local independent bookstore and pick up Juniors today!

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Circus Mirandus

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Dinner last night was one for the ages! Seattle had major traffic accidents on pretty much every main thoroughfare during rush hour and right before the beginning of Sounders game…leaving the entire city at an almost stand still. Almost half of the people attending dinner, including the author, were stuck in traffic but once everyone arrived we had a wonderful time.

The Icon Grill has a very colorful room where we had dinner, very Circus Mirandus…especially when peanuts, cotton candy and animal crackers were added 🙂

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I loved Circus Mirandus (we all did) and author Cassie Beasley could not be a nicer person. In the book, Micah Tuttle finds himself under the care of his awful Aunt Gertrudis when his grandfather falls ill. He must find the famed Circus Mirandus that his grandfather Ephraim has been telling him about his whole life and cash in on a miracle that was promised to him years before. But Circus Mirandus doesn’t just appear for anyone, you must have an open mind to the possibility that magic just might be real.

This is a great read for middle grade boys and girls that will draw them into the very vivid and magical world of Circus Mirandus