Saturday, April 29, 2023

Middle Grade Ninja Episode 212: Author Chrystal D. Giles

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In the final(ish) episode of the Middle Grade Ninja podcast, Chrystal D. Giles and I discuss her practical, data-driven approach to writing fiction that led to her newest novel, NOT AN EASY WIN. It’s a great conversation to end on as we discuss all my favorite subjects, such as successful writing habits, the need for diversity of representation in fiction, how a career in finance improves a career as an author, the importance of not hiding the truth from young readers, the imminent disclosure of the reality of flying saucers, and so much more. Esteemed Audience, it’s been an honor and a privilege. Thank you so much for supporting the show. It’s enhanced my life and I hope you feel the same.

Chrystal D. Giles is a champion for diversity and representation in children’s literature. Chrystal made her debut with Take Back the Block, which received multiple starred reviews, was a Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and an NPR Best Book. Her next middle-grade novel, Not An Easy Win, which has already received multiple starred reviews will be published in February 2023. Chrystal lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and son.

Can Lawrence figure out how to get on the board, even though the odds are stacked against him?

Introducing a powerful novel about figuring out who you are when you don’t make the rules—just right for middle-grade fans of Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds.

"Smart and moving."—Book Riot

Lawrence is ready for a win. . . .

Nothing’s gone right for Lawrence since he had to move from Charlotte to Larenville, North Carolina, to live with his granny. When Lawrence ends up in one too many fights at his new school, he gets expelled. The fight wasn’t his fault, but since his pop’s been gone, it feels like no one listens to what Lawrence has to say.

Instead of going to school, Lawrence starts spending his days at the rec center, helping out a neighbor who runs a chess program. Some of the kids in the program will be picked to compete in the Charlotte Classic chess tournament. Could this be Lawrence's chance to go home?

Lawrence doesn’t know anything about chess, but something about the center—and the kids there—feels right. Lawrence thought the game was over . . . but does he have more moves left than he thought?

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