Category Archives: Uncategorized

Five reasons to stop buying books from Amazon and start using Bookshop.org

  1. Bookshop.org supports local businesses, which are having a very hard time right now.
  2. You will get your books delivered to you faster if you use Bookshop.org.  Amazon has said that shipping books is now a low priority for them.  They are too busy shipping other supplies.
  3. Bookshop.org can connect you with local independent bookstores.  Some of them are still open, as they have been deemed vital businesses.  You can’t go inside, but they will deliver your books to you at the curb.  That’s much faster than having them shipped!
  4. Bookshop.org is easy to use!  Just click here.
  5. Let’s face it, Amazon is kind of evil.  (And frankly, they’re going to be fine.  They’re making plenty of money shipping toilet paper right now.)

And if you want a signed book from me, Once Upon A Time has many in stock.  And they will ship to you as well. Click here to get one!

Finally, if you want an exclusive version of tyrannosaurus Wrecks, with sixteen pages of bonus content, click here to get it from Barnes & Noble.  Yes, B&N is not an independent company, but they are still a bookstore and thus, prioritizing shipping of books over other items.  (You can also order puzzles, games, Legos and other items from them as well.)

I hope all of you are holding up well during this trying time.

Need something to do during the virus outbreak? I have the solution!

Hey everyone –

These are strange times.  All over the world, kids are stuck at home, being kept apart from friends and schoolmates, while we cut down on socializing to try to minimize the effects of this pandemic.  Quite frankly, it stinks.

I am guessing that many of you are feeling cooped up, disconnected — and possibly bored. Sadly, things probably aren’t going to get any better for a while.

But there is one thing that’s easy to do that can make your boredom go away:  Read.

I’m not only talking about my own books here.  I would certainly love it if you read my books, but if there is one silver lining to this cloud we are all in, it’s that this is a golden age of middle grade and young adult writing.  There are hundreds of great books out there for you to read, and at the moment, there are still ways to stock up on them.

The easiest way for me to introduce you to a trove of incredible authors is to direct you to the Renegades of Middle Grade website, which features the work of eighteen fantastic authors with links to their websites.  Plus, there’s even some fun games devised by my fellow author James Ponti that can keep you busy for a while.  Just click here to visit it.

Or click here to see a great trailer for books by thirteen of us, each talking up our books.

That said, I’ll single out some other great authors that I have become friends with over the years.  Just click on their names to access their sites.

Since I’ve already mentioned him, James Ponti writes great, clever mysteries and just published City Spies, which is excellent.

Sarah Mlynowski has books for just about every age that are all funny and extremely creative (sometimes with a bit of romance thrown in).

Christina Soontornvat also has a book for just about every age, although her newest, A Wish In The Dark, comes out the same day that my new book does and it’s wonderful.

Gordon Korman has published 96 books!  So it’s guaranteed that he’s written at least one that you will love.

Karina Yan Glaser writes the endearing Vanderbeekers series.

Ally Carter writes exceptionally good spy stories and has a brand new middle grade book out this month: Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor.

Max Brallier writes hilarious illustrated books like The Last Kids on Earth and Galactic Hot Dogs.

Varian Johnson wrote the award-winning Parker Inheritance and the very fun Great Greene Heist.

Liesl Shurtliff has her new Time Castaway series — and many other great books.

Elizabeth Eulberg has the Great Shelby Holmes mysteries — plus lots of YA too.

Leslie Margolis writes the Maggie Brooklyn mystery series.  (She’s also my neighbor!)

 

If you’re looking for something a little more YA, check out the books of Julie Buxbaum.

And… this one is for all the adults out there.  My father just published his first book!  It’s an alternative history of the Revolutionary War that wonders what might have happened if George Washington was wounded in battle.  It follows the race to save his life and keep the British from taking advantage of the lack of leadership.  You can get it by clicking here.

And there are so many more that I could list!  Maybe I will get around to adding a few more names to this list when I have more time.  (I’m actually staying very busy right now wrangling my kids and writing more books for you to read.)  But for now, that ought to get you started.

IMPORTANT UPDATE!  IF YOU WANT YOUR BOOKS QUICKLY, DON’T USE AMAZON.

Amazon says that it is so overwhelmed by filling other orders that it may deprioritize book sales.  Meanwhile, companies that only sell books are not.  If you order online from Barnes & Noble, they will not make shipment of your books a low priority.  And if you order from a local bookstore, they might even deliver the books to you themselves.  So now, more than ever, maybe support booksellers besides Amazon.

My spring tour has been cancelled

Hello fans –

This probably isn’t going to be much of a shock, given the state of the world today, but my spring tour for Tyrannosaurus Wrecks has been cancelled, as have most of my public appearances this spring.  In addition, numerous festivals, like Yallwest and OMG, that I would normally be participating in, are being postponed until later in the year.

I am very sorry about all of this.  Getting to visit schools and meet fans at bookstore events and festivals is one of the most wonderful parts of my job.

If you are a young reader — or even an adult one — I am sure that there is a lot of uncertainty in your life right now.  I know I am not the only person whose events have been cancelled — and it is certainly possible that we are looking at several months of cancelled sporting events and vacations — and maybe even normal school or work is going to be very different for a while.

I am not an expert on any of this.  The best I can do is quote what other experts are saying:

Do not panic.  Be rational.  Exercise good safety precautions.  WASH YOUR HANDS A LOT.

And if you’re going to be staying home a lot over the next few weeks, maybe read a book or two?

Just know that, if you’re concerned about going out to buy books, you can still shop locally!  Your local bookstore can order anything you want and probably even deliver it to you.  Just click here to find the one closest to you!

The incredible Even More FunJungle boxed set is coming April 21.

What’s better than one FunJungle book?

Three FunJungle books!

And now, you can get the second three books in the New York Times bestselling FunJungle series all at once — along with a gorgeous decorative box!

I am well aware that the Star Wars movies have completely messed up everyone’s understanding of what the second three of anything in a series is.  So for clarity’s sake, the three book I am referring to are the fourth, fifth and sixth books in the series:

Panda-Monium

Lion Down

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks

If you haven’t bought any of them yet, this is the perfect way to get all three!  (It’s also the perfect gift for anyone you know who has read the first three books in the series.)

Click here to order it!

Yes, there’s an exclusive edition of Tyrannosaurus Wrecks available at Barnes & Noble

Once again, I’m happy to say that I have teamed up with Barnes & Noble to create an exclusive edition of my newest book, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.  This one, like the other exclusive editions, has sixteen pages of bonus content, written by me, plus a special surprise inside the book jacket.

How much would you expect to pay for this all this extra stuff?  Well, the good news is that the exclusive edition, once again, is the exact same price as the regular edition.  (As of the time I’m writing this, that’s only $12.79!)

So pre-order yours today!  Just click here to do it!

Spy School 8 title and cover reveal!

No point in beating around the bush.  Here’s the cover:

Another Lucy Cummins masterpiece!

As for the synopsis, here you go:

Ben Ripley has barely returned to America after defeating SPYDER when someone makes an attempt on his life — at CIA headquarters.  Even worse, the attacker appears to be none other than Erica Hale.

But while the CIA has branded Erica a traitor, Ben believes there must be another explanation for her actions — even if he has to go rogue to find out what it is.  Now, he’ll find himself up against an evil organization that has been working in secret for a very long time — so long, in fact, that Ben will have to track down the files of America’s original spymaster, George Washington himself.

It’s an adventure that will test Ben in ways he’s never been tested before.  An adventure that will jeopardize the lives of the people Ben cares for — and test the loyalties of his friends as well.

As of right now, the publication date is October 6, 2020.  (If you read this post earlier, you will note that the date has moved up a week.  That’s because I care about you, the reader, and didn’t want you to have to wait another seven days.)

All further details are classified.

I am sure that many of you want to know more about the book.  But that’s all I am going to share.  The more you know about a book before you read it, the less fun it is to read.

Click here to pre-order it!

Super Puzzletastic Mystery Book coming June 23, 2020

Hello readers!  Have you ever wanted to read a great mystery, but you only had a few minutes to do it?  Well the perfect book for you is coming to stores this June.

My good friend, the wonderful (and incredibly prolific) author Chris Grabenstein asked me – along with many other great mystery writers, to create short mystery stories for a new book: Super Puzzletastic Mysteries.  It is being published in conjunction with the Mystery Writers of America, which is the coolest organization ever (and one that I am very proud to be a part of).

My fellow contributors include Chris himself (of course) along with Kate Milford, Peter Lerangis, Bruce Hale, James Ponti and many other greats.  Each of the stories is like the kind you would find in Encyclopedia Brown (one of my favorite series of all time): the kind where the story breaks so that you get the chance to figure out who did it — and then you have to turn to the end of the book to see if you were right.

My own contribution will be a short story featuring characters from one of my other series.  But I’m not going to say which one.  (So don’t bother asking.)  Suffice it to say that this was the first time I have written a short story and it was great fun.  I hope you’ll enjoy it — and all the other great stories in this book.

It won’t be in stores until June 23 — but you can preorder it by clicking here.

 

Another Spy School movie update

Hello everyone!  Here is a very small holiday present for you…  An update on the Spy School movie.

As you may recall, when I last updated you, back in March, Fox, the studio that had bought Spy School, had been acquired by Disney.  This created what we refer to in the movie business as a ‘mess.’  The merger of two enormous media companies takes a long time to sort out.

But that finally happened, more or less.  And from somewhere on high, Disney said we could proceed with developing Spy School.

So I am now at work on a rewrite of the first draft.  This does not mean that the movie is going to get made.  It only means that we are moving forward.  Which is better than Fox/Disney (or ‘Fisney’) deciding to dump the project.

I will post some answers to the questions I am getting asked the most.  Avid readers may notice that I may have answered some of these before.  But I keep getting asked them.  Over and over and over.  So here we go:

Which book is the movie based on?

The first one in the series.  Spy School.

Will there be sequels based on the other books?

Ideally, but that depends on how the first movie does.  There is a slight chance that, if Fisney loves the script, they will decide to move ahead with a sequel before the first movie comes out, but I wouldn’t count on that.

Is the movie going to be live action or animated?

Live action.

Can I be in it?

I really don’t know.  I will probably have no say in casting at all.  There are people who handle casting for a living.  They are called casting directors.  They don’t ask me if they can help write my movies — and therefore, they are not pleased if I show up and say that I want to help cast the movie.  I don’t know if they will have open auditions for the roles.  My bet is that they won’t.  But if they do, all I can do is write a blog post with details.  So please please please please please do not write to me and ask if you can be in the movie.

When will the movie come out?

I don’t know that either.  The absolute earliest would be in a year, and I highly doubt that would happen.  So don’t count on it any time soon.

Is it going to be released in theaters — or could it show up on Disney Plus?

Personally, I would love for it to be released theatrically — so that’s what we are shooting for.  But the fact is, Disney needs a lot of content for Disney Plus, so that remains an option.  (Also, if it was made for Disney Plus, there is a chance that sequels could be started earlier.)

What is your favorite color?

Why are you even asking that?  This is a blog about Spy School, the movie.

Because I’m just interested.  Is there something wrong with that?

I suppose not.  My favorite color is blue.

Thanks.  You’re amazing.

So are you.  Happy holidays!

 

Spy School vs SPYDER — mega boxed set now available!

Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘Boy, I wish there was a way to get all seven books of Spy School in one gorgeous case?’  Well your dreams have come true!  Now, just in time for the holidays, Simon & Schuster has released the Spy School vs SPYDER boxed set: All seven of the Spy School books in hardback — plus a beautiful box to keep them in for free!

It’s the perfect way to get the whole set at once — or the perfect gft for someone you know who hasn’t begun reading the series yet.

Click here to buy it!

And… for those of you who are huge fans of boxed sets, there’s another great set coming next year!  The Even More FunJungle set, which will have hardcover editions of Panda-Monium, Lion Down and the newest book in the series, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.

Click here to pre-order it!

Yes, there will be a Spy School 8

Hi everyone –

I am writing this post because the most common question I get is: ‘Is there going to be a Spy School 8?’  (Or sometimes, ‘Is Spy School 7 going to be the last book in the series?’)

The answer is: YES.

It will come out some time in fall 2020.  I do not know anything more specific than that./

For future reference: I list upcoming titles on the right hand side of EVERY SINGLE PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE.  Somehow, this seems to escape about 50% of the people who visit.  So please, please, please, if you’re interested to know if and when a book is coming out, check that area before writing to me to ask.

I am going to answer a few other very frequent questions I get about this book.

Can you tell me what is going to happen in SS8?

No.

Really?  You can’t just tell me?  I promise not to tell anyone else.

Doesn’t matter.  I’m still not ready to share any information yet.

Why not?

Because the less you know about a book before you read it, the more fun it is to read.  And if I share information a year before the book comes out, you’re just going to have more questions.  In the meantime, there are plenty of other great books out there for you to read.

Can you at least tell me what the title is going to be?

No, but I will post that when I know it.

Are there going to be other books in the series after SS8?

Yes.

How many books will there be in the series?

I don’t know.

Really?  Because JK Rowling knew there were going to be seven books in Harry Potter before she finished writing it.

Feel free to ask JK Rowling how she knew that the next time you see her.

When do you think you will post an update about SS8?

I don’t know.  Don’t expect anything until at least six months before it comes out.

In the meantime, feel free to enjoy Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation when it comes out on September 17.