|How clever is the miniature hot-air balloon that Karen rigged for the release?|
From the book jacket for Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington: Mysti Murphy wishes she were a character in a book. If her life were fictional, she'd magically know how to deal with he fact that her best friend, Anibal Gomez, has abandoned her in favor of being a "hipster." She'd be able to take care of everyone when her dad has to spend time in the hospital. And she'd certainly be able to change her family's secret: that her mother never leaves the house.
Seventh grade is not turning out the way Mysti had planned. With the help of a hot-air balloon and some unlikely new friends--and maybe even the heroes of the Teas Revolution--can she find the courage to change?
|Karen and her younger daughter and some swag|
What's interesting about Karen's career arc--her third middle grade novel was delivered to her publisher and slated for release in 2016--is that she started out as a women's fiction novelist. Her first book, Janeology was published in 2011, and her second, Sure Signs of Crazy (2013), was written in the same vein, but advice came in to change up a few things and she had a winner of a middle grade novel on her hands. Not one to ignore good advice (which is what spurred the writing of Crazy in the first place), Karen obliged, and the outcome was every writer's dream: she's published, and published well. She even got to dine with Lemony Snicket! ("The only thing in my writing career that has impressed my daughters," she noted.)
|A sharpie: an author's best friend on release day|
Congratulations, Karen. You're an inspiration to us all!