Monday, October 3, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown, by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson--and a Giveaway!

Whew, it has been a crazy awesome weekend full of LOTS of author events. And yes--those of you who know me--that means I've picked up LOTS of shiny new signed books to give away as blog prizes. So I thought I'd start today with this weeks' MMGM: THE FAMILIARS: SECRETS OF THE CROWN, by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson.

Here's how the publisher describes it:

Prepare for the unfamiliar

When every bit of human magic disappears suddenly from Vastia, it falls on the familiars—Aldwyn the telekinetic cat, Skylar the know-it-all blue jay, and Gilbert the gullible tree frog—to find the Crown of the Snow Leopard, an ancient relic that can reverse the curse. They learn that the only way to do this is by following in the paw prints of Aldwyn’s missing father, who went searching for the Crown several years earlier. This magical spirit trail extends into the Beyond, where our heroes encounter new enemies and danger, while Aldwyn learns about his mysterious past.

Full of high-flying adventure and heartwarming friendships, Secrets of the Crown will make readers want to get even more familiar with The Familiars!

In case you don't know (and can't tell by the title) this is a sequel to THE FAMILIARS, a book which I have already gushed about HERE. It's a series that has--in my opinion--one of the coolest concepts ever. I mean... telepathic cats? Animals that can work magic like wizards? Um, yes please!

Sometimes I worry when I pick up a sequel that it won't be as good as the first. But those fears were completely unfounded with SECRETS OF THE CROWN. Adam and Andrew bring back everything that made THE FAMILIARS awesome and then took it to the next level. I wish I could gush more about the plot, but I really hate to give away spoilers--and since I don't want to spoil book one either, I'm just going to say: If you haven't started this series yet--try it. And if you read THE FAMILIARS, you NEED to read SECRETS OF THE CROWN.

Which is why I'm giving away a lovely hardcover to one lucky winner, AND IT'S SIGNED BY BOTH AUTHORS!!!!!

I had the pleasure of meeting both Adam and Jacob this weekend, and--in addition to being ridiculously nice--they signed and doodled in a copy for me to give to you guys.

To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, October 8th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, October 9th. International entries welcome.

And... go!

For more middle grade love, make sure you check out these other MMGMs floating around the blogosphere:

- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!

- Barbara Watson is featuring ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET. Click HERE to learn all about it. 

- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin has musings on whether pickles are the new Vampire-Zombies. Click HERE to see what that's all about.

- Sheri Larsen is interviewing an awesome middle grade author. Click HERE to see who it is.

- Deb Marshall is spotlighting THE WARRIOR HEIR. Click HERE to read her review.

- Natalie Aguirre is interviewing author Hilary Wagner, with a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for details.

-Jennifer Rumberger makes her MMGM debut, with a spotlight on BOBBY vs GIRLS (ACCIDENTALLY). Click HERE to see what she thinks.

-Danika Dinsmore discusses the timelessness of THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH. Click HERE to read more. 

And if you want to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do!

Happy Monday!


  1. I'm reading this now and plan to give it away at Literary Rambles next month, so let someone else win. I'm enjoying it too. I love that the animals are the strong wizards.

  2. I KNOW I could get into this story! I love anthropomorphic characters.

  3. Can I say how much I love that cover!! (Thanks for the link, Shannon.)

  4. I'm a big fan of this series covers!

    I'm a long time follower! :)

    thecozyreader @

  5. Great post! No need to enter me...I already won a signed copy (eeek!! so excited to get it!).

    Happy Monday...

  6. I'm hearing a lot about this series. It sounds great, and may give my zombie pickles a run for their money ;)

  7. I'd love to read it :3

    GFC: Meli ^^

    rockmeamadeuus @

    Thanks for the giveaway! :D

  8. Oh, I want this one! I've been dying to read these but haven't had a chance yet. AWESOME giveaway, #1!!

    And congrats to Jill--love her! :-)

  9. I've been hearing about these and seeing them all over but have yet to read any FAMILIARS so I'd love to win one!

  10. I love MG books! This one sounds great ;)

    I'm already a follower. ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Thanks so much for the chance, I loved the first one and have been mad to read this.

  12. Would love to win a doodled copy! 6th graders are loving this series. They are great guys-we Skyped with them last year!
    @teacher6th @oms6th

  13. I've heard so many great things about this series and would love to win a copy of the second book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    GFC: Aeicha @ Word Spelunking
    wordspelunker at gmail dot com

  14. Awesome!Please count me in:)

    GFC-Janhvi Jagtap

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  15. We bought the first one based on your rec.

  16. I would love to win this book :D Thank you so much. <3
    Love, Carina ~

  17. This book looks really great. I've been seeing it featured several places online. I've always loved animal stories and magic? Oh yes. Thanks for this chance to win a signed copy! ladyofnarnia(at)yahoo(dot)com

  18. I loved the first in this series. I think Gilbert is my favourite ever animal book character. He was so cute and clumsy! I'd love to enter the giveaway. I'm a new follower and I'm in the UK. Hope that's ok :)

  19. Haha, telepathic cats? That sounds like so much fun!

  20. Sounds great!
    GFC follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  21. Thanks for letting us know the sequel is out. Can't wait to read it.

  22. I have several students who will love this series! thanks for the tip! :)

  23. I have a difficult young lady in my class who would devour this book. It has to join my library soon....this would be amazing. Thank you for offering such an fabulous giveaway.

  24. I'd love to play please. GFC follower.


  25. You have SO MANY giveaways! How do you do it?

  26. I love this series. Dying to read this book is like what I have been doing for ages............... Thank you so much!!!

    ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

    I follow as Angie- GFC

  27. My daughter is reading the first book right now and I totally want to steal it from her. Love the covers!

  28. I LOVED The Familiars! What a great book, I am really excited to read the sequel! What would your familiar be Shannon?

  29. WooHoo! :-)

    I have not read the first one, but I have students who loved the first one.

    I always assumed cats WERE telepathic. How else would they commune with the mother ship?

  30. would totally love it!! Thanks for the awesome reviews you post!

    GFC follower :)


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.