A young-adult mystery novel set in 1980s Wisconsin about a teenage girl struggling with her mom’s disappearance, her friends’ flakiness, and a secret relationship that threatens to tear her life–and the entire town–apart.
This deeply researched historical fantasy novel is based around a real 16th century family famous throughout Europe for their bizarre appearance. Because the father was covered with hair from head to toe but the mother was not, literary historians believe their marriage may have been the inspiration for Beauty and the Beast.
My interest is in their twelve-year-old daughter Francesca, hairy like her father, and her seventeen-year-old brother Paulo, smooth-skinned like their mother. Caught in a time when superstitions about monsters and magic overlap new ideas about humanism and science, what will they do when their family is torn apart by forces beyond their control?
Stuck in tech-phobic Pencilvania, wanna-be reporter Lilly Tran and STEM whiz kid “Carrot” Campbell vow to be a P.E.S.T. (Pencilvania Elementary Scientific Threat). When they discover a teacher’s unbelievable secret that could destroy the school, and perhaps the town, they must decide what’s more important: pursuing their dreams of winning the science fair or saving the town they despise.
Little Lead Riding Hood
A short story rewriting the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale from a sci-fi perspective: what if Red was a robot, and the Wolf was an outer-space alien?
The Aegis Speaks
Short story from the perspective of Athena’s shield, which recounts a different version of Medusa’s story in which her monstrousness is a gift, not a punishment.
Letter from the Beast
Short story that imagines the real-life people from 16th century France who inspired the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. What would you do if you woke up married to what appears to be a monster?
My Grandma, the Alien
A picture book in which a child believes that Grandma is from outer space. Why else would she smush bananas into the radiator? Mom and Dad try to explain, but the young child is convinced Grandma is an alien sent to study their family.
When Grandma puts on her cape and announces she’s going home, the child eagerly awaits the spaceship with her. Together, Grandma and grandchild eventually redefine what it means to be family—and to be home.
An author’s note offers additional information to help children demystify dementia, as well as a few resources. I was inspired to write “My Grandma, the Alien” after observing family members with young children handle a grandparent’s memory loss with gentleness and humor, always emphasizing compassion and family connection.
Comparable books include Max Wallack’s Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? and Julia Jarmon’s Lovely Old Lion.