Monday, March 14, 2016

In Which I Talk about MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS and Amazing Author Crystal Allen

Crystal Allen has written another amazing book with THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS, SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN, out now from Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins. Mya is funny and big-hearted and spunky and sometimes wonderfully clueless to the truth about the people around her. MAGNIFICENT MYA is a story about many things: friendship and bullying and family and siblings and the goofiness of school Spirit Week. Mya learns that not all friends are true or even truthful and that gossip and rumors are hurtful and that sometimes the least likely suspects can become your truest friends once you really get to know them.

Like her other novels (HOW LAMAR’S BAD PRANK WON HIM A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY (2011) and THE LAURA LINE (2013), MYA combines humor and heart as it navigates serious issues. Mya doesn’t know that her best friend Naomi has some huge ulterior motives for their friendship. She doesn’t know that “Mean” Connie Tate might not be so mean after all. Mya doesn’t know that she might not be the best sister on the planet right now to her brother Nugget. In short, Mya doesn’t know a lot of things and when she finds herself paired with Connie not Naomi as Spirit Week partners, everything Mya believes gets tossed away as she attempts to navigate through crisis after crisis.

Crystal Allen is a master of dialogue and of creating characters that stick in your mind and heart long after you’ve finished the story. Or to steal from Mya herself, Allen’s story-telling skills are boo-yang amazing!

As, by the way are her skills at teaching writing to reluctant readers, at putting herself out into the community and walking the walk of a writer who gives back to her readers. Like the characters she creates, she is inspiring and funny and generous. She knows how important it is to believe in yourself and your ability to create regardless of circumstance, and in full disclosure, she has frequently kicked her metaphor cowgirl boots into my metaphor butt to remind me of that.

An inspiring kind of lady, my friend Crystal Allen. I would totally be her Spirit Week partner!

So ka-clunk your cowgirl or cowboy boots to a bookstore and get your copy of MAGNIFICENT MYA right now!

 And check out this starred review of Mya on Kirkus Reviews! 

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