A new promotional video has been produced for Wil’s ‘Twisted’ series with the help of various librarians around the country, and early reaction to it has been amazing! Check it out via the following link—
Please share this with your friends,
family, colleagues, and anyone else you can think of!
The ‘Twisted’ stories, released just last
year, have rapidly grown in popularity among school and public librarians, due
in part to the series’ appeal among reluctant readers. The second book in the
group, ‘House of a Million Rooms’, was a featured pick of the Junior Library
Guild, and also earned the Guild’s Gold Standard Award. And in the wake of the
success of the series, Wil was recently honored with the Literary Lion Award
via the New Jersey Center for the Book, an affiliate of the United States
Library of Congress.
To order any of the ‘Twisted’ books direct from the publisher—
NEW YORK, NY: West 44 Books is very
pleased to announce that it will release two exciting new chapter-book series
from bestselling author Wil Mara this summer!
IZZY JEEN THE BIG-MOUTH QUEEN
Isabella Jean Marino—or ‘Izzy Jeen the
Big-Mouth Queen,’ as she is known among her classmates—has issues. Mostly,
she is at the age where she’s just trying to get a grip, usually with little to
no success. All her life, she’s let her emotions run wild, driving her friends,
family, and pretty much everyone else to the edge of their patience. But
there’s a new factor in the equation now—a budding sense that perhaps there’s
a better way to handle things. Each story in this laugh-out-loud series brings
Izzy face to face with a new challenge familiar to all kids her age. From
there—and usually with a little help from those closest to her (and know that
her heart, at least, is always in the right place)—Izzy has to decide which
part of her nature will lead to the best solution…or, at the very least, the
one that will keep her from totally losing it.
THE KID FROM PLANET 27
Logan Lewis seems like an ordinary American
kid in every way. He lives with his parents in a nice neighborhood. He tries
his best in school. He rides his bike, plays video games, and watches TV. He
also has a best friend, the street-smart Abby Parker, who lives next door. And
Abby is the only person who knows Logan’s biggest secret—that he and his
family are not from Earth. In fact, they’re from Kepri, the 27th planet from
the sun. Their leaders have determined that the people of Earth are going to
discover their world pretty soon. So they’ve sent Keprians here to study us. In
the stories that follow, Logan encounters human behavior in all its many colors
as he tries to figure out what makes us tick. And even with Abby’s help, he
quickly realizes that understanding Earthlings both young and old is a lot more
complicated than he ever imagined.
West 44 is also unveiling today the
covers for the first story in each series. Further details will be announced
The Izzy Jeen and Planet 27 books are
intended for a 2nd thru 4th-grade reading level. As with Wil’s popular
‘Twisted’ series, they will be readily enjoyed by enthusiastic readers—but
particular attention has also been given to the requirements of reluctants,
hi-los, and other challenged students.
Wil Mara is the author of more than 275
books, both fiction and nonfiction, for children and adults. His work for
children includes more than 150 other educational titles for the school
libraries. He has also ghostwritten five of the popular ‘Boxcar Children’
mysteries. His 2013 novel ‘Frame 232’ reached the # 1 spot in its category on
Amazon. The hit 2014 feature film ‘Draft Day,’ starring Kevin Costner and
Jennifer Garner, was based on his 2006 novel ‘The Draft.’ More recently, he
released the new supernatural series known as ‘Twisted’, which has proven
tremendously popular with midde-grade readers. And he was recently given the
Literary Lion Award of New Jersey from the United States Library of Congress.
Wil is going to be presenting at this
year’s spring meeting of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, which
takes place in Hightstown, NJ, on Saturday, March 7th. His talk will provide an
overview of his ongoing ‘Myth of the Reluctant Reader’ lecture series. The
latest installment, ‘Part IV: Root Causes,’ was unveiled at the NJASL Fall
Conference last December. For attendees who aren’t yet familiar with the
‘Myth…’ series, this will be a good chance to become acquainted, so please
stop by. Copies of Wil’s new middle-grade series ‘Twisted’ will also be
More details about the spring meeting can
be found here—
Last year, the Junior Library Guild chose the second book in
Wil’s new ‘Twisted’ series, ‘House of a Million Rooms,’ as one of their Main
Selection titles. We are now very pleased to announce it has also received
their prestigious Gold Standard Award.
The JLG is a monthly book club founded in 1929 and is based
today in New York City. It’s stated mission is to “…help thousands of K-12
school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult
books.” Past editorial selection committee members
have included Eleanor Roosevelt and Carl van Doren, and other featured titles
include children’s classics such as ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ by Dr. Seuss and
‘Little House in the Big Woods’ by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
For more information about the Junior Library Guild—
The fifth installment in Wil’s new
middle-grade supernatural series, ‘The Girl Who Grew Nasty Things,’ has been
released. It was on NetGalley’s list of most-requested middle grade titles for
more than three months! Here’s the publisher’s summary—
“Maddie Dragonette doesn’t like people.
She prefers to be among the rare plants she grows in her greenhouse—which can
be made to cause great pain to others. When Maddie doesn’t get a part in the
school play, she turns to her beloved plants to seek her revenge. What happens
when one young girl’s rage and hatred grow out of control?”
Review quotes from NetGalley and
“A brilliant cautionary tale!” –Mallory
“This was a fun and exciting book to read
with young children.” –Jacyln D.
“Maddie Dragonette is one mean girl.”
“If you have kids who love creepy
stories, this is the one for them.” –Laurie E.
“It was just as expected: a twisted tale
of discovery. Well done!” –Jaime F.
“It shows what rage, jealousy and
resentment can do to you when you make them your top priority.” –Faiza N.
“Wil Mara has done a great job of
bringing the character to life and setting her into a story that does not have
a happy ending….” –Denice L.
The ‘Twisted’ stories have been rapidly growing
in popularity among school and public librarians, due in part to the series’
appeal among reluctant readers. The second book in the group, ‘House of a
Million Rooms’, was a featured pick of the Junior Library Guild less than two
weeks after its publication. And in the wake of the success of the series, Wil
was recently honored with the 2019 Literary Lion Award.
To read the first two chapters of ‘The
Girl Who Grew Nasty Things’ now, click here—