Watch out! It’s Margie Tempest from THE MAP OF ME (and win a book!!)

Tami Lewis Brown’s new novel THE MAP OF ME careens into bookstores today! THE MAP OF ME is the story of two sisters, twelve-year-old Margie and big brained baby genius Peep, and what happens when they steal a car to bring their run away Momma back home.

Ingrams’s calls THE MAP OF ME a “slim gem of a novel” and says “Brown’s straightforward prose, short chapters, and engaging narrator are perfect for reluctant readers ages 9 to 12.” Publisher’s Weekly says Brown “combines pathos and humor for an emotionally resonant story.”

We expected Tami Lewis Brown to pop into the Mixed-Up Files for an interview… but Margie Tempest showed up instead.

Um Margie where’s Tami and why are you here in her place?

Ms. Brown’s busy with the launch of the fall Mixed-Up Middle Grade Skype Tour—you know that thing you all do, where some famous author visits a winning classroom via Skype, and all the kids have to sit there and pretend to be happy about it? Okay, fine. I admit it sounds like a lot of fun to have an author visit your class. Especially on Skype. Especially if we win Ms. Brown. Less homework, too. I’m going to tell Miss Primrose to enter our class.

Margie, any grown up can enter, for any class, book club, scout troop, library, or group of book lovers. Tell all the moms and dads you know to enter for an author visit on the Mixed-Up Middle Grade Skype Tour, too.

Sure. All you grown ups- Watch here on September 6th for more details to win a Skype author visit for your kids. Even if you entering does reduce the chance Ms. Brown will visit my class at Jesse Stuart Elementary.

Anyway–

While Ms. Brown’s revving up the bus for the fall Skype tour I offered to be interviewed in her place. Actually I wanted to drive but she wouldn’t let me. She must not remember my incredibly amazing motor vehicle talents. Anyway, I know way more about THE MAP OF ME than she does.

Can you tell us a little about THE MAP OF ME?

Sure. When me and Peep came home from school Momma had disappeared. All she’d left was a note that said I HAVE TO GO. Of course Peep went all baby-fied, tears dripping all over Momma’s chicken collectibles. It was perfectly obvious Momma was headed for the Rooster Romp at the International Poultry Hall of Fame. And Daddy’s Faithful Ford was just sitting there, ready. Who says twelve-year-olds can’t drive?

When did you learn you’d be the star of Tami’s novel? How does it feel?

Star? I sort of prefer hero, to tell the truth.

It’s not like Ms. Brown asked me if it was okay. I didn’t know she was writing a book about me until I sneaked a peek inside her computer and found a picture of the book cover with my face on it. Man was I surprised!

It’s not just all the stuff I did that turned up in that book. It’s all the stuff I thought! How would you like a ton of people reading every idea that ran through your head? It’s like the whole world snuck into my diary. At least Ms. Brown left out the time Jimmy McDonald tried to kiss me. The unfortunate square dance incident was bad enough!

Still—it’s pretty great being called a hero. Publisher’s Weekly said “Margie (is) as sympathetic a criminal as any in children’s literature.” Honestly! Is that supposed to be a compliment? Me??? A criminal????? Even Daddy never called me that and it was his car I borrowed.

Your little sister Peep does very well in school. She’s even been promoted from fourth to the sixth grade. To your class, in fact. How does that make you feel?

Pleeeeese. Peep Peep What a creep. How do you think it makes me feel? Sometimes I’d like to grab hold of that golden ponytail and snatch Peep baldheaded. You want to know how rotten Peep can be? Read the first chapter of THE MAP OF ME, posted over at the Farrar, Straus and Giroux website.

All right. Peep’s not always awful. And she is real smart. Daddy says they would have shoved she into junior high but she’s too short for the desks. I was sort of amazed she didn’t end up the star of that book… To tell the truth me being picked over Peep is the best part of the whole “my life is an open book” thing.

If you could tell kids who read THE MAP OF ME one thing you learned what would it be?

Don’t drive a car until you’re sixteen! Ha!

No really this is it—Be proud of who you are, not the person somebody else thinks you should be. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!

Oops! I think Daddy’s here, wondering what I did with his car keys! Bye!

Thanks Margie… and thanks Tami!

LEAVE A COMMENT TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF THE MAP OF ME. Then post it on Facebook, tweet it on Twitter, or write about it on your blog for a second (and third and fourth!!!) chance to win. Be sure to come back here and let us know about your additional entries, one comment for each extra entry. Limited to addresses in the United States. We’ll draw the lucky winner on Thursday September 1.

Tami Lewis Brown may have written THE MAP OF ME but “hero” Margie Tempest was in the driver’s seat all the way.

 

 

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