Author Chat with Jess Redman (The Adventure Is Now), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Jess Redman author of
The Adventure Is Now.
Read on for more about Jess, her book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Jess Redman!
Jess Redman is a former therapist and author of middle-grade books with FSG/Macmillan. Her first book, THE MIRACULOUS, was a Bank Street Best Children's Book of 2019, an Amazon Best Book of 2019, and was called "layered, engaging, and emotionally true" in a Kirkus starred review. Her second book, QUINTESSENCE, was an NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor Book and was described as “a fanciful adventure with a rich emotional core and a fairy tale flair” by Publishers Weekly. Her third book, THE ADVENTURE IS NOW, is scheduled for publication on May 4, 2021. Redman currently lives in Florida with her husband, their two young children, an old cat named SoulPie, and a fish named Annie.
Visit her website, jessredman.com, for teaching guides, book trailers, character quizzes, and more!
Meet The Adventure Is Now!
A fun-filled, action-packed middle grade novel about a boy who learns about protecting the environment, finding real friends, and living in the now while spending the summer on a remote island.
Sometimes it's hard to be Milton P. Greene. He says all the wrong things, his family is falling apart, and everyone at school avoids him because of the very embarrassing Bird Brain Incident. But when Milton plays his video game Isle of Wild, he becomes someone else—Sea Hawk, the brave and brilliant naturalist explorer who conquers danger at every turn.
Then Milton’s parents ship him off to the remote Lone Island for the summer, where his uncle Evan is an environmentalist researcher. The island is chock-full of spectaculous species, and Milton realizes this is his chance to become the brave and brilliant naturalist he’s always wanted to be—and even meet some fellow explorers!
But as it turns out, the future of the Lone Island is in some pretty serious peril, and the only thing that can save it is a field guide full of cryptic clues. If Milton and his unexpected new friends are going to protect the island, they’ll have to trust each other, discover new truths, and embark on a wild and wondrous adventure all their own.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
THE ADVENTURE IS NOW is about 12-year-old Milton P. Greene, who has been having the Most Totally, Terribly, Horribly Rotten Year of All Time. He has zero friends, his parents are divorcing, and he can’t seem to do anything right. The best part of his day is when he plays his video game Isle of Wild and gets to forget how horribly heinous everything is for a few hours.
Then Milton gets sent to the Lone Island where he finds a field guide full of never-before-seen plants and animals and a series of clues that will lead to a hidden treasure. A real adventure has begun!
In all my stories, I like to have humor and heart, but for this story, I wanted to lean more toward the humor side. And it worked out pretty well since The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books recently described the story as a “Roald Dahl-esque delight.” Milton and his friends go on an adventure filled with clues to solve and creatures to discover and catchphrases like Mighty moles and voles!
On the heart side of things, the story explores Milton’s anxiety and loneliness. Milton’s friendships with Fig, Rafi, and Gabe challenge and grow him. And out in nature, Milton is electricity-free and finally connected (whether he wants to be or not) with who he is and who he wants to be.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in this book?
I’m going to have to go with my main character, Milton P. Greene, although his brilliant new friend Fig is a close second.
When Milton gets to the Lone Island, he realizes that since no one there knows him, he can be anyone. So he spends a lot of the story pretending to be the main character of his video game: Sea Hawk, Naturalist and Explorer Extraordinaire. Milton is a quirky outsider with a big heart and a curious mind, and even though he gets devoured by a carnivorous plant and spewed out by a hundred-legged octopus and nearly skewered with poisonous spikes, he never gives up. He moves through the rottenness and in the end, he finds something spectaculous.
YABC: What came first, the title or the novel?
The novel! I actually drafted this book seven years ago, and I called it SEA HAWK ON THE LONE ISLAND at the time. Since then, I’ve rewritten and revised and edited it from top to bottom. And, of course, given it a new title.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover?
I’ve been lucky enough to have the phenomenally talented Matt Rockefeller illustrate all three of my book covers, and each one of them is a work of art. Matt weaves in so many details, creating not just one scene but a hint-filled overview of the story as a whole.
For this cover, it’s the creatures that are the real show-stoppers—the waving tentacles of the Push-Pull Centopus, the upside-down face of the Beautimous Lemallaby, the magenta tail feathers of the Tone-Deaf Warbler. Milton encounters all of these fantastical flora and fauna during his journey through the wild and wondrous jungle of the Lone Island, and all of them (and many more) can be found in the illustrated field guide included in the book!
YABC: What are some 2021 releases you’re looking forward to?
So many! SET ME FREE by Ann Clare LeZotte, THE ONE THING YOU’D SAVE by Linda Sue Park, THE SEA IN WINTER by Christine Day, THE GILDED GIRL by Alyssa Colman, THE PLENTIFUL DARKNESS by Heather Kassner, THE EDGE OF STRANGE HOLLOW by Gabrielle K. Byrne.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I just finished drafting a new middle-grade historical-contemporary-fantasy…sci-fi? Nutshell version: A surfer girl washes up on an island that’s not on any maps and meets a boy who’s been sending messages in bottles for the past hundred years. It’s a story about growing up, living forever, the power of nature, and, well, surfing. For now, it’s called EVERLASTING ISLAND, and I’m excited to share it sometime in the future.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause close to your heart?
An organization my family volunteers with and loves is SurfRider. THE ADVENTURE IS NOW is about living in the now and the power of nature. Milton and his friends go on quite the journey to protect the Lone Island, and SurfRider does so much to protect our oceans.
The Adventure Is Now
By: Jess Redman
Release Date: March 16th, 2021
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Three winners will receive the following:
a hardcover of THE ADVENTURE IS NOW plus preorder gifts, which include: bookmark, sticker, signed bookplate, and art card
~ (US Only) ~
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
YABC THE ADVENTURE IS NOW
Tell us about the preorder campaign you’re launching today for THE ADVENTURE IS NOW.
- Signed bookplate
- Your Adventure Is Now art card
Plus, one grand prize winner will get a $100 gift card to my local indie, Books & Books!
Books purchased through Books & Books will be personalized and signed and will include a special preorder gift—a Naturalist & Explorer Extraordinaire laptop sticker.
AND educators who preorder the book will get free access to my virtual author visit landing page, which has my Brain to Book presentation, FAQ videos, teaching guides, book trailers, and more.
Check out www.jessredman.com/preorder for all the details.