Release Date: June 24th
Sometimes a lucky ritual becomes a curse. Seventh-grader Martin Cruz hates his rotten new town, Lower Brynwood, but with his mom fighting a war in Afghanistan, he has no other choice but to live with his crazy aunt. Then he gets a message from a tree telling him it's cursed--and so is he.
It's not just any tree either, it's the Spirit Tree, an ancient beech the football team carves for good luck before the season opener. But every year they lose. Now the Spirit Tree is dying, and the other trees in the park are toppling around it like dominoes. The town is plagued with unexplainable accidents and people begin to fade, drained of life. Martin must team up with a know-it-all soccer star, Hannah Vaughan, if he has any chance of breaking the curse.
If they fail to save the Spirit Tree, it could mean the destruction of Lower Brynwood and a permanent case of bad luck.
Excerpts and Teasers
Hannah Vaughan had lived in Lower Brynwood her entire life, and yet even she knew something was wrong there. Flowers grew feebly, if at all. Freshly painted trim on the old brick homes peeled as soon it was dry. The only birds that managed to survive were starlings and crows.
The town was even nicknamed Lo-B, which reminded Hannah that everyone in town had settled into a lower state of existence. To be low. I am low. She is low. They are low. We all be low.
The tree was on fire. The bark swelled and crackled, light escaping from fissures in the surface, like liquid lava beneath the blackened surface of a volcanic flow. Martin jumped back, wary – that wasn’t how wood ought to burn. The glow strengthened, and Martin realized the streaks of life weren’t random cracks.
They were letters and numbers. The messages carved in the bark were written in fire.
Kell Andrews writes nonfiction for adults and fiction for children. A little bit of magic helps with both. Growing up, she spent a lot of time reading, writing, drawing, and looking for treasure in the woods and on the beach. She still does. Kell holds a humanities degree from Johns Hopkins University and a master of liberal arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A lifelong Philadelphian, she lives with her husband and two daughters in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, right next to a park a lot like the one in Deadwood.
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