by Susan Schaefer Bernardo
Genre: MG/YA Fantasy/Mythology
Release Date: May 2018
Inner Flower Child Books
Rocket Malone is not thrilled with the direction her life is taking. Her mom has just remarried, and they are moving from their hip cottage in Venice Beach to her stepfather’s home in Hollywood. Her best friend, Gillian, has a new friend and a new boyfriend, and Rocket feels left behind. When she finds out that her mother is pregnant with twins, she is furious.
All of these problems are quickly overshadowed when Rocket discovers that she is descended from the Greek muses, and is therefore obligated to serve as an apprentice to the nine mythological sisters. Rocket sees herself as smart but not creative, and apprenticing to the muses does not come naturally to her. She tries to help several people, but just cannot find the right person to aid.
Along with the fun, intelligent story about Greek gods, muses, and other mythological figures, Inspired captures the trials and tribulations of discovering oneself while dealing with the challenges of middle school. Rocket does not want her life to change, but she must adapt, learning to share her mom and her best friend while finding new ways to create her own joy.
Rocket and her friends have some very serious problems. Rocket’s father committed suicide; her mother is in the midst of a high-risk pregnancy. Her friend Ryan lost his sister in a car accident and then was abandoned by his father; the home he shares with his mother is destroyed in a fire. These issues are thoughtfully addressed in the story as the adolescents learn not to blame themselves, to accept what is, and to help one another through the hardest parts.
Inspired is delightful, insightful, and charming as it encourages kids to face their obstacles and chase their own passions.
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Photos from the launch party!
About the Author
Hello! My name is Susan Schaefer Bernardo, and I’ve been writing poetry and stories since I could hold a crayon! I am a big believer in the power of creativity. The process of writing poetry or making art allows me to express and understand my emotions. Through our imagination, we find ways to move through painful experiences and transform them into something very beautiful and healing.
I wrote my first book Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs because I wanted to reassure my kids (and myself!) that we are always connected to the people we love. Writing my poem “Tonic Waters” helped me cope with grief over my mother-in-law’s death. I was so honored when “Tonic Waters” was published in an anthology and read aloud at the 2014 World Cancer Day Concert – because it meant my words might console others experiencing similar pain. I’m currently finishing my first YA novel for girls, and I’ve just finished collaborating on a wonderful new book to support children who have suffered a traumatic event.
I love to learn just as much as I love to teach, and I hold a B.A. in English (UCLA), M.A. in English Literature (Yale) and elementary/secondary teaching credentials (Pepperdine). I keep my inner flower child happy and inspired by sculpting, dancing, exploring tide pools, raising chickens in the city, traveling to cool new places (and attempting to speak the language, even if it’s just please and thank you), and taking long nature walks with my sons and our rescue terrier Poppy. I’m happiest when I’m barefoot and surrounded by beauty.
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