Monday, March 12, 2012


Welcome to Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (MMGM) a weekly event hosted by author Shannon Messenger. For a complete listing of MMGM posts, click HERE.

by Jenny Lundquist
Ages 9 & up
240 pp.

Calliope Meadow Anderson wishes her life could be more of a fairy tale—just like the stories she writes. Her best friend, Ellen, is acting weird, her parent's marriage is falling apart, and to top things off, she found out she needs hideously large and geeky glasses.

But Callie soon learns they aren't just any glasses—they are magical and let her read people's thoughts. For the first time ever she's answering all the questions right in math class, and gets a glimpse of what goes through people's minds all day, including what Ellen—and her longtime crush—really think of her.

As if dealing with these crazy glasses weren't enough, Callie tries out for the lead in her school's production of Cinderella and actually gets the part. Instead, Callie chooses to let Ellen have the lead and be Ellen's understudy—just like she has done for their entire friendship.

Add in a new girl who has something to hide, a secret admirer, a best friend stealer who isn't what she seems, and Callie's year just went from ordinary to extraordinary.

Can this supporting actress learn to be a leading lady in her own life? Or is she destined to stay in the background forever—even with her super-freaky-magic glasses?

Jenny Lendquist's debut middle grade novel, SEEING CINDERELLA, hits the shelves on March 20th. Jenny took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to talk with me about her book and being a new author.
Be sure to read to the end to find out how you can win an  ARC (advanced reader copy) of Jenny's book.

Jenny, take it away!

1. Please tell us about your book in one sentence.

Seeing Cinderella is about a shy seventh grader who's terrified to start middle school with her geeky glasses, until she realizes her specs have the power to read minds and she decides to spy on the thoughts of her mom, her BFF, and her long-time crush to see what they really think of her. (Whew! How was that? Do I lose points for the run-on?)

2. What inspired you to write this particular story?

The basic idea for this story came when I had to relate an embarrassing childhood incident that happened to me in seventh grade which involved my glasses and a cute boy. I found myself saying, "My glasses had magic powers: They repelled boys." Then the writer in me thought…hmmmm, but what if my glasses really did have magic powers? I started plotting from there and eventually Seeing Cinderella was the result. You can read more about my seventh grade humiliation here.

3. What was your favorite book when you were young?

I didn't have one book in particular that was my favorite. In fourth grade I really enjoyed Little Women. In fifth grade I loved Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You. As I got older I loved Candice Ransom's Kobie Roberts series (Thirteen, Fourteen and Holding, Fifteen at Last).

4. What types of books do you enjoy reading now? Do you have a current favorite?
I rotate between several different genres. I love middle grade, obviously, but I also read a lot of YA. I like a lot of inspirational non-fiction. And, because half the time I feel like I don't know what I'm doing as a mom, I read parenting books. Currently I'm reading Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu and I'm in awe of her writing ability.

5. What can we expect from you in the future?

I'm about to finish work on my second middle grade novel, Plastic Polly. It's about a girl who's the second most popular girl in her middle school. Many of her classmates call her Plastic Polly behind her back. It's inspired, in part, by a phrase I heard a lot growing up, which is, "She's so fake." That statement has always intrigued me, because what does that even mean? To an extent, we all wear masks, and yet we're all authentically who we are, and so I wanted to write a book from the perspective of the girl that many people didn't like in middle school. But, I also need a lot of fun in my projects, so Polly ends up having to coordinate a talent show competition between her middle school and their rival school. She finds out that only the popular kids (as opposed to the most talented kids) are being selected to participate in the competition, and she has to decide what she's going to do about it.


Jenny has an ARC to giveaway to one lucky blog follower.
To participate, all you have to do is leave a comment below with an email address so I can contact you. 
The giveaway will run through March 27th.
Extra entries can be earned by tweeting about this giveaway or posting it on facebook. Just be sure to tell me that you did it!


  1. My daughter wore glasses from about grade 3, but she had such lovely friends it was not a big deal.

    I think we would both enjoy reading SEEING CINDERELLA.


  2. Seeing Cinderella sounds like a really cute read, and I can't wait to read Plastic Polly, too. Thanks for the giveaway!

    pherlaithiel (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. Glasses and 7th grade. I wonder what it is about those two things that don't go together?!

  4. Sounds like fun! I'm charlotteslibrary at gmail dot com

  5. This sounds like a book my daughter would love!

    Thanks for the chance!

    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

  6. Thanks so much!

    I tweeted. @pragya_music

  7. I think this would be perfect for my great nieces.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  8. It's such a cute book on where it matters on the inside and not the outside <3
    email: puieread at yahoo dot com

  9. Tweet:!/HerpPerp/status/179268083616202753
    email: puieread at yahoo dot com

  10. Wow! I love how simply - yet full of potential - the concept for this book is! I can certainly relate to the geeky-glasses-trauma story line. What a wonderful idea to give the glasses special powers! If only....

  11. That's such a great way to get the idea for a book! The geeky girl in glasses almost always has some kind of story to go along with it, usually traumatic : ) I wish I had known about these glasses with special powers when I was younger! There were definitely some times I could have used them! There are some times now I could still probably use them : )

    ame1184 at gmail dot com

  12. This sounds like such an adorable book!! I remember getting glasses at age 13 [which is a tough age anyway lol].
    Thank you for the sweet giveaway :)
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.
    zenrei57 at hotmail dot com

  13. I'm sure we all have some great moments of embarrassment that we could share. I know I have plenty. This book sounds great. Thanks for a great giveaway

  14. This sounds like a great story! I started wearing glasses around that age, too. Why did we wear such huge frames back then? Yikes! Whether or not I win, this one's going on my reading list. Thanks for the great interview.

  15. Sign me up! This story sounds great! :)

  16. What a great sounding story. Thanks so much for the great giveaway! :)


  17. sounds like a great book! II can definitely remember those days. Thanks for the chance to read it.
    helldog3 at

  18. Great book sounds wonderful!
    Thank you so much for the chance!


  19. Sounds like a lovely book. I didn't get my glasses until my senior year in high school, but probably needed them in the 7th grade. You know how you sit at the front of the class and squint to see the blackboard just so you don't have to get glasses? That was me!!
    Thanks for the chance to win this book.