Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 1, 2022

Book GIVEAWAY: The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts by Judy Bradbury

Here is book three of Judy Bradbury’s new Chapter Book series, The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts, illustrated by Gabriella Vagnoli and published by Cross Your fingers Press. It hits bookstores on May 15th. You have a chance to win this third book in the series. Judy has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the USA.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Judy and Gabriella.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

It’s Fall now and the Cayuga Island Kids are busy with homework, projects, and after school activities. But there’s still plenty of time for mystery and adventure! In the third book in the Cayuga Island Kids chapter book series, Julian is exploring food science as he experiments with recipes on his quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Being a cookie sampler takes Mac’s mind off his troubles with fractions. Yoko is practicing gestures and facial expressions in anticipation of the school play tryouts. Maya is Ms. Choi’s helper in the after-school Make-and-Take-Club for younger crafters. Lacey is taking care of the little community library that Gram built—and searching for the next mystery to solve.

When two of Ms. Choi’s glitter pens go missing, Maya turns to Lacey for help. The clues and evidence point to a suspect, but are they jumping to conclusions? When a classmate jumps to conclusions and shares false information about Julian’s cookies, the Cayuga Island Kids join forces to set the facts straight. When the kids research explorers for a school project, they uncover misinformation that blurs the truth, and makes the reasons for being a fact detective crystal clear. As the fall leaves turn color, the Cayuga Island Kids come to realize that sorting through clues and evidence—just like research—means making sure information is factual, and not just a fraction of the truth. Young readers will cheer for the Cayuga Island Kids as they embark on this latest adventure involving faulty assumptions, missing facts, flour bugs, and chocolate chip cookies.

BOOK JOURNEY:

On my first visit to Kathy’s robust blog, I introduced the Cayuga Island Kids chapter book series for ages 7-10, Grades 1-3. I explained where the idea for The Mystery of the Barking Branches and the Sunken Ship originated, how the Cayuga Island Kids chapter book series came to be, introduced the characters, and delved into the creation of the first book.

Kathy graciously invited me back to her blog on April 3rd to talk about the second book in the Cayuga Island Kids series, The Adventure of the Big Fish by the Small Creek. Though Book 1 is based on a true history mystery, Book 2 relates to community activism, being respectful of the environment, and how the Cayuga Island Kids look in a new direction as they work to solve a big problem in their local park. In the post I talk about how I continued the series’ narrative arc in Book 2. Since that post was published, I received exciting news! I am thrilled to announce that Adventure of the Big Fish by the Small Creek was awarded the 2022 Ben Franklin Award for Young Reader Fiction, 8-12!

Book 3 in the Cayuga Island Kids series, The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts, releases on May 15th, and I am sooooo eager for it to land! The third adventure for these five friends who live on a residential island near Niagara Falls was written in the height of the pandemic, at a time when our country—the whole world—was grappling with loads of information coming at us daily about critical, unprecedented current events. Some of the information was factual, some of it was meant to be but later deemed inaccurate, and some of it was untrue or misrepresented information.

Unreliable information—and opinion—parading as fact is not new. It’s something that has always troubled me. So it’s no wonder that eventually it found its way into my story. I began to research misinformation, disinformation, and the intersection of fact and fiction. I enrolled in webinars, read books, and talked to educators and media professionals. Though The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts is not tied to recent events, its theme is timely and universal. As I conceived of the plot for this third adventure for my “fact detective” characters, I thought about how I could weave the importance of seeking out accurate information and avoiding the trap of jumping to conclusions into an entertaining story for 7-10 year-olds.

Misinformation. Disinformation. These are big words, big notions. But I was convinced that children of the age my chapter books target could grasp these concepts. And I believe that raising young people’s awareness concerning truth-vs.-half-truths-vs.-fiction is crucial and needs to begin when kids are first engaging with the wider world.

Of the three books in the series, The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts was the most challenging to write—not only because of the tight deadline I was under, and not only because I wanted to present a kid-friendly mystery in which the clues point in the wrong direction but the resolution is believable—but even more so because I wanted to show young readers through an engaging story how essential it is to get all the facts—not just bits of information—before drawing a conclusion, or landing on an opinion or belief.

In The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts, Julian explores food science as he experiments with recipes for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Being a cookie sampler takes Mac’s mind off his trouble learning fractions. Yoko practices gestures and facial expressions in anticipation of the school play tryouts, and Maya assists Ms. Choi with the Make-and-Take-Club after school. Lacey is maintaining the Little Free Library that Gram built for the park, and, of course, searching for the next mystery to solve with her friends.

And then two of Ms. Choi’s glitter pens go missing. Mounting clues and evidence point to a suspect, but are the Cayuga Island Kids jumping to conclusions? When a classmate jumps to conclusions and shares false information about Julian’s cookies, the friends join forces to set the facts straight. And while researching explorers for a school project, the kids uncover misinformation that blurs the truth, and makes the reasons for being a fact detective crystal clear.

The Cayuga Island Kids join forces to face challenges. They brainstorm ideas. They work together to uncover the truth, rally when the (chocolate) chips are down, and summon their varied interests and strengths to sort out clues. Over the course of events that twist and turn, the kids overcome a number of hurdles and arrive at the solution to confounding mysteries.

The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts is a story about missing glitter pens, flour bugs, chocolate chip cookies, fractions, friendship, kindness, Little Free Libraries, and more. There’s even a real chocolate chip cookie recipe included at the back of the book. This recipe makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever, and that’s the truth!

The Cayuga Island Kids series is illustrated by Gabriella Vagnoli who connected with my characters from her first reading of the initial manuscript for this series. Even in her preliminary rough sketches of my characters, she nailed their personalities, captured their energy, and added dimension to their spirit. The map of Cayuga Island that Gabriella created as if drawn by Mac, one of the Cayuga Island Kids, is included on the flyleaves of each book in the series. It’s appealingly rendered to invite the reader into the world these kids inhabit—a real residential island located a few miles upstream from the mighty Niagara Falls in Western New York.

The Author’s Note included at the back of The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts includes photos and a note discussing “The Story Behind the Story.” I detail my interest in Little Free Libraries. I seek them out wherever we travel, and work to establish these little lending libraries within my local and greater community. I explain how I came to be familiar with kindness rocks and reveal where the chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from. Most importantly, I encourage readers to, “Be curious, like the Cayuga Island Kids. Investigate when something sparks your interest. Get all the facts. And above all, be kind and a good friend.”

Though the Cayuga Island Kids chapter books are works of fiction, so many elements of the stories come from places and spaces, people and experiences that have touched my life. It has been a joy to mine my memories as a starting point in charting real-life in-your-backyard adventures and to follow my heart in creating these kind, curious, resourceful, true-friend characters.

JUDY’S BIO:

Judy Bradbury is a children’s author and award-winning literacy specialist who has taught students from preschool through college. Judy’s most recent children’s books comprise The Cayuga Island Kids chapter book series: Book 1, The Mystery of the Barking Branches and the Sunken Ship (Spring 2021); Book 2, The Adventure of the Big Fish by the Small Creek (Fall 2021); and Book 3 The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts releasing on May 15, 2022.

Inspired by the column she wrote for LibrarySparks, Judy’s popular monthly Children’s Book Corner blog features interviews with authors and illustrators of books that boost social-emotional learning (SEL) and suggestions for using their books to enhance curriculum. Judy is also the author of resources for educators and has published dozens of articles in Children’s Writer and the annual Writer’s Guide.  She has taught graduate courses in literacy and writing for children and is a freelance editor and writing consultant. In addition to school visits and writing workshops for students, Judy presents to educators nationally on topics related to literacy. She has served as Coordinator of the Educator Event for the Western New York Children’s Book Expo since its inception in 2015.

An advocate for promoting literacy through community initiatives, Judy has received awards from the New York State Reading Association and the Niagara Frontier Reading Council.

For more information, visit:

Website.

Instagram (judy_bradbury);

Twitter (@JudyBWrites);

LinkedIn.

GABRIELLA’S BIO:

Gabriella Vagnoli was born in Pisa, Italy, from a Brazilian mom and an Italian dad. With her heart was already divided between two countries, so she decided to add a third by falling in love with an American man and moving to the United States to be with him. She is now raising two beautiful multicultural boys that think, like her, that the world is after all a very small place.

Maybe because of her background, communication has always interested her in all shapes and forms: before becoming an illustrator, she studied languages and theater and worked in entertainment, travel and language instruction.

Gabriella has a BFA in Children’s Book Illustration from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and a BA in English and Spanish Language and Literature from the Universita degli Studi di Pisa.

In 2020 she won the SCBWI ILLINOIS Prairie Prize for the fall conference “Full Zoom Ahead” with my space themed illustration.

Judy, Thank you for sharing book two and your journey with us. I like how your characters are letting kids know not to jump to conclusions. Children will love reading about how the kids at Cayuga Island solve the mystery. Gabriella’s illustrations add to the fun of the book. I recently featured Gabriella on Illustrator Saturday, if you want to see more of her work. Here is the link. Good Luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. I think kids will love this series!

    Like

  2. This sounds like a great book!

    Like

  3. I have always enjoyed mysteries and this series sounds fantastic with characters to cheer for and love. I’m an email subscriber and shared: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570620215297247751

    Like

  4. Thank you, Danielle!

    Like

  5. Kids are going to eat this series up. I will pass on the giveaway since I recently won a book here.

    Like

    • Thank you for your kind words, rosihollinbeck! I appreciate that.

      Like

  6. My niece would love this book! She’s a little scientist.

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  7. Indeed, a little scientist would enjoy this book! And Book 2 as well–in which the kids work together to figure out a way to get the community behind cleaning up the park and waterway…just sayin’… 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Kathleen.

    Like

  8. Oh, so much fun! Sounds perfect for elementary readers! Congrats, Judy and Gabriella!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post.

    Like


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