Friday, May 28, 2010


Last December, I was playing around with a flap copy idea, and I impulsively tossed a draft up on the blog to gauge reader reaction. Said reaction was resoundingly negative, so I tucked that idea away for the time being, but I thought you all might be interested in seeing the front flap copy that the author and I did decide to use. To wit:

I needed to save Daniel. That’s why I made the choices I did. I didn’t need the track scholarships I’d turned down or the futures they promised. I didn’t need for my mother and me to have some grand reconciliation. I didn’t even need Jeff Cedars to fall in love with me a second time. All I needed was for my kid brother to have a normal life, and I believed with all my heart that I knew the way to give it to him.

The only problem, as I came to find out, was that just believing something doesn’t make it true.

Daniel Grant is six years old. He builds Lego spaceships and sleeps with a nightlight. He loves turtle shells, comic books, and his big sister, Andi.

And he’s known as the “Miracle Boy” of Paradise, Pennsylvania. Not just because he survived a freak accident when he was a baby: No, Daniel is rumored to have the power to cure the sick, to call home lost souls, even to bring back the dead.

Andi Grant doesn’t know what to believe. Her brother may be a little different, but he surely isn’t a miracle worker. Yet more and more people come to Paradise to see him—reporters seeking a story, “Pilgrims” seeking hope. And when one of the seekers becomes a dangerous stalker, Andi knows one thing for sure: The madness around Daniel has to stop.

As her plan comes together, the stalker draws closer, and the clock ticks toward Daniel’s star appearance at Paradise Days, Andi finds herself wrestling with her own beliefs in God and her brother, and wondering if what she really needs is . . . a miracle.
The book is The Miracle Stealer, the second YA novel by the excellent Neil Connelly, whose debut, St. Michael's Scales, we published back in 2001. And while I no longer mention the first chapter on the flap, I stand by my praise of it as one of the most intense and jaw-dropping scenes you're likely to read in a YA novel this year, just as the book as a whole is really intense, funny, thoughtful, and twisty -- a sort of spiritual suspense thriller firmly anchored in these very real characters, especially the prickly and awesome Andi. If you liked Marcelo in the Real World, put this one on your list.

Jacket art by Chris Stengel. Out in October.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Pretty long flap, 283 words. I didn't know book's flap copy could go that long.

  3. You've hooked me! Yes, the text is longish, but it definitely holds my interest.

  4. The first paragraph is a knock out. It might not be fair to the buyer since they wouldn't know what the book was about but who couldn't open the cover after that. A million different plots would be running through your head and you would have to know which one it was.

  5. Wow, I'm ready to read this right now... October? Say it ain't so...

  6. I like it, but there's something I would have changed. Cheryl, do you mind me sharing?

    I would have wanted to identify the relationship - kid brother - earlier in the first paragraph. I was already forming a mental image of the speaker and was thinking Daniel was a "significant other", maybe "boyfriend", but certainly not "kid brother". Having it be the last sentence of the first paragraph sort of breaks my reading focus because it breaks the mental image I was forming.

    Of course maybe that's what you were after. I don't know.

  7. I like it. It works. The longish part doesn't bother me. If it is good, crisp writing, it doesn't matter. I am buying this for my daughter and wife. It sounds suspensful and engaging. If the writing on the flap is indicative of the writer's talents, then I wanna read it, too.

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