This recent novel by Dean Pitchford is a joy to read. The secrets and mystery surrounding Nickel Bay Nick unfold in brief spurts. By the end you feel like the journey was worth every minute. There is hope if you give people second chances. The story is told from the eyes of 11-year-old Sam who hasn’t much to like about his life so far. Heart transplant at age 4, divorced parents, and living in constant arguments with his dad all add to his displeasure and unruly attitude. Then he meets Mr. Wells, a neighbor next store and through the 12 days following Christmas his life and outlook are transformed.
Don’t wait for the holidays. Go out and enjoy this story now.
PUBLICATION DATE:2013 WORD COUNT: 56,167 READING LEVEL: 4.9
FULL PLOT (From Amazon): Eleven-year-old Sam Brattle is already having the worst Christmas ever – his dad’s bakery is going bankrupt and his mom is spending the holidays with her new family. To make things worse, Nickel Bay Nick, the anonymous Good Samaritan who leaves hundred-dollar bills around Nickel Bay at Christmastime, is a no-show, so this year the rest of the town is as miserable as Sam. When he stumbles upon the secret identity of this mysterious do-gooder, Sam is stunned to learn that he might now be his town’s only hope. But before he can rescue Nickel Bay, Sam has to learn the skills of a spy and unravel some even darker secrets that will change his life forever.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT NICKEL BAY NICK by Dean Pitchford
- Just how do you give away one hundred dollar bills to unsuspecting recipients? The answers are surprising and you’ll find out how much joy a good deed brings.
- There are so many mysterious and fun plot threads. The biggest one unveiled in the final pages got me the most. It’s one of those moments where your eyes can’t move fast enough through the words to read what happens.
- Sam has a humorous voice. It’s also an emotional one as we witness the changes his character goes through. He’s more like a disgruntled teen with his friends being two 8th graders. Neither are the best role models.
- The way Sam connects to his mother even though he never talks with her.
- The book would be a perfect read-a-loud. It also would make for an interesting movie. (The author by the way wrote the screenplay for Footloose). I know boys would love this tale and probably many girls, too. In fact, NICKEL BAY NICK might convert a few YA and adult title readers into the MG world. It’s a hard one not to love no matter what age you are.
I’m miserable and forgotten in the most miserable and forgotten place on earth.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.
Do you have a middle grade manuscript waiting to be seen? Try out this New FREE contest for writers of middle grade fiction. It’s the 16th “Dear Lucky Agent” judged by agent Peter Knapp of Park Literary Group. You have through July 30th to submit. All the details can be found by clicking on the logo: