FORT for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Congratulations to my two anniversary winners from last week’s giveaway:

SIX FEMALE PROTAGONIST BOOKS and a $15 Starbuck’s gift card: Rosi Hollinbeck (Check out her blog at THE WRITE STUFF)

SIX MALE PROTAGONIST BOOKS and a $15 Starbuck’s gift card: Patricia Tilton (Check out her blog at CHILDREN’S BOOKS HEAL)

Thanks to all that entered. I have more giveaways with some exciting new releases coming in September!


It’s time to focus ahead to the coming months of fall and cooler weather. In most places school is back in session, but this tale of two boys might be what you need to relive those warm summer days that disappear all too quick…

The tale is told in first person by, Wyatt, a city boy who is visiting with his dad during the summer in upstate 22718759New York. Wyatt is very well adjusted to the two parent routine as  divorce is mentioned but never becomes a theme to the the story. Nice to see divorce depicted in this way where it isn’t overly devastating to a family.  Wyatt’s friend during his summer visit is a country boy named Augie, who has a few outdoor skills that come in handy. (I may never look at a squirrel the same way.) Together the two friends build a fort in the wilderness, or so it seems that way since they aren’t too far from civilization.

It’s shaping up to be the best end of the summer before intruders start to poke around their fort: two older bullies who ruin their plans and another developmentally disabled boy they’re not quite sure of. What ensues is a fresh approach in dealing with their problem and one that will appeal to young readers. It got me reminiscing on a favorite summer with my best friend as this gentle ride tugged at memories in my past.



In this boys-will-be-boys summer story about friendship and revenge, eleven-year-old Wyatt and his friend Augie aren’t looking for a fight. They’re having the best summer of their lives hanging out in the fort they built in the woods, fishing and hunting, cooking over a campfire, and sleeping out. But when two older boys mess with the fort–and with another kid who can’t fight back–the friends are forced to launch Operation Doom, with unexpected results for all concerned, in this novel about two funny and very real young heroes.


  1. The ingenious way the boys get back at the bullies. It’s not mean spirited or hurtful (not too much anyway) and provides a few giggles to readers.
  2. City boys and girls will long for a summer like this with slingshots, pocket knives, hunting for food, and creepy sounds in the wilderness.
  3. Several adults pop in and out of the story to provide support, but they let this be the kids’ story. Just like it should be in any MG novel.
  4. This believable tale is a welcome break from high tech action stories. It’s a quick read and would be perfect as a read-aloud.
  5. There’s a hint at the end that we may see another adventure with these two friends the next summer. I’d welcome a continuation of this as a series.


Augie had never said it to her because I think he was afraid it would break her heart, but he had told me. “The only way I’m ever going to college is if I grow three and a half feet and magically learn to play basketball, or if they start giving out brain transplants.”


“I try to write books that I would have loved to read when I was a child. It is very gratifying to hear from children that something I wrote touched them, making them laugh or cry, or think and feel something new.”

For more insights see Cynthia DeFelice’s web site.




Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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14 Responses to FORT for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. Congrats to the winners of your contest. And this sounds like a fresh take on how to handle bullies. I really liked the quote you picked.

  2. diegosdragon says:

    Very nice author website, Cynthia!

  3. Too bad I missed your second anniversary party–but that’s what a blogging break will do to you.

    FORT sounds amazing–I used to love to build forts in the woods with friends, so I need to read this to recapture those old feelings!

  4. Wow–sounds like your anniversary party was a blast! I’m scribbling it on my mental calendar for next year, as we speak. 😉 Congrats to the winners!

    Great to be back, and getting your recommendations! You have a knack for picking the pics I’ll want to read, and this one’s no exception. Sounds like the perfect escape from school! lol

  5. Oh my, I really didn’t expect to win. Thank you so much. Will look back and find your e-mail.

    Fort sounds like a great take on bullying. This one interests me!


  6. cleemckenzie says:

    I’ll try for next time, but congrats to those who won. Love the sound of Fort. Thanks for keeping my list primed with interesting books.

  7. Joanne Fritz says:

    Congrats to Rosi and Pat! Those are generous prizes.

    Cynthia DeFelice has written quite a few books. I really need to read one or two. I hadn’t heard of this one, so thanks for pointing it out.

  8. Andrea says:

    This sounds like a book that will be popular with kids! Going to look for it!

  9. sherahart says:

    Thanks for stopping by my post on Diego’s Dragon, and you’re right about the rarity of Hispanic heroes. Fort sounds like an interesting book including a concept from one I stopped writing. Sigh. I just love middle grade and have the same mindset you do. I don’t think I ever grew up either.

  10. Thanks for picking ME! I’m very excited. This book sounds like a good one. I will try to check it out. You make it pretty enticing.

  11. This sounds like something my son would like. I’m always looking for good read-aloud books for him that we’ll keep around for him to read on his own later.

  12. salarsen says:

    This book sounds very sweet and age appropriate. I really like how you mention that they come up with a fresh solution to their issues.

  13. I read FORT last week and enjoyed it (except for the squirrel stuff!) and in particular the relationship between the two main characters. Building a fort in the woods brings back the lazy hazy days of childhood summers.

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