JED and the JUNKYARD WAR for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

This debut novel has one of the more creative portals to another world. Forget about goingjedandjunkyardwar to the attic. Jed finds his in the form of a tunnel in the back of the dishwasher. The thought even had me looking past the dirty dishes of my own dishwasher. It’s good I had this story because it turns out my dishwasher is one of the boring models that only washes dishes.

This book is the first in a series and you’ll be clamoring for more by the final pages. There’s mystery, a world full of junk, and some pretty nasty characters. Jed carries the load well both in the action packed scenes and in the quieter moments. He slowly discovers the meaning of his own life and the parents who raised him. He’s also from Denver which made me smile.

For those who like a fantastic adventure with a heavy dose of steampunk, you’ll feel right at home. The third person narrative sparkles and the cover is just a hint of what you’ll experience.


FULL PLOT (From AMAZON)  Jed is a regular kid with a normal, loving family . . . that is, if it’s normal for a loving family to drop their child off in the middle of nowhere and expect him home in time for Sunday dinner. Luckily, Jed excels at being a regular kid who-armed with wit and determination-can make his way out of any situation.

At least until the morning of his twelfth birthday, when Jed wakes to discover his parents missing. Something is wrong. Really wrong. Jed just doesn’t realize it’s floating-city, violent-junk-storm, battling-metals, Frankensteined-scavengers kind of wrong. Yet.

A cryptic list of instructions leads Jed into a mysterious world at war over . . . junk. Here, batteries and bottled water are currency, tremendously large things fall from the sky, and nothing is exactly what it seems.

Resilient Jed, ready to escape this upside-down place, bargains his way onto a flying tugboat with a crew of misfit junkers. They set course to find Jed’s family, but a soul-crushing revelation sends Jed spiraling out of control . . . perhaps for good.


  1. Five full page drawings are scattered across the pages. They match the images you already have in your head about this new world.
  2. A magical fantasy that is very different from all the others.
  3. The ending was perfect. A great twist to propel it into the second book while tidying up most of the plot points.
  4. Shay is the youthful female Jed befriends. He along with everyone else can’t quite figure out her quirky behavior. She’s a fun, mysterious character who never does things the way she’s supposed to. Looking forward to more of her in the second book.
  5. It’s a smart adventure boys as well as girls should enjoy–even those who normally stay away from reading about magical worlds.


Four weeks ago, Jed had been like any other eleven-year-old. Sort of. If other eleven-year-olds had mothers who drove them (blindfolded) to the middle of Yellowstone National Park and left them with four dollars and a can of range soda, then, yes, Jed had been exactly like the other eleven-year-olds.

He could still feel the way his mother’s lipstick-slathered kiss had squished onto his forehead.

“Don’t get into trouble now,” she’d said. “Be safe. And watch out for Grizzlies. They’ll eat you in two bites.”

I truly believe that success in publishing is not a game of luck—but rather a reckless, confident, foolhardy, ridiculous, arduous, tenacious, exhausting, grueling charge into the unknown then charging again, and again, and again, and again until the day comes when your earned fortitude lifts you beyond the mountain peak of rejection and into the valley of more work. (Read more at the Jed and the Junkyard War website)


Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

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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10 Responses to JED and the JUNKYARD WAR for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. This sounds like a really different fantasy. And I agree with you that it should appeal to boys too. I guess i’d better go check my dishwasher too. Ha! Ha!

  2. Susan says:

    I like the quote you chose! This one sounds like it would make a good movie.

  3. What a fabulous cover. It does sound like a book that would appeal to boys and girls. It intrigues me because of the magic and fantasy aspect. Sounds like a world a teen could get lost in.

  4. cleemckenzie says:

    That steampunk cover blew me away! I’d have to open that book.

  5. This sounds like exactly my kind of story, and I’m kind of crushing on Jed’s parents already! Thanks for the recommend, and happy MMGM!

  6. Kevin Gerard says:

    Agree with everyone’s comments and definitely agree with the author’s thesis regarding success in publishing. Right on, Steven – much continued success to you.

  7. Violet Tiger says:

    I love the cover! This sounds like a wonderful, intriguing story. Putting it on my TBR list. Thanks for the review!

  8. Jed’s parents certainly seem…interesting. But I guess it gave him a bit of training for the obstacles to come! Two more things on my to-do list:
    1. Read this book
    2. Check my dishwasher, too.

  9. I am not a fan of fantasy, but I might have to make an exception for this one. Wow. You make this so enticing. Thanks for the review.


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