New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe has teamed up with first-time author and friend Angela May on a new children’s novel set on Dewees Island. The Islanders releases on June 15th and is a good option for younger readers ages 8 to 12. It’s Monroe’s first middle grade novel, introducing a new generation of readers to her trademark passion for the environment.
The novel focuses on environmentalism and animal conservation, specifically loggerhead turtles, all while covering important middle grade topics of family, friendships, and mental health.
The Islanders tells the story of 11-year-old Jake and the summer he’s forced to spend on tiny Dewees Island with his grandmother. Everything in his life is turned upside down: Jake does not know anyone, the island is a nature sanctuary with no cars or paved roads, no stores or restaurants and to make matters worse, Jake’s grandmother doesn’t believe in having cable or the internet at her house. When Jake meets new friends Macon and Lovie, the three embark on island adventures until one mistake changes everything. Ultimately, Jake discovers a deep love for the island and the healing power of nature.
Purchase The Islanders wherever books are sold. Learn more at maryalicemonroe.com/childrens-
Monroe is bestselling author of 27 books, including the beloved “Beach House” series. Her latest book in the series, The Summer of Lost and Found, was released in May by Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster. Monroe lives on Isle of Palms where she finds inspiration for the environmental and animal conservation themes that permeate many of her novels.
May is an award-winning journalist who spent more than a decade working in television newsrooms before launching her own company, May Media and PR, to help local businesses and individuals promote their stories in positive and effective ways. May has been working with Monroe for more than 10 years as her assistant and PR manager. May lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband and two sons.
Monroe approached May four years ago about co-writing a book for middle grade readers. They chose Dewees Island, S.C., as their setting because of their shared love for this residential barrier island that is also a nature sanctuary. They dedicated The Islanders to Monroe’s grandchildren and May’s children.
“When they are ages 8 to 12, children are so impressionable. They dream big and believe they can change the world,” Monroe said. “And I wanted to create a story that helps encourage that passion to help our planet through my own passions for storytelling and coastal conservation.”
A second book in this series is planned for release in 2022.
LOCAL BOOK SIGNING AND AUTHOR EVENTS:
- Charleston County Library Summer Reading Event
- Young readers will have the chance to get early access to the book and have it signed by the authors at an event hosted by Charleston County Public Library. Join Monroe and May for this free in-person drive-thru book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 12 at Wando Mount Pleasant Library, 1400 Carolina Park Blvd. This event is part of CCPL’s 2021 Summer Reading program, Tails and Tales.
- Reservations are required for this free event. Drive-thru time-slots are available in 15-minute increments. Copies of the book are not included with admission; however books can be purchased in advance to be picked up at the event.
- Book Signings at J.McLaughlin
- Enjoy a Sip & Sign Book Event from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 12 at the J.McLaughlin location at 212 King St. in Charleston and on Tuesday, June 15 at the J.McLaughlin location in Freshfields Village on Kiawah Island.
- Book Signing in Mount Pleasant
- Join the authors for a book party with signings and an in-store scavenger hunt at Barnes & Noble in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre from 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 18.
- Book Signing in Summerville
- Get a copy of the book at a meet and greet with the authors from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 26 at Main Street Reads in downtown Summerville.
- Meet and Greet on Isle of Palms
- The public is invited to an ice cream social and book signing on Sunday, June 27 at Wild Dunes. The event will be at the pool deck.
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