by Gina Linko

FLOWER MOON has been in the world almost two months! To celebrate, and to thank you for all the wonderful emails, snail mail, and thoughtful reviews, I am doing a giveaway of some AWESOME books!  Head on over to Twitter and follow me @GinaLinko to win some middle-grade reads.

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Readers and Reviewers

by Gina Linko

So many bloggers and readers have reviewed FLOWER MOON, and I am so very grateful for your honest reviews, your kind words. When you send a book out into the world, you hope that what you *meant* to say is getting across to your readers. And when I read what readers have to say about Tally and Tempest, about their sister-relationship, about growing up, I feel like I've succeeded. This means so much to me. And, even more importantly, you help get books into kids' hands, so thank you so much. Your reviews are so appreciated! 

I saw these AWESOME books on Barnes and Noble's website as being looked at when FLOWER MOON is being viewed.  Just made me happy!

 Some great middle-grade reads here!  I absolutely love the cover for THE BEGINNING WOODS!

Some great middle-grade reads here!  I absolutely love the cover for THE BEGINNING WOODS!

Signed books make great gifts!

by Gina Linko

I'll send you a free signed bookplate and bookmark for your reader!  Just email me your snail mail address, as well as the name you want on the bookplate. My email is gina@ginalinko.com.


Thank you, Booklist!

by Gina Linko

The real draw here, however, is Tally and her folksy, lively narrative that makes fantastical events ring true. Supporting characters, both carny folk and relatives, come across as fresh, as well. Readers will race t (1).png

P.S. I love the word "folksy." And the word "quirky." Both have been used in trade reviews to describe Tally and her story!  LOVE IT!

Want to win some stellar books?

by Gina Linko

In this Thanksgiving season, I am so grateful for readers, and for the wonderful writers who took the time to ready Tally Jo and Tempest Trimble's story of their magical, vexing, and transformative 13th summer! With blurbs this fabulous, it will help FLOWER MOON get into the hands of readers. So, in gratitude, I am doing a giveaway!  

Enter below to receive an ARC of FLOWER MOON, plus your choice of any three of the books by authors who blurbed my books!  See choices below. (I know, it's hard to decide! So many great choices!) 

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Preorder Winners!

by Gina Linko

Congrats, Kylee K! You won the iPad Air!  I will be getting in touch soon.  A huge heartfelt THANK YOU to all who entered. I am sending out bookmarks and stickers today. So please feel free to contact me if you don't get yours within a week. Thank you for the FLOWER MOON love!



Empathy and Identity and the Magic of Reading

by Gina Linko

What is Flower Moon about? 

Flower Moon is about twin sisters, Tally Jo and Tempest Trimble.  It’s their thirteenth summer and they’re growing up and growing apart. Flower Moon is their story, about beginnings and endings, about the push and pull between sisters, between friends, between childhood and the great tantalizing abyss of growing up.

Flower Moon’s about Pa Charlie’s traveling Peachtree Carnival, complete with a candy wagon, powdered-sugar elephant ears, and a larger-than-life, lit-up Ferris wheel.  There’s an old horse named Antique, everybody’s favorite friend named Digger, and a hush-hush Trimble family curse that’s been secret for too long now.

And, of course, dear readers, most importantly, there’s magic. Tiny slivers of magic, shivering down your spine, making you sit up and pay attention, the kind you want to describe as coincidence or déjà vu, a trick of the light or a trick of the mind.  But you secretly ask yourself, Was that… real? 

I like that kind of magic.

Often, we keep that magic a secret, half-hidden even from ourselves. It lives in a dusty cobwebbed corner of our mind, where we push ideas that don’t exactly fit.  It’s populated by Smurfs and unicorns, by fairy tales and fantasies, by secret hopes and dreams only we know.  During the daylight hours, we give that corner in our mind a healthy dose of side-eye.  But at night, when the shadows loom and our imagination roams, that corner of our mind grows powerful, hopeful.  And we think to ourselves one word: maybe.

Middle-grade readers like that corner in their minds, that gray hazy place of possibility; they like that word: maybe. They are not strangers to the everyday magic around them, because kids are too smart to turn their backs on what is a little bit weird, a tiny bit strange, a sliver away from impossible. They’re humble enough to know that there are still things in this world full of mystery, almost explainable but not quite.  Or maybe just not yet.

Kids understand science and reality, but when they hear about fringe scientists studying things like time travel, twin-ESP, or children who can remember vivid details of their past lives, they don’t immediately say no. They say maybe.

Did you know recently that scientists proved that ice crystals form in beautiful, symmetrical patterns when showered with positive thoughts?  But if negative thoughts and emotions are focused onto the crystals, their shapes hold much less aesthetic appeal, i.e., they turn out ugly.



Tally and Tempest Trimble share something between them a little bit like that, something that straddles the line between science and magic.  It’s powerful and scary, surging bigger and stronger as they near their thirteenth birthday, threatening to push them apart.  It’s so frightening, at first, Tally Jo can’t even seem to acknowledge that it’s happening. It’s tied up with Tempest’s crazy inventions and magnets and their long-lost Aunt Grania, and it’s just too weird.  Too big, too scary.

Middle-grade readers, all of them, are facing something, to them, that seems too big, too scary.  Too impossible.

Educators, readers, and librarians talk about how books can be magic, but what do we really mean by that?  When I asked my eleven-year-old daughter, she told me,  “Stories feel like magic because they take stuff that’s fake and make it seem real — like how I got real scared and sweaty when I was reading that one Babysitter’s Club.  And it makes other people feel real, even when they aren’t there with you or aren’t you.”

Whoa.  This answer stopped me in my tracks.  That last part.

It makes other people feel real, even when they aren’t there with you or aren’t you.

Empathy.  Kids read about characters different than themselves, yet they still understand them, feel for them.  True empathy is a magical kind of thing. I asked my daughter more about this, and she said, “Like in Ollie’s Odyssey, I’m not a bunny-bear, but reading that book, I knew what it felt like to be one.”

But her answer also got me thinking about the flipside of empathy – the idea of representation. How powerful, how magical is it when kids read a story and can see themselves reflected on the page? A main character that looks like them, has the same hobbies, the same disabilities, the same paralyzing fears, the same tender, just-forming self-concepts?

Kids respond to and need the power of both empathy and identification.  Through both, they become the characters in their favorite books.  Readers see their characters struggle and persist, flail and fail, succeed and soar. Kids can see a way over their own mountain of problems, whatever their obstacles may be.  They see conflict vanquished, and they think, I too can do that.

There is magic in learning that, like the characters in their books, each kid, each reader, is powerful.

Tempest tells her sister in all seriousness, during an intense scene in Flower Moon, “Tally Jo, you’ve got something too, you know.”

She’s talking about magic.

She’s talking about power.

And if I had something that I wanted kids to take from Flower Moon, or from any book really, it would be this:  You’ve got something too.

Magic exists in a lot of scene-stealing ways for the Trimble girls: big flashy magic with sparks and fireworks, danger and explosions.  But it also exists in those quiet moments of our lives, when we acknowledge our truest selves, deep inside that most secret place inside our hearts.  And we acknowledge our own power, our own magic, and what it is we might dare to become.

The power of you, dear reader, is the most magical thing of all, and it is there, inside you, now, waiting to be acknowledged, waiting to be set free.

Free Teacher and Librarian Resources!

by Gina Linko

As a thank-you to teachers, librarians, and everyone who gets books into the hands of readers, I have several free resources to accompany FLOWER MOON!


The first pdf makes for great journal prompts and/or class discussion questions. This document has a list of open-ended questions grouped by chapter.  Click here for this free resource!

Next, we have a Flower Moon wordsearch.

And a Flower Moon crossword.

Thank you, teachers and librarians, for all you do. Getting books in the hands of readers, helping kids to see the many worlds that are out there within books, making readers see they are not alone -- this is the important work!  Thank you! 

More blurbs!

by Gina Linko

These gorgeous blurbs are bringing tears to my eyes, from such talented and inspiring children's authors!

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Preorder Prizes

by Gina Linko

If you preorder FLOWER MOON from any bookstore, please email a screencap of your receipt to gina@ginalinko.com and you are entered for the grand-prize giveaway of an iPad Air!  

But more than that, there are PREORDER PRIZES FOR EVERYONE! 

If you are a librarian or a teacher (or just a faithful reader!), please include your snail mail address with your email, and I will send you a class set of FREE FLOWER MOON stickers and bookmarks. I will also email you links to a FREE wordsearch and crossword puzzle based on FLOWER MOON, as well as a PDF of creative ideas for STEM make-and-take activities based on Tally and Tempest's magnetic powers!

And if you are one of the first dozen of teachers/librarians to enter, you get a free 30-minute skype session with the author as well!

This preorder contest is U.S. only, and it is open until November 1st.  Thank you to all who preorder, especially librarians and teachers who do so much for getting books into the hands of readers!  I appreciate you!




Sweet, lovely words about the story of my heart.

by Gina Linko

Elana K. Arnold is a writing hero of mine.  Her writing is inspiring, lyrical, and absolutely fearless. Go borrow one of her books right now from the library.  Or buy one from your local indie.  Do it. Right now.  You won't be sorry.  And thank you, Elana, for this gorgeous blurb!


by Gina Linko

It's so lovely to share these wonderful, kind words about my little magical sister story. For these words to be coming from authors that I admire greatly, it's just so very special! Truly, I feel like I've been walking around in a daze today, so touched by that these authors connected with my ever-so-prickly Tally Jo and her tale of growing up, of learning what love is, of finding her true self and the magic that resides inside her ... and each of us.  

This is the book of my heart! And, well, thank you, Elsie and C.K.!


Swag for ALA!

by Gina Linko

Come see me at Booth 3131 on Sunday, June 25th from 1:00 to 2:00 and I will give you all of these pretties:

Preorder FLOWER MOON and enter to win a brand-new iPad Air!

by Gina Linko

Did you know you can preorder this gorgeous book right here?

Do you like traveling carnivals? Powdered-sugar elephant ears and too-fast tilt-a-whirls?  Best friends and summertime mysteries?  Fireworks and twin-sister magic? 

 It's less than $10 right now on Barnes & Noble's website and on Amazon!

It's less than $10 right now on Barnes & Noble's website and on Amazon!

But that's not all...

Preorder and you can enter to win a brand-new 16GB iPad Air!  

Spinky really wants you to preorder and win!

Here are the rules.  It's very simple! 

Preorder Flower Moon from any bookseller and email me a copy of your receipt at gina@ginalinko.com

This will automatically enter you to win a free iPad Air!


But wait!  There's more....

If you are one of the first ten to preorder and email me, Sparkle wants  to send you a free paperback copy of Indigo and Flutter as a special thank-you!!

US only please.

Barnes and Noble!

by Gina Linko

Do you want to preorder Flower Moon?  Guess what?  You can!  Just click on the cover image below, and it will take you to Barnes and Noble, where you can preorder Flower Moon today.