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Monday, February 22, 2021

One Jar of Magic Blog Tour (guest post & giveaway)

I'm thrilled to have the One Jar of Magic Blog Tour stopping today! This tour is hosted by The Children's Book Review and sponsored by HarperCollins.

One Jar of Magic 

Written by Corey Ann Haydu 

Magic is like a dream. Delightful. Terrifying. Unreal. 

Rose Alice Anders is Little Luck. Lucky to be born into the Anders family. Lucky to be just as special and magical as the most revered man in town—her father. The whole town has been waiting for Rose to turn twelve, when she can join them in their annual capturing of magic on New Year’s Day and become the person she was born to be. 

But when that special day finally comes, Rose barely captures one tiny jar of magic. Now Rose’s dad won’t talk to her anymore and her friendships have gotten all twisted and wrong. So when Rose hears whispers that there are people who aren’t meant for magic at all, she begins to wonder if that’s who she belongs with. 

Maybe if she’s away from all the magic, away from her dad telling her who she’s meant to be, who she has to be, Rose can begin to piece together what’s truly real in a world full of magic. 

Ages 8-12 | 352 Pages | Publisher: HarperCollins | ISBN-13: 9780062689856 



What To Know When Writing for Middle Grade Readers 


  1. 1. Many middle grade readers are ready for serious conflict. A lot of big, tricky, brand new stuff happens between the ages of 8-12. When you are writing for much younger readers, conflicts can be small and passing, they can feel light and airy and solvable. But if you are writing for middle grader readers, remember that they are capable of taking in higher stakes conflicts—friend fights that don’t have easy fixes, family problems that aren’t solved overnight, feelings that aren’t so fleeting, or fantastical elements that are seriously scary. In fact, readers are often looking to books for these high stakes situations—either because really tough and overwhelming things are happening in their own lives, or because they need a safe place to experience some of those difficulties for the first time. Books are a great place for kids to feel less alone, and for them to confront new ideas and situations that might challenge and even upset them.  

  1. 2. They will notice everything, so don’t cut corners. Middle grade readers are some of the most detail-oriented, inquisitive readers around. I’m sure anyone who WAS a middle grade reader remembers re-reading their favorite books dozens, if not hundreds of times, too. So the details of the world in any middle grade novel have to make sense and be consistent. The magic has to have some logic to it. The characters have to do things that are believable and motivated. You know how I know this? Because when I meet with students to talk about my books, their questions make me wonder if they should all become book editors! They want to know exactly why I made certain choices, and exactly how everything in the world of the book works… and I better have a good explanation for it all. I will admit that they have stumped me before, so I always think of their tough questions when I’m revising my books now! I’ve had a few school visits for ONE JAR OF MAGIC already, and students have had me explain all the ways that magic works in the book, exactly how jars are used and why TooBlue Lake is so magical and how, exactly, magic ended up there to begin with. They are relentless in their desire to understand the world of the book, and I want to live up to those high expectations every time.  

  1. 3. They aren’t afraid of ugly feelings. As adults, we think all our feelings have to be perfect and pretty. But younger readers know that feelings are messy—at least theirs are—so reading books with neat and perfect feelings doesn’t always feel good. Middle grade readers deserve to see good characters who struggle with imperfect, messy feelings…. not just villains doing or feeling things that seem “mean” or “wrong” or “bad”! Protagonists can have those allegedly “bad” (but really just human!)  feelings too, and still be lovable and worthy and easy to root for.  

  1. 4. In fact, embrace imperfection all around! Recently, I was speaking about my novel EVENTOWN with a group of students. I talked about how I wanted to write a book about how perfection maybe wasn’t such an important thing to be reaching for—how maybe it doesn’t exist, and even if it does, maybe it’s not actually so great. Their faces lit up. I could see they were relieved and excited and liberated by the idea that perfection isn’t the point—and they were excited to read a book that was about that. Kids are under so much pressure—from school and parents and the world and themselves. Let books show them that perfection isn’t the goal of life—and that imperfection can be really beautiful.  

  1. 5. End with hope. Hope is a tricky word that a lot of people misunderstand. Hope isn’t perfection. It isn’t everything working out. It isn’t about the external world being okay. Hope is something you—or your characters—find inside. And ending books on hopeful notes for middle grade readers is important—as long as it’s done truthfully. The truth is, circumstances might not get better, get solved, get easier. A tough family situation might stay tough. A friendship might stay broken. Structural inequities don’t vanish overnight. But showing young readers that there is a way to go forward even if the world is still difficult—that is hope. Hope is the thing you lead with to help you through. It’s something to lean on and turn to when you’re at your lowest point. Kids deserve to have access to hope. They can’t always access easier lives—I wish they could. But hope is available for all our readers, if we help empower them, help them see where it might be hiding, give them the chance to locate it within themselves.  

Corey Ann Haydu is the author of EventownThe Someday Suitcase, and Rules for Stealing Stars and four acclaimed books for teens. She grew up in the Boston area, earned her MFA at the New School, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her dog Oscar. 

Find out more at 

Enter for a chance to win a set of books by Corey Ann Haydu, including One Jar of Magic. 

One (1) grand prize winner receives: 

  • A hardcover copy of One Jar of Magic 

  • A hardcover copy of Eventown 

  • A hardcover copy of The Someday Suitcase 

  • A hardcover copy of Rules for Stealing Stars 

Four (4) winners receive: 

  • A hardcover copy of One Jar of Magic 

The giveaway begins February 9, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends March 8, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT. 


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