Books by Elise Broach

Elise Broach holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Yale University. She lives with her family in Easton, Connecticut. This is her first novel for young people.

Released: March 5, 2019

"While construction-equipment bedtime books have become a genre in and of themselves, there's still room for one more good-hearted tale of antsy, agitated equipment. (Picture book. 3-6)"
You can lead a bulldozer to bed, but you can't make him sleep. Read full book review >
MY PET WANTS A PET by Elise Broach
Released: March 6, 2018

"A sweet choice for a simple story that parents and children will enjoy laughing at together. (Picture book. 4-8)"
From Broach and Barclay comes a story about the affection that grows between living beings who care for one another. Read full book review >
THE WOLF KEEPERS by Elise Broach
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"John Muir's spirit hums along under a well-developed plot with likable characters. (Adventure. 8-12)"
Zookeepers' daughter Lizzie has a memorable summer before seventh grade, as she befriends an intriguing boy, emulates John Muir, and investigates the mystery of suddenly sickened wolves at the John Muir Wildlife Park in Lodisto, California. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 20, 2015

"Full of drama and heart, this is the kind of series that can show newly independent readers the power of a good story. (Fantasy. 6-8)"
The second installment in The Masterpiece Adventures series, which stars a human boy named James and his best beetle friend, Marvin, this early chapter book finds Marvin on a very important mission. Read full book review >
Released: March 4, 2014

"This joyful lift-the-flap adventure will inspire little ones to head outdoors to see if spring has sprung in their neck of the woods. (Board book. 1-3)"
Broach rounds out her celebration of the seasons (Seashore Baby, 2010; Snowflake Baby, 2011; Barnyard Baby, 2013) with this cheerful ode to the wonders of spring. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

The boy-and-beetle friendship first introduced in Broach's charming novel Masterpiece (2010) is now the cornerstone of an illustrated chapter-book series. Read full book review >
BARNYARD BABY by Elise Broach
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"This well-executed, toddler-friendly board book is a great introduction to fall and a perfect choice for one-on-one or small group sharing. (Board book. 1-3)"
Broach's eager toddler is back (Seashore Baby, 2010; Snowflake Baby, 2011) to explore another season—this time, fall on the farm. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 5, 2013

"Best enjoyed after the first, this absorbing, old-fashioned adventure will make readers eager for the next installment. (Mystery/adventure. 8-12)"
The Barker brothers (Jack, Henry and Simon, ages 6, 10 and 11) encounter new adventures on Superstition Mountain in this second page turner. Read full book review >
Released: June 21, 2011

"Broach reserves plenty of suspicious characters, spooky landscapes and loose ends for the slated sequels, which both boys and girls will savor. (author's note) (Mystery. 8-12)"
This engrossing mystery pits three brothers recently transplanted from Chicago against the rocky caverns of Arizona's Superstition Mountain. Read full book review >
GUMPTION! by Elise Broach
Released: April 6, 2010

Peter's Uncle Nigel, explorer by trade, knows how to show his nephew a good time. When next he sets off to Africa to find the Zimbobo Mountain Gorilla, young Peter is right by his side. There are lots of dangers lurking in the wild, however, and whenever Peter calls upon his uncle for help he's met with a jolly, "Nonsense, my boy! All it takes is a bit of gumption." Peter soon finds his way, swinging on pythons, leaping on crocs and even catching a ride on the back of the gorilla itself, while his oblivious uncle charges onward. Broach fills this spunky story with delicious language, including words like "zonked" and "dung." Egielski is in fine form, his boldly outlined watercolors fairly luminous and bursting with life. Readers who keep their eyes open wider than Uncle Nigel will also discover a host of delicate details hidden within the images. Altogether a hearty delight for any young adventurer with a drop or two of gumption. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
MASTERPIECE by Elise Broach
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

Eleven-year-old James Terik isn't particularly appreciated in the Pompaday household. Marvin, a beetle who lives happily with his "smothering, overinvolved relatives" behind the Pompadays' kitchen sink, has observed James closely and knows he's something special even if the boy's mother and stepfather don't. Insect and human worlds collide when Marvin uses his front legs to draw a magnificent pen-and-ink miniature for James's birthday. James is thrilled with his tiny new friend, but is horrified when his mother sees the beetle's drawing and instantly wants to exploit her suddenly special son's newfound talents. The web further tangles when the Metropolitan Museum of Art enlists James to help catch a thief by forging a miniature in the style of Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. Delightful intricacies of beetle life—a cottonball bed, playing horseshoes with staples and toothpicks—blend seamlessly with the suspenseful caper as well as the sentimental story of a complicated-but-rewarding friendship that requires a great deal of frantic leg-wiggling on Marvin's part. Murphy's charming pen-and-ink drawings populate the short chapters of this funny, winsome novel. (author's note) (Fantasy. 10-14)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 25, 2007

What if one day every merchant in town offered up, and indeed, insisted that shoppers take home a live dinosaur (free) with every purchase? That's what happens to a boy and his mother in this sweet, absurd story that unfolds very much like a dream—or a nightmare, depending on the reader's perspective on having a large dinosaur as a pet. In Small's comical, wonderfully expressive watercolor-and-ink drawings, it's easy to identify the mother's reaction to the bonus triceratops (free with a dozen doughnuts); stegosaurus (from the doctor instead of stickers); and pterosaur (from the barber instead of the usual balloon): unmitigated horror, inversely proportionate to her son's delight. The hulking beasts are irresistibly endearing, though, as they wait patiently, doglike, for their new owners outside all the town establishments and ultimately, once at home in the family's backyard, prove their worth as household laborers, cleaning gutters and rescuing far-flung Frisbees. In the end, the boy's friends bring their own newly acquired dinos over to his house for a poolside party—and he knows Mom has truly come around when she calls the baker for more doughnuts. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2006

The pictures tell the story here. As Mom chatters on obliviously about a malign cousin's impending visit, young Ben and his cat panic, recalling past episodes of bullying, abuse and general bad behavior—along, it should be noted, with the occasional prank in return. Debut illustrator Lilly gives his cartoon figures Little Orphan Annie eyes, large round heads and expressive faces; Ben and Cousin John look about the same, except that John sports a row of shark-like teeth, and the cat resembles a smaller sibling in an orange suit. The dismay instantly changes to wild glee, table-pounding and a string of visualized schemes, however, when Mom reveals that cousin John has a severe allergy to cats. This may provide similarly bullied children some measure of satisfaction, but as Ben and his pet aren't always the victims in the flashbacks, and are plainly looking forward to making their visitor's life miserable, the two don't exactly come off as angels themselves. A mixed message, at best. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2006

Three teens move from innocence to experience when their spring break takes an unexpected detour crossing the New Mexico desert. Fifteen-year-old Lucy is fed up with her older brother Jamie and his best friend Kit because they ignore her and flirt with every waitress between Kansas City and Phoenix. But everything changes when their car hits something on the highway during a nighttime cloudburst. Instead of finding an injured coyote, they are stunned to discover the body of a dead girl lying beside the highway. Forced to stay in the area while police investigate the unidentified girl's death, Jamie becomes involved with an older local woman and a bewildered Lucy finds herself gravitating toward the irritating Kit. Obsessed with uncovering the identity of the mysterious dead girl, Lucy winds up on the trail of a strange man in a blue truck. Eventually, Lucy, Jamie and Kit resume their trip, having traveled much further than they ever imagined. Satisfying suspense and self-discovery in the desert. (Fiction. 12-18)Read full book review >
HIDING HOOVER by Elise Broach
Released: July 1, 2005

Readers may trip over some unfilled gaps in this tale of a single parent who—evidently—quietly changes his "No Pets!" stance. Knowing that their father has always denied their most earnest entreaties for a pet, two children desperately try to hide the friendly dragon that appears one day in the back yard. As it happens, they needn't have bothered, for even though the new green "coat stand" eats his hat, the flaming "lamp" produces melting heat and the "reading chair" dumps its occupants, "Daddy never noticed a thing!" Though she does add plenty of amusing detail to her canted, topsy-turvy cartoon scenes, Huliska-Beith misses the chance to connect the dots here; showing not even a change of expression, Dad still comes off as totally oblivious—at least, until he casually sits down, post-bedtime, for a game of cards with the house's huge new resident. From Steven Kellogg's Mysterious Tadpole (1977) to M.P. Robertson's The Egg (2001), tales featuring the sudden arrival of oversized pets generally show better-knit internal logic. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2005

Sixth-grader Hero Netherfield knows she's in trouble when, on her first day at her new school in Maryland, a classmate unthinkingly announces that Hero is her dog's name. Despite the inevitable humiliations that ensue, things look up for Hero when she discovers that her family (including her beautiful older sister Beatrice, graphic-designer mom and Shakespeare-obsessed dad) has moved into the "Murphy Diamond House," where a centuries-old, million-dollar diamond might be hidden. Mrs. Roth, the kindly next-door neighbor, plies Hero with cinnamon toast and tantalizing information about said diamond, and they become fast friends with each other . . . and, interestingly, with the cutest, most popular boy in the eighth grade, Danny Cordova. The plot thickens as Mrs. Roth reveals that she is in possession of the Elizabethan necklace that once held the missing Murphy diamond, an artifact that may even help illuminate the much-debated identity of Shakespeare himself. More linear and traditionally evidence-driven than Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer (2004), this agreeable history-mystery may have even more appeal to budding sleuths. (author's note, historical timeline) (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >
WET DOG! by Elise Broach
Released: May 1, 2005

"He was a good old dog and a hot old dog, as he lay in the noonday sun." How does a dog find relief on such a "too-too-too hot" day? By trotting along until he finds an open hose, or a sudsy sink or a cool mud hole. But the ensuing "shaky-shake, shaky-shake, shake" understandably prompts everyone in the vicinity to shoo him along. Children will laugh to see this rail-thin, frizzy-haired mutt bounding happily along from one cool spot to the next, leaving a trail of damp, muddy (but not too angry-looking) folk—until at last a baby's laugh after an impromptu shower persuades all and sundry to take flying leaps into the pond themselves. Catrow's in rare form here, well matched by Broach's lively prose. Here's can't-sit-still reading, in summer's heat—or any other time. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >