Books by Heather Vogel Frederick

YOURS TRULY by Heather Vogel Frederick
Released: Jan. 31, 2017

"Truly's fans cheer the return of the likable sleuth in this family-oriented mystery in which past and present collide. (Mystery. 8-12)"
Following Absolutely Truly (2014), this second Pumpkin Falls Mystery follows middle schooler and gumshoe Truly Lovejoy as she tackle mysteries surrounding a local feud and a family secret. Read full book review >
MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CAMP by Heather Vogel Frederick
Released: May 3, 2016

"It's all innocent fun for summer campers. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Five college-bound friends spend their last summer together as counselors in a girls' camp, coping with homesick little girls. Read full book review >
ABSOLUTELY TRULY by Heather Vogel Frederick
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"There's never a dull moment in Pumpkin Falls with Truly Lovejoy on the case in this contemporary, feel-good series opener. (pumpkin whoopie pie recipe) (Mystery. 8-12)"
Moving from Texas to New Hampshire, displaced 12-year-old Truly Lovejoy finds herself solving two local mysteries while adjusting to small-town life. Read full book review >
A LITTLE WOMEN CHRISTMAS by Heather Vogel Frederick
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"A well-intentioned but misguided effort. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A celebration of Christmas in the March family has been adapted as the text for this oversized picture book, with lavish illustrations of the family enjoying the holiday together. Read full book review >
ONCE UPON A TOAD by Heather Vogel Frederick
Released: April 17, 2012

"This appealing fairy tale is fun, fast paced and more than just a little bit foolish. (Fantasy. 10-15)"
There's a certain attractive ick factor about a girl who spews out toads every time she speaks, but is it enough to sustain a novel? Read full book review >
HIDE-AND-SQUEAK by Heather Vogel Frederick
Released: Feb. 8, 2011

Deft, bouncing rhyme accompanies vibrant illustrations full of energy and charm in this lively twist on a going-to-bed book. It's bedtime for a mouse baby, but he doesn't want to sleep—so although Daddy says, "No more time for hide-and-squeak," the games begin. As mouse baby wiggles, dashes, scampers and scurries through the house, it's Daddy who gives chase, following the little one up curtains, around a lamp, over a clock and through bubbles in the bathroom. Mouse baby is finally captured and gets his comeuppance—a kiss and a hug. Now it's really time for bed, and this mouse baby may just be too exhausted to refuse. A satisfying good-night book and a celebration of the relationship between father and child, this is hard to resist, particularly because of the joyful depictions of the frolicking mice. In close-up and long shot, isolated against white space or scampering through the human-sized rooms, Payne's mice—big-eared, grinning critters outlined crisply in ink and tinted with acrylics and colored pencils—seem ready to jump off the page. A great choice for reluctant sleepers. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 16, 2008

The eclectic group returns for a year of discussion centered on Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series. In a structure similar to Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club, seventh-graders Cassidy, Megan, Jess and Emma's life circumstances run parallel to characters and scenes in the books they are reading. Megan's former "Fab Four" girlfriend, Becca, and her mom join the book group, which adds a bit of spicy acrimony. Megan, caught between her book-club crowd and the snooty "Fab Three," manages to bring the two together in a large-scale fundraising effort to help Jess's family save their historic small farm. Frederick hones her writing for this outing, with chapters in the girls' alternating voices supplying humorous disasters, suspense and excitement as she suggests the virtues of ethical behavior while remaining cognizant of typical tween "queen bee" attitudes. References to key Montgomery quotes in chapter headings and dialogue with lists of "Fun Facts About Maud" create a nice blend of modern and classic themes to stimulate discussion. (Fiction. 10-13)Read full book review >
THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB by Heather Vogel Frederick
Released: April 1, 2007

Four moms meet at yoga class and decide to create a book club for their very individual sixth-grade daughters. Emma's mom, a librarian, orchestrates the year-long monthly discussions of Little Women. Jess, Emma's best friend, misses her actress mom, who is away in New York City. Cassidy, daughter of a retired supermodel, misses her dad, who was killed in a car accident. Megan feels pressure to stay with the rivaling "Fab Four" clique rather than the book-club girls but really wants to pursue her interest in fashion design despite her mom's Ivy League expectations. Parallels between the classic novel's characters and the girls are interspersed as the mothers and daughters pursue their monthly meetings despite a continual display of bullying, if not nasty, behaviors and attitudes from adults, kids and Queen Bee moms. Told in alternating voices from the girls' viewpoints, some issues are addressed and resolved in an all-too-conveniently glamorous trip to New York City. Certain imagery Frederick provides seems cliché and even vexing. The popular crowd constantly chastises Emma for wearing thrift store hand-me-downs, while her mother dresses in her own thrifty choices. Are librarians really that poor? Still, possibility for discussion exists here, though the novel itself is a negative model for a parent/child book group. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >
SPY MICE by Heather Vogel Frederick
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

A spectacular follow-up to The Black Paw reunites Morning Glory Goldenleaf and her timorous techie beau Bunsen Burner—both certified agents of Spy Mice, with the silver popsicle-stick skateboards to prove it—with their human co-agents, 6th-graders Oz and D.B. As Oz's recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip bread (unfortunately not included) carries him and D.B. to the finals of the Mayflower Flour Bake-Off in New York City, Spy Mice learn that archenemy rat Roquefort Dupont has gathered a congress of European rat kingpins in the same city to form the Global Rat Round Table. But in a development far more threatening to the balance of power between mice and rats, he's no longer proudly illiterate. Frederick develops this promising setup perfectly, adding a diminutive rock-and-roll band, a pair of human bullies from the previous episode who once again end up thoroughly and publicly humiliated and other delicious features, then propelling events to a climactic face-off aboard a float at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. A delight for fans of Avi's Mayor of Central Park (2003), Holm and Hamel's Stink File series and like interspecies thrillers. (Fiction. 10-12)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Thirteen-year-old Patience Goodspeed has adjusted well to life at sea on her father's whaler, and she is looking forward to setting out again after a layover in the Sandwich Islands. But the sudden arrival of the odious widow Fanny Starbuck, an empty-headed etiquette maven with an eye to becoming the second Mrs. Goodspeed, and a terrifying encounter with cannibals squelch this plan. Patience and her younger brother Tad find themselves immured in the Wailuku Female Seminary under the watchful eye of the hyper-pious Reverend Wiggins, their only relief being the presence of their kind and sensible Aunt Anne. Patience's tart narration is as smart and funny as readers of The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed (2002) will recall; her adolescent angst tempered by blooming maturity, aided by friendships with La'ila'i, a student at the seminary, and Charity Wiggins, the mousy daughter of the good Reverend. While neither plot nor characters are stunningly original, the execution of this familiar trope—smart heroine in historical duress—is deftly done, and readers will be glad to learn that Patience's adventures will continue—with lots of greasy luck, one hopes. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2002

Charlotte Doyle goes a-whaling. Well, not quite, but this feisty heroine owes a lot to her seagoing forebear. When her widowed father, the captain of a Nantucket whaler, determines to take his two children to sea with him, 12-year-old Patience is reluctant to go. After all, she has been studying with Miss Maria Mitchell and shows especial promise in mathematics; a years-long sea voyage would be an unbearable interruption in her studies. But Captain Goodspeed proves to be as irresistible as the tide, and Patience and six-year-old Tad join the crew of the Morning Star, where she comforts herself by learning the art of navigation. The plot is as predictable as a whale is big: the two rough characters Patience encounters on the docks at the beginning naturally show up on board to dog her, forming the core of the inevitable mutiny led by a scurrilous replacement first mate. Patience, having won over the bulk of the crew, puts her navigational skills to the test and manages almost single-handedly to thwart the mutiny and to rescue the Morning Star. Sound familiar? Still, if the plot is a wee bit transparent, the details surrounding it are rich, from the descriptions of sailing and whaling to the colorful cast of characters that make up the crew to the emotional journey both Patience and her father must travel as they grieve her mother and establish a new relationship with each other. Newcomer Frederick appends an author's note, two recipes, a glossary, and an acknowledgments page that bespeaks the considerable research behind the novel. A solid, if not particularly venturesome, adventure. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >