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Paul Aertker

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Paul Aertker (ETT Kerr) is a children’s book writer, teacher, and frequent speaker at elementary and middle schools. He began his teaching career in West Africa with the Peace Corps where he helped establish the town’s first public library. His first series, Crime Travelers, consistently ranks in the top spot on multiple Amazon categories. His newest book, Posthumous, is available in 2018.

POSTHUMOUS Cover
CHILDREN'S & TEEN

POSTHUMOUS

BY Paul Aertker • POSTED ON July 1, 2018

In this middle-grade novel, a young girl embarks on a mission with new friends to save and share her late mother’s unpublished manuscripts.

Twelve-year-old Ellie Kerr has just moved back to the United States after living in Paris for four years, and she has a mission. Her mom, who recently succumbed to ovarian cancer, left behind an unpublished series of stories about “kids who travel and save the world,” along with a pile of publishers’ rejection letters. Ellie is determined to get them published, but she can’t access the manuscripts from Mom’s computer. Oddly, her mother secretly changed the password before she died, and the security protocol protecting it will destroy all of the computer’s data after too many consecutive wrong guesses. Even dad’s intelligence agency-trained, computer-whiz assistant can’t hack the system. Ellie, with the help of her new friends from school, aims to find the answer to the mystery. It turns out to be proof of her mother’s deep love and respect for her—and a reminder that inclusiveness and kindness can always defeat fear. Aertker (Priceless, 2016, etc.) threads this message fairly evenly throughout the narrative, although his characterization of Ellie’s xenophobic school principal is too heavy-handed to make a later about-face credible. Also, the novel’s heroic depiction of a real-life publisher strikes a promotional tone. However, the book’s first half, in which Ellie relives her time in Paris, will have a powerful impact on readers. As Ellie’s happiness at home and at her multicultural school fades with her mother’s illness, Aertker doesn’t sugarcoat Ellie’s perspective. The physical and emotional toll on Mom, and Ellie’s emotional ups and downs as she experiences shock, denial, hope, anger, and grief, have a poignant authenticity. The author also offers other sympathetic characters, including Munda, a cook and aspiring medical student from the West Indies, and Ellie’s father’s driver, Antoine, a cello-playing jazz musician.

A frank, moving observation of a young daughter remembering her mother with purpose and strength.

Pub Date: July 1, 2018

Page count: 187pp

Publisher: Flying Solo Press, LLC

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2018

The Most Interesting Teacher in the World

Awards, Press & Interests

Favorite line from a book

You can't always follow the rules.

Middle-grade Marketing Tips, Struggles, and Inspirations, 2018 Brainwashed Author Inspires Kids to Read, 2014

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE

Brainwashed: Crime Travelers Spy School Mystery & International Adventure Series Book 1

While sleeping on the roof of his father's hotel-spy school, thirteen-year-old Lucas Benes finds a baby alone and learns that the Good Company has restarted its profitable brainwashing business. Brainwashed (Crime Travelers #1) tracks the secret urban adventures of the New Resistance, a school of international teenage spies. Lucas leads a group of friends through the hotspots of Paris — from the catacombs to the Eiffel tower — in an all-out effort to sabotage a brainwashing ceremony that could potentially turn them all into "Good" kids. 978-1-940137-11-7 AR Points from Renaissance Accelerated Reader® Parents, teachers, and librarians will appreciate the worldwide geography and appropriate language for ages 8 – 14. BRAINWASHED marks the explosive beginning of the Crime Travelers Spy School Mystery and International Adventure Series!
Published: Jan. 14, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-940137-11-7

Diamonds Are For Never: Crime Travelers Spy School Mystery & International Adventure Series Book 2

After sabotaging a mass kidnapping in Paris, Lucas Benes faces a new and perilous threat from Siba Günerro and her anything-but-good Good Company. When a briefcase-toting kid from the Falkland Islands joins the New Resistance Spy School, 14-year-old Lucas learns the truth about his mother and becomes a boy on a mission. Lucas and friends speed in and around Rome--from the Colosseum to the Vatican--until they stowaway on a cargo ship carrying diamonds that could unlock the secret to Lucas's past and destroy the Good Company's future.After sabotaging a mass kidnapping in Paris, Lucas Benes faces a new and perilous threat from Siba Günerro and her anything-but-good Good Company. When a briefcase-toting kid from the Falkland Islands joins the New Resistance Spy School, 14-year-old Lucas learns the truth about his mother and becomes a boy on a mission. Lucas and friends speed in and around Rome--from the Colosseum to the Vatican--until they stowaway on a cargo ship carrying diamonds that could unlock the secret to Lucas's past and destroy the Good Company's future.
Published: May 2, 2015
ISBN: 978-1940137254

Priceless: Crime Travelers Spy School Mystery & International Adventure Series Book 3

Lucas Benes faces his greatest challenge yet when he finds a secret message from his mother hidden inside a sunken cargo container. In a near-death scuba diving experience, Lucas and the New Resistance kids learn that Good Company CEO Siba Günerro--along with her newest and most beautiful Curukians--is planning a massive art heist. Lucas and friends scour the Spanish countryside looking for clues. But to unravel the mysteries of both the robbery and the cryptic message, Lucas must first discover the only thing that is worth more than priceless. "If it's opposite day, it could already be opposite of opposite, which would be confusing." If you find this line puzzling then you might understand why the kids of the New Resistance are able to rattle the Good Company yet again in Priceless.