Find Me in the Time Before by Robin Stevens Payes

How does your normal, average teenager who has visited the Renaissance and met Leonardo da Vinci in person, go back to the humdrum of high school?

Charley Morton is still trying to figure that out, as she puts her recent unexpected time travel adventure and a narrow escape with her life behind her to focus on this year’s science fair.  She knows that working alongside her science fair partner and sometimes boyfriend Billy, a first prize is in her future. She might even allow her sometimes-bestie Beth to join the project. However, in Charley’s world, nothing is simple, and things are about to turn upside down, again, in a new adventure, Find Me in the Time Before (Book 4/Edge of Yesterday; Woodhall Press; October 2022; Price $18.95) by Robin Stevens Payes.

In Find Me in the Time Before, Charley and Billy’s old friend Kairos appears with an urgent problem – his sister Carolina is missing. In Paris. In the 18th century. To find her, Charley will have to search the streets—and cemeteries—of Paris. This is a dangerous place for a 21st-century girl to get lost in, alone and armed only with her smartphone. But Charley has another motive for daring the leap: she’s desperate to track down one of her science heroes, the Marquise Émilie du Châtelet. Among other Earth-shaking achievements, the Marquise formulated the scientific precursor to what would become, two centuries later, Einstein’s famous E=mc2. Charley’s dying to find out how this “daring woman of the Enlightenment ” dueled, gambled and advanced science and mathematics in a world where education was reserved for noblemen and kings. Like many hidden figures through the ages, Émilie’s contributions were neglected, overlooked or lost to the history recorded by men.

With time travel on her mind, Charley will need to enlist Beth’s fashion talents and Billy’s  engineering upgrades to smooth out what she knows to be a head-spinning ride through spacetime. Add Charley’s IT, physics, forensic and social innovations to the mix, and she’s on track to win the national Science Fair and collect a cash prize to boot. Just another average school year!

Author Robin Stevens Payes, after years of working as a science and education writer and coach, has a penchant for telling stories that focus on blending history, science, and fiction. Her Edge of Yesterday series is intended to entertain young adult readers and spark an interest in STEM/STEAM careers, especially for girls. Charley and Billy indulge their STEM curiosity and creativity to chase down their dreams. In the same spirit, Robin intends for her books to encourage readers to both dream and create. For teens, Find Me in the Time Before has it all—from romance to fashion, adventure to revolution, and gadgets to ghosts. In an era where kids are emerging into a world changed by a pandemic, the prospect of time travel in the Edge of Yesterday series is a leap into greater imagination and possibility.

About the Author

Robin Stevens Payes is the author of four novels for middle grade to Y/A readers. She offers workshops on storytelling and is in the process of launching a company that focuses on relationship solutions for mothers and their teen daughters. She was founding editor-in-chief of LearnNow, an online publication on the science of learning, and has written for The American Leader, Discovery Education, the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She lives around the DC beltway in Maryland.

Book 4 in the Edge of Yesterday Series
By Robin Payes
Publisher: Woodhall Press
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
Original Trade Paperback
Price: $18.95
Page count: 436 pages

Hurricamp! by Steph Katzovi

“The sign was supposed to say, ‘Camp Hillside, a place for girls and young women adventurers,’ but I had noticed that some of the letters were faded. Like the ‘w’ in ‘women.’ That was definitely a bad omen.”

Welcome to Camp Hillside, a sleepaway camp with loads of fun activities from swimming to candle making to archery! It’s also where Laura “Noodle” Newman will be spending the next four weeks of her summer. Heading to camp for the first time with high hopes and eager anticipation, Noodle quickly finds that life away from home is trickier than she’d expected. Noodle is thrust into a world with entertaining and eclectic new bunkmates, and experiences that are completely opposite from her quiet existence back at her home in Great Falls.

The drama escalates when the campers find out that Hurricane Hilda is headed their way and Camp Hillside is forced to hunker down. The routine Noodle was finally starting to get comfortable with is suddenly turned on its head. The storm’s arrival gives Noodle a new-found strength that steers her past missing home and on to forging some unexpected bonds. Join Noodle and her newfound friends in Hurricamp! (Brown Books, June 2022, ISBN: 978-1-61254-554-7, Trade Paperback) as they navigate the perils of summer camp— Can the Sandpipers make it through a stormy encounter with an angry skunk? Will they ever succeed in out-pranking their neighboring cabin? How will they deal with the unexpected departure of their beloved counselor?

“‘I’m really glad I met you guys.’ The words came out of my mouth before I could take them back. Oh well, I thought. Too late now. ‘I wouldn’t want to go through a hurricane with anyone else.’

‘Yeah,’ Charlie piped up. ‘Same here.’

Aries squeezed my hand. ‘Me too.’

‘Could you imagine what camp would’ve been like without Hurricane Hilda?’ Buffy said. ‘So boooriiiinnnggg!’”

Hurricamp! is a charming and innocent throwback to childhood— Steph Katzovi perfectly captures the feeling of being away from home for the first time, and the power that comes from finding courage you didn’t know you had. The times where Noodle embarrasses herself seem like the direst of events, while the joys she experiences also shine through brightly. Told in Noodle’s witty, earnest and distinctive voice, Hurricamp! is as quirky as Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books and emulates Judy Blume’s relatable dialogue. Parents and children alike will identify with Noodle’s vulnerabilities and the humorous lessons she learns on her adventures at Camp Hillside.

By Steph Katzovi
Brown Books
ISBN: 978-1-61254-554-7
Publication Date: May 24, 2022
Original Trade Paperback
Price: $9.99
Pages: 200

Lettuce Get in Trouble by Linda Kuo

Introducing Children to the Basics of Design

Lettuce Get in Trouble is the first volume in the Sara Little Trouble Maker series from Center for Design Books—a children’s picture book that teaches the basics of design in a way that is easy for young readers to understand. Inspired by a little-known but influential designer, Sara Little, Lettuce Get in Trouble helps children learn to problem-solve by observing the world around them, asking great questions, and trying out new things.

“Sara wears many hats and one tiny upside-down clock on her black turtleneck. She is always asking a lot of questions.”


In Lettuce Get in Trouble, we meet Sara Little, a troublemaker of the best sort; she asks great questions starting with Why? Sara looks at the world a little differently than other adults—by doing so, interesting problems and the need for design solutions come her way. This first story focuses on Sara’s design influence with new foods and is set in her beloved city of New York. One day, the Ministry of Food asks Sara Little to convince the children to eat more vegetables. Instead of offering a stern lecture, Sara brings her young friends to her Little Lab to explore the colors and shapes of food and why we eat anything at all. Together, they plan a grand event, inviting children from around the world to design fresh, tasty creations. “The children will cook, and we shall allow them to play with their food!” says Sara. Will the leader of the Ministry of Food be happy? Will the children learn to love veggies?

“Good design solves problems and also makes the world more beautiful and fun.”

Through experimentation, discovery, and planning, Sara teaches children that “good design solves problems and also makes the world more beautiful and fun.” In Lettuce Get in Trouble, the children—and designers of all ages—learn to make their world a better place by being curious, ‘taking the time to see’ and not being afraid to cause a little trouble.

“When you take the time to see, the wonders become commonplace, and the commonplace become wonders.”

The Real Little Sara

Sara Little (1917-2015) was a designer, teacher, and observer not afraid to cause a little trouble while developing innovative solutions to fulfill our basic needs. A global traveler, she made connections between people and found wonder in the everyday objects, tools, and rituals their cultures hold dear. As a very petite female designer in the world of large men, Sara used her unique perspective and curiosity to design a wide variety of revolutionary products. Her projects ranged from the medical mask (that inspired the N95) to cookware to astronaut’s spacesuits. This first story reflects Sara’s influence on promoting casual dining and finger foods in America.

About Linda Kuo, Author

Linda Kuo designs products for children and loves creative storytelling. She has a BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York and an MFA from Stanford University, where Sara Little mentored her. Sara often said, “Design is to create order.” Linda practices Sara’s teaching in all her projects as the Design Director at Pottery Barn Kids&Teen, headquartered in San Francisco, and serves as a board member of the Center for Design.

About Mariana Rio, Illustrator

Mariana Rio is an award-winning illustrator and educator in Porto, Portugal. She graduated in Communication Design from the Faculty of Fine Arts, at the University of Porto. With over a decade of experience, she is happy to spend her days creating characters and visual narratives for publishing houses and institutions worldwide. Her illustrations have been featured in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair exhibitions. Mariana is always eager to learn, and she found Sara Little’s legacy a huge inspiration. Find more at:

About Center for Design Books

The Sara Little [Turnbull] Center for Design Institute is a non-profit (501c3) in Seattle, WA, with a mission to educate and enhance the public’s knowledge of design and further the education of underserved women and girls. Profit from the book series will support that work.


Sara Little Trouble Maker Series
By Linda Kuo, Illustrated by Mariana Rio
Published by Center for Design Books
Distributed by Six Foot Press and Ingram Publisher Services
ISBN: 978-1-7372098-0-5
Publication date: May 17, 2022
Format: 4-color, hardcover, 44 pp.

Sleepwalkers: Round One by Izzi Breigh

"Sleepwalkers: Round One" book cover. The cover features an illustration in a graphic style with hard black outlines. Three kids stand in front of the shadow of a mansion surrounded by dead trees. On the left, there is a shorter boy in shorts, a sweater, and a blue baseball cap. In the middle is a tall girl with brown hair in pigtails wearing a yellow t-shirt and jean shorts. On the right is a short boy with shaggy brown hair, a long t-shirt and pink shorts. Their image is reflected beneath them in black and white like a mirror image. They are surrounded by werewolf-like creatures in the reflection.“No one goes to the Old Sleep. Not willingly,” said the attendant.

And there it was: the Old Sleep. Ellie had heard that’s what they call it.

“Some friendly advice for you, free of charge,” said the attendant, leaning closer to Ellie’s father. “My late wife, God rest her soul, used to say, ‘Stay away from people with bad reputations. They got ‘em for a reason.’ I think the same could be said for houses.”

Welcome Izzi Breigh, a new voice in middle-grade horror whose debut novel SLEEPWALKERS: Round One (ISBN: 978-1-7379135-0-4, Somnium Publishing, February 22, 2022) will be published this Winter.  In the first book of a four-part series, it is 1986 and 11-year-old Ellie Dasher moves from her comfortable hometown in Florida to a house named “Old Sleep” in Connecticut.  Oddly, the house was left to Ellie and her younger brother Elijah.  Soon their family will find out why the children are so important to the house.

Old Sleep is every bit a classic haunted house from its creaky stairs and broken grandfather clocks to the deep family secrets that Ellie is compelled to uncover. Just as she starts to learn the history of the Dasher family home, tragedy strikes. Her brother Elijah falls ill after a horrifying ambush that both Ellie and Elijah experience while having a nightmare. How is Ellie going to make her parents believe that it was a dream that put her brother in a coma?

Fortunately, Old Sleep has a ghostly guide, and with his help, Ellie stumbles into the mysterious world of Inzien and the Sleepwalkers.  She doesn’t know who they are or what they do, but she is certain her brother has been taken to their world and is in trouble.  It’s a strange place with creatures and characters right out of the nightmares of children.  In fact, Sleepwalkers can only visit the mysterious world of Inzien while they are asleep. They are also the only ones who can help Ellie get her brother back- and the clock is ticking.

The heart-pounding first installment, SLEEPWALKERS: Round One is a frightening thrill ride that fans of Lemony Snicket and Neil Gaiman will be eager to discover.  With all manner of strange folk, hostile monsters, and odd foods, the land of the sleepwalkers is a place that dreams are made of. But Ellie Dasher is learning that some dreams have sharp teeth and, yes, they do bite.

About the Author

Izzi Breigh, raised by a family of peacocks, grew up on a rutabaga farm. She now resides in a small cottage made entirely of pinecones. Izzi enjoys knitting shirts for starfish, rooms without corners, and peddling time. Her day job is filling hourglasses with precisely the right amount of sand, which she sells for 2 copper pennies every Saturday at her local flea market. Hide and seek is her favorite sport and though she has repeatedly spotted Waldo, she has yet to figure out where in the world is Carmen Sandiego.

By Izzi Breigh
Somnium Publishing
Publication Date: February 2022
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-7379135-0-4
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-7379135-1-1
Original Trade Paperback / eBook
Price: $19.99 /  $9.99 MSRP
Pages: 332

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Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess A Little Magic by Deedee Cummings

A colorful book cover in watercolors. The titles reads "Kayla: A Modern-day Princess A Little Magic". A young black woman in a pink and purple ball gown sits on a crescent moon over a blue background with spotlights and stars behind her.Kayla always had a plan. The problem was a lot of other people had a plan for Kayla too. But as a Modern-Day Princess Kayla has grown into an independent young woman. Why do people do that? Plan your life for you and tell you what they think you should be?”

Kayla is a girl with a plan- her mom taught her from a young age to always start the day with a plan, because a plan gives you hope. The first of the Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess books followed her journey and struggles as a young, modern-day princess trying to navigate lessons in friendships, fairness, and self-confidence. As one reviewer said, “She’s an inspiration to all young girls who believe in their dreams!”. 

In the fifth and final book of the series, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: A Little Magic (Make A Way Media, 10/21/21, 978-1-951218-29-4 , Paperback), Kayla has been following her own plan for success. Having gone off to college, she returns home to share some “big news” with her parents. She meets up with her old friend Tommie, and together the two of them reminisce about some of their struggles and their successes- shared, old, and new. The childhood friends part ways after catching up and Kayla goes to meet her parents and share her news. However, Kayla’s mother has been busy as well. She has her own expectations for what the big news could be! 

Plans are great, but sometimes two people have plans that clash. Can Kayla and her mom reconcile their misunderstanding? How will Kayla handle her mother’s expectations and her own desire to follow her dreams and find her own path? 

With beautiful, eye-catching illustrations, the Kayla series as a whole tells an inspiring story that’s inspired by the true life of Broadway actress Kayla Pecchioni. The series will spark important conversations between children and parents about diversity, speaking up, and pursuing your dreams even when it feels like the world is against you.

About the Author

Deedee Cummings is an accomplished therapist, attorney, author, and mom. She is the founder of Make A Way Media, a company that specializes in promoting positive messaging and diverse media and the non-profit organization, It Pays to Read, which literally pays kids to read as a way to promote literacy and a lifelong love of reading. The Kayla series was created to inspire all children to develop a plan and pursue their dreams, even in the face of adversity. Deedee Cummings is creating the stories and representation she wished she’d had to read to her children as they grew up. Her mission is for children to see a world through books that reflects and celebrates the diversity of the world we all live in. 

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess
Book 5: A Little Magic
By Deedee Cummings
Illustrated by Charlene Mosley
Make A Way Media
Publication Date: October 21, 2021
Paperback ISBN/Price: 978-1-951218-29-4
Pages: 60

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