Wednesday, March 6, 2013


It's happened. My older kids have gotten to the age where their taste in reading has matured past WHOOOO LOVES YOU? And I am SOOOO happy. I love the idea of reading middle grade (MG) chapter books to them. I bought the whole set of Lemony Snicket's SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, several volumes of Jeff Kinney's DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, and now Chad Morris' THE INVENTOR'S SECRET (which I personally read a few months ago when I was lucky enough to get an ARC from the author himself).

Yes, I know Chad Morris. Yes, I'm name dropping to appear cool. Yes, I'm ridiculous.

But the thing is, I not only know Chad, I really admire him. Yesterday was the day his book officially released, and he wasn't able to celebrate it like he might have dreamed. He was too busy taking care of his nine year old daughter, Maddie, who is in the hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. He talked about on his blog here. He and his wife, Shelly, are an inspiration to me. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this challenging time.

So a bunch of his writing friends have come together to help spread the word about his awesome new middle grade book:

Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don’t read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn’t around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar.

Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twin siblings Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather’s inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins begin following a trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.

Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather’s greatest secret–a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.

Buy it here:

About Chad:

Chad Morris grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. (Inspired by Animal from the Muppets, he’s been banging on drums since he was eight years old.) After high school, he wrote and performed sketch comedy while going to college, and eventually he became a teacher and a curriculum writer. He lives in Utah with his wife and five kids. Chad would love to teach at Cragbridge Hall.

Unlike Oscar Cragbridge, however, he hasn’t really invented anything, though his son once sketched out blueprints for a machine that would turn celery into cookies.


  1. Wow this sounds great Jessie, thanks for the rec! I'm sorry to hear about Chad's little girl though :(

  2. I can't wait to read this, but I can't wait even more for Maddie to go home!

  3. I'm feeling the same way as my oldest delves into YA. I want her to read all my favorites. :) My prayers are with Chad and his family.

  4. I totally plan and reading The Inventor's Secret to my kids when they're old enough. I've been reading bits and pieces to them now. So happy for Chad's book release and seriously amazed at this awesome community that has helped since he can't. Beyond awesome!

  5. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts to Chad and his family. His book looks cool and I intend to add to my TBR list.

  6. he sounds like a nice fella!

  7. Sounds like a great book and I'm glad to see people posting about it. I shouted out on Facebook about it. And yes, it's fun when your kids read middle grade. My daughter is now into YA and she reads some of my ARCs (when she has time, which isn't much lately) and we compare notes on what we like. That's fun too.

  8. Wish Chad's daughter all the best and congrats on the book. Kids reading is always a good thing.

  9. Bring on the name dropping and extra coolness! I'm all for it girl! I just ordered one more of his books and shipped it to my niece! It really is awesome so I love to share!

    And I'm hoping Maddie will be feeling better ASAP!!!

  10. I would buy a machine that turned celery into cookies, as long as the cookies weren't celery-flavored. :) I also like the idea of children learning about animals by becoming them through avatars; I'm sure that that would be a lesson they wouldn't forget.