Monday, May 13, 2013

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop!
Today I have a fun middle grade science fiction book to spotlight. Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy.


Seventh-grader Dustin Cotter dreams of being the first human to make contact with an alien species from outer space. So when he discovers that the meteorite he watched crash-landing is really a miniature spacecraft, he’s determined to capture it.

But first a dog grabs it. A dog that happens to be owned by Randie, the cutest girl at his new school. Then it gets stolen by another kid on horseback: Max, the school comedian/magician/cowboy. Dustin finally manages to get it back, and his dream of making contact comes true when he meets Bok, the tiny alien astronaut.

However, a dangerous motorcyclist saw the crash-landing, too. He wants the spaceship and will stop at nothing until it’s in his possession. And then one dark night, the man catches Dustin alone out in the desert - and Dustin’s dream turns into a life-threatening nightmare.


K.L. Pickett was born in Southern California. Her first job as a young teenager was collecting eggs on an egg ranch. She’s had many occupations since then: preschool teacher, real estate salesperson, special education teacher’s assistant, loan officer, furniture salesperson, and agricultural biologist. She currently teaches fourth grade in a tiny rural elementary school.
Over fifty of her stories and articles have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ LifeHighlights for ChildrenHumpty Dumpty, and Ladybug under the name Karen Troncale.
She’s rescued dozens of cats, dogs, and birds in her life including a pelican, a pheasant, and several crows. An avid animal-lover, she’s a volunteer for the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter, designing their flyers each week and writing their public radio announcements.
Currently she resides in Tombstone, Arizona, along with her husband, dog, and mule. When she’s not writing, reading, or teaching, she’s riding her mule along the same desert trails that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday rode upon.
SEVENTH GRADE (ALIEN!) HERO is her first book.


Interviewer: Welcome. I’m excited to hear about your firstbook Seventh Grade (Alien!)Hero. I understand it’s a middle-grade science fiction adventure story. Why did you choose to write for the middle-grade audience? And why science fiction?

K.L.Pickett: I currently teach fourth grade in a small rural Arizona school; previously I taught middle-grade reading and writing. Since I’m immersed in that age group every day, it was a natural jumping off point to write for them.
Why did I write a science fiction novel? Because I lovereading science fiction and watching science fiction TV shows and movies. I’m Trekkie; I’ve been a huge Star Trek fan for years. Avatar, Star Wars, E.T., War of the Worlds, Journey to the Center of the Earth – I love all of those science fiction movies, old and new. I grew up reading science fiction books, starting with an old beginning reader series called Space Cat (followed by Space Cat Goes to Mars and Space Cat has Kittens)As a teenager I loved reading novels such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. One of my favorite science fiction books today is The True Meaning ofSmekday by Adam Rex.

Interviewer: So tell us a little about Seventh Grade (Alien!)Hero. How did you get the idea for this book?

K.L.Pickett: Some time ago I read as short story about a minutespaceship that flew in the open window of a small boy’s bedroom. That story intrigued me and stayed with me for a long time. It made me start thinking that spaceships and space aliens don’t have to be big.
Then one night I saw a falling star streak across the sky. I started asking myself questions. What if it hit the earth and someone found it? What if it turned out it wasn’t a meteor at all, but a tiny spaceship? And what if it was damaged and someone did find it? All of these “what if’s” turned into Seventh Grade (Alien!) Hero.
The main character of Seventh Grade (Alien!) Hero is someone middle-graders can relate to. Dustin’s a normal seventh grade boy whose life has been turned upside-down. His parents have gotten a divorce, his dad’s remarried, and his mom has moved him out to the desert, out into the middle of nowhere,away from the suburban life he’s always known. He has no friends. Middle-graders can understand him because they all know how hard making friends can be, even if they haven’t moved to a new home themselves.
Then he captures the spaceship and everything starts happening. Someone else wants the ship – someone dangerous – who will stop at nothing to get it.

InterviewerSounds exciting! I understand this is your first book. Have you written pieces other than books?

K.L.Pickett: I’ve written stories and articles for magazines for years. One of my stories entitled “The Big Oops!” was originally published in Guide magazine, and was reprinted in the book Guide’s Greatest Hero Stories in 2012.  

Interviewer: So what’s next for your writing?

K.L.Pickett: Currently I’m working on another middle-grade science fiction novel. And I’m excited about the release of my second book Maybe It’s Magic! which is obviously about magic and also about horses. It’s being published by MuseItUpPublishing and will be available in August. So look for it soon!

Interviewer: Do you have any advice for other authors?

K.L.Pickett: My only advice is to never give up. Keep writing. If you want something bad enough and persevere, it will happen eventually.

Interviewer: Where can readers find you and your books?

K.L.Pickett: My website is Each month I feature a free children’s short story and an inexpensive children’s activity on the site. I can also be reached on facebook:
Also, I’m a teacher, and I have an online teacher story with teaching materials:

Seventh Grade (Alien!) Hero can be ordered from:

InterviewerI’m sure our readers will be checking out those sites. Thanks for sharing with us today.

K.L.Pickett: Thanks for having me. Oh, and don’t forget. I’ll be giving away five copies of Seventh Grade (Alien!) Hero chosen randomly from readers who leave comments about this post.


  1. Must 13 or older to enter.
  2. Fill out the form below.
  3. Void where prohibited.
  4. Open internationally.

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