Monday, October 5, 2009

Spotlighting Sydney Salter's JUNGLE CROSSING

Sydney Salter's second debut this year is the MG novel, JUNGLE CROSSING. I am delighted to help her celebrate its launch--congratulations, Sydney!!

About JUNGLE CROSSING: Thirteen-year-old Kat can think of dozens of good reasons not to go on a boring family vacation to hot, grungy Mexico. Number one: missing her friend Fiona's minicamp. If she's not there, she'll begin eighth grade as a social reject. And it looks like she's the odd girl out on vacation, too. When Kat's parents arrange for her and her younger sister, Barb, to go on a teen adventure tour, Barb makes more friends than she does. The only person who will talk to Kat is Nando, a young Mayan guide (who happens to be quite a cutie). Each day as they travel to different Mayan ruins, Nando tells Kat and Barb another installment in the original legend of Muluc, a girl who lived in the time of the Ancient Maya. The dangerous, dramatic world in which Muluc lives is as full of rivalry, betrayal, jealousy, and sacrifice as Kat's world at school. And as she makes new friends and discovers new treasures in Mexico, Kat begins to wonder: Is she willing to keep sacrificing her self in exchange for popularity?

And if you missed the earlier post about Sydney's YA debut, MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS, here's a bit about the author: Sydney Salter's fascination with Mayan culture started when she was six years old and climbed down a steep, dimly lit stone staircase to the elaborately carved tomb of King Pacal who had once ruled Palenque. Visiting Mayan ruins, walking through fragrant Mexican market places, watching women wash clothes in a river, and chasing lizards in the jungle ignited the spark in Sydney's imagination that led to writing Jungle Crossing. Sydney now lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, two cats, and two dogs. She loves reading, writing, cooking, and traveling—especially to Mexico where she can explore ancient Mayan ruins and swim in underground rivers.

Here are Sydney's answers to the Thorough Three:

NM: What is the age of your protagonist/s?

SS: Thirteen

NM: What is the single, most important bit of advice you'd give to the You that was the same age as your protagonist/s?

SS: Choose your friends carefully (real friends like you just the way you are).

NM: Complete the following sentences:

Everyone should definitely, for sure _____________.

You should NEVER, EVER ___________.  But if you absolutely must, make sure to ____________.

SS: Everyone should definitely, for sure learn about foreign cultures.

You should NEVER, EVER eat at an American chain restaurant in a foreign country. But if you absolutely must, make sure to try something you've never eaten before at your next meal. Be adventurous.

Ha! I have to say that I heartily co-sign that last statement. Thanks, Sydney!

JUNGLE CROSSING is available at Amazon and Indiebound. For more information about Sydney and her work, visit her website.

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