Author of Middle Grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Emily Ungar, Author of LIBERTY BELLE, Guest Posts Today!

Today, we have a special guest with us -- Emily Ungar, author of the middle grade novel LIBERTY BELLE, which was just released on August 12.

You can learn more about LIBERTY BELLE below, but first, Emily's here to talk about her favorite childhood books:

I really enjoyed Shelley’s recent post on favorite childhood books. As soon as I saw her image of those familiar worn covers, I felt an instant comfort. I loved all of the Beverly Cleary books, Boxcar Children, Babysitters Club, Sleepover Friends, The Gymnasts...I could go on forever! Books have always been an incredible source of comfort for me. Back when I had more time, I prided myself on alphabetically organizing my bookshelf, and within the alphabet I would also organize by series. Because my family moved around a lot, books were things I could take with me that made me feel like I was at home no matter where we were living.

I’d like to share some of my favorite middle grade series and why I fell in love with each:

The Sleepover Friends (by Susan Saunders)

This was a lesser-known series, but I loved it. It was a contemporary book about 4 friends. One wanted to be a famous film director. Another only wore outfits with red, black, and white. It’s funny the little details about people that we remember. Reading this series as a 10-year-old gave a glimpse into the splendor of teenhood--shopping in the juniors’ section, wearing yellow leg warmers (eeek!), and roller skating on Friday nights.

Babysitters Club (by Ann M. Martin)

This series is classic for anyone born into the late 70s or early 80s. You have a terrific cast of characters, strong plotlines, and no shortage of babysitting drama. Plus, how cool was it that Dawn was (as she called it) “bicoastal?” The idea of living on both coasts was pretty exotic!

The Gymnasts (by Elizabeth Levy)

I wasn’t a gymnast. In fact, I’m terrified of even doing a somersault. But there was something awesome about the group of young gymnasts who competed in events and did things I couldn’t do, like rub chalk on their hands and fly around on the uneven bars or do a back handspring from a vault. Plus, in the Halloween edition there was a gymnast in a hot dog costume. Now what other book can boast that?

The Mandie Books (by Lois Gladys Leppard)

I didn’t read too many historical books as a middle grader, but I loved the Mandie books. The main character was a turn-of-the-century girl who along with her beloved Uncle Ned solved many mysteries. It was a really sweet and suspenseful series that I read over and over again.

There are so many other series and standalone books that I adored, and I wish I’d kept more of them like Shelley did. Thanks for walking down memory lane with me, and I urge you to revisit those innocent childhood reading days of reading your favorite book under the covers with a flashlight!


Thank you for sharing, Emily! I hadn't read the Gymnasts or the Mandie books, but I loved the others.

Here's more about Emily and her fantastic-looking book, which I've read the beginning of and can't wait to read more:


On the same day she turns twelve years old, Savannah moves away from everything she’s known in sweet, sunny Georgia to preppy Washington D.C. Not only will she miss her best friends Katie and Tessa, Savannah will start a new school. She soon discovers that her schoolmates love to brag—about their clothes, their parents’ governmental connections, and even who has the in with the school authorities.

Unhappy and lonely, Savannah decides if she can’t make life better, she can at least make it sound that way. Soon she is living in the childhood home of George Washington, riding in the limo of the vice president’s daughter, and even moving into the former Luxembourg embassy.

All is well until she learns that her true friends from Georgia are coming for a visit. Now Savannah must create the life she’s been talking about in her letters—and fast! Will Savannah find herself or lose her friends?

Buy the book here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Belle-Emily-Ungar-ebook/dp/B00MMZCR34
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/liberty-belle-emily-ungar/1120079472?ean=2940046058567
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/455093

And also check it out here:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21802855-liberty-belle
Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

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About Emily:


Emily Ungar is a graduate of Indiana University, where she majored in journalism. After living in seven different U.S. states by the time she finished college, she now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and very curious twin toddlers. When she isn’t chasing after her twin boys, Emily loves to curl up in a chaise lounge with a book in one hand and a lemon cupcake in the other. Emily loves connecting with her readers, so she welcomes you to say hi on her blog at emilyungar.com.

Twitter: @emilyungar
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/emilyungar/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13863166-emily-ungar
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emilyungarauthor

11 comments:

Heather Holden said...

Great guest post! It's always fun to revisit beloved childhood books. I remember reading a couple of the Babysitters Club books as a kid, but it was the spinoff Little Sister books that I had been more into, heh.

Also, Liberty Belle sounds like such a cute book! Hope you continue to enjoy reading it, Shelley! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

What a fun premise! Bet Savannah's going to be scrambling!!

My daughter loved The Gymnasts too :)

Emily said...

I loved the Little Sister books too! ;) And it's fun to hear that other readers enjoyed The Gymnasts. Thanks for featuring me on your blog, Shelley!

Tiana Smith said...

Sounds super cute :) And I loved Babysitter's Club!

Stephanie Faris said...

Such a charming cover! The Sleepover Friends sounds adorable!

Julie Dao said...

LIBERTY BELLE sounds wonderful! I like that it's set in D.C., one of my favorite places :) And YES, another huge Babysitters Club fan over here!

Kelly Polark said...

Cute title and cover!
Congrats and good luck to Emily!

I loved Judy Blume as a kid. I went to the library a lot because I didn't own a lot of my own books but the ones I owned I read tens of times! I also remember reading VC Andrews in junior high!!

Christine Rains said...

What great picks for books! Do I say too much about my age if I say I liked Nancy Drew? :) Good luck to Emily.

S.P. Bowers said...

wow, I'm afraid I'm not familiar with any of those books. I remember the babysitter club but they were a little after my time. That is the age that can really solidify our love of books.

Romance Reader said...

Congratulations and all the best to Emily!

I love visiting books I read in my teens!

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