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The Neptune Challenge I'm delighted to announce the paperback release of my second children's novel, The Neptune Challenge, on May 10. I'll be signing copies of both Neptune books at the Creekwalk Village Barnes and Noble, 801 W. 15th St. in Plano on May 14 from 2-4. I'll have lots of prizes for my readers and bookmarks and school visit flyers for educators. If you can't make this event, I will also be signing at the Lincoln Park Barnes and Noble, 7700 W. Northwest Hwy, Ste. 300, Dallas, TX from 2-4 PM on June 18 with two fabulous local authors, Karen Harrington and Karen Blumenthal.

Indiebound Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Chapters Indigo Powell's Amazon

I'm also happy to announce that Disney/Hyperion recently sold the audio rights to both The Neptune Project and The Neptune Challenge. I'm eager to see how a voice actor is going to perform telepathic dolphin voices! I will post information on my website when these audio versions of my books are available for sale.

School Visits

Librarians and educators, I am a former teacher and have visited over 200 schools in the past few years. I love presenting my assembly program, "The Secrets of Becoming a Better Writer," that gets kids excited about reading and writing, and I teach writing workshops appropriate for grades 3-8 that can help to prepare students for their state writing assessments. The following are just some of the endorsements I've received from educators.

"This was the best author presentation I've attended. I loved that it was interactive and building on exactly what we do in the classroom. Several of my students are continuing the story they started that day. It matched perfectly with our curriculum, standards, and was very engaging!"
   Fourth grade teacher, Press Elementary/McKinney ISD

"WOW! The assembly that Mrs. Holyoke provided our campus was truly amazing. As a former teacher, she knew exactly how to hook the kids into her lesson about reading and writing and she knew how to keep three hundred students engaged the entire time she was here. Her assembly was interactive and informative for our Third, Fourth and Fifth graders. She has a real gift for not only writing, but also for teaching."
   Jacqueline Shannon, Meadows Elementary Librarian/Plano ISD

School Visits   School Visits

Here I am surrounded by fourth grade students down in the Rio Grande Valley who were excited to share the wonderful stories they wrote during a writing workshop with me.

Please note: I've started teaching a program titled, "All About Dolphins," which is designed for K-2 students. In this program I talk about being a writer, and then I reinforce elementary science concepts like predator/prey relationships, habitat, and characteristics of mammals. Please check out my school programs at: http://www.pollyholyoke.com/workshops-school-visits.php.

The Neptune Project award nomination
The Neptune Challenge award nomination

I'm thrilled that The Neptune Project was recently nominated for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award in Florida for grades 6-8. This means that middle schoolers all over Florida will be reading about Nere's adventures!

I'm also honored that The Neptune Challenge was recently shortlisted for the Green Earth Book Award. This is the nation's first environmental stewardship award for children's and young adult books.

Always happy to travel to Colorado, I enjoyed being the featured speaker at the Preston Reads event at the Preston Middle School in Fort Collins. Over a hundred students and their parents read The Neptune Project and then gathered to have dinner and discuss the book. It was very cool to hear so many grown-ups debating with their kids about their favorite characters and the choices those characters made in my novel!

Preston Middle School, Fort Collins, CO   Texas Book Festival

Finally, I was honored to be on a panel at the Texas Book Festival with Greg Leitich Smith and Brandon Mull, the author of Fablehaven. Our panel was actually held in one of the senate committee rooms in the state capital building which was great fun!

Girl Scouts

Once again this year I helped several Junior troops to earn their Scribe Badge and two Senior troops to earn their Novelist Badge. I also worked with Girl Scouts in two Service Unit events. I will be listed in the Dallas area Girl Scout Provider guide again next year. Because I am so busy with school visits both in and out of state, I recommend that Girl Scout leaders contact me early in the school year to reserve a date.

Girl Scouts

What's next?

I'm looking forward to doing lots of writing this summer. I recently finished up two middle grade novels. One is a fantasy/time travel about an enchanted carousel and the other is about girls with super powers. I'm hoping my agent will be able to sell them soon.

The members of the sales team at my publisher still don't want to buy a third Neptune book, but I keep hoping if the sales of The Neptune Challenge are amazing, they might change their minds. So please, do keep telling friends, family and librarians about my Neptune series, and your kind reviews on Amazon, BN.com and Goodreads do help. I might consider publishing a third Neptune book myself, but for now I need to earn some college tuition for my daughters from a traditional publisher. My apologies to all you enthusiastic Neptune fans out there, and please know that I would love to dive back into the sea with Nere and her dolphins someday! In the meantime, I'm enjoying writing a fantasy/survival story set in the high mountains.

My best to you all,

Polly Holyoke