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The Neptune Challenge I had a satisfying summer writing a new book about an enchanted merry-go-round. As much as I love my Neptune novels, it was nice to take a break from the ocean for a while!

Since the release of The Neptune Challenge in May, I have received hundreds of emails asking if there will be a third book in the Neptune series. I still don't know if I'll have a chance to write one, but sales of The Neptune Challenge are going well, so there's at least a possibility that Nere, her friends and her dolphins will go on more undersea adventures.

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

Please note: if you'd like a signed bookplate for your copy or for the Neptune fan in your family, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Ms. Polly Holyoke, 5960 W. Parker Rd., Ste. 278-259, Plano, TX 75093 and let me know the name of your young reader.

School visits

Librarians and educators, I am a former teacher and visited over 80 schools last year. I love presenting an 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. I also offer special rates for Title I schools.

Polly Holyoke School Presentation

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

Polly Holyoke School Presentation


The Neptune Project was named to the AAAS reading list!

Librarians, please tell your science teachers that The Neptune Project was chosen by the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) as a strong science-based read for children. I was thrilled by this recognition as I did work hard to make the book as scientifically accurate as possible. On my website, I have posted a PDF full of ideas for using The Neptune Project to teach STEM, and I have included several science activities in my teachers' guides.

I was also pleased to learn recently that a library director assumed I was a marine biologist. I'm definitely not a scientist, but I am a lifelong nerd, and I've had a great time researching dolphins, sharks and orcas for my Neptune books.

Polly in Alaska
A pod of orcas in the Gulf of Alaska

The Neptune Project was also nominated for Ohio Buckeye Book Award. This nomination means a great deal to me because kids determine what books will be on their state list and vote on them.

Upcoming Events

October 3, 2015
Tween Reads Festival
Houston, TX

October 10, 2-4:00 PM
Barnes and Noble Educator Event
Hurst, TX
I will give a short Power Point Presentation on how I researched and wrote my Neptune books (teachers, librarians and families welcome), and I will be signing books afterward. The store will also be raffling off a FREE half-day school visit from me.

October 17
Texas Book Festival
Austin, TX

November 7
McAllen Literary Festival
McAllen, TX

Girl Scout News

Due to demand for a presentation for larger groups of girls, I've started offering a Service Unit program called, "Afternoon with An Author." In this two-hour program, I give a Power Point presentation on how I became a writer, and I discuss the joys and challenges of a career in writing. I also will conduct some fun writing exercises with the girls and answer their questions. I charge $5.00 a girl and will sign my books at the end. This program is appropriate for Juniors on up and does fulfill at least one requirement for the Novelist and Scribe badges. I still teach both the full Scribe and Novelist Badges to individual troops.

Research Trip

One of the highpoints of my summer was having a chance to travel to the Northwest where my second book, The Neptune Challenge, is set. I took lots of pictures when our boat cruised through the Queen Charlotte Strait right past the Broughton Archipelago where my fictional undersea colony, Safety Harbor, is based.

Polly in Alaska
Islands in the Broughton Archipelago

I also had a chance to do some hands-on research, so to speak, when we visited the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center in Kodiak, Alaska.

Polly in Alaska
Here's me holding a little prince of a king crab at the Kodiak Laboratory Aquarium

Now I'm back at my desk finishing up my carousel book and getting ready for another fun year of school visits both in Texas and out-of-state. I wish you all a happy, productive fall!

Polly Holyoke