Consider the Octopus Cover Reveal
Reading Middle Grade is delighted to reveal the cover of Consider the Octopus by Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin. This new middle grade novel is perfect for fans of funny books, books about the environment, and fans of unlikely friendship stories. Below, Gae Polisner shares how their story was born.
Synchronicity Helped Our Story Come to Life!
This story came about one morning in a moment of synchronicity, when Nora and I happened to be listening to the same podcast on NPR. One of us called the other blathering about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the other said, “Oh my goodness! I’m listening to that too!”
“Let’s write our next middle grade and set it there, at the Garbage Patch!” one of us said (we don’t remember which), and the other excitedly agreed.
And like that, CONSIDER THE OCTOPUS was born (though it was called THE GREAT PGP back then).
Of course, like many people, when we first set out to write it, we didn’t know much about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, nor did we fully understand exactly what it was. We had both conjured a similar image of a solid island made up of plastic bottles and other debris floating in the middle of the ocean. In fact, our first thought was to have our characters living on it!
Soon enough into our research, however, we learned it isn’t like that at all — so we moved them to a research ship near the Patch, and let synchronicity drive the story, and the humor flow.
Consider the Octopus: Synopsis
Here’s the official description of the book:
When chance, or fate, throws two twelve-year-olds together on board a scientific research ship at the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s not all smooth sailing!
Jeremy “JB” Barnes is looking forward to spending the summer before seventh grade hanging on the beach. But his mother, a scientist, has called for him to join her aboard a research ship where, instead, he’ll spend his summer seasick and bored as he stares out at the endless plastic, microbeads, and other floating debris, both visible and not, that make up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Miles and miles away, twelve-year-old Sidney Miller is trying to come up with an alternate activity worthy of convincing her overprotective parents that she can skip summer camp.
When Jeremy is asked to find the contact information for a list of important international scientists and invite them to attend a last-minute Emergency Global Summit, he’s excited to have a chance to actually do something that matters to the mission. How could he know that the Sidney Miller he messages is not the famous marine biologist he has been tasked with contacting, but rather a girl making podcasts from her bedroom—let alone that she would want to sneak aboard the ship?
Consider the Octopus is a comedy of errors, mistaken identity, and synchronicity. Above all, it is a heartfelt story about friendship and an empowering call to environmental protection, especially to our young people who are already stepping up to help save our oceans and our Earth.
You may pre-order it here
Now, what you came here for! On to our cover!
CONSIDER THE OCTOPUS is both a poignant story of friendship and kids rising to the most essential occasion of helping to heal our environment, and also a hilarious comedy of errors and an outright farce. Because of this, our cover had a big, bold job to do! And we think the talented designer, Mallory Grigg, and the artist, Maike Plenzke, did just that! A fabulous, wonderful job!
We hope you love our cover as much as we do, and hope you’ll be laughing so hard by the end of the book, you won’t notice how much you actually want to join in the fight to clean up our oceans, too!
Coming April 5, 2022 from Henry Holt.
Thanks to Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin for sponsoring this post (and WHAT A GORGEOUS COVER!). Please pre-order this funny, poignant story. Thank you for supporting this authors that keep Reading Middle Grade running. Find out how you can host a cover reveal on Reading Middle Grade.