Young People's Pavilion: Cassie Beasley’s Tumble & Blue Just Received its Fourth Starred Review

by Michael Strickland

What makes a great young adult novel? As I ponder this question, I am struck by a book that has the makings of a classic.

Cassie Beasley’s Tumble & Blue just received its fourth starred review from School Library Journal, who called it, “An immersive, supernatural middle grade adventure… Beasley’s shimmering prose pulls readers in, line by line, like a fish dragging on a hook through swampy waters.”

Cassie will go on a national tour visiting Houston, Jackson, Raleigh, Atlanta, Nashville, Greenville, and northern Florida. A book like this can really get kids excited about reading.

I am excited about Cassie Beasley and the work of this rising star: She's an author with the classic appeal of Kate DiCamillo. And her debut, Circus Mirandus, was a New York Times bestseller, and made many best of the year and state lists.

SUMMARY: 1817: When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp, legend says that the mysterious golden gator Munch will grant a great fate to the poor soul foolish enough to face him. But when TWO fools reach him at the same time, well, the night's fate is split. With disastrous consequences for both... and their descendants. 2016: Tumble Wilson has a simple dream. To be a hero and to prove that her big brother, who died saving her when she was a baby, didn't waste his gift on a dud. With the help of her idol Maximal Star and his self-help book, Tumble engages in acts of derring-do. But why does it seem like she's cursed to end up a damsel in distress every time she tries to save someone? Blue Montgomery knows he's cursed. To lose. At everything. Every time. When his father abandons him at his grandmother's house, Blue knows he has to do something before he ends up as just one more tragic story in a house filled with madcap relatives and bad luck. But when Tumble and Blue meet, they ask a question no one has dared ask for generations: What if you can change your own destiny?

Munch the gator, who will remind readers of Frank Underwood (House of Cards) is about to meet two very brave fools.

Tumble & Blue is one of the most anticipated novels of 2017. Her charming prose and loveable characters will remind children that our destinies can take us as far as we allow them to.

Another starred review came from Publishers Weekly, who called the book “A tender message about sacrifice—for loved ones and the greater good—underlies this magical story of fate and family.”

A young boy and girl who are cursed, and a magical alligator whose voice resembles Frank Underwood from House of Cards. Beasley writes a finding-your-destiny novel that will be embraced by adults as well as children. Thoughtful and mysterious, Tumble & Blue threads Southern mythology and persistent optimism throughout the story to a satisfying conclusion.

“This will effortlessly ensnare the reader who plucks it from the shelf, ”Booklist wrote in its starred review. A  starred review from Kirkus said that this was “an original, highly engaging story about the power of friendship, family curses and blessings—and what it means to be a hero.”

Magic in the everyday: Cassie Beasley is able to infuse real life with breathtaking magic in the way that made Savvy, A Snicker of Magic, and her very own Circus Mirandus so irresistible.
Unforgettable characters: From Tumble, who lives by How to Hero Every Day, to Blue, who can't even win a game of tic tac toe, to the great grandmother whose special gift is recognizing people's expiration dates and announcing them, this hilariously ill-fated cast of characters are the most lovable and unique "losers" you'll ever meet.
Heartwarming storytelling: Cassie's feel-good storytelling makes her books perfect for readers of all ages, and gives them a classic feel that will stand up to countless re-reads over the years.
Kids taking charge: Tumble and Blue decide to take control of their lives and change their destinies, which will inspire other kids to take charge in their own lives.
Who is Cassie Beasley? This author is from rural Georgia, where, when she’s not writing, she helps out on the family pecan farm. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Circus Mirandus is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @beasleywrites.

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