A #PubDay Stories in the Spotlight | [the stories on Jorie’s readerly radar] feat. notes and an extract of “Breathing Underwater” by Sarah Allen

Posted Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am a HUGE champion of Middle Grade Fiction! I started to re-immerse myself into this wonderful landscape of stories through my local library in [2008] when I realised how many wicked wonderful authors were publishing the kind of stories I would have itched to have been able to read whilst I was a Middle Grade reader in elementary school! These are the stories which are either set in Contemporary or Historical worlds enriched by the breadth of their character’s journeys and leveraged with emotional conviction by their writers.

I had intended to interview this lovely author for the blog tour – however, whilst I started working full-time after a long hiatus this February and was re-adjusting to working after being my Dad’s carer for the past five years since his stroke – it took me away from my blog and left me a bit out of hours to complete some of the interviews I had planned to feature this Spring. Thereby, I was grateful to Xpresso for helping me feature an extract for this lovely release instead today!

Being that is is #MiddleGradeMarch – I had hoped to release some of the reviews I had planned to champion last year (see also Post) whilst talking about the new ones I’ve been finding on #bookTwitter and/or through my local library which has been a wicked wonderful resource for me in discovering the latest #MiddleGrade releases which capture my bookish eye of curiosity! You will be seeing a few of those coming up during #WyrdAndWonder this May – keep your eyes on @WyrdAndWonder via Twitter for announcements and the event’s feeds wherein everyone in the book blogging community who joins us for our 4th Year of celebrating Fantasy will be having features, reviews and other content on their blogs throughout May, 2021.

Be sure to read the extract and my thoughts about the story to see if this perhaps might wink an interest into your own readerly wanderings this year! And, let’s all take a moment to give a shout of joy to our beautiful Middle Grade authors who still enchant us with their stories as adults! As all stories are for all readers!!

Remember – brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy your stay!

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A #PubDay Stories in the Spotlight | [the stories on Jorie’s readerly radar] feat. notes and an extract of “Breathing Underwater” by Sarah AllenBreathing Underwater
by Sarah Allen
Source: Chapter Sampler

Breathing Underwater is a sparkly, moving middle grade novel from Sarah Allen, and a big-hearted exploration of sisterhood, dreams, and what it means to be there for someone you love.

Olivia is on the road trip of her dreams, with her trusty camera and her big sister Ruth by her side. Three years ago, before their family moved from California to Tennessee, Olivia and Ruth buried a time capsule on their favorite beach. Now, they’re taking an RV back across the country to uncover the memories they left behind. But Ruth’s depression has been getting worse, so Olivia has created a plan to help her remember how life used to be: a makeshift scavenger hunt across the country, like pirates hunting for treasure, taking pictures and making memories along the way.

All she wants is to take the picture that makes her sister smile. But what if things can never go back to how they used to be? What if they never find the treasure they’re seeking? Through all the questions, loving her sister, not changing her, is all Olivia can do—and maybe it’s enough.

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0374313258

Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers

on 30th March, 2021

Format: Chapter Sampler | Online

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Converse on Twitter via: #BreathingUnderwater as well as #MGLit and #MiddleGrade

About Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen has been published in The Evansville Review, Allegory, and on WritersDigest. She has an MFA from Brigham Young University. Like Libby in her novel What Stars are Made Of, Allen was born with Turner Syndrome.

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Enjoy reading an Extract from ‘Breathing Underwater”

Underwear: check.

Toothpaste and toothbrush: check. Murphy, my stuffed killer whale, who Ruth has already made fun of me for packing: check.

I tried to keep him tucked under my clothes so Ruth wouldn’t spot him if she came into my room. I didn’t want her to see that I was bringing him and say Geez, Olivia, are you thirteen or three? But she did come in, and she did see him, and she did say it, so I guess there’s nothing I can do about that. That’s just Ruth being Ruth, not one of the bad signs I need to watch out for.

Most important, I have my new underwater camera in its own special case, a purple case with a long black strap. It took me four months and extra chores to save up for this camera, but it was more than worth it.

I’m sitting cross-legged on my bedroom floor next to my mostly packed luggage when Ruth pokes her head through my doorway. As quickly as I can, I slide the four old pictures I’m looking at under my suitcase. This time Ruth doesn’t notice. “Mom and Dad want us downstairs,” she says.

“Mmkay, coming,” I say. Ruth steps out of view. “Hey, Ruth?”

Her head pops back into frame. “What.”

“Um . . .” Now I’m hesitant, but I say, “What do you remember most from last time?”

“Last time?”

“Yeah.”

She shrugs. “I dunno. It was years ago.”

Only three years ago, I think. “Do you remember what’s in our secret box?”

“I dunno,” she says again.

I nod. Ruth disappears from my doorway.

It’s not like our secret box is huge or special or anything. It’s just a box. A simple wooden box about the size for shoes. Ruth and I thought it looked like a treasure chest when we were younger, so we put a few of our most treasured things inside, like Polaroid pictures and key chains and plastic bracelets and shells we’d collected. We buried it in a cave at Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, before we moved away three years ago. Not even a cave, really, more an open room in the cliffs along the beach half a mile away from our old house. We walked there all the time, played there, and left our treasure there when I was ten and Ruth was thirteen.

And now? Now we’re going back.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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I *love!* how this feels and sounds like the age of the characters themselves!! Sometimes I find Middle Grade tries to be too adult for the target audience – in a similar vein as Young Adult (unless you are reading Upper YA which is the bridge gap from YA to New Adult or Adult Fiction) – however, the refreshing bit of this story is how Allen has voiced her characters in age appropriate ways and given us a slice of their lives in the context of how they express themselves!

I also like the tone of this extract – how it showcases what you can expect from the larger story as it expands through the story’s arc and what you can glimpse out of what you will find as you follow in the footsteps of these characters. This is definitely a novel I will be requesting at my local library if they haven’t already purchased a copy! I cannot wait to experience this world and story for myself and I hope others will consider doing the same. 

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Breathing Underwater blog tour banner provided by Xpresso Book Tours and is used with permission.Most of the blitzes & tours I host for this touring company have giveaways attached to them, which is why I route to the main page via Xpresso Tours as an easy reference for where you can find that information.

Find others hosting via @XpressoTours!

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I enjoy being a hostess for:

Xpresso Book Tours badge provided by Xpresso Book Tours.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Breathing Underwater”, synopsis, author biography (of Sarah Allen), extract from “Breathing Underwater”, blog tour banner and host badge were provided by Xpresso Book Tours and are being used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #Book Spotlight banner as well as the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2021.

I am socially bookish and tweet my readerly life

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Blitz, Book Spotlight, Xpresso Book Tours




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