My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters

Ages 12 and up.
(HM Harcourt/Graphia)

Welcome to the summer of passion. For seventeen-year-old Jory Michaels, that means three sun-and-fun filled months of spending time with her best friends, obsessing over her crush, trying to find something she is passionate about, and…saving for a nose job. Jory is determined to lose the big, honking, bumpy monstrosity she calls the Super Schnozz—the one thing standing between her and happiness.

So accident-prone Jory takes a job delivering wedding cakes to save up for surgery; she even keeps a book filled with magazine cutouts of perfect noses to show the doctor. To find her passion, she tries yoga; she tries becoming a foreign film buff; but nothing is quite as interesting as finding a boyfriend. And that can’t happen until Super Schnozz disappears…right?

Jory is in for some big surprises when passion finds her—and she discovers the beautiful people she longs to look like are not as perfect as they seem. In her hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel, Sydney Salter delivers a story about broadening your horizons, accepting yourself, and finding love right under your nose.

“Complex, likeable, believable characters, and a fresh, appealing fictional voice pull together this very agreeable summer romance.” –Kirkus Reviews

“[T]he contemporary dialogue is rapid and funny, and teens will enjoy Jory’s comic self-deprecation and the way she gets the signals wrong, both while driving and on dates.” –Booklist

“The tougher side of catching a boyfriend is depicted with humor and understanding in this first novel. Nothing goes as planned, and the results are simultaneously painful and hilarious. Salter captures the awkwardness of adolescence while driving home a message about self-acceptance.” –Publisher’s Weekly

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Jungle Crossing

Age 9 and up.
(HM Harcourt) Coming September 28, 2009!

Thirteen-year-old Kat can think of dozens of good reasons not to go on a boring family vacation to hot, grungy Mexico. Number one: missing her friend Fiona’s mini-camp. If she’s not there, she’ll begin eighth grade as a social reject.

And it looks like she’s the odd girl out on vacation, too. When Kat’s parents arrange for her and her younger sister, Barb, to go on a teen adventure tour, Barb makes more friends than she does. The only person who will talk to Kat is Nando, a young Mayan guide (who happens to be quite a cutie). Each day as they travel to different Mayan ruins, Nando tells Kat and Barb another installment in the original legend of Muluc, a girl who lived in the time of the Ancient Maya. The dangerous, dramatic world in which Muluc lives is as full of rivalry, betrayal, jealousy, and sacrifice as Kat’s world at school. And as she makes new friends and discovers new treasures in Mexico, Kat begins to wonder: Is she willing to keep sacrificing her self in exchange for popularity?

"Kat’s snarky comments about her family and fellow tourists . . . are funny . . . This story-within-a-story of young Mulac’s capture and escape from slavery takes up a good part of the novel. It’s an effective device, adding depth to the plot and leading to the readers' understanding of how Kat’s growth and insights come about."--Booklist

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Swoon At Your Own Risk

– Age 12 and up.
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia) Coming in 2010!

You’d think Polly Martin would have all the answers when it comes to love—after all, her grandmother is the famous syndicated advice columnist Miss Swoon. But after a junior year full of dating disasters, Polly has sworn off boys. Now she’s just trying to survive her summer job at Wild Waves western-themed water park (under the supervision of ex #3 Sawyer Holmes) and focus on herself for once. So Polly is happy when she finds out Grandma is moving in for the summer –think of all the great advice she’ll get.

But Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy sexagenarian! How can Polly stop herself from falling for Xander Cooper, the suddenly-hot skateboarder who keeps showing up at Wild Waves, when Grandma is picking up guys at the bookstore and flirting with the dishwasher repairman? And why, despite her best intentions, does Polly keep letting boys get in the way of her relationship with her best friend Jane?

No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for what happens when Jane convinces her to go on a group camping trip with three too many ex-boyfriends and the tempting Xander. Polly is forced to face her feelings and figure out if she can be in love—and still be herself. After all, true happiness doesn’t come from a boy. It comes from within. Well, maybe it a little bit comes from a boy . . .

"A light read with an emotional awakening and enough romance to keep fans of the genre interested." --School Library Journal

"What appears to be a frothy summer confection delves into some heftier emotions as the underlying issues motivating Polly’s actions, as well as those of her mom and grandma, are uncovered." -Booklist

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©2011 Sydney Salter
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