After working exclusively in the picture-book realm, here's my first novel, for readers ages 8-12.
It's a tough-luck summer for Steven Bennett. He's had to move to a new town and leave his best friend and Little League
team behind. What's worse, Steven's mother wants him to be friends with the girl next door – tutu-wearing Lucinda.
What could make prissy Lucinda and sports-and-science buff Steven see eye to eye? An orphaned baby flying squirrel that
needs their help. They name him Lucky, but his luck could run out unless Steven and Lucinda care for him...together.
"Kvasnosky...makes a solid debut as a novelist with this credible story centering on two
likeable 10-year-olds. This tightly written, affecting tale about adjustment and friendship should find an appreciative
audience among readers of both genders."
— Publishers Weekly
"Kvasnosky...brings strong, believable characters and a good ear to her first middle-grade novel."
"Out of their unlikely partnership and friendship, Steven and Lucinda forge a bond that is strong
and true. This novel should prove to be a lucky choice for girls and boys alike."
— School Library Journal
2002 Junior Library Guild Selection
From the Author
In conversations with readers and booksellers, I'm often asked where I get ideas for my stories. Here's the
"inside story" from an interview about One Lucky Summer.
What's the difference between writing a novel and a picture book?
While writing a novel, you get to use all the words you want to use. A picture book is a very succinct form, usually under
a thousand words, and some of the story is told just in the illustrations.
How much of One Lucky Summer comes from your own life?
The story is based on the summer that my cousin Jerry lived with us in our summer cabin in Twain Harte. Like Steven
and Lucinda in the book, our friendship had its extreme ups and downs. At the end of the summer, we came in third in the
Siamese Twins swim race, but we nearly drowned. Fortunately, Jerry didn't have a lizard named Godzilla, because I am
skittish around reptiles. But unfortunately we never got to rescue a baby squirrel.
What research did you do to write this book?
I had to do lots of research about baby flying squirrels, western fence lizards, baseball and ballet.
Why did you choose a flying squirrel for the story?
When I first started working on One Lucky Summer, I was illustrating the picture book, There Once Was a
Puffin. I checked a 1947 National Geographic magazine out of the library that had good puffin pictures. Another
article in the same issue was about a man who raised two baby flying squirrels. I thought a baby squirrel would be an
intriguing addition to my novel.
Do you plan to write more novels?
Yes. I'm already thinking about what would happen to Speedy and Lulu's friendship when school starts in the fall. Will
it survive the pressure of other fifth-graders who tease a boy and girl who are friends?