June 23

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COVER REVEAL: The Great Peach Pit Experiment 2: The Peach Pit by Erin Soderberg Downing

I am so excited that Colby is willing to do the big reveal of this amazing cover, for the second book in THE GREAT PEACH EXPERIMENT series (The Great Peach Experiment 2: The Peach Pit), since so many pieces of the first book in this series were inspired by my family’s road trips to and from Nerd Camp Michigan! For those unfortunate folks who haven’t yet met the Peaches, here’s a quick overview of what the first book in my fresh-baked new series is all about: 

THE GREAT PEACH EXPERIMENT 1: WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, MAKE PEACH PIE

After learning that one of their late-mother’s inventions has sold for a million bucks, the broken Peach family—12-year-old Lucy, 10-year-old Freddy, 8-year-old Herb, and their dad, Walter—decide to spend part of the money doing something together that will honor Mom’s memory. Much to everyone’s surprise, Dad buys a used food truck, and declares that the Peaches will spend the summer tackling “The Great Peach Experiment” in the Peach Pie Truck. While learning to bake, camping in campgrounds, and trying to make a go of this crazy new family business, the Peach family travels around the Midwest selling pies, on a heartwarming and hilarious journey back toward wholeness.

The second GREAT PEACH EXPERIMENT story – The Peach Pit – starts about a month after the first book ends, and I think it might actually be MORE fun and action-packed than the Peaches’ first adventure. More baking, more building, more art, more family drama, more swimming, and more hard work. Alas, there are no pet mice in this book—but, there is a lot more dog mischief, which is even more fun!

So, what’s this story all about?

((BRIEF SPOILER ALERT))

After the family sells their food truck and returns home to Duluth, Minnesota…

((END SPOILER))

The Peach kids learn that their Great Aunt Lucinda has decided to give the family her ramshackle, historic old mansion (that Freddy Peach has lovingly dubbed The Peach Pit) – on the condition that they will polish it up and turn it into a working Bed and Breakfast. Thus begins the second Great Peach Experiment project, one that is filled with construction disasters, four mischievous dogs (who come as a special gift with the house), secret attic spaces, hidden tunnels, water stains that look like/could be puddles of pee, and even a creepy old doll head hidden deep inside the walls of this mysterious and captivating old mansion!

Creepy, hidden doll heads, you ask?

Yes, that is correct, and this particular plot point was stolen directly from two events that happened to me in real life. The first: While I was writing a draft of this story, we were in the process of renovating our basement into a livable and less-spooky space. One day, a carpenter came upstairs to inform us that he’d found something…interesting…in the wall he’d just knocked down. It was a very rusted, very old machete! Disturbing and strange and mysterious! But also super-fascinating, and makes you wonder: who hid it there, and why?

The second event that led to the chapter with a creepy old doll’s head, was inspired by a bit of mischief my kids and I came up with when we were putting new front steps on our old house. One day, after the bricklayer left, we decided to nestle a Barbie doll head—along with a note that says “I’m watching you!”—into the open space under the stone slabs they’d be installing on top of the brick buttresses the next day. In a hundred years or so, when someone else blasts these steps out, they’ll find a little piece of our history. And I hope they wonder…

I can’t wait to take Peach fans—new and old—on a fun new adventure with this book that is set in my beautiful hometown of Duluth, Minnesota! One of my favorite things about writing series is that I get to spend more time with characters I’ve gotten to know and love! Each time I dive into the next book in a series, it’s like opening the door to a whole houseful of friends—they’re waiting for you, ready for your next adventure together, without all that awkward getting-to-know you stuff to get out of the way! You get to hop right in and start having fun from the very first page. 

The GREAT PEACH EXPERIMENT series designer, Michelle Cunningham, really hit the nail on the head with this cover. And the best part? That’s my puppy, Nutmeg (who is shown in pics above), streaking across the front of the book cover—with a blue-soaked paintbrush dangling from her mouth. I just hope this particular event doesn’t ever happen in real life! Now, without further ado, I joyfully share the cover of Book 2 in The Great Peach Experiment series:

Add The Great Peach Experiment 1: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie (a JLG Gold Standard Selection) AND The Great Peach Experiment 2: The Peach Pit on Goodreads now: https://www.goodreads.com/series/289764-the-great-peach-experiment

To download an educator guide, or to preview the first chapter and watch the trailer for Book #1, please visit the Pixel+Ink website: https://holidayhouse.com/site/pixel-ink/?book=the-great-peach-experiment-1-when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-peach-pie

Erin Soderberg Downing has written more than fifty books for kids, tweens, and young adults. Some of her most popular titles include the middle-grade novel Moon Shadow and two fun chapter book series: Puppy Pirates and The Quirks. The first book in her new series—The Great Peach Experiment: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie—rolled into stores this spring, and was chosen as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Before becoming an author, Erin was a children’s book editor, a cookie inventor, and also worked for Nickelodeon. She has lived in New York, England, Sweden, and Duluth, MN, but currently lives in Minneapolis with her husband, three hilarious kids, Wally the cuddly goldendoodle (star of Puppy Pirates!), and a tiny, mischievous Aussiedoodle puppy named Nutmeg. More information can be found at www.erinsoderberg.com.