"A happy, tumbling fantasy [. . .]* that should keep the upper-elementary school crowd turning the pages."
-Donna Jo Napoli, Golden Kite Award-winning author of Stones on Water
"Has that Bridge to Terabithia feel to it. Readers will cheer for this delightful tale about fourth-grade Dizzy and her challenges of making friends and fitting in at school while enduring real-life struggles at home, at her neighbor's, and oh . . . of course, atop her flying bicycle."
-Frank Cole, author of the Hashbrown Winters series
*I omitted part of Ms. Napoli's review because it summarized an event in the plot. No spoilers here--promise.
Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth
"Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth is absolutely charming. If, in some other, wonderful world, Charles Dickens and Ray Bradbury had gotten together to write a book for young readers, they might have come up with something like this. Protagonist Cal Cobble and his world feel outlandish and believable at the same time, which of course is the mark of some of the very best fantasy."
-Jacqueline West, New York Times bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere
"Take a leap into a grand adventure! Hueller creates a world magical and mysterious; you will cheer (loudly!) for Calvin Comet Cobble on his unforgettable journey to take a courageous stand in a world that has come unscrewed."
-Kate St. Vincent Vogl, two time honoree in Lorian Hemingway's Short Story Competition and author of Lost & Found: A Memoir of Mothers
"Take a little Alice in Wonderland fantasy, a sprinkling of Holes’ reality, a dollop of mystery, and a dash of social commentary on the educational experience and you've got a great book! I love everything about this book! From the idiosyncratic, larger-than-life characters to the fast-paced, suspenseful storyline. We are right there with 12-year-old Cal as he finds himself a resident of Hidden Shores Orphanage, located at the very center of the earth and neighbor to Robert Inner-planet Penitentiary which houses the nastiest, beastliest of all criminals. There is plenty of suspense, mystery, and adventure as Cal and his friends Bernie and Mr. E find answers to their questions and discover some important truths about themselves in the process. This book was a page-turner from the first page to the last page, and I can easily see this book being made into a film. Highly Recommended!"
-Sandra McLeod Humphrey, Retired Clinical Psychologist and Children's Author
How I Got Rich Writing C Papers
"How I Got Rich Writing C Papers is a must-read for teachers and students alike. Teacher-author Andy Hueller has cleverly disguised an accessible, non-pedantic writing guide as a fun, quick-moving novel about high school senior Charles Remington Dremmel’s (not his real name, of course) graduation legacy. From the parenthetical footnotes to the illustrated grammar metaphors, I felt connected to this narrator and was on the edge of my proverbial seat as I read to find out how he could possibly prepare his classmate-clients to finally write for themselves. It is easy to see how Charles built a successful business of writing essays for his classmates based on his strong writing voice and awareness of the skills teachers are looking for as they assess student writing. And rather than just describe traits of good—and not-so-good—writing, Charles helpfully provides sample A, B, C, and D essays. As a fellow educator, I learned some things about writing myself, especially more effective ways to teach it. I have no shame in “borrowing” Charles/Hueller’s metaphor for explaining the pesky comma splice or encouraging my students to maintain “thought fart journals.” I finished this book re-energized about the teaching of writing and ready to start a Nerf War of my own."
-Kate Korneliussen, Writing Instructor
"As both an educator and a writer, Andy Hueller gets how teenagers learn. I know this because, as an educator and a writer myself, I know all too well the glazed expression of a class full of students awaiting the final bell or the slow-tick of the minute-hand signaling the time has come to leave class as quickly as possible. I think perhaps this is most obvious when diagramming sentences or teaching the subtle differences in prepositional usage. To me and perhaps Andy Hueller, that stuff is more fun than a first-person-shooter MMO. To our students, though, well...I suppose they would rather just pay someone with a gift for writing to write all their homework for them so they can spend their time, well, playing first-person-shooter MMO's, I guess.
Crafted by a narrator who does just that, How I Got Rich Writing C Papers reveals the methods a fictional student on the verge of graduation used during his lucrative years as a pen-for-hire. Having spent most of his high school career offering his writing services to his classmates, our narrator is about to graduate and feels compelled to leave his customers with some tips for surviving school without him. He knows that his students will soon be faced with in-class essay examinations and exposition assignments, and he also knows that their teachers will soon notice that the students may have been getting some sneaky help on their other assignments if he doesn't do something. So, he crafts a book that reveals his paper-writing secrets and promises to share that book with his classmates "provided you're willing to keep this book far away from any teachers' eyes."
Of course, what our pithy narrator does is actually teach his classmates how to be better writers in the process. An elegant subterfuge that masks real education and learning theory behind a funny, somewhat taboo side-story of a high school plagiarist-turned-teacher. Students will learn how to craft better prose and they might not even realize it. This book is a great asset to any secondary classroom. It is a narrative that combines elements of fiction and story-telling, and it is informative composition that combines sound educational tactics with real-world examples of good-writing in action. This book is worth your time, it's worth your students' time, and it's worth your children's time.
Writing is a skill everyone needs to varying degrees, but no one said learning it had to be all diagramming sentences and subtle prepositional differences. Hueller's book makes learning writing skills fun, and writing should be fun."
-Araminta Star Matthews, author of YA fiction Blind Hunger and "The Warehouse," co-author of undead-themed writing manual Write of the Living Dead