Friday, May 16, 2014

THE MEANING OF MAGGIE Blog Tour - Guest Post and Giveaway

The Meaning of Maggie 
by Megan Jean Sovern
Published by Chronicle Books
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
224 Pages
Ages 8-12

About The Meaning of Maggie

Eleven years old. The beginning of everything!

For Maggie Mayfield, turning eleven means she's one year closer to college. One year closer to voting. And one year closer to getting a tattoo. It's time for her to pull herself up by her bootstraps (the family motto) and think about more than after school snacks and why her older sisters are too hot for their own good. Because something mysterious is going on with her cool dude Dad, whose legs have permanently fallen asleep, and Maggie is going to find out exactly what the problem is and fix it. After all, nothing's impossible when you're future president of the United States of America, fifth grade science fair champion, and a shareholder in Coca-Cola, right?

Starred Reviews!
"Smart, sensitive, sad and funny."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Readers will appreciate Maggie’s humor and rejoice in her growth. This is a remarkable story of a working-class family pulling together in the face of a serious illness.”-School Library Journal, starred review

"Maggie is a firecracker character, one who sparkles with wit, cynicism, love, and potential. Her voice will charm and captivate readers."—Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review

Today as part of the tour, I have Megan Jean Sovern on the blog with a post about the music of The Meaning of Maggie and how it helped shape the story.

Young. Dylan. Plant. Page. Buckingham. Nicks. Fleetwood. Springsteen. Allman. Clapton. Jagger. Richards.

These are the magical musicians who score The Meaning of Maggie from beginning to end. They populate every page with melodies that set scenes in motion. They comfort and offer Maggie great lessons in love and life. While they transport her dad back to a less complicated time when he was completely free and his legs were wide awake.

So why let this music play such a huge part in The Meaning of Maggie?   

There are two HUGE reasons.

1.    It’s the COOLEST. There’s something about the rock n’ roll of the sixties and seventies that continues to awe and inspire. It makes you want to wear flowers in your hair and dance around a rainbow. It’s raw and real and was probably recorded at four in the morning in a scary studio filled with hippies who reeked of patchouli and revolution. And Maggie loves revolution. Almost as much as she loves snacks.

      2.  It CONNECTS. It connects generations, memories and in this case, a father and daughter who, on the surface, are polar opposites. Maggie follows all of the rules. Her dad breaks as many as he can. Maggie’s in a mad dash to grow up. While her dad is trying with all his might to return to his youth. And it’s this scene they share over Neil Young’s Harvest that brings them together for the very first time. 

I locked his wheels in front of the stereo and handed him a giant stack of records. He thumbed past a naked lady holding an airplane, past a blimp on fire, past a Greetings from Asbury Park postcard, and finally stopped on a sun behind the words Harvest Neil Young. His fingers were sleepy, so I pulled the record from the sleeve, set it on the turntable, and lowered the needle. There was a loud crackle, a pop, and a few more rice kripsy noises. Then an acoustic guitar met a harmonica and made music. As we listened, I felt my heart rate lowering and before I knew it my head was bobbing with Dad’s. That night, I understood Neil Young.  

This novel could have never been without this music made so many moons ago. And my great hope is that a new generation will discover it in these two hundred and twenty pages and make it their very own. Because what’s better than a 2014 eleven-year-old listening to a 1978 record and falling in love with the Darkness on the Edge of Town. Nothing’s better. Not even an entire room filled with Oreos. 

 Have a listen!

Megan Jean Sovern is a purveyor of fine teas, old time-y music and hugs. Recently she was in a bad break-up with muffins and her life hasn’t been the same since.

She’s often mistaken for a seventh grader but don’t be fooled, she is very grown-up. A grown-up who watches television past ten o’clock and everything.

Before her first leap into fiction, she was an advertising copywriter for many moons where she worked with top-notch talent mostly named Matt or Karen.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Ted and his near complete collection of Transformers. He doesn’t like it when she says, “Zoinks.”

Read an Excerpt and Discuss
Enter the Giveaway!!

 Thanks to Chronicle Books I have a copy of The Meaning of Maggie and
and a set of buttons to giveaway. 

To enter, leave a comment on this post about a musician YOU think is magical.
U.S. and Canada address only.
Must be 13 or older to enter. 
Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on 5/27/14 
Winner will be selected randomly.



  1. I know they aren't a single musician as they are a band, but I think The Beatles are pretty magical. They are known by most generations and their music is liked by people in almost all generations.

  2. I think Michael Jack son is magical. He continues on even after death!


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