Josephine Cameron is the author of Not All Heroes, a Junior Library Guild Gold Star Selection and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. Her critically-acclaimed debut, Maybe a Mermaid, was an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and her mystery novel, A Dog-Friendly Town, received three starred reviews and was a Parents magazine Storytime Pick. Josephine received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Maine, where she writes, sings, and teaches music to kids. josephinecameron.com
I wrote my first songs and stories at a tiny yellow desk with a pink chair. I wrote book after book, stapling together pages from old invoice pads or receipt books that my dad would bring home from work. I illustrated my books. I gave them away as gifts. There was no doubt in my mind that when I grew up, I would have a house filled with books and I would write and sing all day.
And guess what? It’s not so far from the truth!
Today, I write fiction for kids, teach one-on-one music lessons, give school presentations, and help guide elementary school students through the process of composing their own songs, stories, and poetry. It’s pretty much the best job in the universe!
AUDIO INTRODUCTION & NAME PRONUNCIATION (from Teaching Books)
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS [coming soon!]
MAYBE A MERMAID: BOOK DESCRIPTION
Eleven-year-old Anthoni Gillis has always wanted a True Blue Friend. It’s been hard to find one while bouncing from town to town, helping her mother sell Beauty and the Bee cosmetic products to keep them both afloat. This summer at Thunder Lake will be different though. Anthoni has a plan-a foolproof checklist for making lifelong friends! There won’t be any maybes this time. But as she grows entangled in local rumors about the Boulay Mermaid, Anthoni must decide if she’ll “stick to the plan,” like always, or dive into a summer full of extraordinary possibilities. Cameron’s energetic and heartfelt debut raises timeless questions about truth, lies, and the hope that grows between them.
When her mother, who sells Beauty & the Bee cosmetics and drives a Beemobile, surprises soon-to-be a sixth-grader Anthoni with a trip to the Showboat Resort, Anthoni plans to finally make a “True Blue Friend.”
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A DOG-FRIENDLY TOWN: BOOK DESCRIPTION
Josephine Cameron’s A Dog-Friendly Town is a delightful middle-grade cozy caper sure to excite dog-lovers and gentle mystery readers alike!
A Parents Magazine Storytime Pick!
Twelve-year-old Epic McDade isn’t ready for middle school. He’d rather help out at his family’s dog-friendly bed n’ breakfast all summer, or return to his alternative elementary school in the fall, where learning feels safe. But change comes in all shapes and fur colors. When Carmelito, California is named America’s #1 Dog-Friendly Town, all the top dogs and their owners pour into Epic’s sleepy seaside neighborhood for a week of celebration.
The McDades are in dog heaven with all the new business until a famous dog’s jewel-encrusted collar goes missing. Every guest is a suspect, and Epic will have to embrace new friends and new ideas to sniff out the culprit before the week is through.
“Short chapters and a breathless pace make this a clever, engrossing plot-driven tale with plenty of unusual, well-developed characters―even the dogs . . . Thoroughly entertaining―mystery fans and dog lovers will lap this one up.” –Kirkus Reviews ⭐starred review
“This book has it all: a captivating plot, an exciting mystery, and likeable characters. There are a lot of players and moving parts, but readers will stay engaged and have no trouble following along . . . There are character illustrations in the opening pages, and readers will enjoy putting faces to names. VERDICT A highly enjoyable mystery for upper elementary. A recommended purchase.” –School Library Journal
“Cameron orchestrates the two storylines expertly, positively packing the first with suggestive clues and multiple red herrings as well as winningly diverse arrays of dogs and people while bringing Epic along in believable stages and leaving him good to go as the investigation uncovers all sorts of hidden identities and agendas on the way to a wild scramble of a denouement. Mystery fans will enjoy the multiple twists here; dog lovers will wolf it down.” –Booklist, ⭐starred review
“Overflowing with eccentric characters, adorable dogs, and canine-centered wordplay, this middle-grade mystery offers a smart, playful romp reminiscent of Raskin’s classic The Westing Game.” –Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, ⭐starred review
When Carmelito, California is named America’s #1 Dog-Friendly Town, all the top dogs and their owners pour into Epic’s sleepy seaside neighborhood for a week of celebration. The McDades are in dog heaven with all the new business until a famous dog’s jewel-encrusted collar goes missing.
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NOT ALL HEROES: BOOK DESCRIPTION
Josephine Cameron’s latest novel, Not All Heroes, is a middle-grade adventure about heroics in the face of grief.”
A Junior Library Guild Gold Star Selection
A Kirkus Reviews Book of the Year
Even though her family moved across the country for a “fresh start” after her little brother’s death, eleven-year-old Zinnia Helinski still feels like she’s stuck waiting for her new life to begin. Then she spots her new neighbor, Kris, climbing down the fire escape of their apartment building. He’s wearing a black eye mask! And Spandex leggings. . . . And a blue body suit?
Soon Zinnia finds herself in a secret club for kids who want to be heroes. The Reality Shifters don’t have superpowers, but they do have the power to make positive change in their neighborhoods. And a change is just what Zinnia is looking for!
At first, she feels invincible. Zinnia finally has friends and is on the kind of real-life adventures her little brother, Wally, would have loved. But when her teammates lose sight of their goals, Zinnia must find the balance between bravery and recklessness, and learn to be a hero without her cape.
“With its clear, accessible writing, this suspenseful story masterfully juggles many topics: grief; self-assurance; the need for individual, collective, and systemic approaches to ableism, poverty, and other social ills; and the fine line between “extreme altruism” and self-aggrandizement. Morally complex and extremely fun.” –Kirkus Reviews starred review
Feeling stuck after her little brother’s death, Zinnia Helinski joins a team of Real Life Superheroes and finds herself on adventures her brother would have loved. But will Zinnia learn what it really means to be a hero, even without her cape?