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Our very own Julie Sternberg offers a behind-the-scenes look at her new middle-grade novel.

Summer of Stolen Secrets is Julie’s most personal book to date, set in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Join Eve as Julie guides her to a cemetery where coffins protrude from the earth, human bones visible through holes in their sides, in heat so thick and heavy that women drive across the street to preserve their silk blouses. Julie describes her family’s department store, the first of what became the largest family-owned department store chain in the country, where Julie spent childhood Saturdays hiding in the book department instead of working. Julie also tells the story of her formidable grandmother, Lea, who escaped to America from Germany in 1936 with three small children—but not before she made three SS officers repack her bags. As an added bonus, you’ll learn the truth about alligators: they really do prowl the streets and porches of Louisiana!

Summer of Stolen Secrets

Much of the charm of this intergenerationally focused story comes from Cat’s humorous epistolary narrative. The autobiographical and emotional roots of Sternberg’s (the Eleanor series) novel rise on the pages, making for a sensitive heroine and a tenderhearted tale sprinkled with Jewish and Creole history. –-Publishers Weekly

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