Category Archives: Remarkable

Blog 4 Book Lovers review of Remarkable

So, regular reader will already know that my wife, Lizzie Foley, has her debut middle-grade novel coming out next April. I have already explained to you how excellent the book is, and how you should plan on buying it for your kid, and how you should buy a second copy for yourself.

Now, you may be thinking that since she is my wife, I’m not in a position to provide an unbiased assessment of her book. That may be fair in general, but in this case, my biased appraisal of the book also happens to be exactly correct.

As evidence, let me point you to this review, which was just posted at Blog 4 Book Lovers. Here’s an excerpt:

One of the many things about this book that impressed me was how the author juggled an incredible range of topics without making anything in the book seem ridiculous.  The story goes from pirates to sea monsters to fortune telling pizza makers.  I’d never read anything like that.  Another thing were the realistic characters – it must have been something in the writing, because I swear I could picture Jane right next to me.

Here’s a reminder of what the cover looks like (modulo any tweaking that happens in the next six months):

Buy. Read. Enjoy.

Remarkable on Amazon

So, just a couple of days ago, I posted about the fact that my wife received advance copies of her book. We’ve just learned that it is already available for preorder on Amazon. You can check it out here.

If you rub your hand on your computer screen, you can imagine that the large, red “Remarkable” is in raised letters.

At the moment, the Amazon page has the age range listed as 4-8, but that’s a typo. The target age group is actually more in the 8-14 range. Basically the same age group as the first few Harry Potter books.

Here’s the product description:

A wonderfully whimsical debut that proves ordinary people can do extraordinary things 

In the mountain town of Remarkable, everyone is extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily gifted, or just plain extraordinary. Everyone, that is, except Jane Doe, the most average ten-year-old who ever lived. But everything changes when the mischievous, downright criminal Grimlet twins enroll in Jane’s school and a strange pirate captain appears in town. 

Thus begins a series of adventures that put some of Remarkable’s most infamous inhabitants and their long-held secrets in danger. It’s up to Jane, in her own modest style, to come to the rescue and prove that she is capable of some rather exceptional things. 

With a page-turning mystery and larger-than-life cast of characters, Lizzie K. Foley’s debut is nothing short of remarkable.

Amazon promises that if you order now with two-day shipping, you’ll receive the book the day it comes out . . . in a little under seven months.

Remarkable ARCs

So, it’s been a little while since I posted an update on my brilliant wife‘s upcoming book. A couple of weeks ago she got these in the mail: 

These are ARCs, which apparently stands for “Advance Reader Copies.” That is just one of many acronyms that these children’s publishing types throw around. (Children’s publishing is sort of like the military that way.)

As you can see from the picture, the book will come out in Synchronous Reader Copy form in April 2012.

My wife’s two-page catalog spread

So, the winter catalog just came out from Dial (which is part of Penguin), and it contains a nice two-page spread about my wife, Lizzie Foley, and her forthcoming middle-grade novel, Remarkable. I’ve written about her and her book before, here and here. The key piece of information here is that it will be coming out on April 12, 2012, and I guess that if you want to purchase a nine-copy floor display, you may do so for $152.91.

Oh, and that the Export Territory is “WOO”

Because the text on the pages is a little bit hard to read in the images, here is the excerpt:

In the distance, Jane could see the tall, castlelike building that was home to Remarkable’s School for the Remarkably Gifted. She imagined that her sister and brother were having a fabulous, nonboring day at their fabulous, nonboring school. They probably hadn’t even bothered to notice how interesting this Wednesday wasn’t.

She took a deep breath, which she was planning on using to exhale a long, bored sigh, when suddenly she saw a straw wrapper float into the classroom through the open window. The wrapper glided toward her and landed gently on top of her desk.

Jane was so surprised that it took her a moment to notice that there was tiny spiky handwriting on the straw wrapper. She squinted at it.

“GET READY,” it read in all-capital letters. 

The picture on the second page is what she looks like now. The picture on the first page is what she looked like when we met, and I first developed the almost crippling crush on her that I still have today.

My wife interviews the creator of the evil supervillain Zachary Ruthless

So, although this blog tends not to dwell on personal topics, I have written before (here and here) about my wife, Lizzie K. Foley, whose middle-grade novel, Remarkable, is slated to come out next April under the Dial imprint of Penguin. This makes her a member of the Apocalypsies, a group of writers whose first middle-grad or young-adult novels come out in 2012. The Apocalypsies have a group blog, the motto of which is “Read ’em like there’s no tomorrow!”

The Apocalypsies are posting interviews with authors from the analogous 2011 group. My wife has just posted her interview with Allan Woodrow, author of The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless, which introduces us to this child supervillain.

Here’s an excerpt:

1. So I’m working under the assumption that this book is autobiographical. Do you care to elaborate?

My book, Mr. Fuzzy Pants Goes To The Zoo, is the heartwarming story of Carl the Cockatoo who falls in love with a pair of pants. I love zoos and … wait! What’s this? They changed the title to The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless … (pulling out hair) … What the … (spitting and slamming fist) … This isn’t the book I wrote! How dare they! (howling and stomping) … They’ll be sorry! I’ll blast them with ray guns! Hide their notebook paper! Put spiders in their shoes! Eat their dessert! I’ll … I’ll … but to answer your question, no this story isn’t autobiographical at all. Why would you think that?

 Check out the rest of the interview here.

My wife is still much too good for me, and now has a website to prove it

So, a couple of months ago, I posted an announcement that my wife had gotten a two-book deal for her middle-grade book Remarkable. If you want to experience my going on and on about the book, I’ll just refer you back to that post. For the just-the-facts version: her agent is Faye Bender, her editor is Nancy Conescu, and the book should be coming out in 2012 under Penguin’s Dial Books imprint.

Anyway, the point of this post is to let you know about her new author website, which you can find at You’ll find pictures and factoids and a lot of little things that will give you a sense of the book.

Who is this parrot? Is it going to eat this Basset Hound’s nose? Go to to find out!

So, go check it out. Then come back here and read some more blog posts. You will come away with a good sense of how lucky I got when she married me.

Yes, I married up

So, for those of you who know us personally, this will not come as a surprise, because you already know that my wife is a hundred times smarter and more talented than I am. But here’s the new news. She has just sold her book manuscript, Remarkable, to Dutton publishing as part of a two-book deal. Other authors in their list includes authors ranging from Ken Follett and Eckhart Tolle to John Hodgman and Jenny McCarthy. Their backlist includes, among other classics, the Winnie-the-Pooh books.

Remarkable is a middle-grade reader, which, as I understand it, is the age group just below young adult. I think that this is approximately the same group as the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books. Or, if you’re actually familiar with the genre, the Mysterious Benedict Society books.

I don’t want to give anything away, other than to say that it is the BEST FREAKING BOOK YOU WILL EVER READ IN YOUR LIFE, EVER.  The target age group is, technically, 9-12, so buy it for your kids. But, like all the best children’s literature, it has layers of nuance in its themes and characters that will engage adult readers.

Obviously, I’m not an unbiased reviewer here, but this book moved to tears and to laugh out loud – sometimes at the same time – and even after reading multiple previous drafts.

For those in the population genetics community, you can look forward to a cameo appearance by John Novembre.

The editor is hoping to include the book in Dutton’s Spring 2012 catalog. When more information becomes available, I’ll pass it along.

If you’re connected to her on Facebook or Twitter, say hi and congratulations, because she’ll no doubt be too modest to adequately blow her own horn (yet another way in which she is a hundred times better than I am). Or, stop by her sadly neglected blog and say hi in the comments.

From me, congratulations Lizzie K. Foley!! You deserve everything good that is coming to you. And congratulations to her agent, Faye Bender, and her brand-new editor, Nancy Conescu!