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  • The first Lovecraft Middle School book by Charles Gilman, Professor Gargoyle, hits stores everywhere this September and we sure are excited. The second title comes out in January, and Charles is already hard at work on the third in the series.

    And speaking of that third book, we're looking for a model for the cover! Here's the casting notice, straight from our Art Director, Doogie Horner:

    * Quirk Books is looking for a cover model for one of our books.
    * Model Description: Young boy, 11-13 years old. Should look like the archetypal teacher's pet. Round-face, chubby cheeks, wholesome looking. Preferably blonde hair and big blue eyes.
    * We're shooting May 23rd at a studio in Philadelphia. Should take about 4 hours. Pay is $150.
    * Please send headshots to doogie@quirkbooks.com and write Monster Middle School in the subject line of your email.

    Know someone? Forward this to them! Thanks!

  • So May is National Hamburger Month, though for me, National Hamburger Month is something that is celebrated every month. Also week. Sometimes day. In related news, I really need to hit the gym.

    In honor of this special month dedicated to my favorite sandwich, I'm posting a recipe for the Jucy Lucy, straight out of The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches by the fabulous Susan Russo.

    I'm also giving you a chance to win one of three copies! Just leave a comment about your favorite burger (or retweet this post mentioning @quirkbooks) for a chance to win! I'll select three of you at random at the end of the month, and send you a copy of the cookbook.

    Enjoy!

  • Sit down, Ben. I’ve got some bad news for you.

    I just looked at the Amazon page for The Last Policeman, and --

    What? No no no. The bad news isn’t a one-star review. Are you kidding? A book by you? With that premise? What’s not to love? It’s just that --

  • I’m obsessed with my North American Green Tree Frog. His name is Abelard (as in Heloise and Abelard). I rescued him in Salt Lake City from a shipment of trees that came into a Lowe’s Home Improvement all the way from Oklahoma.

    I didn’t bring him with me to Philadelphia when I moved here last fall, and I’ve been driving my family crazy asking them almost daily if they’ve remembered to check on him, water him, give him crickets. “Did you spray the frog?” I always ask. Which really means, “Did you use the reptile spray bottle filled with room temperature water and pump it 40 to 50 times into his terrarium to mist the air since he is from a humid climate and Utah is a desert?”

    He’s a tough little guy. The people at the pet store said he’s never make it that first day when I bought the terrarium, a soaking pool, and a container of crickets. “He probably won’t last more than four or five days. Frogs just don’t do well transferring from the wild into captivity. Keep the receipt.” Keep the receipt? So I can return the terrarium when he croaks? Abelard has done just fine, going on three years now. Who would think you could be that attached to a frog? Go figure.

    So for me, it’s in honor of Abelard, and not Mark Twain, that I’m celebrating National Frog Jumping Day. The roots of this holiday come from Mark Twain’s first short story, the famous “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” It was first published in 1865 as “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” and has also been called “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” In honor of the holiday, you should read the short story.

    It’ll take you five minutes flat and you’ll feel very literary. Barring that, I’d say go to your local pet shop and buy yourself a green tree frog. Call her Heloise.

  • You've got children. We've got answers. Or at least a good place to hide from your kids.

    Raising Quirk knows that your kids didn't come with an owner's manual. We also know that you may still feel like a kid, too. You're not alone.

    Our community is filled with advice, activities, entertainment, and, most important, parents just like you. It's a lifelong adventure and we're in it together. Consider us your online playgroup!

    Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we build our fun new community!

  • Contents of a Toddler's Backpack, Photo by Cathy Stanley-Erickson

    Memorial Day is coming up soon, so the ceremonial beginning to summer is upon us. More importantly, for anyone under 18, it means that school is almost over!

    If I remember correctly, that also means that the shiny new backpack you got last fall, and the promise you made to yourself not to be disorganized this year, are both destroyed. In these last few weeks of school, we deal with a very prevalent issue from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Parenting.

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