Monday, May 14, 2018

Cover and Content Reveal: Ethan Marcus Makes His Mark, by Michele Weber Hurwitz

This month's blog theme is tough subjects and young readers. I'm taking a little detour from that to reveal the cover and some content tidbits for my new middle grade novel, Ethan Marcus Makes His Mark, coming in November from Simon & Schuster's Aladdin imprint. It's the sequel to Ethan Marcus Stands Up, released last fall.

A little detour, because the novel deals with a tough subject for young readers. Although it isn't what might first come to mind -- topics such as racism, violence, abandonment, loss, death -- but the storyline brings up a different kind of tough issue for kids -- encountering an adult who disappoints, or does something wrong, or even, illegal. Worse if that adult is viewed as a role model.

One of my favorite middle grade novels that deals with this subject is Holes by Louis Sachar. The characters of the Warden, Mr. Sir, and Mr. Pendanski are so bad, so mean, I almost love them. I think that's because we see the reasons behind their badness, their meanness, so it helps us understand why they act as they do.

Ethan Marcus Makes His Mark is narrated by five seventh-graders: siblings Ethan and Erin Marcus, their friends Zoe Feld-Kramer and Brian Kowalski, and the mysterious, aloof tech genius Marlon Romanov. When Erin, Ethan, and Marlon attend a prestigious tech camp during winter break, Ethan is determined to complete his failed standing desk invention attempted during his school's competition, and Erin wants to beat Marlon, who told her he thinks girls aren't as good as boys in science. But neither are having much success until they team up with spacey, Zen girl Natalia and laid-back but brilliant Connor. Against a racing clock, Ethan, Erin, Natalia, and Connor combine their skills and energy to try and make something spectacular that will wow the judges.

But things are not as they seem at the tech camp, which is run by the sunglasses-wearing, Silicon Valley wonder boy Zak Canzeri, known to the world as "Z." Ethan spots something suspicious in an off-limits hallway, and overhears a troubling conversation. Then, after their presentation to the judges, Ethan gets even more unsettled:

"And at the end of my talk, are you ready for this? Z lowers those freakin' sunglasses, tilts his head, and looks directly at me for the briefest second. He slides them back up, but I saw his eyes. They're light brown, with this sort of yellowish rim. And you know what they made me think of? This might creep you out, but a coyote's eyes. I once saw one by our house, and I swear, it had eyes just like Z's."

Ethan, Erin and the rest of their team are shocked by what happens next, and they have to figure out how to react.

So, without further ado, here's the glorious cover, designed by Hugo Santos.
I can't wait for this book to launch into the world!

Michele Weber Hurwitz is the author of the upcoming Ethan Marcus Makes His Mark (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin 2018), Ethan Marcus Stands Up (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin 2017), The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days (Penguin Random House 2014) and Calli Be Gold (Penguin Random House 2011). Catch up with her at

1 comment:

  1. I love HOLES. And CONGRATS on ETHAN. I love books with multiple narrators.