My newest middle grade novel D-39: A ROBODOG'S JOURNEY will be released from Charlesbridge in May. It's a dystopian verse novel about a tinkerer-girl named Klynt who finds (and fixes) a robodog—a robodog with a big secret. When the deathstretch* reaches the Worselands, they set out on a perilous journey and learn what it truly means to be a hero.

I didn't actually listen to music when I was working on this book. I find music to be distracting (unless we're talking birdsong or the swish of the dishwasher or the low murmur of my husband's tv show in the other room). 

Which is weird, because otherwise I LOVE music. I'm married to a human jukebox. And I play the cello. A lot. In fact, my Spotify list for 2020, of which I've listened to just ten songs so far, are all cello pieces! 

But it's not cello that comes to mind for this book's playlist. It's this:

When the government outlaws dogs, seizes property, closes schools, shuts down the internet: "Uprising" by Muse

When Klynt discovers an antique D-39 robodog in the barn: "Mr. Roboto" by Styx 

When Klynt hears her dead mother's voice calling, "Come to Everlake," and she decides to set out on a seemingly impossible journey: "Guaranteed" by Eddie Vedder (as featured in the movie INTO THE WILD)

When the journey comes to an end... and inspires a new beginning: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel “Iz”Kamakawiwo'ole


*The book features A LOT of made up words. Deathstretch = war. Pre-orders available now. Thank you for reading!
Irene Latham lives on a lake in rural Alabama. Winner of the 2016 ILA Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, she is the author of hundreds of poems and nearly twenty current and forthcoming poetry, fiction and picture books from publishers including Penguin Random House, Macmillan, Lerner, Charlesbridge, Boyd Mills/Kane, Candlewick, and others. Her books have been recognized on state lists and honored by NEA, ALA, NCTE, SIBA, Bank Street College and other organizations.


  1. Irene, congratulations on D-39! I looking forward to reading this adventure in verse. I looked an Amazon for reviews, but there weren't any yet. None on Good Reads either, but you have 10 people that want to read it plus me.

  2. Congrats on the release! I'm with you on not beig able to write to music.


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