Smack Dab Books

Thomas Jefferson and the Return of the Magic Hat (2020) - Deborah Kalb

After almost six months in Maryland, fifth-grader Oliver still misses his friends back in New Jersey. But things start to change one day, when his neighbor—and possible new friend—Sam lends Oliver a magic hat that takes him back to the 18th- and 19th-century world of Thomas Jefferson. Oliver and his sisters—Cassie, the nice one, and Ruby, the annoying one—end up learning more about Jefferson than they’d expected. And Oliver finds that his new neighborhood might not be so terrible after all. This new adventure brings back previous characters Sam, Ava, J.P., and of course the cantankerous talking hat itself.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky - Holly Schindler

~How Auggie and Gus save Serendipity Place and find their true calling.~

Auggie Jones thinks she’s an ordinary girl. She lives with her grampa Gus, a trash hauler, in an old house. And even though most of her friends live in the same poorer section of the town of Willow Grove, it seems like everyone has a “shine”—a talent or special ability. Everybody but Auggie, that is.

But winds of change begin to blow—a storm tears through Willow Grove, Auggie’s best friend ditches her for a new girl who lives in an upscale house on the well-to-do side of town, and the House Beautification Committee targets Serendipity Place, Auggie’s neighborhood, with fines and threats of demolition.

Auggie insists she and her grampa aren’t run-down people. She uses the items from Gus’s trash pickups to reinvent their house and convince everyone (including her old best friend) that she’s every bit as worthy of notice as anyone from the fancier side of Willow Grove.

Along the way, Auggie finds her voice, her ability to stand up to those in power, and uncovers an artistic talent that goes far beyond decorating her house. But how could a yard filled with items ready for the junkyard change an entire town’s idea of beauty? How can it save Auggie’s aging neighborhood? And how can rusted, recycled pieces of metal ever become Auggie’s special way to “shine”?

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky Activity Book - Holly Schindler

~To be used in conjunction with the children’s novel The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky~

Did you read The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky? Did you cheer for Auggie as she stood up to the House Beautification Committee? Did you wish you were there with her, going to McGunn’s in Old Glory, coming up with sculptures you could create with Gus?

Now you can!

This activity book is filled with puzzles, pictures to color, and sculptures to finish. Ideas for getting involved in your own community. Ways you can become a folk artist yourself.

This book extends the fun of 
The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky. Makes the story last just a little bit longer. But in many ways, it’s also just the beginning of you finding creative ways to beautify your own world every day.