Happy Release Day to
Strange Country Day by Charles Curtis!!
Join us in celebrating this release from Tantrum Books/Month9Books!
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Happy Book Birthday, Charles!
Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, wants to play for the school’s football team. During tryouts, and under the watchful eye of the team’s coach, he suddenly manifests mysterious superhuman powers. Alexander makes the team, but not before the some ill-intended adults take notice, putting his life in danger.
Alex struggles to suppress and control his strange new abilities, worried about exposing his secret and being kicked off the football team. Then he befriends Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Seems Alex isn’t the only one at school with a secret.
As the school year unfolds, Alex will find himself the target of bullies, holding hands with his first crush and discovering the shocking truth about himself and his parents.
- (These are the opening lines of the book from Chapter 1)
You always hope your first day of school is uneventful. You lay low, you blend into the background, and you make it through without doing something that’ll get you tormented for an entire year.
That didn’t happen in my first few hours at Strange Country Day.
Here’s what did happen: just as I was about to be demolished by an elephant-sized bully named Flab, some superhuman power possessed me and I bloodied his nose.
Another new kid named Dex escaped an ancient initiation ceremony by clambering up a bookcase like a mountain goat. That night, I played catch with a football-hurling robot.
That was Day 1. A week later, I started crushing on the prettiest girl I’d ever seen.
Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning.
- (This is the first moment Alex, the hero of “Strange Country Day,” encounters his special powers while in the middle of an angry mob during a seventh grade hazing ritual)
My vision got blurry, and my head began to pound. I smelled toasted marshmallows. Then it was like someone poured water through my veins, and it rushed through my arms, down to my feet and into my head, which stopped pounding. I couldn’t hear any of the noise of the chaos around me. Instead, a high-pitched whistle took its place.
Then it disappeared—the marshmallows, the water in my veins, the blurry vision … everything.
I watched as if detached form my body as my fist flew toward the behemoth standing before me and connected with his nose.
Charles Curtis is a writer and journalist based in New York City. He has reported and written for publications including NJ.com (where he is currently the site’s sports buzz reporter), The Daily, ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, Bleacher Report, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Charles has covered the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, golf, tennis and NASCAR. He has also written about television, film and pop culture.
In addition, Curtis has also written, produced and was featured in videos for ESPN.com and The Daily. He has made radio appearances on stations including 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, Maine, WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and on morning shows across Canada via the CBC.
He can be reached on Twitter: @charlescurtis82.
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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl