At the BookExpo Middle Grade Buzz Presentation, I talked about who Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home was for.

Front Door Face…

Front Door Face. It's the perfect mix of puppy dog eyes and a lemonade stand smile, the exact combination to put foster parents at ease as they open their front door to welcome you home. After being bounced around between foster families and shelter stays, twelve-year-old Pavi Sharma is a Front Door Face expert and now runs a "business" helping other foster kids adjust to their new homes.

Pavi was inspired by my partner, Shiva, who also spent time in foster care. While he never ran his own consulting agency for other foster kids (as far as I know), he has been on his own since he was Pavi's age, went to college at 16, and created a great life for himself. Being a foster kid is part of his story, but not the whole one. While there are incredible books centered on the immediate trauma of entering foster care, I wanted to write a book where being a foster kid was part of the protagonist's identity, but not the focus of the story.

Pavi's history with foster care—the shelters, the families—saturate her experience, but her role now is to help other foster kids navigate this new stage of their lives. Her mission changes, however, when she meets Meridee: a new five-year-old foster kid, who is getting placed at Pavi's first horrendous foster home. Pavi knows no one will trust a kid about what happened on Lovely Lane, so it's up to her to save Meridee.

Join us for the book launch in Austin at BookPeople on Thursday, September 19 at 6:30PM! And if you can't make it, purchase a copy of Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Apple Books.