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​Q & A with Joyce Magnin about Jelly Bean Summer

​Jelly Bean Summer
By Joyce Magnin

Sourcebooks (Jabberwocky)

Age: 8+

Middle-grade fiction, humor, Vietnam War, pets, family life, guinea pigs, sisters, friendship, coming-of-age ​

Jelly Bean Summer
By Joyce Magnin
Sourcebooks, June 2017
Ages: 8+
Genre: Middle-grade fiction, historical fiction, Vietnam War, sisters, family relations, war, stargazing, journaling, humor
ISBN-13: 978-0801019302

Joyce declares her independence, and much to her surprise, her parents agree to let her live on the roof for the summer. With books, binoculars, and only the necessities, Joyce creates a perfect camp-out. She no longer has to share a room with her annoying, older sister and her squeaky, guinea pig, Jelly Bean.


On her roof, away from the stifling heat and the ever-present sense of absence since Bud went missing in Vietnam, Joyce did not expect to find a new friend peering back at her through binoculars of his own! But when the unthinkable happens, nothing can make things right, not Joyce's friends, her parents, or even her brother's return. From what Joyce can tell, her best option is to run away, since no one will care much anyways.


As Joyce finds her voice and true freedom, her wit and unique view of the world will have you laughing out loud--when you aren't crying. Utterly satisfying must-read!


1. Since main character is also named Joyce, are any parts of this story true?


YES! Pretty much everything in the story really happened. Just maybe not in the same order. My father did build a cannon but before I was born. MY sister did see UFOs all the time--drive us nuts abut it. And my mom did have African Violets which she sang to. And I did move out one summer but I slept in a ten in the side yard.

2. How many revisions did you go through before the final product?

Oh gee, lots! I loved the voice in this one right away but it took some doing to get the ending just where I wanted it. 

3. Do you have any behind-the-scenes info on the process of creating this book?

Behind the scenes, the book was produced without issues, and the editing went pretty smoothly, although there is one glaring error that got by me and the editors. It's an anachronism. It's kind of embarrassing but it just goes to show you that even in the ultra profession publishing world, mistakes happen. Readers can see if they catch it before reprint corrections. I also love the cover, which is beautiful! The creative team did an excellent job!

4. Are you working on any other books currently?

Yep. I'm work on Jelly Bean Summer sequel and also a fantasy--a petty, quirky, story about the wind, a clock maker, and a wizard.  

Love your books, Joyce! I loved working with you on Cake and Carrying Mason. 

Keep writing! 


Thank you Kim for inviting me to talk about Jelly Bean Summer!



Joyce Magnin BiographyJoyce is the author of the popular and quirky Bright’s Pond novels. She is a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor. When she’s not writing or reading Joyce enjoys baseball, needle arts, video games and cream soda but not elevators—especially glass ones. She listens to many kinds of music, shamelessly confesses to enjoying American Idol, has never eaten a scallop or sky dived. Joyce has three children, Rebekah, Emily and Adam and three grandsons, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren and one son-in-law, Joshua. Joyce lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania with her son, Adam and their crazy cat, Mango, where she cares for an eighty-year-old onion plant.