Hi, friends! Today I’m delighted to welcome Ash Van Otterloo to Pop! Goes The Reader as we reveal the cover of their sophomore novel, A Touch of Ruckus! Ash’s middle grade debut, Cattywampus, was one of the few bright spots of 2020 for me (You can read my detailed thoughts on the book here) and is a story I’ll treasure for many years to come, so I’m honoured to be able to work with the author to celebrate their newest, upcoming middle grade adventure!
A Touch of Ruckus is scheduled to be published September 7th 2021 by Scholastic Press. The book includes #OwnVoices non-binary and queer representation and will explore themes of mental health and rural eco-awareness. Perhaps best of all, for those who adored Cattywampus as much as I did, A Touch of Ruckus is also set in the enchanting Howler’s Hollow and readers can look forward to a couple of special cameos from familiar, beloved characters!
Please read on to learn more about A Touch of Ruckus, including a detailed synopsis and an absolutely breathtaking cover designed by Baily Crawford with artwork by Steffi Walthall!
About Ash Van Otterloo
Ash Van Otterloo was born and raised in the Appalachian foothills, then made their home for seventeen years as an adult in Eastern Tennessee. They currently reside in the PNW with their best friend and four wild forest-children. Ash is the author of Cattywampus and is excited about the release of their new ghost book, A Touch of Ruckus early this fall. Whether or not their house is haunted is a topic for gossip among their neighbors. The ones, at least, that the ghosts haven’t munched yet!
Cover design by Baily Crawford, Cover art by Steffi Walthall
Title A Touch of Ruckus
Author Ash Van Otterloo
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date September 7th 2021 by Scholastic Press
Find It On Goodreads ● StoryGraph ● Amazon ● The Book Depository ● Barnes & Noble ● IndieBound ● Bookshop
Tennessee Lancaster has a hidden gift.
She can pry into folks’ memories with just a touch of their belongings. It’s something she’s always kept hidden – especially from her big, chaotic family. Their lives are already chock-full of worries about Daddy’s job and Mama’s blues without Tennie rocking the boat.
But when the Lancasters move to the mountains for a fresh start, Tennie’s gift does something new. Instead of just memories, her touch releases a ghost with a terrifying message: Trouble is coming. Tennie wants to ignore it. Except her new friend Fox — scratch that, her only friend, Fox — is desperate to go ghost hunting deep in the forest. And when Tennie frees even more of the spirits, trouble is exactly what she gets…and it hits close to home. The ghosts will be heard, and now Tennie must choose between keeping secrets or naming an ugly truth that could tear her family apart.
Magic and mayhem abound in this spooky story about family legacies, first friendships, and how facing the ghosts inside can sometimes mean stirring up a little bit of ruckus.