Thursday, August 23, 2012

Preteen Fiction: No Ordinary Excuse by Michelle Adams

Review copies and interviews are available upon request. Contact Michelle Lovi -

Twelve-year-old Gemma Martin habitually avoids homework. She lacks motivation, but not ability. Once again, Gemma fails to finish a project. This time, however, her teacher Miss Haven has issued serious consequences, so Gemma masterminds a homework excuse like no other, spring boarding an idea from a well-known story about a kidnapped garden gnome.

Gemma enlists the help of her eccentric Aunt May, who is heading off to Sydney on holidays. Aunt May poses as an anonymous project thief, photographs Gemma’s stolen project in different locations around Sydney, and then emails the pictures back to Gemma.

Kids everywhere will identify with Gemma, as she would much rather spend her time doing anything else but homework. Gemma has a long history of homework excuses, but Miss Haven’s curiosity is aroused when Gemma presents proof that her project was stolen. Miss Haven devises a plan to use Gemma’s own scheme to teach her a lesson. Gemma’s story soon becomes widespread throughout the school, thanks to Miss Haven’s ingenuity. Although Gemma’s popularity skyrockets, her stolen project story soon spirals out of control, and Gemma knows she is ultimately heading for disaster. As she knows her popularity won’t last, Gemma loses herself in the momentary attention.

Brittany Nicholls is the most popular girl in school, and she’s not very happy about Gemma’s sudden rise to fame. She’s feeling left out and formulates her own plan to derail Gemma Martin’s popularity train.

The tension builds as time runs out for Gemma to finish what she’s started and save herself from an embarrassing public exposure as a fraud. However, Brittany’s nasty plan works out and ends it all for Gemma. Everything falls apart until, in Gemma’s true nature, she ingeniously hatches another plan to redeem herself and in doing so Gemma learns an unexpected lesson.

No Ordinary Excuse is a fun story which showcases the power of imagination (and the cunning antics of a great teacher). It’s also about how our mistakes can be our greatest teachers.
About the Author: Michelle Adams is not of the modern, fast-paced world. She exists in a realm where everyone has enough time to hear a good story, and the joy of growing and cooking your own food is the norm. Neighbours trade things over the fence and a tribe of children trample through the house on a daily basis. Some of them live here, but many others float in and out upon wafting aromas or wandering welcome bubbles. This is a happy place where the magic of imagination is alive and well.

You can find out more about Michelle Adams at

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