Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler: BLOG TOUR, INTERVIEW, REVIEW, GIVEAWAY


“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.

Auggie Jones lives with her grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town.  So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.”  But Auggie is determined to prove that there’s more to her—and to her house—than meets the eye.

What starts out as a home renovation project quickly becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time.

Holly Schindler’s feel-good story about the power one voice can have will inspire readers to speak from their hearts.

About the Author:
Holly Schindler was born in Missouri. After college she taught music lessons while pursuing a writing
career. Initially she was only writing adult work—but soon, her writing took an entirely different direction, as the kids and teens whose music filled her home inspired her to try writing for children. It was then that she found her true calling. 

Holly Schindler is also the author of two YA novels, A Blue So Dark (named one of Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels for Youth in 2010) and Playing Hurt

Links to visit Holly Schindler:

Twitter: @holly_schindler
Author site:

Site for young readers: 

Holly Schindler’s Middles - I’m especially excited about this site.  I adored getting to interact with the YA readership online—usually through Twitter or FB.  But I had to create a site where I could interact with the MG readership.  I’m devoting a page on the site to reviews from young readers themselves!  Be sure to send your young reader’s review through the Contact Me page.

Group Author Blogs: YA Outside the Lines ( for YA authors and Smack Dab in the Middle ( for MG authors.


My Favorite Pastime:  How did you come up with the name Auggie?  (I know that in the book she is named after her grandfather, so how did that character name come about?)

  Holly Schindler: THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY actually started out as a picture book.  In that first draft, Auggie didn’t have a name at all—she told the story of her Grampa Gus, a trash hauler turned folk artist.  When I submitted the book, editors consistently told me that the book had good writing in it, but the concept of folk art was too advanced for the picture book readership.  I was encouraged to turn the book into a middle grade novel. 
As I wrote the middle grade novel, the story of course became Auggie’s, more than it was Gus’s.  But since they shared so much in their journey toward becoming folk artists, it only seemed natural that they would share their names, as well.

     My Favorite Pastime:  I loved Auggie and her grandfather’s creations; where did you get your inspiration for them to create their “company?”  Have you ever seen a display like Auggie’s home?

Holly Schindler: I’ve been going to rural farm auction since I was a little girl—these days, I still go…mostly with my brother, who’s an antiques dealer.  I’ve always loved those unique, one-of-a-kind items found at farm auctions: dresses made from feedsack material, stools made from old Coke crates, etc.  I knew I wanted Auggie and her Grampa Gus to reinvent old items from his trash hauls in the same way…But as I wrote, I also got completely intrigued with the idea of folk art environments, like the Watts Towers in California or the Orange Show in Texas.  I loved the idea of a work of art that was big enough that the artist could actually live inside it!

My Favorite Pastime:  You depicted the age group so well, have you experienced the prejudice that Victoria displays in the book?

Holly Schindler: Not to the extent that Victoria displays it.  But I think we all experience being looked down on, for whatever reason.  When you’re young, you can get looked down on for what seem like the silliest reasons: not being in the right social circles or cliques, not having the right label on your jeans.  But when you’re adult, the reasons are equally ridiculous: not having a flashy car, not living in the right neighborhood, not having an impressive-sounding job.  It’s important to learn—as Auggie does throughout the course of the book—to feel secure in and love yourself.  To never let others’ opinions color how you feel about yourself.

My Favorite Pastime:   Did you ever have a best friend like Auggie does in the book who dumped you for someone else?

Holly Schindler: Of course!  No one gets through childhood without being dumped a few times, or treated unfairly by someone you’d once considered a friend.  But I think those experiences teach us about what kind of friend we want to be.  In the book, Auggie actually forgives Lexie—which I think says a great deal about what Auggie thinks about friendship.  Sometimes, forgiveness is possible—other times, the hurt is too great.  Either way, I think you take those lessons with you into the next friendship; it’s always an opportunity to grow.

My Favorite Pastime:  What lessons do you hope that your readers will take away from THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY?

Holly Schindler:I hope they’re inspired to try their hand at some artistic expression.  I hope they believe their voice matters.  And I hope they love their neighborhood—no matter where it is—a little more…


First of all, I wish I had Auggie and her Grandpa Gus’s talent! Secondly, I would love to live in the house that Auggie and her Grandfather “improved”. And lastly, I absolutely loved Auggie!

Obviously the author Holly Schindler managed to evoke a lot of feelings in her writing of The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky. I scowled at Victoria, her father and the whole Beautification Committee! I wanted to reach through the pages and shake Victoria out of her prejudice and meanness to Auggie. I smiled at Auggie’s enthusiasm as her creative juices started to flow and she found her “Shine”. I hurt for Auggie as I read about her mother and her hope that someday her mother would return to her. And I laughed in triumph with her as she rallied people together to protect their property and fight injustice.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky was a delightful read that has the characters staying in my head and heart for long after I finished reading the book. A great book for Elementary and Middle School readers that is full of lessons on accepting people for who they are.



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  1. Sounds so cute. I love the cover.

    How fascinating that it started as a picture book. Sounds like it would make a fun one.

  2. Isn't the cover so cute Juju? The story runs deep though with a lot of emotions and real-to-life situations. I'm definitely a fan :)

  3. Looking forward to reading the book since I saw it on Goodreads.

    Andrea G