b"where between the ages of 10 and 13 years old. Readers in upper elementary and middle school flock to these sto-ries. Its a vivid time in childrens lives, and presents a wide range of themes for adults to revisit and young read-ers to explore. The hallmark of mid-dle grade is the specific way that you explorethemes,Conklinexplains. You might be exploring very mature themesbutyoupresenttheminan age-appropriate way that is accessible for kids that age and allows them to safely explore these themes as they ex- Fierce Advocateplore the world.A common thread in her stories isModern Brokeragea focus on families facing difficult cir- Elevated Real Estate cumstances.Ilikeshowingfamilies going through tough times, and howExperience Counting Thyme, Conklin's debut book, was published in 2016. they get through it, she says. Thats something we all experience. My fam-naptimes,whensheoftenfoundherily is very ride or die. I tend to writeDiscover why sellers trust Stacie Levycreative energy needed an outlet. I wasfamilies who really have each others used to problem solving and using mybacks, or even if they dont, they find brainmuscleseveryday,shesays.Sotheir way back to each other. Stacie Levywhen an idea for a story came about,With her most recent book, localSales Associatestacie.levy@compass.comshe set about writing it herself, on a dai- readersmaysenseafamiliaritywithc: 917.686.3821ly schedule, until she had accumulatedthe tight-knit community in the story.o: 973.310.6816so many pages that she finally told herFor A Perfect Mistake, I knew early onCompass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by equal housing opportunity laws.husband, I think Im writing a book.that I wanted to set it in a place like And although that first story was neverthesetowns,becausethisareahasa published, it started her on her journeyvery close knit community, and there to becoming an author. arebothpositivesandnegativesto Her debut book, Counting Thyme,that. Conklin explores the way neigh- Dont wait,is a story of an 11-year-old girl and herbors are there for each other in toughbuy tickets today!family struggling with a move to Newtimes, as well as the pressure to behave York for their sons cancer treatments.acertainwaywheneveryoneknows Publishedin2016,itannouncedayou. You have both sides when youDelfeayo strong new voice in childrens books, with the captivating story being recog- Marsalisnized with several childrens literature awards.FRI, SEP 30A few years later, in May of 2020, her second book, Every Missing Piece,at 8PMwaspublished.ComingoutattheTickets: $35-$45heightofthepandemic,whenthe worldwasstillwipingdownmail and thus sending out advance copies of books was not an option, Conklin got creative with promotion. She and severalotherauthorsorganizedthepeabo MariaGeorGeKathleenthe JaMes Everywhere Book Fest, a virtual eventbryson baMfordporter Jr.edwards hunter sixthat took eight weeks of planning andSat, SUN, & runnintHU, SEP 22FRI, SEP 23 SEP 10 SEP 11 pardnersat 7:30PM at 8PMbecame a resounding success, not onlyat 7PM &at 7:30PM tHU, SEP 15Tickets: $28-$38 Tickets: $36-$56for the books it promoted, but for the9:30PM Tickets: $30-$45 at 7:30PMcommitmenttodiversityandinclu- Tickets: $59-$79 Tickets: $35-$49sion that it was determined to exhibit. Conklin's second book, Every MissingSOPaCnow.org(973) 313-2787 Conklin writes in the middle grade category,whichtendstobecharac- Piece, was released in May 2020. She hadsouth orange PerforMing arts Center to be creative to promote the book dur-terized by a protagonist that is some- ing the pandemic. one soPaC Way, south orange, nJ 07079feature story /19"