April 23, 2012

2K12 Guest Post: Sarvenaz Tash - The Mapmaker and the Ghost

A long while back I was approached by Caroline Starr Rose to help promote the fantastic group of authors in the Class of 2k12.  These are a group of authors being published in 2012.  I jumped at the chance to help out.  
What we came up with was a series of guest posts.  The topic: 
 Since I teach 7th grade I live and breath middle school (ok some of you can stop shuddering now). 2

So over the course of 2012 you will get to hear from some the the 2k12 authors and their memories/thoughts about that time in their life.  I thank each of them for jumping in a tackling the subject!
To learn about all the 2k12 authors check out their site: Class of 2k12: Fiction that Rocks

Today our 2k12-er is:

Sarvenaz Tash

Book: The Mapmaker and the Ghost
Published: April 24, 2012, Walker Books for Young 

Goldenrod Moram loves nothing better than a good quest. Intrepid, curious, and full of a well-honed sense of adventure, she decides to start her own exploring team fashioned after her idols, the explorers Lewis and Clark, and to map the forest right behind her home. This task is complicated, however, by a series of unique events—a chance encounter with a mysterious old lady has her searching for a legendary blue rose. Another encounter lands her in the middle of a ragtag gang of brilliant troublemakers. And when she stumbles upon none other than the ghost of Meriwether Lewis himself, Goldenrod knows this will be anything but an ordinary summer . . . or an ordinary quest. Debut author Sarvenaz Tash combines an edge-of-your-seat adventure, a uniquely clever voice, and an unforgettable cast of characters to prove that sometimes the best adventures of all are waiting right in your own backyard.

What Were You Like as a Middle Schooler?

As a middle schooler, I was very shy. I felt awkward and out-of-place, especially with a strange name no one could pronounce and the fact that I could never seem to understand what were the “right” clothes to wear.

I spent a lot of my free time reading. Or, at least, I spent the time not fretting about not fitting in reading.

I had a handful of friends I liked a lot. For the most part, we all didn’t fit in together. (And, for the record, some of those friends are still my very good friends.)

When it was time to go to college, I went to film school. Guess what I found there? A whole slew of people who didn’t fit in! I think I had a grin on my face the whole four years.

I’ve come to realize that my quirky viewpoint, my obsession with spending my free time writing, even my crazy name: they are all a part of what has brought me to where I am. And I am very happy with where I am.

But I hope I never forget that middle school was hard. High school was hard. They were some of the hardest times of my life and it was because I was struggling to figure out who I was and to be okay with it. I think that’s why writing tween and teenaged characters is so compelling. Their struggles are very real and very universal. And having a character discover who they are throughout the course of a story will always make for a fulfilling read.

To find out more about Sarvenaz check out her website!!! Then go check out her book because it sounds sooooooo cute and perfect for the middle grade reader!


  1. Thanks for sharing Sarvenez. I was totally shy and didn't fit in in middle school (and high school) too. Your book sounds great. Can't wait to read it. Good luck with your debut.

  2. What a lovely post - it's great to hear about a young author who has found her place in the world!

  3. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Natalie, Juju and Rosemary. :-)

  4. I'm excited that Ms. Tash's book is finally released today! Look forward to reading it and sharing it with my daughter.

  5. So excited that this book is now out in the world!!! Can't wait to read it myself.

  6. I am so excited to read this one and share it with my kids too! I've been commenting all over the internet about it. :-)

    I'm a new follower, btw. I'm a teacher too, although not currently teaching in a school. But like you, I am always looking for great books to pass on to kids, whether they're my own or someone else's.

  7. Cool blog, Jill. I can't wait to read The Mapmaker and the Ghost!

  8. thanks for sharing with us! i've been looking forward to reading this book and passing it on for a while now : )

  9. I was a shy middle schooler, too. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Just got a (won in a contest - thank you!) copy of this book. I agree with my friend Caroline Rose that books for younger readers should be written so that adults will enjoy them too -- many of our great books were written for this audience and are now classics! I've barely cracked Mapmaker, and I see that's true of this one -- enjoyable, destined for "classic" status!
    Good interview!

  11. This is such a fun guest post! I spent basically my entire school experience with my nose in a book...and not usually the teaching kind! I like to call them Fun Books ;]

  12. Loving this book! Can't wait to read it!