Clarice the Brave is here! And a Story from 4th Grade.

When I was in 4th grade, my teacher, Mr. Avink, announced to the class that we would all write stories. He would choose the student with the best story to attend something called the Young Authors’ Conference—a magical-sounding place.

I was a decent student, but I was never the best at anything. And this writing contest wasn’t a new thing—all my teachers since first grade had done it too, and I had never won.

4th grade Lisa

Still, I put my heart into writing about a young elephant who had some unlikely friends in the jungle. We all turned in our stories and waited.

One day, Mr. Avink called me into the hallway and closed the classroom door. I thought I was in trouble (I was a little bit loud at times, I suppose). But he looked at me and said, “Lisa, I just wanted you to know that I loved your story. And I’m sending you to the Young Authors’ Conference.”

I remember exactly where that classroom was in the hallway of what was then called Southside Christian School on Pine Ave in Holland, Michigan. And I remember exactly where I was standing. An uncontrollable smile spread across my face and excitement welled up inside. I couldn’t believe it.

Mr. Avink grinned back and told me to take a few minutes to walk down to the drinking fountain and collect myself. He was going to announce this to the class the next day and he didn’t want my clearly-not-a-poker-face to give away the secret. He went back into the classroom, and I went floating down the hallway, thinking, “I’m going to be a writer.”

A lot of obstacles got in the way of me accomplishing my 4th grade goal, from people telling teenage me that being a writer wasn’t a real job, to tons of rejection letters that led me to quit writing for ten years. But I couldn’t stay away. My first book came out a week after I turned 40.

Today, my 27th book hits the shelves. And, like in 4th grade, it’s an animal story that I poured my heart into.

Clarice the Brave is about sibling ship mice who get caught up in a mutiny. When the captain is thrown off the ship into a lifeboat, Clarice ends up stuck inside one of the crates that goes with him. Her brother, Charles Sebastian, who was chased out of the crate by a ship cat, remains on the ship. When the two vessels drift apart, the brother and sister call to each other across the waves, vowing against insurmountable odds to find each other again.

In a time when separation from family is all too common, this story brings a ray of hope. These scared yet tenacious mice navigate their worlds alone…at first. But then they build unlikely friendships along the way in their quest to fulfill their promises to each other.

I hope you enjoy this story. It’s a perfect for a read-aloud family book, or would make a great gift for ages 8 and up. You can find it at your local bookstore or online wherever books are sold. It’s available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook—and let me just mention that the audiobook is read by amazingly talented Alexa Magro, who put her heart into the recording…and this is her very first audiobook narration. I’m so proud of her and grateful for her hard work! Her audition sample made me cry, it was so beautiful.

Recently, Daniel Golden from Boswell Books in Milwaukee reviewed Clarice the Brave in the bookstore newsletter, calling it “…an epic tale of adventure and friendship that already feels like a classic! So exciting, so emotional, so many lines I want to quote – Clarice the Brave is a triumph!” I hope you feel the same.

From Boswell Books Newsletter

If you want to help Clarice make a splash (oof, bad joke for a mouse at sea) you can:

–buy the book wherever books are sold, or use my Bookshop

–check out my recent newsletter for info on how to get free Clarice the Brave swag

— watch for my upcoming Clarice podcast with Reading with your Kids

–join me and fellow authors Joanne Levy and Dusti Bowling at our virtual launch event October 14

–watch my Tweens Read Festival panel and so many other great authors October 18-23–there’s something happening every day

–attend a virtual event with Margaret Peterson Haddix and me on October 26

–check out this YouTube interview with Ric’s Book Reviews

–talk about the book on your social media and tag me–I’m @lisa_mcmann on Instagram and Twitter, and /mcmannfan on Facebook

–keep an eye on my Appearances page on my website for new opportunities to connect

Thank you so much for your support over the years! My heart is overflowing with gratitude. I hope reading this book brings you as much joy as it brought me while writing it.

More reviews of Clarice the Brave

Lisa McMann on Her Cross-Country Bookstore Tour

Getting ready for my bookstore tour!

My husband, upcoming Putnam (@penguinkids) debut author Matt McMann, and I had been intentionally living without a vehicle for the past four years, opting to experience life without wheels in walkable cities like Sacramento, Calif., and currently in Tempe, Ariz. But the shiny 2007 convertible that my 81-year-old dad had lovingly cared for (and hardly driven—it only had 22,000 miles on it) was too hard to pass up. The only problem was that my parents—and the car—were far away, in Holland, Mich. We could ship the convertible home (boring!) or we could drive it, and turn the trip into a cross-country adventure and see some sights along the way (ding ding ding!).

Click here to read the whole story and see the photos from our cross-country adventure in Publisher’s Weekly.

Clarice the Brave

I have a new book coming out this fall–October 12, 2021. And I can’t wait for you to read it. It’s called Clarice the Brave. Isn’t this cover beautiful? It’s by Antonio Caparo. You can read more about it below. And find out more about the inspiration behind it at Nerdy Book Club.

Clarice the Brave

The only good cat is a fed cat. Clarice, a young ship mouse, knows this to be true.
She and her brother, Charles Sebastian, were taught to be careful—as all mice are—but caution is no match for the sea, which took their mother, and it is certainly no match for Special Lady, the horrid cat who ate their sister. Now the siblings hide in their pantry crate, knowing every move they make could be their last.
When a shocking mutiny forces Clarice onto a small, leaky boat with Special Lady and a dozen hungry sailors with deadly boots, Charles Sebastian is left on the ship to fend off mutineers, a flock of irate chickens, and an inquisitive human prisoner—a mouse’s worst enemy.
Being careful may have saved them in the past, but now Clarice and Charles Sebastian will need to grow bold if they are to survive . . . and keep their promise to find one other again.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds comes an unforgettable adventure filled with perseverance, kindness, and hope. 

The Grand Finale in the Unwanteds world is just a month away!

Can you believe it? The fourteenth and final book, The Unwanteds Quests: Dragon Fury, arrives January 26, 2021, and you can join me virtually to celebrate! And cry! And cheer! Or whatever! It’s going to be an amazing hour, courtesy of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ, and you can get your ticket here.

Your ticket gives you:

–An autographed copy of Dragon Fury

–A prize pack with #Unwanteds swag

–An autographed 11×17 poster of Spike Furious

–Access to the 1-hour Zoom event on January 26, 2021, at 6pm MST (8pm EST, 7pm CST, 5pm PST) where I’ll be chatting with my pal Faith about the end of this series. But don’t worry–we won’t spoil the book! I’ve invited a few special guests to share their best #UnwantedsMemory, and you’ll be able to add yours in the comments on the Zoom chat. And I’ll be talking a little bit about what I’m writing next!

It’s going to be an hour (and a series) to remember! Help spread the word using #UnwantedsFinale and #UnwantedsMemory and follow my Instagram feed @lisa_mcmann. I’ll see you on the 26th!

Get a free poster of Florence when you pre-order Dragon Slayers!

Florence poster preorder campagin

Presenting Florence, everyone’s favorite Magical Warrior Trainer, created by my son, @kilianmcmanndesign. If you want this 11”x17” poster, please follow these simple instructions:

Pre-order your copy of The Unwanteds: Dragon Slayers (hardcover, audio, or ebook) from your favorite book retailer and send a scan of your receipt to my assistant at along with your full name and postal address. Use the subject: Florence Poster so my assistant can easily see it. U.S. and Canadian addresses only please. While supplies last. One poster per book. If you buy multiple copies I’ll send you multiple posters (just mention it in your email so we don’t miss it). YES I will be autographing the posters, yay! The poster will be shipped separately from the book, directly from me, so you must email your receipt or I won’t know you preordered.

To get a signed book, pre-order from my local bookstore, Capital Books on K in Sacramento (they ship everywhere). For my Phoenix area friends, I’ll probably be signing books or at least bookplates with Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ, as well—more info on that when I have it.

Isn’t she amazing? Pre-order now and send in your receipt to get your poster!

Florence Poster_11x17_Print_full bleed

DRAGON BONES is coming Feb 6!

Pre-order now to get some Unwanteds and Unwanteds Quests goodies! Links below the graphic.

Dragon Bones preorder

Barnes & Noble exclusive edition

Free Character Guide!

Book 1, Dragon Captives, will be out in paperback Feb 6 as well!

Here’s where I’ll be on book tour:

February 3, 2018
At the amazing Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClintock, Tempe, AZ
Get your copy waaaaay before everyone else!

February 5, 2018
Barnes & Noble Clackamas Towne Center, 6:00pm
12000 SE 82nd Ave., Portland, OR

Get your B&N exclusive edition of DRAGON BONES autographed the night before official release day! (It has two cool extras inside that you won’t want to miss!)

February 6, 2018
The Reading Bug, 4:30 p.m.
785 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA
Official release day for Dragon Bones! Hope to see you there.

February 7, 2018
Salt Lake City, I can’t get enough of you. See you at:
The King’s English, 7:00 p.m.
1511 S. 1500 E, SLC, Utah

February 8, 2018
Pages Bookstore, 7:00p.m.
904 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA
There’s no place I’d rather be in February than back in beautiful Manhattan Beach. Hope you can make it!

February 9, 2018
Once Upon a Time Bookstore, 7:00 p.m.
2207 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA.
A fairytale ending to my week at a fabulous bookshop. Let’s hang out!

UNWANTEDS QUESTS: Dragon Captives Tour starts Feb 4, 2017!

I’ll have more info soon about the preorder prize pack and how you can get one. You can preorder the book from any bookstore now!


February 4, 3 pm
6428 S. McClintock

February 6, 6 pm
1511 S. 1500 E

February 7, 5 pm
14532 Memorial Dr

February 8, 7 pm
123 W Jefferson Ave, Naperville

February 9, 4 pm
140 NW Broad Street

February 10, 7 pm
3522 Wade Ave

February 11, 2 pm
752 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

February 14, 6 pm
1315 North Milwaukee

February 15, 7 pm
17171 Bothell Way NE

February 16, 6 pm
1758 South Val Vista Drive

Nerd Camp 2017 Authors and Illustrators

Heading to Nerd Camp Michigan in July — can’t wait!


last final for realz nerd camp logo

Ryan T. Higgins

Shelley Johannes

Alex Gino

Laurie Keller

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Caroline Starr Rose

Kristin Tubb

Laura Shovan

Molly Burnham

Erica Perl

Mike Lowery

Elana K. Arnold

Karuna Riazi

Jess Keating

Patricia MacLachlan

Helen Frost

Deborah Freedman

Denise Flemming

Jerzy Drozd

Lauren Castillo

Barbara Dee

John David Anderson

Ammi Joan-Paquette

Elaine Vickers

Nora Baskin

Tracey Baptiste

Alan Katz

Anica Rissi

Shannon and Dean Hale

Lisa Mcmann

Lauren Eldridge

Dev Petty

Jenn Bishop

Sarah Albee

Donna Gephart

Melanie Conklin

Ruth McNally Barshaw

Abby Cooper

Jacqueline Davies

Larry Day

Kirby Larson

Daniel Nayeri

Carter Higgins

Aaron Zenz

Josh Funk

Liesl Shurtliff

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Laurel Snyder

Debbie Ohi

Juana Medina

Ruth Spiro

Brooks Benjamin

Pat Zietlow Miller

Elly Swartz

View original post