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

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 Unwanteds Quests: Dragon Fire is coming February 4th!

Book 5 in the Unwanteds Quests series arrives February 4th. If you pre-order from Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, AZ, by Feb 1st, you can score a few bonus goodies.

Preorder prize pack

I’ll be doing a signing at that store on Sunday, February 2nd, at 2pm and I’d love to see you if you live in the area!

In other news, book 3, Dragon Ghosts, will be out in paperback format that same day. And the first three books in the Quests series will be available as a paperback box set in April.

Find me on Instagram or Twitter to keep up on new releases, cover reveals, and other fun stuff! Like, did you know my daughter Kennedy McMann is the new Nancy Drew on the CW network? (See what you’re missing?)

Hope you enjoy the books!

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

GOING WILD Tour & book trailer!

Going Wild, the first book in my new series, is on-sale in stores and online this week! Check out the trailer here to learn more about Charlie Wilde and her strange new animal superpowers. And please come see me on book tour if I’m in your area. I’d love to take a photo with you and sign your books (feel free to bring any that you already own, and pick up the new one at the bookstore where I’ll be).

We’ll have free Going Wild trading cards to give away while supplies last. See below for event locations and details. I hope you enjoy!


Sept 27, 2016
Bookshop Santa Cruz, 4pm
1520 Pacific Ave; Santa Cruz, CA 95060

More Information

Sept 29, 2016
Barnes & Noble Clackamas Town Center, 6pm
12000 SE 82nd Ave; Portland, OR 97086
More Information

Oct 2, 2016
St. Charles City-County Library, 2pm
Middendorf-Kredell Branch; 2750 Hwy. K,O’Fallon MO 63368
(Main Street Books providing books for purchase)

More Information

Oct 4, 2016
Barnes & Noble Stonebriar, TX 6pm
2601 Preston Rd Unit 1204; Frisco, TX 75034
More Information

Oct 22, 2016
TWEENS READ Book Festival, 10am – 5pm
South Houston High School; South Houston, TX

The Unwanteds: ISLAND OF SHIPWRECKS is in stores this week!

Island of Shipwrecks

The official release day is Tuesday, Feb. 3, but the book is trickling into bookstores already. I just signed a couple copies in the Pittsburgh airport, in fact.

Visit the official Unwanteds website for cool downloadables, games, a book trailer, a map, and an educator’s guide.

And here’s some fun news–B&N choose Island of Shipwrecks as one of February’s Top Picks for Young Readers, yay!

I’ll be signing a lot of books in the coming weeks. My book tour starts on Tuesday, and I’ll be presenting at schools and bookstores all over Arizona, California, and Texas. Check my APPEARANCES page on my website for the most up to date information, or scroll down.

If you want one of the exclusive, collectible prize packs along with an autographed copy of the book, order by Monday, Feb 2nd (that’s tomorrow!) or come to my launch party on Tuesday, Feb 3, at 6pm. They ship worldwide. Here’s what’s in the prize pack:


It’s PANTHER! (she’s tiny)

A collectible postcard? Bookmark, sticker, and even a Find The Differences poster? WOW!

A collectible postcard? Bookmark, sticker, and even a Find The Differences poster? WOW!

I know it’s hard to keep a secret, especially when something major happens in a book. But try to keep in mind when you’re posting on the Internet (to me or to others) that friends, acquaintances, or strangers might not have read the book yet.


Thank you!

Here’s my schedule in case you’d rather scroll than click:

February 3, 2015
THE UNWANTEDS: ISLAND OF SHIPWRECKS Launch party and signing 6:00pm
Changing Hands Bookstore Tempe, AZ

February 4, 2015
1378 Lincoln Ave.
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 292-8880

February 5, 2015
785 Laurel Street
San Carlos, CA 94070

February 6, 2015
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 324-4321

February 9, 2015
BARNES & NOBLE Arden Fair — 5:00pm
1725 Arden Way
Sacramento, CA 95815

February 11, 2015
WARWICKS — 4:00pm
7812 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037

February 12, 2015
BARNES & NOBLE Huntington Beach — 6:30pm
7881 Edinger Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

February 13, 2015
2207 Honolulu Ave
Montrose, CA 91020

February 20, 2015
BARNES & NOBLE Desert Ridge — 7:00pm
21001 N Tatum Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85050

March 5, 2015
14532 Memorial Dr.
Houston, TX 77079

March 7, 2015
North Texas Teen Book Festival — 9:00am – 5:00pm
Irving Convention Center
500 W. Las Colinas Blvd.
Irving, TX 75039

March 15, 2015
University of Arizona campus
Tucson, AZ

10:30-11:00am Signing in the Mostly Books booth

What’s Trending in YA Literature
Location: Education Room 333
Panelists: Jenny Han, E. Lockhart, Lisa McMann
Signing area: Signing Area – Children / Teen (following presentation)
Young adult literature is a constantly changing and exciting area of publishing. YA authors will talk about what’s currently trending and their predictions for the next big trends.

A Conversation with Lisa McMann
Location: Teen and Author Meeting Place
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area – Central Mall (following presentation)
Interact with authors as they read aloud from their new books and answer questions

Creating Portals to Enter Fantasy Worlds
Location: Education Kiva
Panelists: Alice Hoffman, Maureen Johnson, Lisa McMann, Jennifer A. Nielsen
Signing area: Signing Area – Children / Teen (following presentation)
Authors can create all kinds of fantasy worlds and invite readers to suspend reality and enter their fantasy worlds in different ways.