The magical birdcage was in the attic, and when fifteen-year-old Silent discovers its secret and receives a message from her (allegedly deceased) aunt, this story is off to a rollicking start that is sure to capture the enthusiasm of readers 10 to 100. Plot Hint: There seem to be two Newbury Streets, one at least a hundred years in the past and brimming with alchemy and magic.
Alex Hiam’s studio is full of old paintings from his favorite time period, the late 1800's and early 1900's, so it’s no surprise that turn-of-the-Century Boston is featured in his latest magical tale for teen readers. Alex grew up in and around Boston and majored in anthropology at Harvard College, where he also wrote and illustrated articles about natural history, and won the English Department’s Arnold Prize. But the honor he is most proud of was being entrusted as a student with the key to the iron gates of Mount Auburn Cemetery, where he would let himself in at dawn on Spring mornings to study the migrating birds before the rest of Cambridge awoke.
Alex lives in Putney, Vermont, with his ten and fifteen-year-olds, who are avid readers. He is currently plotting the third Silent Lee adventure, and also working on a new project—a book simply entitled Sorcery that will involve some adventurous teens in some very radical magic.
His large family includes daughters ranging from pre-teens into their twenties, and his strong, nontraditional female leads are written for them. He teaches Making Writing Exciting! at North Star, a learning center for self-directed teens has taught at U Mass Amherst and has sailed the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, logging thousands of nautical miles (he plans someday to write a book about pirates).
He grew up visiting his Great Grandmother in her mysterious mansion on Dartmouth Street in downtown Boston, which really was in an earlier century, and provides inspiration for some of the settings in Silent Lee. Adopted along with his twin, and the father of biracial children, his personal experiences weave thematically into his magically adventurous tales.
NEWS AND REVIEWS
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Author Alex Hiam teaches creative writing to teens, which can lead to opportunities to create events in support of the book. Regional bookstores throughout New England may offer workshops with the author. Alex also arranges his own events to publicize the series at libraries, middle and elementary schools both public and private and home-school learning centers.
In the initial, awareness-building stage of the marketing initiative, each non-bookstore event is an opportunity to spread promotional copies of the title/s into bookstore market areas, so as to build buzz about the title among young readers and their teachers, librarians and families.
The blog page featuring writing prompts on our official website supports these fun and instructional events: Creative Writing Prompts for Teen Author workshops.
Author appearances at bookstores may be scheduled by contacting the author directly at firstname.lastname@example.org