Some of the locations in Hyacinth & The Secrets Beneath (AKA The City of Secret Rivers) are inaccessible, like the sewers of London. And some are fictional, like the secret underground postoffice staffed by mud monsters. But a lot of them are real-life places that you can visit. To help you find them, I’ve made a map of the real-life locations that inspired the book. Have fun visiting them!
If you’re a librarian or teacher, you can win one of 22 copies of Hyacinth and the Secrets Beneath.
Plus, Curious City has created a game based on the book, perfect for story times at libraries and bookstores. It turns out that your bookshelves are actually magical sewers in disguise, just waiting for a group of kids brave enough to face their enchanted dangers. Download the complete event kit for free at Curious City’s website.
Not sure if you’ll like Hyacinth And The Secrets Beneath? Have a free sample! Here are the opening pages, read by the great Jessica Almasy.
There’s nothing more terrifying for an author than being reviewed (except possibly being reviewed by a shark while parachuting out of an exploding airplane.) Fortunately, Hyacinth And The Secrets Beneath has gotten some great and entirely shark-free reviews.
Kirkus says it’s “a rollicking adventure with a lulu of an ending that comes with the promise of a sequel. Middle graders will adore clever Hyacinth and enjoy the other humorous characters, the puns (Oaroboarus, indeed), and the suspenseful narrative.”
School Library Journal says “With plot twists and potty humor galore, this is an entertaining read-aloud that should keep even reluctant readers engaged. VERDICT: Fans of Suzanne Collins’s ‘The Underland Chronicles’ and Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams’s ‘Tunnels’ series will enjoy this fantastic, funny adventure.”
Booklist says “It’s a wild ride that’s fun, freaky, outlandish, and suspenseful. Readers will beg for another installment.”
Thank you Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist!
I started this website in 2004, under the name Yankeefog.Com, to share my observations as an American living in London. As the years went by, I posted here less often. That was partly because the speed and brevity of Twitter made it much easier than blogging. But it was also because I was channeling my observations about the strangeness of London life into fiction, in the form of a novel for children called The City of Secret Rivers.
Now, after a decade of writing and rewriting, the novel is finally seeing the light of day. In the US, it’s being published by Random House Books for Young Readers as Hyacinth & The Secrets Beneath. In the UK, it’s being released by Walker Books under its original title.
With a new book — and a new focus as a children’s author — I thought it was time for a new website. Yankeefog.com will still lead you here, but I’ve got a new and less ambiguous URL: jacobsagerweinstein.com. I’ve also got a new design, thanks to Websy Daisy.
Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing news and reviews here. In the meantime, look around. I hope you’ll enjoy the new JacobSagerWeinstein.com.
You might remember I went to Reddit and did an “AMA” — “Ask Me Anything”. It was a blast, but it wasn’t exactly a hit. It got a total of 52 upvotes. Recently, a Redditor spotted How Not To Kill Your Baby in the bookstore, took a photo of the cover, and posted it to Reddit. It got 7,735 upvotes. That’s right. The cover of my book is officially more charismatic than I am. I’m going to view that as a good thing.
I’m going to be hanging out on Reddit.com this afternoon. Stop on by and ask me anything!
Over at the Huffington Post, I propose a simple modification to the United States legal system: put the toddlers in charge.
If you long for a copy of “How Not To Kill Your Baby” but you’ve blown all your money on luxuries like diapers and milk, then head on over to Goodreads where I’m giving away an autographed copy to one lucky winner.
As noted in the previous entry, I’ve mostly abandoned this blog. But in the next few weeks, I’m going to be trying an experiment. When you register as an author on Amazon or Goodreads, you can connect your author’s page there to your home blog, and post updates to people on those sites who have bought your books. So that’s what I’ll be doing.
As a result, expect the next few weeks of entries here to be a bit different in tone. Instead of general musings, I’ll be fairly focused on self-promotion.