Books are a forest and it’s hard to see the trees, except the tall ones or the old ones. But when you enter the forest, it’s the new growth that emits the sunlight....

Middle Grade Fiction

The House in Windward Leaves, The Wide Awake Loons, Josiah's Apple Orchard, and Claude: A Dog of the Sixties are available in both paperback and Kindle.

The House in Windward Leaves

FINALIST in Juvenile Fiction, 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards


FINALIST in E-book Fiction, 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards 

The House in Windward Leaves was re-published in December 2012 with a cover by Bradley Wind and interior illustration.

Halloween night, the wayward Sadie leads her friends past cardboard cut-outs of the painter Mistral and a lady at the leaf-covered house on Windward Road. A wall mural transports them to a Halloween party on a star where their costumes become real.

As Fortuneteller, Sadie only has to look in her crystal ball to help the others with their transformations. Her friend Candy is the Homecoming Queen and her brother has turned into a zebra. The neighbor boy has become George Washington and his brother is a musician in the star band.

That begins the adventures of Sadie and the enchanted children who make up the bizarre star community. Then Mistral's woman friend finds that her star-of-sapphire necklace is missing. 

Available in paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingrams and other book sites.  Also available as a Kindle book.

Top Ten Books of 2013, Kid Lit Reviews.

Finalist for Best Children's Book in eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards, 2012

 '"The House in Windward Leaves" is a thrilling tale ... highly recommended.' - The Midwest Book Review

"One cannot help but laugh at the adventures and antics of Sadie and her friends along with the great cast of characters at the party. The book is well written with a great plot to it for being a children's book. It's ideal for any child's home library." -  Lynn F, Readers Favorite

"Parents will appreciate the special lessons hidden in the story to encourage individuality and imagination....Overall, this is a great holiday read..." - Shannon Yarbrough, LL Book Review 

"Ms. Holmes uses humor very effectively ...  Each character has an engagingly distinct voice." - Kit Lit Reviews

"...this book is just like a child's imagination..." - Melissa T. Liban;  Illustrations, Writing, Book Reviews, and Stuff!

"This book is filled with humour and adventures, and children can't help feeling they are there with them ..."  - Faith Mortimer, author or Assassin's Village and The Crossing.

"The House in Windward Leaves is a great read for girls with the ability to also capture the interest of boys. The ease in reading is perfect for the struggling young reader ..." - MG Villesca, teacher and author of The Bully in ME.

"The author has created an amazing new world... This was a very exciting and engaging book that I think young readers would love!"  -   Sarah Renee, author of  The Tiger Princess

Visit The House in Windward Leaves Facebook page


The Wide Awake Loons

The Wide Awake Loons was released in April 2013 by Silver Knight Publishing, LLC.   In November 2014, it was re-published by Couchgrass Books and with illustration.  For middle grade or older, the book combines chapters from the summer lake life of its young protagonists with an anthropomorphic fantasy about a loon family.  

FINALIST in the Children's Juvenile Fiction category of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Ten-year-old Ginny and her mother are opening up the cabin where her family stays during the summer. On an otherwise quiet day, Ginny hears a male loon, Yudel, sparring with a younger bird over territory. Canoeing with her friend, Wes, Ginny discovers a loon nest on an island. They quickly find themselves protecting the defenseless eggs against predators. On a later visit, Ginny finds Yudel drifting in the water, a fishing line trailing from his beak. Ginny's attachment to the loons brings her to find inner strength. During the summer, the loons raise three loonlings. Now faced with many dangers, Yudel and his mate, Owala, will put their courage to the test. Follow the journey of Ginny and the loons as their stories unite . . .

"...Incredible authentic details about life and survival habits and skills of the loons are woven into this engrossing nature story. .. Prize winning author Holmes paints a Northern setting with vast skill and delicacy for the reading and educational pleasure and appreciation of middle grade and older readers." -  Children's Bookwatch

"Holmes, who lives in Duluth, tells a story that will resonate with every youngster who has been startled by a loon's 'song.' And she does it in the kind of lovely prose kids should be exposed to from the day they are born." - Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press

"Ms. Holmes writes beautifully; her prose was both stunning and clever, and she shared the loons' story very convincingly." - Bobbie Grob, Readers' Favorite   

"Kids will not have any trouble keeping up with the weaving of two stories into one, though I suspect they will enjoy the loon side much more. If you enjoy great writing and a light but interesting plot, you will love The Wide Awake Loons. " - Kid Lit Reviews    

"I think this story would be fun for kids and nostalgic for adults to read." - Nikki Bennet, Nik's Picks Reviews

The paperback is available at , Barnes & Noble , Ingram's, and other book sites.  The ebook is Kindle.


Josiah's Apple Orchard

Published in August, 2014, Josiah's Apple Orchard is available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  It is also in Kindle format.  The paperback can also be purchased from Ingram's and other book outlets.

Here is the back cover copy:

Besides music, Vivvy loves green apples. She and her brother Matt go on morning apple raids until, one fall, their father drives them to a pick-your-own orchard. The cross old Josiah inhabits another time where pixies might appear like uprooted saplings.

In the early, eventful 1960s, Vivvy takes the flute from Mr. Fortray, a band teacher who plays jazz. Detours confuse another apple picking trip and Josiah is angry about progress. Yet if Vivvy wants to do what she loves, she must think beyond a fear that her father and Josiah share. 

Josiah's Apple Orchard is intended for eight to twelve-year-olds.  It has short chapters and could be termed a chapter book besides midde grade fiction.  There is interior illustration.

"The story takes young readers on a journey...The surreal feel of the book is captivating and enthralling. A very original and refreshing plot that will make readers think." - a five-star review from Readers' Favorite

Read the entire review

Visit the Josiah's Apple Orchard Facebook page


Claude: A Dog of the Sixties

Published in July, 2015, Claude: A Dog of the Sixties is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback. It is also a Kindle bookThe paperback will be available at Ingram's in September, 2015.

Perry has his own misadventures when the standard poodle Claude comes to his house. Because of a defect, Claude can’t be a show dog. But he fetches beyond his training, opens doors, and attempts to roam the neighborhood. The spring before the moonwalk, Perry plans a group project about UFO’s, space travel, and the Dog Star. During this, Claude makes escapes like a canine Houdini. Perry’s father has enough to worry about with the anti-war protesters in his history classes. Can Perry turn Claude’s exploring into training? 

"...a delightful story for all dog lovers...The story is not only about Claude, but also about Perry, and the author weaves these threads seamlessly, making the plot engaging and exciting as it progresses." - Readers' Favorite

"As with all of Holmes' books, the writing is excellent. Claude
is a lighter read with a good deal of comic relief, thanks to the poodle. Kids looking for a fun dog story will like Claude." - Sue Morris, Kid Lit Reviews    
Read the whole review

"Kids and young adults will love it. So, too, will adults - especially those confirmed dog-lovers out there who will relate to much of this yarn." - Sterling Gate Books

"This is a charming children's novel with a sure-fire lovable hero, the poodle, Claude." - Rosalind Minett, psychologist and author of Me-Time Tales.