A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight by Jen White
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Middle-Grade
Jen White’s A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight is a sensitively-written middle grade novel about a girl struggling with anxiety, family secrets, and the meaning of friendship.
Cora is constantly counting the minutes. It’s the only thing that stops her brain from rattling with worry, from convincing her that danger is up ahead. Afraid of the unknown, Cora spends her days with her feet tucked into sand, marveling at La Quinta beach’s giant waves and her little sister Sunshine’s boundless energy.
And then danger really does show up at Cora’s doorstep–her absentee uncle, whose sudden presence in the middle of the night makes her parents nervous and secretive. As dawn breaks once more, Cora must piece together her family and herself, one minute at a time.
A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight is an endearing and revelatory middle-grade novel that is perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Fish in a Tree.
Goodreads ~ Purchase: Amazon ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Google Play ~
10 Things You Didn’t Know About A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight
1. Cora’s character is essentially a ball of worry in human form. Have you seen the old Charlie Brown comic where he’s upset and there’s a black cloud of scribbles above his head? This is Cora at every moment.
2. Even though the character Brain is essentially a panic-inducing bully, he was one of my favorite characters to write. He has charm and wit and a wicked sense of humor.
3. Patrick was inspired by the character Roger, aka Star Wars Kid, in my first book, Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave. Patrick’s and Roger’s hearts are pure and trusting. I love people like that.
4. There’s a train track that runs along the ocean through my town, just like the one in A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight. You would be surprised at how quiet trains can be when they don’t blow their whistles—especially at night. After living near a train, I understand how someone could walk along the tracks and not hear a train behind them. P.S. Please don’t walk on train tracks.
5. Patrick has a point. On paper, time travel should work. Theoretically we should all be traveling through worm holes.
6. This book is dedicated to my daughter, who struggles with anxiety, and is essentially my hero for how she has dealt with her own Brain.
7. I am the oldest child of five and have five kids, so writing the dynamics in a sibling relationship feels very natural to me.
8. I loved adding a treasure hunt to A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight. I’ve always hoped to find treasure when I’ve been at the beach. One time my brother found fifty-five dollars at the bottom of a lake. I’ve never been that lucky. Cora’s obsession with finding the Cat’s treasure comes from my desire to find a really, really, good treasure one day.
9. I hope I get to meet a ghost cat. I’m allergic to cats, so a ghost cat would be the perfect pet for me.
10. One of my favorite scenes is when Cora’s little sister Sunshine gets scared and crawls into bed with Cora in the middle of the night. This is the first time we see the usually very peppy Sunshine worried. In this moment Cora must be the brave one. This is where Cora begins to talk back to Brain. It’s a turning point in the book because we recognize that Cora’s being honest with herself and facing her fears. In this scene she begins to tip-toe into someone who can overcome Brain.
Jen White writes middle grade fiction. Her second book, A THOUSAND MINUTES TO SUNLIGHT, releases on 4.20.21. Her debut, SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE, has been translated into several languages. She grew up in Southern California and currently resides there with her family. Jen received her bachelor of art’s degree in English and her master’s degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. You can find out more at www.jenwhitebooks.com.
Author links: Website ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads ~Facebook ~ Twitter ~
Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
This grand prize giveaway - ends Apr 29th:
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.