Today’s post is brought to you by Kid Lit Author TARA CROWL. Here’s Tara:
In my middle-grade novels Eden’s Wish and Eden’s Escape (Disney-Hyperion), my protagonist, Eden, is a twelve-year-old genie who wants to be a regular girl and live on Earth. But for her, that’s impossible—at least, until she grants 999 wishes and completes her genie career. Until then, she’s stuck in the lamp with her masters, Xavier and Goldie, who have raised every genie who’s ever lived in the lamp.
But during the brief periods of time she’s spent on Earth granting wishes, Eden has fallen in love with the world. She isn’t content to wait. So in Eden’s Wish, she finds a way to escape her lamp, comes to Earth, and poses as a regular girl. In Eden’s Escape, her wish finally comes true when the lamp’s rules change to allow her to live on Earth while completing her genie career.
Eden is strong-willed, adventurous, and brave, and she definitely knows what she does and does not like. To help you get to know her, here are Eden’s 5 favorite things, and her 5 least favorite things.
Eden’s 5 Favorite Things
- Growing up in the lamp, Eden never got to see the sun. In Eden’s Wish, she describes her first sighting of it: “She couldn’t have imagined light like this. She was used to the soft glow of her chandelier and to the flickering of candles on the dining table. Now she saw they were thin imitations of the bright light that baked the Earth like a cake in an oven.” She’s baffled and enamored by the sun, and back in the lamp, she dreams about it.
2. In the lamp, Eden takes lessons in every subject, as well as special units on Lamp History and Granting for Genies. Her favorite subject is biology. She delights in learning about living things, and dogs are her favorite. She can identify every breed. When she goes to Earth and sees them in real life, she can’t contain her excitement.
3. New friends. When Eden arrives on Earth after escaping the lamp, she meets a brother and sister named Tyler and Sasha. They befriend her right away, and lie to their father so Eden can stay at their apartment and go to school with them. They end up forming a friendship that carries on through the series. In Eden’s Escape, Eden becomes close friends with her guardian, a jubilant genie alum named Pepper. Later, when she is summoned to Paris for a granting and has to go on the run, she makes friends with a French girl named Melodie. Eden loves making new friends, and they play a vital role in her adventures. She also learns a lot about how to be a good friend.
4. The ocean. When Eden first shows up on a San Diego beach, she’s elated to see the ocean. She’s only seen it once before, on a granting in Jamaica. She’s so excited that she runs in and gets tossed around by the waves. It’s so bad that she has to be rescued!
5. More than anything else, Eden loves and values freedom. That’s why, in Eden’s Wish, she takes a huge risk and escapes the lamp to chase after it.
Eden’s 5 Least Favorite Things
- Writing reports. After her first granting in Eden’s Wish, Eden’s master Xavier scolds her for the mischievous way she twisted the wisher’s wishes. He assigns her a written report on how the granting should have been handled. Eden hates being told what to do, and how to do it. But while she’s under her masters’ control, there’s not much she can do about it.
2. Being patient. Eden wants to live on Earth, but first she has to complete her career as a genie. That means granting 999 wishes. In Eden’s Wish, she thinks, “That could take fifty years, or forty, or maybe, if she was lucky, thirty.” She simply can’t imagine waiting that long.
3. Being trapped. In Eden’s Wish, Eden wonders, “How much potential could you live up to in a prison? Potential lay out there on Earth, not trapped in an antique oil lamp.” She is desperate to be free, and live outside the lamp’s boundaries.
4. Deceitful people. In the lamp, Eden is fascinated by a genie alum named Sylvana. Sylvana is the only alum who doesn’t have any granted wishes listed in the Lamp History course guide, and Eden can tell that Xavier and Goldie become uncomfortable when she asks about her. On Earth, Sylvana shows up at Eden’s school, pretending to be her mother. At first, Eden is thrilled to meet the alum she always wondered about and looked up to. She thinks she’s finally found someone who understands her. But eventually, she learns that Sylvana is trying to use her to acquire the lamp and its power for herself. From that point forward, Sylvana becomes Eden’s enemy—and Eden starts to be wary of deceit.
5. Letting people down. In Eden’s Escape, now that she’s living her dream of being on Earth, Eden is focused on protecting the people she loves, and she’s frustrated when she falls short. At one point, she laments: “This time, she’d really made a mess of things. She’d let down everyone she cared about: not only Pepper and the Loyals, who she had no hope of rescuing now, but also her masters, who were still stuck in the lamp…She couldn’t seem to do the right thing.” You’ll have to read the books to see if she’s able to turn things around!
Thanks for having me, and happy reading!
EDEN’S WISH (EDEN OF THE LAMP #1) BY M. TARA CROWL
Age range: 9-12 Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (September 1, 2015)
All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.
When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won’t be sent back after three wishes.
Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth’s pleasures–but quickly learns that this world isn’t as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power–even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp’s magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.
EDEN’S ESCAPE (EDEN OF THE LAMP #2) BY M. TARA CROWL
Age range: 9-12
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (September 6, 2016)
Eden’s new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who’s also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting–only to find herself trapped in a laboratory.
David Brightly, owner of the world’s leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp’s power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly’s plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris–home to Electra’s headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.
PRAISE FOR THE EDEN OF THE LAMP SERIES
“Crowl’s imaginative story line rings with both perception and humor.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Middle grade readers will enjoy the children’s autonomy and Eden’s humorous difficulties in grasping how school works…Hand this to readers who like their magical fantasy combined with middle school drama.” ―School Library Journal
“An imaginative romp with a smart, snarky protagonist and a humorous interpretation of the world as we know it…[Eden] is also just plain entertaining, with a sassy attitude and a clever wit that saves her on more than one occasion.” ―BCCB
Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.
Tara is happy to give away a signed copy of EDEN’S WISH. Just leave a comment here and share the post on social media to enter. ONE name will be drawn at random from those entered. A winner will be announced on this blog on 12-15-16.