Books for Middle Grades and Young Adult Readers
Kathy Lynn Emerson


now available in new editions





This was my first published novel. It came out in 1985 from Down East Books.

I've made a few revisions but have not updated the story, which is set in 1982.

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ISBN 978 1393375173

also available as a paperback


ISBN 978 1393157151

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Kerry Odell and her younger brother Lyle are not enthusiastic about spending the next six months in rural western Maine. It seems like a pretty dismal place, especially in March, and means entering a new school in mid-year. The house their mother has rented, with its locked tower, has all the makings of a haunted "castle" with mysterious comings and goings, odd noises in the night, and a landlord who seems to have it in for them.


Reading level 4.9; recommended for readers age 8-12 (but some grown-ups have enjoyed it, too)


from the reviewers: "Ms. Emerson's writing is authentic and completely flawless. She is able to understand what goes through the minds of younger children. She understands their concerns, their anxieties, their innermost feelings—and she mixes them all together to come up with a wonderful, engrossing mystery for older children and younger teens."


Marilyn Blowen, Lisbon Falls Community Library: "Emerson writes with suspense and spins a clever plot."



This was originally published by Avon Camelot Books in 1991.

I've made minor revisions but the story is still the same and is set in 1986.

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ISBN 978 1393694007

also available as a paperback


ISBN 978 1393724643

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Spending three weeks in rural Maine listening to the sound of bagpipes isn't 12-year-old Kim Hanlon's idea of fun, but her father has signed up to attend classes in playing that instrument at the estate of an eccentric millionaire and he's brought his family with him to the adjacent campground. When a valuable set of antique bagpipes disappears, Kim's new friend Woody is suspected of the theft. Refusing to believe he's guilty, she's determined to discover who really committed the crime.


Reading level: 5.2


from the reviewers:


Bangor Daily News: "an excellent summer choice for that niece or nephew."

Booklist: "Emerson weaves much food for thought into the narrative through Kim's willingness to trust in Woody and her search to understand her own goals and talents."


Here's what the original covers looked like:

Mystery of Hilliard's Castle  bagpipe


also newly reissued



Originally published by Orchard Books (1987) and Avon Camelot (1990)

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ISBN 978 1393031369

also available as a paperback


ISBN 978 1393594642

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The year is 1887 and twelve-year-old Julia Applebee has been shipped off to her cousin's home in the small rural New York town of Liberty Falls while her parents go to China as missionaries. Used to living in New York City, Julia wants nothing to do with her "country cousins." To make matters worse, on her second day on the farm she falls through the hay hole in the barn and breaks her leg. At first, Julia has only one wish—to be rescued. But as her broken leg mends, so does her attitude. Her anger and frustration slowly subside and she begins to understand the importance of family.


from the reviewers:

Publishers Weekly: "Julia's recovery . . . parallels a deeper change—adaptation to a new kind of family life and eventual friendship with Grace, her "beastly" cousin. Julia's realization that she has behaved in a snobbish, self-centered, unlikeable fashion—and her subsequent maturity—is fully delineated and the 19th century setting is effectively evoked. . . . well sustained . . . a light, seamless style."


Reading level 4.9; for ages 8-12


Here are the original hardcover, paperback and UK paperback covers:


newly released as e-book originals




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ISBN 978 1393529507

also available as a paperback


ISBN 978 1393660651

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Set in Colonial Rhode Island in the mid-seventeenth century, Shalla is the fictionalized story of a real person, one of the children of Rhode Island founder Samuel Gorton, who was known as "the New England firebrand." Because of his religious and political beliefs, Gorton was kicked out of Plimoth Plantations, Providence, and Pawtuxet before founding his own colony. He called it Shawomet, although it is now Warwick, Rhode Island. In 1643, soldiers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony attacked Shawomet and captured Samuel Gorton and some of his followers, taking them to Boston to stand trial for heresy. No one knows exactly where his wife and children were during the time he was in prison. This is the story of what might have happened to them, told through the eyes of one of his daughters, a girl with the remarkable given name of Mahershallahashbaz.





Click here for links to buy the e-book


ISBN 978 1393345992

also available as a paperback


ISBN 978 1393071365

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Twelve-year-old Katie Brant is used to getting everything her own way. She lives with her grandparents, two uncles, and her Aunt Mattie on a farm/boardinghouse in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains of New York State in the early 1920s. With the exception of her formidable grandmother, everyone spoils her because her mother died when she was born and her father is away for long stretches of time, working for the O&W Railroad. But this year, as the tourist season starts and the family, including Katie's cousins Nellie and Muriel, beds down in the attic to make room to take in summer boarders, Katie's world changes in ways that force her to take a hard look at herself and the way she treats both friends and family. She soon learns that choices have consequences.



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a novel of romantic suspense

available in trade paperback for $9.99

ISBN 978-1-393-21640-7

(also available as a e-book)



"Someday, Kristy, if you stay

just as sweet and innocent as you are now,

you'll make some lucky guy a great wife."

That's what the boy Kristy Russell is crazy about tells her.

Insulted, sixteen-year-old Kristy embarks on a journey of

self-discovery, trying to figure out why he rejected her.

In the attempt, she comes to realize that her own self-esteem

is more important than what anyone else thinks of her.

But will that knowledge enable her to make the right choice

when a potentially life-altering decision is required of her?

It isn't just her own future she holds in her hands.


set in 1992


Someday was once scheduled for publication by Silhouette Books' Keepsake line.

I was going to use the pseudonym Kaitlyn Gorton.

The line was discontinued before Someday reached stores, but there was a cover.



Frankly, I was glad this one was not used on my book.

There is no scene like this in the story.






a biography

Originally published by Dillon Press with the title Making Headlines

as part of their People in Focus series (1989)

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ISBN 9781393322290

also available as a paperback


ISBN 9781393712701



Aimed at young readers, Nellie Bly is the story of the groundbreaking investigative reporter who was born Elizabeth Cochran. As Nellie, she became famous for writing newspaper articles about controversial subjects at a time in history when journalism was not considered a proper career for women. She wrote about the deplorable conditions in factories and prisons, went undercover to expose businesses that exploited newly arrived single women and homeless children, and once spent ten days in an insane asylum to expose abuses there. Then, in 1890, she became the most famous person in the world by circling the globe in 72 days. Traveling by train, ship, mule cart, and sampan, she beat the fictional record set in Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. In addition to detailing Nellie Bly's professional achievements, this biography also tells the story of her later marriage to a millionaire, her attempt at running a business, and her experiences in Europe during World War I.


From the reviewers:

Booklist: "Highly readable."

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books: "Fascinating reading."

The Book Report: "Emerson makes her come alive without contriving events or dialogue."



Here is the original hardcover cover:

Nellie Bly




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