SOURCE: Selene Castrovilla

October 13, 2009 09:18 ET

Selene Castrovilla Lights Up Fall With Debut YA Novel and Revolutionary War Picture Book

CHAPPAQUA, NY--(Marketwire - October 13, 2009) - Selene Castrovilla hits a double this fall with a contemporary young adult novel, "Saved by the Music" (WestSide Books), and a suspenseful picture book that brings history to life, "Upon Secrecy" (Calkins Creek Books/Boyds Mills Press). Castrovilla's debut novel is a coming-of-age story with a new take on teen alienation, while her picture book tells the story of George Washington's Culper Spy Ring at a crucial moment of the Revolutionary War.

In "Saved by the Music," fifteen-year-old Willow has a troubled relationship with her unstable mother. When Mom kicks Willow out for the summer, she moves in with her aunt, a violinist who is turning a run-down barge into a classical music performance space. There, Willow must deal with a dangerously seductive construction worker while making friends with Axel, a mysterious boy who lives on a sailboat nearby.

Kids who love secret codes and spies will appreciate the gripping narrative of "Upon Secrecy." Set during the Revolutionary War, it shows how members of the Culper Spy Ring eavesdropped on the British, wrote secret messages, and fended off highway robbers to deliver crucial information to George Washington. This gripping narrative of the spies' most important mission keeps the tension alive, while period details and illustrations add to the drama. Extensively researched, the book includes a timeline, bibliography, and places to visit.

Castrovilla's previous picture book for Calkins Creek, "By the Sword: A Young Man Meets War" also has a connection to the Culper Spy Ring. The book paints a suspenseful portrait of a young Benjamin Tallmadge as he and his beloved horse, Highlander, fight to defend New York against the British. As George Washington's chief of secret service, Tallmadge later organized and ran the Culper Spy Ring. "By the Sword" reveals an important human side of the revolution -- one not usually addressed. It was a 2008 IRA Notable Book, a 2010 New York State Charlotte Award recommended selection, a Kansas Reading Circle recommended title, and a 2009 Moonbeam Children's Book Award gold medalist.

Selene Castrovilla,, holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from New School University and a B.A. in English from New York University. She lives with her two sons in Island Park, New York.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Raab Associates Inc. for Selene Castrovilla
    Email Contact