Cheating for the Chicken Man

By Priscilla Cummings

Published by Dutton Children's Books, 2015

Hardback ISBN: 978-0-525-42617-2

Paperback ISBN: 978-0-14-242742-2

Ages 10 and up

How far do you do to protect your brother? Thirteen-year-old Kate Tyler must ask herself this question when her older brother, J.T., returns home after nearly a year in a juvenile detention facility only to find himself ostracized and bullied as he attempts to make a fresh start... Kate and J.T. were first introduced in Red Kayak, the award-winning story of three boys caught up in a moral dilemma after a prank goes terribly wrong. Cheating for the Chicken Man brings J.T., Kate and Brady Parks together again as they struggle with the complicated issues of fairness, friendship, and forgiveness.

"Cummings touches on many issues, from environmental concerns to the pains of growing up, from antibiotic-resistant superbugs to forgiveness, yet ably manages to keep the story progressing engagingly. Minimal but sufficient back story allows this novel to stand alone."

- Kirkus

  • Junior Library Guild selection (2015)

  • The Journey Back

    By Priscilla Cummings

    Published by Dutton Children's Books, 2012

    Hardback ISBN: 978-0-525-42362-1

    Paperback ISBN: 978-0-14-242290-8

    Ages 10 and up

    Escaped and on the run, can Digger find redemption? His bold escape from a juvenile detention facility nearly kills him, but soon an angry fourteen-year-old Digger is on the run. When injuries stop his flight, Digger hides at a riverside campground, where he befriends little Luke and pretty Nora. New friends, a job caring for rescued horses, and risking his life to save another make Digger realize that the journey back is not just about getting home, it's about discovering what he's really running from, and how to come to terms with his troubled past. A companion book to Red Kayak.

    "This high-action journey has suspense to spare, and the continual near misses will keep readers cheering for Digger."

    - Booklist

    • Bank Street College's "Best Children's Books of the Year for 2013" List (2013)
    • Junior Library Guild Selection (2013)
    • Scholastic Book Club Selection

    • Blindsided

      By Priscilla Cummings

      Published by Dutton Children's Books, 2010

      Hardback ISBN: 978-0-525-42161-0

      Paperback ISBN: 978-0-14-241902-1

      Ages 10 and up

      When 14-year-old Natalie learns she will lose her sight she reluctantly enters a school for the blind. While she does as she's told, inwardly she hopes for the miracle that will save her sight. Ultimately, Natalie must decide how to go on when her future is not what she expected.

      "The young character's courage is unforgettable, and so are the heartbreaking details."

      - Booklist

      • IRA CBC Children's Choice (2010)
      • Nominee for the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award (2013)
      • Nominee for the Oklahoma Sequoyah Award (2013)
      • Scholastic Book Club Selection

      • What Mr. Mattero Did

        By Priscilla Cummings

        Published by Dutton Children's Books, 2005

        Hardback ISBN: 978-0-525-47621-4

        Paperback ISBN: 978-0-14-240856-8

        Ages 10 and up

        Three seventh grade girls accuse their music teacher, Mr. Mattero, of touching them inappropriately. The story is told from two points of view: one of the accusing girls and also Mr. Mattero's daughter, who happens to be an eighth grader in the samemiddle school.

        "Riveting and timely, this shocking slice-of-life drama is sure to keep pages turning."

        - Publishers Weekly

        • A Junior Library Guild selection (2005)

        • Red Kayak

          By Priscilla Cummings

          Published by Dutton Children's Books, 2004

          Hardback ISBN: 978-0-525-47317-6

          Paperback ISBN: 978-0-14-240573-4

          Ages 10 and up

          Living near the water on Maryland's Eastern Shore, thirteen-year-old Brady and his best friends, J.T. and Digger, become entangled in a tragedy that tests their friendship and their ideas about right and wrong.

          "Voices ring with authenticity, the situation is tense and the stakes high... This book is a gem."

          - VOYA

          • American Library Association (ALA) Best Books for Young Adults (2006)
          • A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age (2005)
          • An IRA-CBC Children's Choice (2005)
          • Wisconsin Battle of the Books (2005)
          • VOYA's Review Editor's Choice List (2005)
          • Washington Post Summer Reading Book Club (one of ten books) (2006)
          • Winner, Maryland Black Eyed Susan Award (2007)
          • Winner, Oklahoma Sequoyah Award (2007)
          • On more than 25 state reading lists

          • Saving Grace

            By Priscilla Cummings

            Published by Dutton Children's Books, 2003

            Paperback ISBN: 978-0-525-47123-3

            Ages 9 and up

            When Grace's family is evicted from their Washington D.C. apartment just before Christmas 1932 during The Great Depression, she and her younger siblings are placed in a mission. Grace's stay is cut short when she is invited to spend the holidays with the Hammonds, where they treat her like a daughter. What will happen when it's time for Grace to go home? Are family bonds more important than the security the Hammonds offer her? Inspired by a true story, Saving Grace is a testament to how love and loyalty triumphed during one of the bleakest periods in American history.

            "Cummings does an excellent job of showing how easy it is to do wrong when the normal world operates so inequitably. The choices Grace must make are not clear-cut..."

            - School Library Journal

            • A Junior Library Guild Selection (2003)
            • Nominee for the Mark Twain Award (2006)

            • A Face First

              By Priscilla Cummings

              Published by Dutton Children's Books, 2001

              Hardback ISBN: 978-0-525-46522-5

              Paperback ISBN: 978-0-14-230247-7

              Ages 10 and up

              After a catastrophic automobile accident, Kelley wakes up in the hospital to find that her face and body are severely burned. She feels isolated and alone as she agonizes through skin-graft operations, painful dressings and hand exercises that seem like torture. But with the help of her family and friends, a kind nurse, and understanding doctors and therapists, she is able to survive and even triumph. Then she finds out that she has to wear an ugly plastic face mask so that her facial skin won't grow back puffy and hard. How will Kelley ever face the world again?

              "Cummings... really shines in showing the careful balance of push, pull, and nurturing that must be maintained by the dedicated medical staff who choose to work with fire victims. She understands appearance-conscious adolescents, and leads readers to pull with Kelley in working through the layers of her inner being to reach beyond the mask."

              - Starred Review, School Library Journal

              • American Library Association (ALA) Notable (2002)
              • Parents' Guide to Children's Media Honor (2002)
              • New Mexico Battle of the Books (2005)
              • Excerpted in Weekly Reader (2004)

              • Autumn Journey

                By Priscilla Cummings

                Published by Tidewater Publishers, 2008

                Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87033-606-5

                Ages 9 and up

                When Will Newcomb's father loses his job, things start falling apart. The family's move to Grampa's farm in Pennsylvania is supposed to be a new beginning, but even there Will struggles with the change in his father... Autumn Journey is the story of several journeys, not just that of a Canada goose that Will has shot and nurses back to health. It is also the tale of a grandfather's love in the last days of his life, and of a family struggling to stay together in the face of hard times.

                "The prose shows the ease and confidence of an old pro, and gives off the power of someone who understands well the human heart..."

                - Kirkus Reviews

                • ABA Pick of the list for Fall (1997)
                • Maryland Black-Eyed Susan list (1999-2000)