A Million Miles from Boston, Karen Day,

5th Grade Chapter Book GIVEAWAY: A Million Miles From Boston

Best Chapter Book for Girls Entering Middle School

I’m lucky to have Karen Day as a neighbor. We met through Music Lovers’ third grade soccer team. Karen’s youngest was also on the same team and we had a chance to chat at the end of the season dinner at the coach’s house. Once there was a face to the name, I started bumping into her everywhere! We like to go to the same off leash dog park around a reservoir one town over and now our dogs are buddies. We also  like the same hot yoga studio another town over too. Strangely though, I’ve never bumped into her at the grocery store.

She’s been a big hit at two book clubs. The first one featured her baseball chapter book that is also the story of her life called No Cream Puffs about a girl pitching in the little league for the first time. PickyKidPix likes that book a lot too.

MADISON IS NOT your average 12-year-old girl from Michigan in 1980. She doesn’t use lipgloss, but she loves to play sports, and joins baseball for the summer—the first girl in Southern Michigan to play on a boys’ team. The press call her a star and a trailblazer, but Madison just wants to play ball. Who knew it would be so much pressure? Crowds flock to the games. Her team will win the championship—if she can keep up her pitching streak. Meanwhile, she’s got a crush on a fellow player, her best friend abandons her for the popular girls, the “O” on her Hinton’s uniform forms a bulls-eye over her left breast, and the boy she punched on the last day of school plans to bean her in the championship game.

Karen Day, book club for kids, A Million Miles from Boston

We were fortunate to have her again for a second book club on A Million Miles from Boston this past year where she had the girls do a writing exercise and share their feelings about starting middle school. For the first time, this small group of girls were going to be at three different schools.

Karen has an amazing rapport with kids and was able to channel their fears and hopes into a poignant discussion about transitioning into middle school. Then she talked about “Show, Don’t Tell” and each girl wrote a short story that she then read aloud and it was fun to guess that each child was describing.

Perfect Going into 6th Grade Chapter Book for Girls

A Million Miles from Boston by Karen Day

School’s out! That means Lucy is off to her favorite place: Pierson Point, Maine, where she spends summers with her family. And as she tries to forget her worries about starting middle school and about Dad’s new girlfriend, Lucy can’t get there soon enough. Pierson Point is where she feels most like herself, and where memories of her mother, who died when Lucy was six, are strong and sacred.

But this summer, nothing is the same. Ian, a boy from home in Boston, comes to Pierson Point with his family. Ian is loud, popular, and mean. He and Lucy can’t stand each other. To top it off, Dad wants his girlfriend to become a bigger part of Lucy’s life.

Karen Day’s engaging novel shows that people aren’t always what they seem, and that friendship can be found in the most unusual places.

It turns out that all the girls in the book club had a smooth transition into Middle School. There are lots of new skills to be gained for sure from 1) learning how to use combination locks (surprisingly challenging!), 2) getting and staying organized (our Middle School is on a 6 day schedule so every week is different), 3) self advocacy (going to teachers for help), 4) logistics of transitioning to class within 2 minutes when there are 3 crowded stairwells to be negotiated, 5) keeping old friends while making new ones, 6) balancing texting with the rest of your life, and 7) finding the right balance of independence.

All in all, it’s been better than I dared hope.

What were or are your anxieties about your child going into Middle School?

p.s. Capability:Mom also posted on A Million Miles From Boston here.

I am giving away 3 copies of  A Million Miles to Boston. Please Tweet and Stumble Upon to Win.

Leave comment letting me know you did this. Thanks!

Karen Day

Congrats to Dee, Nadine and Valerie. They each won a signed book!

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Valerie

    Looks like a great book!

  2. Nadine

    What a great book. I have an incoming 6th grader. Will have to look into getting this one.

  3. Alison

    My daughter is heading into 6th grade, but in our town there is an upper elementary school for grades 4-6 so she has already gone through one transition (when the kids from three town elementary schools came together for 4th grade) and has another year before moving on to the middle school for grades 7 & 8. This looks like a great book and one that she hasn’t read already!

  4. These looks fabulous for my 4th graders! Can’t wait to check them out 🙂
    Joan Young recently posted…Our Fantastic Toontastic Session with Andy Russell!My Profile

  5. Dee

    Stumbled and tweeted!
    Dee recently posted…The Medication DilemmaMy Profile

  6. Mia, thanks so much for posting. I was so happy to come to your book groups. Your girls are great! Thanks!


    • Hi Karen Day!
      It’s so exciting for us to have the AUTHOR show up! Thank you, thank you! We all loved all three of your books but this was a particular favorite! And thank you for coming TWICE to my oldest’s book clubs! You are a rockstar to them!

  7. Ann

    Looks good! Middle school IS a big transition! Did she come to the book club?! That is so cool! Promoted : )
    Ann recently posted…Don’t Give Dad a TieMy Profile

    • Hi Ann,
      She was so nice to come not once but twice. I saw her at yoga and was a little embarrassed to ask her again to come for A Million Miles to Boston. I think she sensed that so she offered. I was so thrilled! It was the best book club EVER!

  8. I don’t have a Stumble Upon but I tweeted and Facebooked this! Love book giveaways. I’ll be having a “Momnesia” by Lori Verni-Fogarsi book giveaway on my site the last week of June if anyone is interested.
    Kelly recently posted…Depression sucks! Happy Monday (Wednesday)!My Profile

  9. Wendy Pierce

    My 10yrold boy is heading into 6th grade though he may not go for this “girl” book. BUT, my third grade girl may like this.

  10. Sandi SAkowski

    Looks amazing….. I just watched a wonderful group of 5th graders graduate, as I work at their school as a paraprofessional. I stood with teary eyes watching them bounce between excitement and nervousness…. this would be a great book to read myself and have to share with my 5th grade friends!!!!

  11. vanita

    i can tell you my girls could have used this when they were at that stage. wonderful reviews. thank you
    vanita recently posted…Coming Full CircleMy Profile

  12. Artchoo

    I love it that you are able to promote an author you actually know! These look great.
    Artchoo recently posted…It’s a Soft, Soft PlayroomMy Profile

  13. Beth

    My oldest is going into 6th grade in the fall. How fun to have had the author come to your book clubs!

  14. Leslie

    I enjoyed reading your summary and would love to add this book to my reading collection for my students.

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