Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

Find the tour schedule here.

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Release Date: June 16, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction


It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised

mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant

conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt 

and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front 

and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not 

welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident 

oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople 

aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.

Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, 

Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent 

on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what 

it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the 

beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days 

can give rise to an invincible summer.

Daven McQueen’s Juniper Jones is a character for all ages in this

sweet coming of age story set in 1950s Alabama.

Book Links:

How did you come up with the idea for The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones? 

The idea for an ‘invincible summer’ came from an Albert Camus quote that I loved at the time, but the story itself really started with me wanting to write a summer lakeside story. At the same time, I was realizing that pretty much everything I’d written up to that point had featured white characters, mostly because it’d always been indirectly signaled to me that that was what people wanted to read. I really wanted to start writing stories I could see myself in, so I decide to tackle both at once. 

Did you do any research for The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones? 

I did do a lot of research, though in hindsight, during my first draft, I wasn’t exactly researching the right things. I spent a lot of time brushing up on fifties slang, TV news programs, what people wore, the kinds of cars they drove – so mostly surface level stuff. I drew a lot on my own experiences with race and what I’d learned about the Jim Crow era in school, which you know, wasn’t much. Coming back to the story years later with my editor, though, gave me a chance to do deeper research into how racism really manifested in the South at that time. 

Do you have a favourite character in The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones? 

I know popular opinion is that Juniper is the best, and she’s great – but I really love Ethan. I loved writing his growth and I think he’s so earnest and has so much capacity for friendship. 

What was your favourite part of writing The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones? 

 I really loved writing the scenes of Ethan and Juniper having their adventures around Ellison – their friendship was so much fun to bring to life. 

Do you have any advice for new writers? 

 Just keep writing! It can feel daunting and futile especially when you’re only a couple of chapters into what you imagine as 100k word novel, but the words will come. And you might not like some of them the first time around, but that’s what editing is for. 

What’s your favourite book/series? 

 An impossible question. But I’ve been reading a lot in quarantine, and a couple of my favorites have been Love by Toni Morrison, In the Country by Mia Alvar, and Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang.

About the Author


Daven McQueen grew up outside of Los Angeles, California. She

graduated from Brown University, where she earned a B.A. in 

literary arts and economics. When she’s not writing, Daven can be 

found tap dancing, embroidering, cooking, and eating dessert. She 

lives in Boston, Massachusetts and works in education.

Author Links:

 Tour-wide giveaway

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