A bully, a wedding, and a larger-than-life family add up to a hilarious and heartfelt middle-grade novel. Mary Margaret Miller is going to be a junior bridesmaid—that is, if she isn’t grounded for the rest of her life. She’s feuding with school bully Brent Helzinski, and her cousin Eden, aka The Bride, is clashing with her grandmother about wedding plans. Mary knows it’s her job as a junior bridesmaid to make the day run smoothly, but she sure could use a little help from above. Award-winning author Shelly Tougas (Finders Keepers, The Graham Cracker Plot) has created a relatable and funny heroine in this touching and true-to-life novel. Praise for A Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids: “Hand this to tween readers who crave sweet and innocent realistic tales.” —School Library Journal “Wedding-prep comedy balances serious questions of morality in this sweetly perceptive book.” —Kirkus Review “Is there a Patron Saint for smart, funny, touching narrators? If there is, this book’s narrator- Mary Margaret Miller - must have a direct line. Mary is a first-class storyteller with a wonderful eye for detail, a wicked sense of humor, and a tender and searching heart. I love her, and I love this book.” —Sheila Turnage, author of Three Times Lucky “Mary’s take on the stressful situations and dynamic cast of characters makes for an energetic, absorbing read as she sorts through her religious and social conflicts, which most recently include a cute boy named Nick who challenges her views on her Catholicism. Her voice is funny without being hyperbolic; instead, she is ordinary, observant, and realistically plagued by an overburdened sense of responsibility to keep everyone happy, which makes her relatable to many tweens. Readers looking for a lighthearted summer read about faith, family, and figuring out who you are in the midst of a lot of noise will enjoy this.” —The Bulletin
Shelley is the author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction for kids. Her book “Little Rock Girl 1957” made the top ten lists of “School Library Journal” and “Booklist.” Her latest novel, “Laura Ingalls is Ruining My Life,” won the Wisconsin Tofte/Wright Children’s Literary Award. She writes and reads in Hudson, Wisconsin, which is also home to her favorite public library.