I am the author of the Cybils’-nominated Caleb and Kit, ILA award-winning A Blind Guide to Stinkville, JLG-selection A Blind Guide to Normal, The Reckless Club, and the Pack of Dorks series. I’ve received starred and positive trade reviews across the board for my novels and am active in school and library visits around the country.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. In fourth grade, I won a short-story contest and promptly decided writing was what I was going to do with my life. Although my other plans–becoming a wolf biologist, a Yellowstone National Park ranger, and a professional roller skater–didn’t come to fruition, I stuck with the writing. I can’t clap to the beat nor be trusted around Nutella.
Lucy knows that kissing Tom Lemmings behind the ball shed will make her a legend. But she doesn’t count on that quick clap of lips propelling her from coolest to lamest fourth grader overnight. Suddenly Lucy finds herself trapped in Dorkdom, where a diamond ring turns your finger green, where the boy you kiss hates you three days later, where your best friend laughs as you cry, where parents seem to stop liking you, and where baby sisters are born different.
Now Lucy has a choice: she can be like her former best friend Becky, who would do anything to claim her seat at the cool table in the cafeteria, or Lucy can pull up a chair among the solo eatersalso known as the dorks. Still unsure, Lucy partners with super quiet Sam Righter on a research project about wolves. Lucy connects her own school hierarchy with what she learns about animal pack lifewhere some wolves pin down weaker ones just because they can, and others risk everything to fight their given place in the pack. Soon Lucy finds her third option: creating a pack of her own, even if it is simply a pack of dorks.
Weaving tough issues, including bullying, loyalty, and disability, with a thread of snarky humor, family bonds, and fresh perspective, Pack of Dorks paints characters coming-of-age and coming-to-terms. Beth Vrabel’s stellar debut contemporary middle grade novel is sure to please fans of Jack Gantos, Elizabeth Atkinson, and Judy Blume.
Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readerspicture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
The pack of dorks heads to camp—and this time the bully they face might just be one of their own.
Sheldon convinces Lucy, Sam, April, and Amanda to join him at Camp Paleo. Like cavemen, the campers are going to have to make do without air conditioning, and they’ll dig for fossils during the day. And Grandma’s coming too—as the lunch lady for the camp next door.
But Sam backs out at the last minute to attend a gymnastics camp instead. Lucy wonders why she misses him so much—it’s not like he’s her boyfriend. Why does the word “boyfriend” make her blush? She needs a distraction.
Enter Mr. Bosserman, the grouchy camp leader who won’t budge on the camp’s caveman theme. The old man needs some softening up, and Lucy knows just the person for the job: Grandma.
One successful match made, Lucy starts to see potential lovebirds everywhere. But when the wrong campers pair up, the pack falls apart, all under the watchful eye of a secret blogger who’s been writing about the camp’s activities. Even worse? A thief is targeting everyone but Lucy, setting her up to look guilty. Soon Lucy finds herself alone, left to fix the messes she’s made. If she fails, the pack may be splintered for good.
Lucy is ready to be a superhero!
Lucy loves her best friends—her pack of dorks. But this year, everyone in the pack has become a hero . . . except for her! Sam rescues twin toddlers about to get hit by a car. April helps bring about the downfall of a ring of bicycle thieves. Sheldon and Amanda launch a campaign to protect turtle eggs laid on the school playground. Even Lucy’s new teacher asks the class about their bravest moments. But Lucy’s not brave—she doesn’t even like to go to the basement by herself!
So Lucy decides she’s going to do something heroic. She’ll be a super dork! This might be her chance to find her awesome.
Unfortunately, all her attempts to help save the day seem to go awry, and usually end up making the situation much worse. Is ordinary dorkdom her destiny—or can Lucy ever find a way to be a hero?