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Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts
By (author): Esta Spalding Illustrated by: Sydney Smith
9780735263185 Paperback, Trade English Juvenile: Age (years) from 8 - 12, Grade (US) from 3 - 7 JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Siblings May 02, 2017
$12.99 CAD
Active 5.25 x 7.69 x 0.62 in 256 pages ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT Tundra Books
The first adventure in a rollicking, brilliantly imagined new middle grade series by award-winning poet and screenwriter Esta Spalding, with illustrations by rising new talent Sydney Smith.

Kim Fitzgerald-Trout took to driving with ease—as most children would if their parents would ever let them try. She had to. After all, she and her siblings live in a car.

Meet the Fitzgerald-Trouts, a band of four loosely related children living together on a lush tropical island. They take care of themselves. They sleep in their car, bathe in the ocean, eat fish they catch and fruit they pick, and can drive anywhere they need to go—to the school, the laundromat, or the drive-in. If they put their minds to it, the Fitzgerald-Trouts can do anything. Even, they hope, find a real home.

Award-winning poet and screenwriter Esta Spalding’s exciting middle grade debut establishes a marvelous place where children fend for themselves, and adults only seem to ruin everything. This extraordinary world is brought to vibrant life by Sydney Smith, the celebrated artist behind Sidewalk Flowers.

Series Overview: The first volume features a band of loosely related self-reliant siblings who live alone in their car on a tropical island, populated by terrible grown-ups.

STRONG REVIEWS: The first book in the series has received positive reviews from publications such as Quill & Quire and Publishers Weekly.

INCREDIBLE AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR DUO: Esta Spalding is a renowned poet and screenwriter, and Sydney Smith a brilliant up-and-coming illustrator. This duo is bound to be a hit!

A NEW CLASSIC: this charming and quirky adventure is part Pippi Longstocking, part Penderwicks and part Lemony Snicket.

FIRST IN A SERIES: Look out for more Fitzgerald-Trouts, summer 2017!!

BLENDED FAMILY: a story about loosely related siblings, home and the meaning of family.

KID POWER!: the homeless children in this story don’t have many resources other than their smarts and their love for one another, but they rise up to the challenge of their situation—and the awful adults in their lives—with pluck and aplomb.


FANTASTIC CAST OF CHARACTERS: the Fitzgerald-Trouts are winning heros and heroines who will have readers rooting them on.

CO-PUBLISHERS: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in the US.

ESTA SPALDING is a descendant of Canadian literary royalty, and an accomplished writer in her own right. She is the supervising producer of the HBO series Masters of Sex, and is writing for the new Amazon series The Last Tycoon. She has garnered awards for her film and television work, as well as for her prose and poetry. When she’s not writing, she kayaks, bakes, and assembles whale skeletons with her husband, a marine biologist.

Author Residence: Venice, California

Author Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

SYDNEY SMITH was born in rural Nova Scotia and has been drawing from an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated multiple children's books, including the highly acclaimed wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, conceived by Jon Arno Lawson, which won a Governor General's Award and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book and an ALA Notable Book, and has been long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal. He is also the illustrator of The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Ellen Bogart, also nominated for a Governor General's Award. Sydney has received a number of other awards for his illustrations, including the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. He now lives and works in Toronto. Visit him at or on Twitter at @Sydneydraws.

Illustrator Residence: Toronto, ON

Illustrator Hometown: Nova Scotia

Author Website:

Author Social Media:

PRAISE FOR Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts:

“If this sounds like the set up for a preposterous tale that incorporates a fantastical plot, quirky characters, and some child-friendly amorality, that’s because Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts is exactly that and more…This is plain fun with an edge, after a Dahl-esque fashion.”—Quill & Quire

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