Once upon a time ….

…there was a story that stole my heart. It was a story that was filled with magic, mystery, and moral lessons that middle grade readers will love.



The story is set in the small town of Independence, Maine, where everybody knows everybody, and Alice Dingwell is discovering that this is not necessarily a good thing. It’s already tough enough growing up, without having everything falling apart around you too.




Alice feels invisible. Her former friends don’t want to hang around with her any more, she feels awkward around her best friend, Lewis, and nobody is talking about the bad thing that happened with her Dad. robin4-1

Alice adores her Dad. She used to live for his stories, how he made the world feel like such a magical place, how he wove tales that entranced her. He made life bigger, brighter and more beautiful. But now he has gone away, and nobody wants to talk about what happened; least of all, Alice.


So Alice keeps her head down. She no longer wants to play Ice Hockey with the town team, even though she is a talented player. She’s too busy punishing herself for her Dad’s absence, even if it means hurting her best friend Lewis.


Lewis is confused. He has no idea why Alice has been cool with him. He blames himself. He thinks he could have been a better friend. But Lewis is patient and waits for Alice to figure out what she needs.




Melanie, is also invisible. The niece of the strange woman who lives in what is known as ‘The Bird House’ to the locals, Melanie has a hard time making friends. The town rumor is that her Aunt is a Witch, just because she keeps herself to herself. And so, Melanie has no friends, and instead, focuses on her love of animals.When Lewis begins to hang out with her, Melanie is happy but reticent.


When Alice was young, she wandered into the forest and found a huge spiderweb. Her Dad explained that only certain people could see this gigantic web, and he called it the Story Web, explaining that each of the strands on the web were stories that hold the fabric of our world together. If people stop telling stories, the web, and our world will fall apart.

Now, when forest animals begin to appear around the town, and most surprisingly, in front of Alice, she realizes that they are trying to tell her something.


Could it be that the story Web is in danger, and if so, is the world falling apart. Alice needs to figure out what she can do to stop this, and in the meantime, she also learns some important lessons about life, friendship and family.

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This is a most heartwarming tale of love and loyalty, during those difficult years of transitioning into a teenager. Written with wit and whimsy, Blakemore weaves a beautiful tale that will keep your middle grader (and you) turning the page, long after it should be ‘lights out’

The Story Web will be published  by Bloomsbury Books on June 4th 2019. Be sure to save the date!

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