We are so excited to reveal the cover for THE DREAM WEAVER by Reina Luz Alegre. The book will be released on May 26, 2020, by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Twelve-year-old Zoey comes from a family of dreamers. From startup companies to selling motorcycles, her dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Her family being together is all that matters to her.
So Zoey’s world is turned upside down when Dad announces that he’s heading to a new job in New York City without her. Instead, Zoey and her older brother José will stay with their Poppy at the Jersey Shore. At first, Zoey feels as lost and alone as she did after her Mami died. But soon she’s distracted by an even bigger problem: the bowling alley that Poppy has owned for decades is in danger of closing!
After befriending a group of kids practicing for a summer bowling tournament, Zoey hatches a grand plan of her own to save the bowling alley. It seems like she’s found the perfect way to weave everyone’s dreams together…until unexpected events turn Zoey’s plan into one giant nightmare.
Now, with her new friends counting on her and her family’s happiness hanging in the balance, Zoey will have to decide what her dream is—and how hard she’s willing to fight for it.
The Dream Weaver cover was designed by Lucy Ruth Cummins and illustrated by Elizabeth Stewart.
Dreaming Rules for All Ages and Especially Middle-Grade Readers
By Reina Luz Alegre
(1) There are NO rules. Muahaha!* The sky’s the limit. Outer space is on the table!
- *But remember, no rules doesn’t mean dreaming is easy per se. So, while the following aren’t “rules,” here are a few thoughts to consider:
(2) Dreaming can be hard because…
- Sometimes you don’t know what you want because…
- Other people imply or straight-up tell you what you should want, and it feels like there’s no space or time left for your own dreams.
- Parents and teachers are notorious for this! But cut ‘em some slack—they usually want you to do well!
- Or the opposite: No one is trying to force any goals on you, and you feel at a loss without guidance.
- What should I do when I grow up? Baker? Candlestick maker?
- Or you know exactly what you want, but it seems impossible.
- Alas. Bad news: It might be. My first grade dream of becoming an astronaut is looking less and less likely by the day…
- Or it might turn out your goal is totally possible with lots of hard work, planning, and faith. My second-grade dream of becoming a published author is coming true in May 2020!
- TRY. IF IT’S TRULY IMPORTANT TO YOU, THEN PLEASE, PLEASE TRY.
- You won’t know unless you try.
- You might wind up helping others if you try; if anything just by setting an example.
(3) Sometimes Dreams Change
- Some goals fail to hold your interest over the long-term.
- I don’t personally aspire to join NASA anymore. The idea of reaching for the stars sounded cool, but, to be honest, I wasn’t ready to put in all the physical, academic, and professional effort required to attempt to do so in practice. Oh well.
- Sometimes life delays or reshapes a dream.
- Family obligations. Paying-your-bills-obligations. Unforeseeable curveballs. But those bumps and side roads may well pave the path to new dreams.
- And then sometimes dreams don’t change.
- I’ve always wanted to publish, although I wasn’t always doing my best to get there. For a long time, I didn’t know if I could write that many pages in a row. Then I wrote a bunch of pages in a row, but they weren’t very good. Manuscripts were shelved. It took what felt like forever to get to this point.
(4) If the Dream is Really Important, Then Have a Plan
- But be ready to adapt it or throw it into the garbage and start a new one, as may be needed.
- Dreams compete with each other, and at times, may seem or even be mutually exclusive… which leads to:
(5) Follow Your Gut
- Know what your priorities are. There’s no one-size-fits-all situation (despite the plethora of sources out there that can sometimes make it feel that way!). You are the person who knows yourself best—and what’s most important to you—at the end of the day.
As mentioned above, publishing The Dream Weaver is a real dream come true for me. In it, 12-year-old Zoey wrestles with separating herself from her family’s dreams, which have dominated her life until now. Her dad can’t settle on one career and constantly uproots his kids in pursuit of new jobs or business opportunities. Her big brother is going to college soon, and he’s always known exactly what he plans to do—study engineering. When she moves in with her Cuban-born grandpa who worked so hard to build up the bowling alley he’s on the verge of losing, Zoey asks herself what she wants for the first time. What does she want to be when she grows up? What does she want to do right now?
I’m so grateful to We Need Diverse Books and #DVpit (through which I found my wonderful agent!) for making dreams possible for more of us. I think seeing more characters from diverse backgrounds as main characters in books for both kids and adults broadens all readers’ perspectives and especially helps inspire those of us from those same backgrounds to achieve our dreams in real life.
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Reina Luz Alegre lives in the Miami area with her family. She’s dreamed of becoming an author since the second grade and grew up to work on various other professional dreams—including as a freelance journalist and lawyer—before debuting her first novel, The Dream Weaver, which will be out May 2020 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. When she’s not writing, Reina loves to read, sing and salivate over baking shows. Follow her on Twitter at @ReinaLuzAlegre.