Aladdin / Simon & Schuster: 2022

Hardcover ISBN: 9781534484924

Paperback ISBN: 9781534484931

Also available in eBook

Ages 8-12, Grades 3-7

Lexile ® 800L

Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence

Aladdin / Simon & Schuster: 2022

Hardcover ISBN: 9781534484924

Paperback ISBN: 9781534484931

Also available in eBook

Ages 8-12, Grades 3-7

Lexile ® 800L

About the Book

From the Desk of Zoe Washington meets Ways to Make Sunshine in this heartfelt middle grade novel about a determined young girl who must rely on her ingenuity and scientific know-how to save her beloved cat.

Twelve-year-old Mira’s summer is looking pretty bleak. Her best friend Thomas just moved a billion and one miles away from Florida to Washington, DC. Her dad is job searching and he’s been super down lately. Her phone screen cracked after a home science experiment gone wrong. And of all people who could have moved into Thomas’s old house down the street, Mira gets stuck with Tamika Smith, her know-it-all nemesis who’s kept Mira in second place at the school science fair four years running.

Mira’s beloved cat, Sir Fig Newton, has been the most stable thing in her life lately, but now he seems off, too. With her phone gone and no internet over the weekend at her strict Gran’s house, Mira must research Fig’s symptoms the old-fashioned way: at the library. She determines that he has “the silent cat killer” diabetes. A visit to the vet confirms her diagnosis, but that one appointment stretched family funds to the limit—they’ll never be able to afford cat insulin shots.

When Mira’s parents tell her they may have to give Fig up to people who can afford his treatment, Mira insists she can earn the $2,000 needed within a month. Armed with ingenuity, determination, and one surprising ally, can Mira save her best (four-legged) friend before it’s too late?

Honors & Lists

  • 2023 Oregon Book Awards Finalist
  • 2022 Oregon Spirit Book Award Honor Recipient
  • 2023 Oregon Center for the Book Children’s Selection
  • 2023 Washington State Book Award Finalist
  • A 2023 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year (ages 11-13)
  • A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade of 2022

Praise

★ “[Sonja] Thomas’ debut will pull at readers’ heartstrings. A noteworthy debut.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Middle grade readers looking for realistic stories with engaging protagonists will enjoy meeting Mira, a girl whose passion for science gives her a sense of purpose and the tools to solve problems.” – School Library Journal

“. . . debut author Thomas beautifully captures the voice of a smart, authentic, and determined young girl who readers will relate to and root for.” – Beagles & Books, Elementary Reading Specialist & Book Reviewer

“If you love STEM-girl power, cats, and a heartfelt and inspiring story about having faith in yourself no matter what life throws at you, then you’ll love SIR FIG NEWTON AND THE SCIENCE OF PERSISTENCE by Sonja Thomas.” – CW from The Quiet Pond, Book Reviewer