Double the Danger and Zero Zucchini

Available now from Margaret K. McElderry Books / Simon & Schuster

Books aren’t supposed to be dangerous. Are they?

Alex Harmon prefers running to sitting still reading. But when his aunt offers to pay him to point out the boring parts in her children’s book, he figures it’s an easy way to make ten bucks. The problem is that the book is about a grumpy frog and a prizewinning zucchini. It doesn’t have a few boring pages: the whole thing is a dud.

Alex gives his aunt some ideas to help her out—like adding some danger and suspense. But books can’t just be interesting. They also have to be believable. Soon Alex recruits his friends Javier and Marta to help him act out scenes so he can describe the important details. He’s even getting plot twists from a mysterious stranger who might be a ghost, and book suggestions from a librarian who seems to be psychic.

Too late, Alex discovers that being a real-life stunt double for a fictional character can land you in terrible trouble—even if your friends are laughing their heads off!

“Quick-witted, fast-paced…. A daring dose of humor, metafiction, and pardonable pandering to nonreaders and librarians alike.” —Kirkus Reviews

A Children’s Literature Association of Utah Beehive Book Awards nominee

A 2022-23 Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award Book, Grades 6-8

A 2021 Bank Street Books Best Children’s Book of the Year 12-14 Selection

A 2021 Crystal Kite Award Finalist


No actual nephews were harmed in the making of this book.


It goes without saying that literary stunt double is a nonexistent career and also a terrible idea.


This one is more of a warning. Unless someone specifically asks you to point out the boring parts in their book, don’t do it. Especially, and I can’t emphasize this enough, after it’s been published.

Cover art by Linzie Hunter

Zucchini Joke

Q: What’s the difference between zucchini and boogers?

A: Kids will eat boogers.