Mind Over Monsters

Coming July 16 from McElderry Books / Simon & Schuster

Gordon Korman meets Scooby-Doo when anxiety-prone middle schoolers try a mindfulness app that has them face their fears all too literally in this spooky and humorous middle grade adventure.

FACE YOUR FEARS! That’s what De-stress-o-rama, the cheesy meditation program, is telling Lena to do. She’s one of seven always-worried middle-schoolers trying out this new app to see if it can help students handle stress. But something is going wrong—very, very wrong.

The group’s fears are becoming all too real, first lurking and dangling, then chasing them around and threatening to swallow them whole. From a stubborn inky blob that is fear of the dark, to the queasy giant in sweaty underpants that is fear of public speaking, monsters are invading Cranberry Bog Middle School! Can Lena’s group of worrier/warriors figure out how to conquer their fears before the whole school is swarmed?

“Terrifying and droll…Alongside a mix of physical comedy and poker-faced banter, the author adds dashes of insight into some of anxiety’s causes and coping strategies.” —Booklist

“Capably balanced humorous and heartfelt prose depicts kids finding the courage to face their demons, both internal and external.” —Publishers Weekly

“Features hilariously wry metaphors, observations, and dialogue… Its sensitive portrayal of Lena’s struggles with navigating anxiety and relationships rings true.” —Kirkus Reviews

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection 2024

Some Niche Fears in Case You Are Making a List

Aibohphobia: Fear of palindromes

Anatidaephobia: Fear that a duck may be watching you

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of having peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: Fear of long words

Some Mind Over Monsters–Specific Fears

Catapedaphobia: Fear of jumping from high or low places, including trampolines

Kurberiphobia: Fear of cranberries

Masklophobia: Fear of mascots

Scopophobia: Fear of having your picture taken

Some Fears Specific to the Author of Mind Over Monsters

Turophobia: Fear of cheese

Aquanasophobia: Fear of getting water up your nose (I made this up, but there should be a word for it, and I think I nailed it with this one)

Inspirational Quotes

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt, president of the United States, 1933–1945

“Unless your fear has literally come to life because your school fell for a cheesy infomercial app, in which case feel free to fear your fear and fend it off with available sporting equipment.” —Lena Lennox, anxious middle-schooler, preferred weapon: lacrosse stick