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'Sloppy Firsts' author Megan McCafferty brings her protagonist back to middle school

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(Read caption) The Jessica Darling series currently spans five books.

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Younger readers may soon be joining the teenagers and adults who love Megan McCafferty’s protagonist Jessica Darling.

McCafferty will write two books that will serve as prequels to her Jessica books and follow the heroine in middle school, according to the author. She said she was inspired to write a story aimed at younger readers after she heard complaints from her son’s classmates that lots of books didn’t interest them.

“I thought, what if there were a series or a book that dealt with the issues that they’re interested in?” she told Publishers Weekly. “Changes in your body, changes in your relationships with friends, changes with your parents, changes in the social dynamics – all of those things that tend to be more young-adult issues – but in a way that is age-appropriate.”

She wasn’t even thinking of the protagonist of her other series until she was in bed at 4:30 one morning and the idea of writing about Jessica in middle school came to her.

“I wrote for three hours before my husband and son even woke up,” McCafferty said.

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