Connecticut Author Explores Friendship and More in New Middle Grade Novel
Jackie Nastri Bardenwerper’s new middle grade novel delves into the choppy waters of tween friendship, giving girls a close-up look at how one girl overcomes being betrayed by her best friend. Bardenwerper will be at the Fairfield University Bookstore on Thursday, March 22, 2018 beginning at 7:00pm on the 2nd floor for a book talk and signing of her new tween novel, Salted Caramel Dreams. This event is free and open to the public. Copies will be available for purchase/signing at the event. In Salted Caramel Dreams, twelve-year-old Jasmine has been best friends with Kiara forever. But when Kiara joins the basketball team, she becomes distant, and then betrays Jasmine's trust—shattering one of Jasmine’s biggest dreams. Devastated, Jasmine is lost until her mom forces her to join drama club, where she makes new friends, meets a cute boy, and once again starts making some big dreams. But then there's a crisis with the school play—and Kiara reaches out. Can the former friends help each other when they need it most? “In middle school, every girl wants to fit in, causing many to seek out friendships with girls they believe match the identity they want to portray—whether that be sports star, artist, or something else. Yet when a girl ties her identity to that of her friends, there can be this intense pressure to stay close with this group,” said Bardenwerper. “This pressure can wreak havoc among girls’ self-esteem, as friends who don’t fit one’s new image are dropped, and new friends turn out to be different than they seemed. In Salted Caramel Dreams, I wanted to show girls the silver lining of all this turmoil—how changing friendships can often lead to new opportunities, while making old dreams even stronger than before.” In addition to tackling the stresses of friendship, Salted Caramel Dreams is lots of fun, with plenty of crushes, lunchroom drama, and sweet treats along the way. Salted Caramel Dreams is part of Sky Pony’s new Swirl line of tween-girl-centered novels. These are just right for younger readers (not-quite-tweens) who like to read up. Each of these fun, light, and realistic contemporary books has totally different characters and a unique plot. They can be read in any order. Jackie Nastri Bardenwerper is a writer of middle grade and young adult fiction. Her books include Salted Caramel Dreams (Sky Pony Press, 2018), Populatti (Tautog Press, 2014) and On the Line (2012). A Connecticut native, she grew up in Orange, Conn. She also called Stamford home for eight years before moving to Fairfield, where she currently resides with her husband and two children. Her books often are set in imaginary Connecticut towns, usually near the beach. Visit her online at www.jnbwrite.com.