Once Upon a Toad

For Ages: 10 - 14
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A girl gets into a mouthful of trouble in this “toadally” fractured fairy tale, from the author of the Mother-Daughter Book Club series.

Once upon a time, Cat Starr lived with her astronaut mom in Houston. But when her mother gets sent on a long-term mission, Cat has to move to a faraway land—her dad’s house, halfway across the country—and share a room with her real-life evil stepsister, Olivia. Just when Cat can’t take it anymore, Great Aunt Abyssinia comes to the rescue. And things go from bad to cursed.

The next morning, Cat opens her mouth and a toad hops out! What’s more, when Olivia speaks, diamonds and flowers appear. How unfair is that? Before you can say "happily ever after," the girls are on the run from jewel thieves and a government agency. Can Cat save the day—and get rid of all those toads?

This is an enchanting fractured fairy tale from acclaimed Mother-Daughter Book Club author Heather Vogel Frederick.
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  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416984795 | 
  • April 2013 | 
  • Grades 5 - 9
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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

“Are we there yet?” My little brother pulled his index finger out of his mouth, sounding anxious. Geoffrey’s not quite four and doesn’t like car trips.

Without taking his eyes off the road, my dad reached over the back of his seat and stuffed the finger back in. It works kind of like a safety plug. Geoffrey’s nickname in our family is Barf Bucket.

“Not much longer, buddy. Hang in there.”

I was well out of range, sitting in the very back of the minivan next to Olivia. If you can call being braced against opposite car windows sitting “next to” each... see more

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