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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Children of Jubilee Book Blast and Trilogy Giveaway

Here's the third book in the Children of Jubilee trilogy.  Check out the author interview below then enter to win the whole young adult trilogy. You have through 12/27 to enter. Good luck.

Welcome to the Children of Jubilee Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Children of Jubilee (Children of Exile #3) on December 4th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from author Margaret Peterson Haddix and 10 chances to win the complete trilogy!

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Occasionally when I do writing workshops with kids, I’ll run into one who finds it easy to write endings.

When that happens, our roles instantly reverse. I stop being the experienced writer handing out advice and become the supplicant begging for pearls of wisdom: “How do you do that? What’s your secret? Can you help me? Please?”

It makes the other kids in the workshop laugh, but I’m (mostly) just being sincere: I think endings are hard, and I am eager to hear how other writers do them, even if those writers are decades younger than me. They really might be that much wiser than me; they really might have the answer I seek.

In more than twenty years of being a professional writer—and after writing more than forty books—I can only think of two or three times when my initial reaction to finishing writing a book wasn’t “Yay! It’s done!” immediately followed by “But every single word of this ending will need to be rewritten, because it’s terrible.”

After those two decades and more than forty books, I at least have a good grip on what my problems are with endings. It’s typically one of three different issues:

1. As I was planning the book as a whole, I thought a lot more about the opening chapters and even the middle than I did the ending. This is an easy thing to do, since the ending seems a million years ago when I’m starting a new book; I find it hard to believe that I will ever actually need to write the ending I’m imagining. Or I believe that I’ll figure something out as I go, and I just don’t.

2. I did actually have a good ending in mind in my initial plans, but the book became a very different creature as I was writing it, and so the original ending I’d wanted now seems about as ridiculous as a horse’s flowing tail on, say, a Dachshund.

3. I’m just tired. I’ve written almost an entire book, and I’m impatient to be done, and so the ending I write is too rushed and shallow.

To counter those problems, sometimes I try to envision the ending more thoroughly from the very beginning, or even to avoid straying so much from the original plan. But that’s just not who I am as a writer or how writing works for me. That feels like planning a months-long, around-the-world trip, and actually believing that I can know now what sights I’ll want to see on the last stop. Writing—like travel—changes things, and I know that my characters, my story, and even I myself will be different when I get to the end. And I don’t think it’s a good idea to stick too closely to a preordained path when I see all sorts of fun plot twists and character development luring me away.  Writing should be full of discovery.

So instead, I try to focus on how to salvage a poorly written ending. Here are some of my tactics:

1. I read back over everything in the earlier sections of the book. Often the seeds of a good ending are already there, planted in an earlier chapter, but I haven’t realized it because I’m too focused on moving ahead.

2. I come up with some new, crazy plot twist for the ending that I was incapable of seeing as a possibility until I was right there at the ending, gazing all around.

3. I go back and rewrite earlier parts of the book to build toward a better ending. This is where writing is easier than the travel analogy I’m using: If I’m miserable on a trip because I’ve packed wrong or taken the route with a million construction-related delays or had some other issue, I can’t go back in time and undo my mistakes. But if my book’s ending doesn’t work because there’s not enough setup, I don’t have to completely throw out the ending; I can just go back and build the route to the ending the way it should have been from the start.

My newest book, Children of Jubilee, is the third and final book of the Children of Exile series, so in the last chapters I needed to end both the story arc of the individual book and the story arc of the series as a whole. This meant that I needed one ending that would serve two different (though definitely related) purposes. So that meant double the pressure.

I don’t want to spoil the book by giving away details of how it ends (and, anyhow, it wouldn’t make sense without the buildup of the entire book). Let’s just say that I followed my usual pattern of needing to rewrite the ending. A lot. But ultimately I was happy with the ending, and I hope readers will be, too.

Because that would truly be a happy ending.

Blog Tour Schedule:

December 3rd — Beach Bound Books

December 4th — Ms. Yingling Reads
December 5thChristy's Cozy Corners
December 6thCrossroad Reviews
December 7th — A Dream Within A Dream

December 10th — Book Briefs
December 11th — Chat with Vera
December 12th — Bookhounds
December 13th — Java John Z's
December 14th — Unleashing Readers

Follow Margaret: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Kiandra has to use her wits and tech-savvy ways to help rescue Edwy, Enu, and the others from the clutches of the Enforcers in the thrilling final novel of the Children of Exile series from New York Times bestselling author, Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Since the Enforcers raided Refuge City, Rosi, Edwy, and the others are captured and forced to work as slave labor on an alien planet, digging up strange pearls. Weak and hungry, none of them are certain they will make it out of this alive.

But Edwy’s tech-savvy sister, Kiandra, has always been the one with all the answers, and so they turn to her. But Kiandra realizes that she can’t find her way out of this one on her own, and they all might need to rely on young Cana and her alien friend if they are going to survive.

About the Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at


  • One (1) winner will receive the complete Children of Exile trilogy: Children of Exile, Children of Refuge, and Children of Jubilee
  • US/Canada only
  • Ends 12/27/2018 at 11:59pm EST

Disclosure: Java John Z's did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
*Read my Disclosure


  1. Reaching way back, I loved the Ramona books.

  2. Harry Potter series were my favorite as a child.

  3. The first multi-book series that I was enamored of in childhood was the OZ books, the 14 original books by L. Frank Baum. They were so much fun!

  4. The Nancy Drew books were my first series.

  5. I loved the Nancy Drew series. I think I read everyone one of them

  6. Nancy Drew books when I was young.