Book Trailer Premiere: Malcolm Under the Stars by W.H. Beck

Author and teacher-librarian W.H. Beck is taking over my blog for the day. Thank you, W.H, for sharing your wonderful book trailer with us!

Dear Mr. Schu,

Thanks for having Malcolm and the rest of the Midnight Academy critters on Watch. Connect. Read! They’ll try to mind their manners and not eat all your snacks. (You don’t happen to have any Cheezy Bits snack crackers, though, do you? A rat does get hungry.)

Anyway, as you may know, Mr. Schu, Malcolm and the other classroom pets of the Midnight Academy have been laying low since the feral cat Snip almost did away with Aggy the iguana and poisoned the whole school (that’s a long story—book-like, really*). But now, things are starting to happen again. Leaky pipes. Broken windows. Faulty electrical wiring (really, Malcolm didn’t mean to cause most of those!). In fact, the school board is wondering if they can afford to keep the aging McKenna School open.

Malcolm, for one, is not about to wait around to let this happen. Instead, he and his best nutter (kid) friend, Amelia Vang, venture into the shadowy history of the Midnight Academy to track down a legend of missing money. The trail leads them into the dangerous Outside world, full of suspicious characters, new friends, and complicated favors. Once again there are more secrets in the halls of McKenna than there are crumbs in Malcolm’s Comf-E-Cube.

But then, the unthinkable happens. And Malcolm is left to wonder: is it possible to solve the mystery, save the school, and still not get what you want? And what if doing what you Know in your heart is right goes against everything you want most?

Gristle! Who knew being a rat—and a friend—could be so complicated? Read more about it in MALCOLM UNDER THE STARS, available August 4 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Once more, illustrated by the amazing Brian Lies.

In the meantime, here’s what the lankies (grown-ups) have to say about it so far:

“Malcolm's ponderings on the nature of revenge, compassion, loss, and friendship are seamlessly woven into the plot. Lies' gray-toned, textured pencil-and-graphite illustrations add dimension and personality to the creatures. Welcome back, Malcolm.” Kirkus

Can’t wait until August? Enter below to win an ARC:

W.H. Beck is an elementary school library media specialist by day, and an author of books for children by night. MALCOLM UNDER THE STARS is the sequel to her award-winning humorous middle grade mystery, MALCOLM AT MIDNIGHT. She also dabbles in nonfiction; watch for the forthcoming picture book, GLOW: ANIMALS WITH THEIR OWN NIGHT-LIGHTS (January, 2016). See what else she is up to at or on Twitter @whbeck.

Thank you, W.H! :)

Borrow Malcolm Under the Stars from your school or public library after August 4, 2015. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.


  1. Thanks for the chance at winning and for featuring this book, Mr. Schu! Congrats, WH! I loved the first book, so I'm looking forward to this one. So great to have a rat hero--we have a pet rat named, Lucia. :)


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