A Rambler Steals Home


(available February 28 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Three weeks from today, this book for middle graders (and the rest of us!) will be out in the world!

Have you heard? Here’s what you can find inside:

Garland, Derby, and Triple Clark spend each season traveling highways and byways in their Rambler—until summer, when small-town Ridge Creek, Virginia, calls them back. There they settle in, selling burgers and fries out of Garland’s Grill after each game the Rockskippers play in their battered minor-league baseball stadium. Derby’s summer traditions bring her closer than she’s ever been to a real home that isn’t on wheels, but this time, her return to Ridge Creek reveals unwelcome news. Now the person Derby loves most in town needs her help—and yet finding a way to do so may uncover deeply held stories and secrets.

A big shout out to Brandon Dorman, the cover illustrator. I love this image so much. You’ll see this scene for the first time in the text on page It’s kind of a thing.

And here’s a bit of what you’ll find in the Acknowledgements of my book, a few sentences that celebrates this story’s beginning:

The first thing that showed up in my  heart was Garland’s Grill. It didn’t budge for a while, thanks to some busted wheels. But then there were some sparkling Christmas lights. There was a stadium, a turtle, and a Rambler. And then there was a girl.

That’s how stories start, from watching a bunch of small things. This bunch of small things became a story about the triumph of community and teamwork and finding families that look a little different than you’d imagined.

If you love books and parties and cookies shaped like baseballs, won’t you join me?


If you can’t make that party, but would like a personalized and/or signed copy, head here for all the details. Preorder links for other outlets are all here.

I’ll also be in Richmond, VA on April 1st at bbgb. Details to come.

Thanks for helping me celebrate this book! I’m looking forward to seeing it find its readers.



  • Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Sooooo happy for you, Carter. Wish I were closer so I could attend. Happy launching!

  • Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I just put it on hold at my library. I’m looking forward to reading it! It sounds like a special story. ☺️ Susan

  • Suellen Franze
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Carter, I wish I could attend your shindig, but I have ordered my copy! Love, Suellen

  • MaryWorley
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! Hope your book launch is extraordinary.

  • Cathy Ogren
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, Carter! Looks like a terrific book!