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June Sparrow and the Million Dollar PennyRebecca Chace

Rebecca Chace - June Sparrow and the Million Dollar

June Sparrow loves her charmed life.  Raised by her housekeeper in a 25-room apartment in the Dakota on New York City’s Upper West Side with her best friend/miniature pig, Indigo Bunting, June home schools herself with the best books from the New York Public Library, the greatest theatre in the world, and box seats at the Met.  She barely even remembers her parents anymore, but she kisses their photograph every night before she goes to bed, thankful for Numismatics Incorporated, the company they founded that provides for her immense wealth.

That is, until her twelfth birthday, when June is told that her fortune is gone due to a Ponzi scheme and she must leave New York City immediately to be with the only family she has left…her mother’s sister, whom she has never met.

On the farm where her mother grew up in South Dakota, June reluctantly gives up her Betsey Johnson dress for overalls, chores, and a regular school, vowing to do whatever it takes to get back to New York.  As she plots her return, she discovers secrets from her mother’s life through her “Penny Book”—her coin-collection diary—that could lead to her salvation or might doom her to South Dakota forever.  Learning more about her parents’ company, the start of their lives together, and the impact it had on the family, June begins to wonder if that life was so charmed after all and why her mother left South Dakota so many years before.

June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny is the first middle-grade novel by writer Rebecca Chace.  Chace is the author of two novels for adults, Leaving Rock Harbor and Capture the Flag and the memoir, Chautauqua Summer, which was a New York Times Notable Book.  

Chace’s first novel, Capture the Flag (Simon and Schuster), was adapted into a screenplay co-written by Chace and director Lisanne Skyler (“Getting to Know You”). The short film of “Capture the Flag,” also directed by Skyler, premiered at the Aspenshortsfest International Competition in April, 2010, and received the Tony Cox Showtime Award for best screenplay (Short Film) at the Nantucket Film Festival in 2010. The feature length screenplay adaptation was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab.  

Chace’s plays include: Colette (Theatre for the New City). The Awakening, an adaptation of Kate Chopin's novel, (Book-It Repertory Theatre at Seattle Repertory Theatre); second production: Seattle Rep. June 2005.

Chace is a 2014 recipient of the Grace Paley Fiction Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. She has received grants and support from the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Frances Shaw Fellowship at the Ragdale Foundation, A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle and A.S.K. Theatre Projects in Los Angeles, the FringeACT festival for her play Vershinin’s Wife, and the New York Theatre Workshop artist retreat at Vassar College. She is an Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University.  

June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny will be published by Balzar + Bray in 2017.