The Big Apple Effect
(Orca Book Publishers, 2014)

Big_Apple_EffectAfter a lifetime of New Age “adventures” with her weirdo hippie mom, fifteen-year-old Maddie is realizing a lifelong dream and visiting New York City. Armed with her epic to-do list, Maddie hits the streets of New York with her friend Anna and Anna’s brother, Thomas. Maddie drags her friends around on an epic quest for the ultimate art-show outfit, oblivious to the fact that they don’t share her passion for vintage clothing. Three days into the trip, a most unwelcome surprise—the arrival of Maddie’s mother—threatens to derail the entire adventure. As her mother’s obsession with dietary trends and fortune-tellers takes center stage, and everyone’s tempers get thin, Maddie has to face some ugly facts about how she’s been treating her friends.

“Thanks to the book’s convincing teen dialogue and believable characters, readers will identify with Maddie’s palpable excitement at her taste of freedom…A quick paced, lighthearted yet insightful romp about a girl and her emotional, quirky, New Age mom…Deftly tackles important issues such as the boundaries of friendship, dangers of self-pity, the value of self-awareness, and the healing power of forgiveness.” (Quill & Quire)

“There is complexity in the characters that encourages the reader to reflect on Maddie’s critical attitude. This is evident when Maddie takes control of Anna’s trip without considering her friend’s wishes…While the novel is a sequel to Farmed Out, readers unfamiliar with the previous story will have no problem starting with The Big Apple Effect and will be left hoping for a sequel after a possible love interest and developments in Maddie’s art career are introduced late in the novel.” (CM Magazine)

Farmed Out
(Orca Book Publishers, 2011)

Farmed_Out“I can’t get inspiration on a stupid farm! I can’t believe you’re doing this to me!”

Maddie has big-city dreams, and this summer she’s found her chance to visit New York. An art magazine is holding a portrait painting contest, and the first prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Big Apple. Maddie plans to win, but her mother has different plans for her: a mother-daughter adventure in organic farming. Maddie is furious. How will she find an inspiring subject for her portrait amid the goat poop and chickens? And worse, her new-age mother’s attempts at pig reiki are an embarrassment. But Maddie befriends the farmer’s daughter, Anna, and between dodging her mother and doing her chores, she finds the perfect subject for the portrait contest.

“Readers will identify with the disagreements and the embarrassment Maddie’s mother causes for her at times. They will also identify with the need to find their own way in the world and the power a friend can provide on that journey.” (Resource Links)

“Goerzen writes well from a teen perspective, capturing Maddie’s smart-alecky but self-conscious attitude, especially toward her oblivious mother.” (Booklist)

“Maddie is an energetic protagonist young readers will readily identify with and want to follow through her ordeal. They will understand Maddie’s anger at being pulled from her own life into her mother’s chaotic world…The details of a first-time-farm experience seen through Maddie’s eyes are diverse and completely genuine, and Goerzen succeeds in adding depth to an otherwise predictable mother-daughter breakaway story with a subplot that takes Maddie into a world that is more complex than what she imagined New York city would be and one which ultimately lifts her out of herself. Recommended.” (CM Magazine)

(Orca Book Publishers, 2009)

ExploreWhen Mike Longridge gets himself in trouble yet again, he is given a choice: juvenile detention or an outdoor program called Explore. He opts for Explore, but soon finds himself wondering how he is going to survive ten months with the hippies and keeners in the program. He’s never felt so out of place and is certain he will never get the hang of the outdoor activities. Will Mike go back to his old trouble-making ways or will he finally find a place to belong?

Explore was named one of the Best Books for Kids and Teens in 2010 by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

“Teen readers will cheer for Mike’s newfound confidence and assertiveness, and perhaps see some important lessons for positive changes they can make in their own lives. Explore has everything a good teen read needs and would be an especially good selection for reluctant readers who are interested in outdoor sports. Recommended.” (CM Magazine)

“Goerzen does a great job of making the story compelling and realistic…Well written, well paced and has just the right amount of complexity to maintain interest.” (Resource Links)

Visit my Orca Books author page here to order my books! (Also available on Amazon and Chapters/Indigo).

City Nights

citynightspromo3Alley cats prowl, taxicabs purr and crosswalk signs ding… what other sounds do you hear in the city at night? Featuring original paper collage art, music and a rhyming story by an award-winning children’s author, this interactive picture book app for iPads features the sights and sounds of a bustling city as it goes to sleep.

“[A] wildly innovative and original interactive book… will soon become a classic and beloved night time story.” (Teachers With Apps)

“…it had my two youngest children, ages 4 and 7, mesmerized from start to finish….I never thought I’d say this about an app, it was just like reading a real book. A wonderfully written, beautifully illustrated, lovingly created real book.” (Cool Mom Tech)

“If you and your little one like to snuggle with a good story app before bed, City Nights is definitely one you should consider. Its fresh approach and high quality design make it a TOP PICK for Fun Educational Apps.” (Fun Educational Apps)

Available on the App Store (US or Canada) or for Kindle.