Books for Middle Grades and Young Adult Readers
Kathy Lynn Emerson


now available in new editions





This was my first published novel. It came out in 1985 from Down East Books.

I've made a few revisions but have not updated the story, which is set in 1982.

It is currently available as an e-book but a print edition is in the works.

Click here for a link to buy links.

e-books are $4.99

print copies will be priced at $9.99


Kerry Odell and her younger brother Lyle are not enthusiastic about spending the next six months in rural western Maine. It seems like a pretty dismal place, especially in March, and means entering a new school in mid-year. The house their mother has rented, with its locked tower, has all the makings of a haunted "castle" with mysterious comings and goings, odd noises in the night, and a landlord who seems to have it in for them.


Reading level 4.9; recommended for readers age 8-12 (but some grown-ups have enjoyed it, too)


from the reviewers:


"Emerson writes with suspense and spins a clever plot. The book is full of action and shows a certain pre-teen authenticity in its portrayal of adolescent relations and concerns."


"Emerson is to be commended for realistically portraying a young girl's anxiety over the possibility of her widowed mother's remarriage, and the potential rift in the mother-daughter relationship that may ensue as an important new family member is absorbed."



This was originally published by Avon's Camelot Books in 1991.

I've made minor revisions but the story is still set in 1986.

It is currently available as an ebook but a print edition is in the works.

Click here for a link to buy links.

e-books are $4.99

print copies will be priced at $9.99


Spending three weeks in rural Maine listening to the sound of bagpipes isn't 12-year-old Kim Hanlon's idea of fun, but her father has signed up to attend classes in playing that instrument at the estate of an eccentric millionaire and he's brought his family with him to the adjacent campground. When a valuable set of antique bagpipes disappears, Kim's new friend Woody is suspected of the theft. Refusing to believe he's guilty, she's determined to discover who really committed the crime.


Reading level: 5.2


from the reviewers:


Bangor Daily News: "an excellent summer choice for that niece or nephew."

Booklist: "Emerson weaves much food for thought into the narrative through Kim's willingness to trust in Woody and her search to understand her own goals and talents."


Here's what the original covers looked like:

Mystery of Hilliard's Castle  bagpipe



still available in e-book format

for young adult readers




a young adult romantic suspense novel


Kathy Lynn Emerson

available only as an e-book



"Someday, Kristy, if you stay

just as sweet and innocent as you are now,

you'll make some lucky guy a great wife."

That's what the boy Kristy Russell is crazy about tells her.

Insulted, sixteen-year-old Kristy embarks on a journey of

self-discovery, trying to figure out why he rejected her.

In the attempt, she comes to realize that her own self-esteem

is more important than what anyone else thinks of her.

But will that knowledge enable her to make the right choice

when a potentially life-altering decision is required of her?

It isn't just her own future she holds in her hands.


Someday was once scheduled for publication by Silhouette Books' Keepsake line.

I was going to use the pseudonym Kaitlyn Gorton.

The line was discontinued before Someday reached stores, but there was a cover.



Frankly, I was glad this one was not used on my book.

There is no scene like this in the story.



I am currently working on making the following books, written for ages 8-12, available as both e-books and trade paperbacks. This process is time-consuming, and I want to do it right. Bringing out new editions also means coming up with new covers, since I'm not allowed to use the originals. I will update this page as titles become available. In the meantime, here is information on forthcoming titles.



Orchard Books 1987 and Avon Camelot 1990



Above is the cover of the original hardcover edition.

The year is 1887 and twelve-year-old Julia Applebee has been shipped off to her cousin's home in the small rural New York town of Liberty Falls while her missionary parents go off to China. Used to living in the heart of New York City, Julia wants nothing to do with the country, or her "country cousins." To make matters worse, on her second day on the farm she falls through the hay hole in the barn and has to wait 24 hours for a doctor to come and set her leg. For the next few months Julia has one wish—to be rescued. But as her broken leg mends, so does her attitude. Her anger and frustration slowly subside and Julia begins to understand the importance of family.

Publisher's Weekly: "Julia's recovery . . . parallels a deeper change—adaptation to a new kind of family life and eventual friendship with Grace, her "beastly" cousin. Julia's realization that she has behaved in a snobbish, self-centered, unlikeable fashion—and her subsequent maturity—is fully delineated and the 19th century setting is effectively evoked. . . . well sustained . . . a light, seamless style."

reading level: 4.9


1989, Dillon Press

Nellie Bly


This biography of nineteenth-century newspaper reporter Nellie Bly inspired my adult mystery series featuring journalist Diana Spaulding.

From the dust jacket: "In 1890, Nellie By set a world's record by circling the globe in 72 days. As newspapers around the world reported  her incredible journey, Bly traveled by train, ship, mule cart, and sampan. When she arrived in New York City, Nellie Bly was the most famous person in the world. Bly, a journalist and adventurer, was well known before her remarkable trip. She gained fame for her outspoken newspaper articles written at a time when journalism was not considered a proper career for a woman. Through her articles, Bly uncovered the deportable conditions of factories, prisons, and homeless children. On her most dangerous assignment, she spent 10 days in Blackwell's Island Insane Asylum. Bly risked her health and safety, and as a result of her articles, much needed reform was begun. Besides describing the achievements of Bly's professional life, Making Headlines touches on Bly's personal life, including her marriage to a millionaire, and her later life, which was troubled by loneliness and legal battles."

for grades 5 and up





Set in Colonial Rhode Island in the mid-seventeenth century, Shalla is the fictionalized story of a real person, one of the children of Rhode Island founder Samuel Gorton, known as "the New England firebrand." Because of his religious and political beliefs, Samuel Gorton was kicked out of Plimoth Plantations, Providence, and Pawtuxet before founding his own colony in what is now Rhode Island. He called it Shawomet, although it is now known as Warwick. In 1643, soldiers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony attacked Shawomet and captured Samuel Gorton and some of his followers, taking them to Boston to stand trial. No one knows exactly where Gorton's wife and children were during the time he was in prison. This is the story of what might have happened to them, told through the eyes of one of his daughters, a girl with the remarkable name of Mahershallahashbaz Gorton. I call her Shalla.





Twelve-year-old Katie Brant is used to getting everything her own way. She lives with her grandparents, two uncles, and her Aunt Mattie on a farm/boardinghouse in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains of New York State in the early 1920s. With the exception of her formidable grandmother, everyone spoils her because her mother died when she was born and her father is away for long stretches of time, working for the O&W Railroad. But this year, as the tourist season starts and the family, including Katie's cousins Nellie and Muriel, beds down in the attic to make room to take in summer boarders, Katie's world changes in ways that force her to take a hard look at herself and the way she treats both friends and family. She soon learns that choices have consequences.



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