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The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell

by Valerie Sherrard


Derek didn’t mean to become popular. His accidental photo bomb — the one that made him internet-famous — took him from invisibility to middle-school fame overnight. And you know what? He’s not sure if he likes it. But his best friend Steve does, and schemes to find other ways to help Derek to remain the talk of the school. But what goes up must come down, and Derek’s reluctant rise is followed by a regrettable crash.

Funny, emotionally rich, and inspiring, The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell is the latest book by award-winning, bestselling author Valerie Sherrard.

Price: $13.95

Ages: 9 to 12

Publication Date: April 4, 2020

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JUV039020  JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Adolescence & Coming of Age

 JUV039140 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance

 JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories


ISBN: 9781770865747

Format: Trade Paperback

Size: 5.375" x 8.00"

Nominated, 2021 Red Maple Fiction Award

Nominated, 2022 MYRCA Northern Lights Award


“Sherrard has created another captivating tale of family life and middle-school angst, filled with humour and heart.” 

— Lisa Doucet, Atlantic Books Today

The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell is a story that combines slapstick comedy, youthful image-consciousness, awkward romantic relationships, wacky coincidences, and well-placed pathos in almost equal measure. Derek is truly likable, despite his faults, and he narrates the story with wit and honesty in a tone that ranges from sarcastic to mocking to earnest. His descriptions of his three very intense and diverse sisters is hilarious, and his budding romance with Denise (whom he meets at an animal shelter where he and Steve are trying to stage funny cat photos) is as innocent and awkward as expected.”

— Todd Kyle, CM Magazine

“Derek is a fun character that any middle school student would find relatable. His story has many twists and surprises that left me wondering what would happen next. The author does a great job of creating a fun storyline, with cool characters. I could relate to Derek. He seems like someone I would want to be friends with at school. He’s kind, funny and smart … I would give this book 5 stars and recommend it to any middle school student.”

— Cameron H., Age 11, New Mexico Mensa

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