Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Amanda Cleary Eastep & the Tree Street Kids books 3 and 4

Posted July 9, 2022 by meezcarrie in Amanda Cleary Eastep, Author Interview, children, Christian, giveaway / 17 Comments

Please join me in welcoming Amanda Cleary Eastep to the blog today to chat about her new Tree Street Kids books – Lions to the Rescue! and Mystery in Crooked Creek Woods! I absolutely adored the first two books in this series and have been eagerly waiting the release of these new ones too. I’ve got them in my hands now & will be reviewing them next week!

Amanda Cleary Eastep is not related to Beverly Cleary but wishes she were. She is, however, a children’s author, and the Tree Street Kids is her middle grade series. Amanda knows kids because she’s still one at heart. When she is forced to act like an adult, she edits nonfiction books by grownup authors. Amanda lives and writes in the mountains of North Carolina but has spent most of her life in the suburbs of Chicago where her characters now live.

You can connect with Amanda on her website, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

LIONS TO THE RESCUE! by Amanda Cleary Eastep
Tree Street Kids #3

GENRE: Inspirational Middle Grade Fiction
PUBLISHER: Moody Publishers
RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2022
PAGES: 186

Books and footballs fly

When Jack tries to navigate

New friends and a new school.

If getting tackled is the best way to make new friends, that’s okay with Jack. After all, starting fifth grade at a new school is even rougher than pee wee football. But how can he join the Lions and help Ellison build the Most Epic Bookmobile Bike Ever? Jack devises the perfect game plan–until he fumbles it. Can Jack recover his friendship with his best friend Ellison? And can God use a playing field or a moving library to build understanding and foster forgiveness?


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Tree Street Kids #4

GENRE: Inspirational Middle Grade Fiction
PUBLISHER: Moody Publishers
RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2022
PAGES: 186

Something suspicious is going on

In Crooked Creek Woods.

Follow the clues

To solve two mysteries

Are the weird lights coming from the yard of Ruthie’s neighbor a clue? Or are the kids’ imaginations running wild? After all, Jack and Ellison have been hard at work writing their own mystery. The Tree Street Kids decide to investigate. Not only do they discover what’s been hidden for centuries in the woods, they also learn about placing their trust in the adults who love and care for them . . . but not before placing themselves in peril. And what about one more thing puzzling Jack? Can God help him solve the mystery of how to love his friends and foes?


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Hi Amanda! Welcome to the blog!

Amanda: I prefer summer. I spend as much time outside as possible, gardening, hiking, and even writing.

Carrie: I am the. exact. opposite. LOL I spend as much time inside as possible 🙂

Amanda: Dogs! They love unconditionally and can be loyal companions. Readers of my books get both, though–Arrow, the ex-circus dog, and Capt. Beans, the cat whose owner loves to sew costumes for her.

Carrie: yes!!!

Amanda: I recently left my “sweet home” Chicagoland and moved to the mountains of western North Carolina. However, visits to the Florida coast in winter are nice too.

Carrie: welcome to the southeast!! (from another former northern Illinoisan)

Amanda: Because I’m a writer and editor, more screen time during my off time isn’t my go-to. Plus, I grew up reading when there was no such thing as ebooks, so I will forever love the feel and smell of a printed book.

Carrie: there’s nothing like it!

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Amanda: Teleporting would be fun just because there are so many places around the world I want to see. It would be better, though, if I could take people with me.

Carrie: right?!

Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?

Amanda: The children’s section! Because I’m a children’s author, I like to see what’s new and what kids and their parents are choosing. That section has an energy and vibrancy like no other in the bookstore. Oddly enough, my middle grade books, because they’re Christian, are shelved in the Religion section of stores like Barnes and Noble. When I find an independent bookstore that carries my series and places it with all the other kids’ books, I’m thrilled because that’s exactly what I’ve dreamed of since childhood.

Carrie: oh man, those books definitely need to be with the other kids’ books – that’s such a shame! But YAY for indie bookstores that get it 🙂

Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?

Amanda: I imagine my characters would describe me the same way my adult children would: fiercely loving, curious, fun, and a tad anxious. Someone who wouldn’t spare them from hard lessons or mild peril but would help see them through it. Also, someone who, more than anything, desires for them to follow Jesus.

Carrie: ‘mild peril’ – haha – love it! Also, I love that description of you & your heart ♥

Q: Tell us more about this “Most Epic Bookmobile Bike Ever” in Lions to the Rescue! because I think childhood me wants one.

Amanda: The bookmobile bike is the invention of Jack Finch, the main character in the Tree Street Kids series. Inspired by an old photo of a horse-drawn book wagon, he enlists all the gang to build this so that his best friend Ellison can fulfill his mission to share diverse books with his neighbors. When conceiving it, I imagined what each kid might contribute and how it would compare to a 10-year-old boy’s original blueprint. My illustrator Aedan Peterson brought both Jack’s original plan and the actual bookmobile to life in his wonderful drawings.

Carrie: Who am I kidding? ADULT me wants one … as long as someone else does the biking part lol

Q: I can only imagine the shenanigans that ensue as the super fun Tree Street Kids turn into little Nancy Drews & Hardy Boys in Mystery in Crooked Creek Woods. Which classic literary detectives did you draw on as you wrote this book, and which is your fave?

Amanda: Jack and Ellison are writing a mystery for their school’s young authors contest. That story is told in excerpts and parallels the “real-life” mystery the kids are trying to solve. Since Ellison is an avid reader, he’s especially familiar with characters such as Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s great Belgian detective. I also give nods to Encyclopedia Brown and Sherlock Holmes. I grew up watching black and white reruns of the Holmes series starring Basil Rathbone (how’s that for a name?), but I’m a huge fan of Poirot. Of course my favorite detectives are Dewey, Ketchum, and Howe (Do we catch ’em? And how!), the characters in the story the boys write.

Carrie: Love. That.

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from these next two Tree Street Kids books?

Amanda: Young readers will learn fascinating facts, they’ll laugh, and they’ll be invited into this group of friends where they’ll experience situations that will challenge them to ask: Would I trust God in a storm? How can I be a good steward of creation? What does it mean to be a good friend? Can I love my enemy? Answering will be part of a process that forms the moral imagination by engaging both the mind and the heart.

Carrie: these books are so fabulously done for all of those things, too!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Amanda: I have lots of ideas for more books in the Tree Street Kids series, but for now, I’m planning events such as indie bookstore signings and school visits for fall/spring. Anyone interested in author events can contact me at

Moody Publishers is offering a fabulous prize pack to one of my readers: one winner will receive a print copy of Lions to the Rescue! and Mystery in Crooked Creek Woods plus character bookmarks, a Tree Street Kids pencil, a build-your-own fruit snack slingshot kit, a Tree Street Kids clue notebook & pen, and stickers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Lions to the Rescue! and Mystery in Crooked Creek Woods by Amanda Cleary Eastep with a middle grade reader in your life?

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17 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Amanda Cleary Eastep & the Tree Street Kids books 3 and 4

  1. Nancy

    I would like to have Lions to the Rescue! and Mystery in Crooked Creek Woods by Amanda Cleary Eastep with middle graders because it is so important for kids to fall in love with reading, finding new to them authors, and new to them book series.

  2. Anne

    These books sound wonderful and very special. They are ideal for my 4 grandchildren who are avid readers, treasure books and appreciate every book that I give them. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway which I am very interested in.

  3. Sunnymay

    My 10 year old grandson likes to read action books and these both look like they have plenty of adventures.

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