When Madison McGee is orphaned and forced to live with her wacky grandmother in boring old Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, she’s pretty sure nothing will ever be right again. Her grandmother is addicted to TV shopping shows. Her only neighbors are a crazy lady and a vicious junkyard mutt. And she misses her old life something fierce. Could it get any worse?
A jeans and T-shirt kind of girl, Madison refuses to be seen in the “cupcake dresses” her grandmother tries to get her to wear. Everything changes when a MegaPix 6000 TV mysteriously shows up on her doorstep. With the accidental push of a button on the remote control, Madison teleports into a dizzying world of lights, cameras, action, and peril. But with the help of a little magic, she discovers that things aren’t always what they appear to be, and that life can actually get better in a brand new way.
Laurie grew up in Los Angeles, moving steadily up the west coast after high school, and now lives in a house on a rocky beach on Bainbridge Island, WA. where contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t rain every day. Not that she doesn’t welcome the drippy skies. On dreary days she stays happily glued to her office chair, tapping away on her computer instead of being tempted outside into her garden when the sun is out.
Laurie has written and designed over 50 interactive games for kids featuring original characters such as Putt-Putt and Fatty Bear for Humongous Entertainment; and Huggly for Scholastic; plus many characters who you probably know and may even love as much as she does – Madeline, Little Bear, Harry Potter, The Little Mermaid, Clifford, SpongeBob, and Mr. Potato Head - and lots of others that frankly, she’s lost track of, whose scripts are chronicled somewhere on an old hard drive hidden on a shelf in the garage. She also wrote a trio of picture books based on Putt-Putt (the little purple car – not the mini-golf game).
Laurie has had stints writing scripts for animated children’s TV shows such as Dragon Tales for PBS and What-a-Mess for ABC. Unfortunately What-a-Mess lasted only a season. It was about an out-of-control Afghan puppy who wreaked havoc everywhere he went. Mostly she was disappointed that the show got the axe because she had so many stories left to tell based on her own Labrador retriever who had such an insatiable appetite that he devoured a couch and ate all the seat belts in her car. She’s decided to save her dog’s crazy appetite for another book.
And finally, after both of her sons moved off to college, she figured it was time to try to her hand at writing a novel. Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting for You! is the first in a trilogy and her first published novel.
When her mother dies of a heart attack at just 33 years old, 11-year-old Madison McGee finds herself transported from Washington State to the alien territory of Truth or Consequences, N.M., to live with her peculiar and self-absorbed grandmother, Florida Brown. The bleached blonde Mrs. Brown is so terrified of aging that she dons inappropriate miniskirts and high heels, drives a gold Cadillac, trowels on face cream and makeup, and insists that Madison call her by her first name.
“I don’t want to hear you call me Grandmother, Grandma, Nana, Grandmumsy, Granny or anything else that might make me feel the slightest bit old. I work very hard not to look old. Do you understand?” snaps Florida Brown the first time she met her granddaughter. I could just imagine her, undoubtedly mutton dressed as lamb.
Having alienated her late daughter and her husband, Florida proceeds to alienate her granddaughter as well, introducing her as her niece in order to appear younger. Florida spends virtually of her time perusing cable-television shopping channels and buying useless items, most of which she never even unboxes. Naturally, frilly, flirty Florida and her tomboy granddaughter were bound to clash.
But with the delivery of a singular and singularly giant MegaPix 6000 high-definition television and Madison’s friendship with a neighboring dog, the smelly and slobbering Leroy, and her odd neighbor Rosalie Claire Kennedy, what looked to be a horrible summer finally shows promise of improving — and maybe even changing the lives of everyone concerned.
This description sounds a lot more cloying than the book is. Author Laurie B. Arnold has penned a chapter book that will delight adults as much as children. Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting for You! actually made me grateful for a really, really long wait at the Immediate Care Center so that I could read the book straight through. For all who has wished for a little magic in their lives, this book is for you.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.
I have two daughters: an 11 year old, and a 9 year old. Hello There, We've Been Waiting for You, was our bed time read aloud.... and we LOVED it!
Every night the girls were anxious to hear more about Madison's adventures! And what fun adventures they were. The characters are so well written. Madison is a strong young girl, her grandmother Florida is wonderfully colorful, and Rosalie Claire is loving yet mysterious. By the end of the novel, we were sad to say good-bye to the gang of Truth or Consequences.
In fact, my youngest, asked "is there a sequel?" I'm hoping Ms. Arnold is planning on it! I'd love to delve deeper into Rosalie Claire, and her magic, as well as go on more adventures with Madison and Florida.
The ending was a bit deus ex machina, but it was fun, so no one really minded.
It's a great book about redemption, magic, and the power of love. I highly recommend this book.
I picked this one up on a whim when it was a daily deal. It looked really cute, and it was! Laurie B. Arnold does a great job giving an authentic voice to the character of Madison McGee, a real charmer of a girl. Her mother has died unexpectedly and she's now stuck with Florida: her shopping-show-obsessed grandmother, and she's none too happy about it. The character of Florida is a trip. There are some great characters in this one, and it's written in a very charming way that feels genuine.
For most of the book I was sure I'd be giving this one 4 stars, but the last quarter of the book lost a lot of steam for me. I wasn't crazy about . But the ending is very sweet :)
I think I would have loved reading this book as a ten year old. It was just a lot of fun and Madison is super endearing. I'm glad I picked this one up!
This is a great early teen book... a strong girl, exploring her world, facing family shifts... with some magic thrown in for adventure. She learns how to deal with a "mean girl" and to appreciate family, including family of your own making.
I enjoyed reading Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting for You! The television transporting you into shows is a great idea. The author knows how to write humorously and pace the story. I read it through twice and enjoyed the second reading as much as the first. Madison starts out rather slow but soon develops into a character I could root for. She finds a friend in a lonely, neglected, and abused bulldog named Leroy. He is a scraggly mutt until Madison washes away all the grime the dog has lived in, and with, away. The same is true of the “crazy lady next door” as the paranoid Florida calls the woman. Madison befriends the woman and they are lovely scenes as the two find so much in common.
Madison’s grandmother Florida is not as easy to love. She is as odd as a duck in a bathtub. Florida is a cougar with large hair, a good sense of selfishness, and addicted to shopping by television. I did not like the way she treated her granddaughter, whom she insisted on calling her niece. She loved the new MegaPix 6000 and its ability to watch six shows at once that she called it “the best thing that ever happened to me.” Florida’s redemption does come and it is a great scene. Then, it was easy to love Florida. Grandpa Jack is not a central character, yet he is fun and just what Madison needs to offset Florida.
Jack will not live in the same house as Florida and instead lives closer to his work, where Florida refuses to move. All because she would not have as nice a house as she presently does. For the past fourteen years, Jack has been paying her bills and her shopping extravaganzas. But, to his credit—and our fun—on his twice monthly trips back home to Truth & Consequences, Jack gathers up a truckload of older unopened merchandise Florida has bought off TV shopping networks. He then takes it all to a flea market where he makes back a couple thousand from her “junk.” Jack is affectionate with Madison and tries to have fun with his granddaughter and put a smile on her face. I love that.
I loved the humor and the first couple shows that Madison teleported into. She was a bright actor with great adlib lines. Then she goes to a reality show—with Florida—and something or somehow the remote they need to get back home is stolen or lost. The scenes were so dangerous as if saying reality show themselves were dangerous. Other than this, the story was terrific. (The scenes being against reality shows my just be my interpretation and not the author’s intent).
I think middle grade kids and adults would love reading Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting for You There is lots of humor and heart, a bit of silliness, and the final television teleporting trip is filled with exciting action. Girls may seem a better fit for Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting for You but boys should not discount this story. There is much in this story of new relationships and learning to live and love who you are with for boy genders to love
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First I must say thank you to Goodreads for my signed copy!!!
Madison feels like her world ended when she was forced to go live with her grandmother in New Mexico. She is not quite sure how she is going to survive until a little magic helps her along. She is taken on a wild adventure that shows her how a person can turn their life around and that everything works out in the end no matter what happens. Madison's journey is exciting and funny.
I would recommend this book for the younger crowd, but it was still fun reading it and made me laugh a couple of times.
I normally don't make comments about the book itself, but I thought I should mention this. I love the fact that it's a soft cover book, they are always easier to hold. My only problem was when I started to read the book, the first couple of pages came undone. That was really annoying as the book was brand new and shouldn't have come undone. Also on every other left page there was a line where the ink misprinted and some of the letters where not there.It seems silly to say something, but when you are reading you notice it with every page that you turn.
"Hello There, We've Been Waiting for You!" is one of those books that should be enjoyed by all readers looking for something fun and entertaining. Whether you are 12 or 50 there is SO much to love about this novel. Each page I turned, a new mystery awaited. Madison McGee was such a pleasant girl who craved adventure in the small town of Truth or Consequences. When I started reading, I couldn't stop fro one second.I read through all 170 pages at once! When I finished, I was actually quiet sad that it was over. I felt like I was teleported into the crazy adventure of the MegaPix6000 myself! :)Each character was so unique and easy to relate to in their own way. The connection between Madison McGee and Rosalie Claire made me shed tears! Laurie B Arnold did a fantastic job with this book and if she has a sequel, I will most definitely be the first to purchase it! Five stars all the way!
Full Disclosure - I have to admit right off the spot that I'm old school and when asked to read a self-published novel, I immediately worry. I know, I know, it's a bit of snobbery on my part. I cling to preconceptions. So I was thrilled to find that this book, written by the talented Laurie B. Arnold, was a fun, adventure-packed, and endearing book. There's definitely a Winn Dixie-esque ambiance, with a magical twist. And I'm a sucker for a story that explores the mother-daughter-grandmother relationship. I think Madison's adventures will appeal mostly to girl readers, as she's transported into some hilarious television shows, thanks to the MegaPix television remote. I was particularly fond of the dog, Leroy, a perfectly loveable,scrappy sidekick. I understand that there's a sequel in the works. This is definitely a fun debut perfect for middle-grade readers.
Madison has to go live with her grandmother in Truth or Consequences, NM after the sudden death of her mother. Madison and her grandmother are very different and Madison is quite unhappy living with her, but then she meets a neighbor, Rosalie who went to high school with her mother. A magical TV also appears at Madison's house that can zap you into a TV show. Madison and her grandmother wind up in a reality survivor show. Although the TV sounds quite crazy, I did enjoy the book and think that kids will like the reality TV show tie in.
I read this book with my 5th grader, who bought it because the author visited his school--and the book takes place in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (yes, that's a real place!) I wasn't sure I would like it--based on the premise that a girl and her grandmother get sucked into their TV--but the themes of friends and family helping each other were well-developed, and the characters were endearing.
I received this book for free from A Goodreads giveaway. I really enjoyed reading it and was constantly entertained by it. I read it all in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Id recommend anyone to read it. From a 10 year old to a 60 year old. Its a book that can be enjoyed by all audiences.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to middle grade kids, especially girls. It has a likable 11-year old protagonist, humor, some adventure and a small dose of magic. The main character recently lost her mother but it's handled in such a way that the book is not heavy or depressing.
Author Laurie B. Arnold weaves fantasy into this middle-grades novel, the first in the series. Madison McGee is living with her grandparents, after her mother passes away. She hasn't had a strong relationship with her grandparents throughout her life, making this one more change in her already turned-upside-down world. Shortly after arriving, a new television shows up at the house - Madison and her grandfather think her grandmother has ordered it from the home shopping network she loves so much. But, this is no ordinary t.v. It's a Megapix 6000! A t.v. capable of transporting the viewer into the show! Madison is transported into her favorite show, and in the process of being there learns about herself and how to handle the changes in her life. After making her way back to reality, she helps her grandparents to work out their differences allowing the three of them to grieve her mother and move forward as a family. This novel gently weaves the grief of a lost parent into the story while showing that it is possible to start over while still missing someone you have lost and keeping that person alive in your memories and how you choose to live. This is the first in a trilogy.