David Arnold lives in Lexington, KY, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. Previous jobs include freelance musician/producer, stay-at-home dad, and preschool teacher. He is a fierce believer in the power of kindness and community. And chips. He believes fiercely in chips. Mosquitoland is his first novel.
You can learn more at davidarnoldbooks.com and follow him on twitter @roofbeam.
Excerpt from book:
I follow Walt’s voice around the side of the tank and find him standing next to a 350 pound whale-of-a-man. The guy is lounging shirtless in a folding chair, sipping an umbrella drink. He’s frightfully pale, a condition magnified by dark oil stains smeared across his face. Layer after folding layer, his stomach hangs down over his swimming trunks.
Walt” I point toward the fat guy. you see him too, right?”
The man’s blubber shakes as he laughs. He sips his daiquiri through a crazy-straw, looks from Walt to me. Nah, I’m just a figment of your imagination, kid. What, you were expecting a hookah-smoking caterpillar?”
I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.
After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.
Praise for Mosquitoland:
"In Mosquitoland, David Arnold has created one of the most unique narrative voices to show up in the world of young adult fiction. I don't remember life before Mim, and I don't want to. Mosquitoland is equal parts sharp, sad, and surreal. This book is genius, war paint and all."
—John Corey Whaley, Printz-winning author of Where Things Come Back
“David Arnold’s writing is both heartfelt and hilarious. You will fall in love with Mim, even as her grand journey will keep you guessing. Mosquitoland reminds us that sometimes imperfect is just perfect.”
—Ruta Sepetys, New York Times bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray