Middle Grade

The Campaign

A hilarious and timely political comedy—like Veep for tweens—about a twelve year old who runs her babysitter’s campaign for mayor

If you ask Maddie Polansky, the only good part of middle school is art class. It’s definitely not the other kids, who think she’s weird, or the teachers, who think she’s a troublemaker. And though she’s never paid much attention to politics, when she learns that the front-runner for city mayor plans to cut funding for the arts, she knows she has to do something to stop Lucinda Burghart, art-hating bad guy! She can’t run for mayor herself—she’s just a kid. But she can get her babysitter, Janet, to run against Lucinda.

Soon, Maddie is thrust into the role of Janet’s campaign manager, leading not only to humor and hijinks but to an inspiring story about activism and what it takes to become an engaged citizen. As she leads the campaign from rallies to debates to Election Day, Maddie discovers that she has more of a community than she’d ever imagined—and that sometimes a “troublemaker” is exactly what this world needs.

Select praise

  • The Campaign is exactly the story we need right now. A fun middle grade tale celebrating both why . . . and how . . . we should be involved in our government.”—Jon Scieszka, bestselling author and National Ambassador for Children’s Literature emeritus
  • “A hilarious, inspiring story which proves that kids have the vision and the power to change the world.”—Max Brallier, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Kids on Earth series
  • “Sales infuses this civic engagement book with humor, identity angst, and character development, and keeps the story moving forward with a light touch. . . . A highly readable, enjoyable, nonpartisan story meant to encourage civic activism amongst middle schoolers.”—School Library Journal
  • “This energetic, mindful book reinforces the agency of children and will inspire them to take action. Black-and-white cartoonlike illustrations throughout are often humorous and reinforce Maddie’s uncensored opinions. . . . A timely book encouraging youth to get involved.”—Kirkus Reviews
  • “Sales seamlessly weaves campaigning facts and ethics into the timely tale, educating readers while keeping them hooked on the suspenseful election.”—Publishers Weekly
  • “This energizing read adeptly explains political strategy through humor and illustrations. A perfect pick for an election year, this novel will have readers rooting for the ‘little guy’ and waiting on tenterhooks for all the ballots to be counted and the next mayor announced.”—Booklist
  • “Funny, incisive . . . an ideal sentiment in a season when political discussions can easily descend into vitriol.”—The Austin American-Statesman
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month (October 2020)