HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12Jess Keating, Author of How to Outfox Your Friends When You Don’t Have a Clue | Selfie and a Shelfie
How to Outfox Your Friends

Jess Keating, Author of How to Outfox Your Friends When You Don’t Have a Clue | Selfie and a Shelfie

Jess KeatingThe Children’s Book Review | October 20, 2015

Jess Keating

Jess Keating

I’m so happy to tell you about How to Outfox Your Friends When You Don’t Have a Clue! This is the third book in the ‘My Life is a Zoo” series. At its heart, this is a book about friendship, and how it can change and grow (sometimes even painfully!) as we get older. In previous books, we’ve seen our main character Ana become friends with some surprising people. But in OUTFOX, her long lost best friend returns—and Ana discovers the two of them have changed a lot. Ana also gets a change in scenery from the zoo to her local wildlife rehabilitation centre. This gave me a fun chance to let her explore some new animals, including the fox on our cover!

Of course, I wanted to celebrate in style. I’m a big fan of thrift shopping, and when I found this adorable fox sweater recently, I knew I had to pick it up! He’s almost as cute as the fox on the cover, don’t you think? (Almost!)


I think you can learn a lot about someone by the books on their shelves. (I can’t be the only one who inspects bookshelves when I go to someone’s house!) My shelves are no exception. One of the first things that becomes evident is that they are basically a mishmash of everything I love! I would love to be someone who organized books by color, or some other pretty setup. But I just can’t seem to keep them tidy!

On my shelves, you’ll find a wide range. I write fiction and nonfiction, and like to include science or animals in pretty much everything. I’m a scientist and educator at heart, so I’ve got a lot of reference material. Animal bones might not be the most normal thing to see on bookshelves, but I use them often in my (free!) Skype visits with classrooms! I also like to have my favorite writing craft books handy, so they get a spot of honor next to the crocodile. As for middle grade and picture books, I think it’s easy to see that I like to keep my older classics (Matilda, for example!) mixed up with my new favorites.

Taking a long view of these shelves, people would likely guess that this person loves animals, sciencey stuff, and great children’s writing. And they’d be right!

About the Author

As a zoologist turned middle grade and picture book author, Jess Keating has been sprayed by skunks, bitten by crocodiles, and been a victim to the dreaded paper cut. Her debut novel, HOW TO OUTRUN A CROCODILE WHEN YOUR SHOES ARE UNTIED released in 2014, with two sequels to follow. Her nonfiction picture book, PINK IS FOR BLOBFISH, will be published by Knopf in 2016. Her first picture book biography, SHARK LADY, will be published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in 2017.

She has a Masters degree in Animal Science and a growing collection of books that are threatening to take over her house. She lives in Ontario, Canada, where she loves hiking, watching nerdy documentaries, and writing books for adventurous and funny kids.

JessKeating.comTwitter | Facebook

How to Outfox Your FriendsHow to Outfox Your Friends When You Don’t Have a Clue

Written by Jess Keating

Publisher’s Synopsis: What would middle school be like if you lived in a zoo? Just ask Ana Wright, star of the hilarious, award-nominated My Life is A Zoo series that combines first crushes, friendship fails…and pack dynamics.

Surprise! Ana’s long distance BFF is finally coming back to visit. But with her purple hair and new attitude, Liv is barely the girl Ana remembers. This new Liv probably thinks a birthday party at the zoo is lame. Maybe if Ana has a super-secret sleepover instead, she’d never have to introduce Liv to Ashley, former enemy and now Ana’s best-ish friend. What could go wrong?

Creature File for Liv:
Species Name: Best Frendicus
Kingdom: New Zealand
Phylum: girl who used to be Ana Wright’s best friend, girl who used to like getting milkshakes at Shaken, Not Stirred
Feeds on: video chats with Leilani, attention from boys
Life span: undetermined, but if things keep going the way they are, the lifespan of Ana and Liv, BFFs isn’t going to be the “forever” they thought…

Jess Keating combines the quirky humor and animal-centric plots of Carl Hiaasen with the awkward adolescent antics of Lauren Myracle in this fresh new middle grade series!

Ages 9-12 | Sourcebooks Jabberwocky | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1492617945

Available Here: 


Discover more books like How to Outfox Your Friends When You Don’t Have a Cluewritten by Jess Keating, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with , and Science; and be sure to follow along with our Selfie and a Shelfie series.

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The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

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