Evie, the star of George Wickham’s first middle-grade novel Evie’s Been Eavesdropping (Finisterre Press), is a sixth-grader at a small independent middle school called Ferngarden School. At school, she’s set up an attic hideaway that allows her to read and eavesdrop on teachers. Just before the first day, she finds out that there’s been a mysterious infestation of copperheads – and if school doesn’t open on time, the property goes back to the estate of the original donor, whose heir is a developer bent on shutting down her beloved school. As Evie sets tries to save Ferngarden, she confronts bullies and learns more about her own past. Wickham, a former lawyer, is now a middle-school English and history teacher at Collegiate School in Richmond, Va.