Middle Grade Contemporary, Middle Grade Sci-Fi Fantasy, Middle Grade Horror

A husband/wife author duo from Utah, writing middle grade books that keep their inner children happy.



Chad Morris and Shelly Brown wrote Willa and the Whale, Squint and Mustaches for Maddie. They have won the Buckeye Children’s Book Award, the Nebraska Book Award and Foreword review’s Book of the Year. They have also appeared on CNN and the Hallmark Channel.

Chad is also the author of the futuristic Cragbridge Hall trilogy (The Inventor’s Secret, The Avatar Battle and The Impossible Race). He is the winner of the Utah Book Award and Foreword review’s Silver Medal for Juvenile Fiction. Shelly is the author of Ghostsitter.

Your biggest literary influences:

Chad: Lloyd Alexander, C.S. Lewis, Jennifer Nielsen and Sharon Draper

Shelly: Shannon Hale, Jane Austen and Shakespeare

Last book read:

Chad: Words on Fire by Jennifer Nielsen (I definitely recommend it.)
Shelly: Smoke and Summons by Charlie Holmberg

The book that changed your life:

Chad: As a kid I didn’t like to read. I was so much more interested in playing basketball and drums. But one day, I found The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander in my elementary school library and it converted me — I started to like to read. I will forever love that book.

Shelly: I read Tess of D’Urbevilles when I was in high school and I cried twice. The first time was on page three when I realized that he was still describing the heath and I was confused and bored and scared that I would never make it through this awful book. The second was when it ended and I knew I would never get to spend time with Tess again. I loved her so much and was so sad. I learned a lot from reading that book. But please don’t make me define heath.

Your favorite literary character:

Chad: Maddie in Mustaches for Maddie — but she is based on my daughter in real life. That’s probably cheating. So, I’ll also say Sherlock Holmes. I wish I invented him. He’s completely fascinating, especially since he was partially based on a real person as well.

Shelly: Sam from The Lord of the Rings. He’s such a dear friend and good guy. If I could pick to be one character from those books I would pick Sam. But everyone who knows me, knows that I’m really just a fool of a Took. (Oooo, or Eowyn!)

Currently working on:

Chad is mostly done with another fantasy book, and Chad and Shelly have another contemporary in the works. We’ll have more news about them soon.

Words to live by:

“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, then worrying won’t make it any better.” — Walt Disney

Advice for aspiring authors:

Read widely, write a lot, and find a way to make your writing satisfyingly unique.


Kirkus review of Willa and the Whale

Foreword Reviews on Squint

School Library Journal on Mustaches for Maddie


“A good read-alive for fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder”

— School Library Journal on Mustaches for Maddie

“Squint takes on a lot and delivers beyond expectations.”

— Foreword Reviews on Squint

“Moving and buoyant, an insightful tale of grief, loss, and resilience.”

— Kirkus Reviews on Willa and the Whale