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Children's Fiction Adolescence

The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell

by (author) Valerie Sherrard

Cormorant Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2020
Adolescence, Humorous Stories, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7


Derek didn’t mean to become popular. His accidental photo bomb — the one that made him internet-famous — took him from invisibility to middle-school fame overnight. And you know what? He’s not sure if he likes it. But his best friend Steve does, and schemes to find other ways to help Derek to remain the talk of the school. But what goes up must come down, and Derek’s reluctant rise is followed by a regrettable crash.

Funny, emotionally rich, and inspiring, The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell is the latest book by award-winning, bestselling author Valerie Sherrard.

About the author

Valerie Sherrard first decided to become an author when she was in grade six! Her homeroom teacher that year, Mr. Alf Lower, praised and encouraged her efforts and instilled in her a lifelong belief in her ability to write. After producing about a dozen books for teens, Sherrard turned her hand to picture books. There’s a COW Under My Bed! introduces Oscar Ollie Brown, who will be embarking on his second adventure in There’s a Goldfish in my Shoe! in the fall of 2009. Since becoming a published author, Sherrard has enjoyed visiting many classrooms and libraries to speak to young people about writing, literacy, and most of all, finding and following your dreams. Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Valerie has spent time in a number of provinces, including her current home of New Brunswick. She lives in Miramichi with her husband Brent and their four cats: Lilly, Thragg, Patootie and Cody.

Valerie Sherrard's profile page


  • Nominated, MYRCA Northern Lights
  • Nominated, Forest of Reading - Red Maple Award

Editorial Reviews

"Sherrard has created another captivating tale of family life and middle-school angst, filled with humour and heart."

Atlantic Books Today

The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell is a story that combines slapstick comedy, youthful image-consciousness, awkward romantic relationships, wacky coincidences, and well-placed pathos in almost equal measure. Derek is truly likable, despite his faults, and he narrates the story with wit and honesty in a tone that ranges from sarcastic to mocking to earnest. His descriptions of his three very intense and diverse sisters is hilarious, and his budding romance with Denise (whom he meets at an animal shelter where he and Steve are trying to stage funny cat photos) is as innocent and awkward as expected.”

CM Magazine

“Derek is a fun character that any middle school student would find relatable. His story has many twists and surprises that left me wondering what would happen next. The author does a great job of creating a fun storyline, with cool characters. I could relate to Derek. He seems like someone I would want to be friends with at school. He’s kind, funny and smart … I would give this book 5 stars and recommend it to any middle school student.”

American Mensa

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