For Immediate Release
Contact: Eileen Szeto
(P) 212/414-3639
(F) 212/414-3393


Promising New Voice in Middle-Grade Fiction

Dutton Children’s Books to Publish Fiction Contest Winner:

First-Time Author Michele Ivy Davis’s Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel

Michele Ivy Davis has won the Ann Durell Fiction Contest with her poignant debut novel, Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel (Dutton Children’s Books, May 10, 2004; $16.99; ages 8 and up). It was also a finalist in the 2001 William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition. Stephanie Lurie, President and Publisher of Dutton Children’s Books, remarks, "Evangeline won the heart of every editor in our department. Her voice is wise, funny, and refreshingly honest. There’s an authenticity to the writing that we don’t see in many first-time novelists."

Evangeline, or Eddie, as she prefers to be called, lives with her Pa in the Cadillac Motel, a run-down place with a pink Cadillac butt sticking out of the office wall. Her mother died when she was five, and most days her Pa is passed out on the couch come afternoon, surrounded by beer cans. School life isn’t much better. Then Farrell moves in down the street, and she finally has someone who understands her life, because his is much the same. When things go awry during home visits from their teacher, they decide to run away.

This is a touching story as seen through the eyes of an intelligent, proud young girl who feels like she’s growing up alone and whose troubles begin to seem like more than she can handle.

The Ann Durell Fiction Contest was held in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Dutton Children’s Books. In January 2003 Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel was announced the winner. The contest honored former Publisher of Dutton Children’s Books, Ann Durell, who nurtured the talents of such beloved authors as Lloyd Alexander, Judy Blume, Eleanor Cameron, Walt Morey and William Sleator. Michele Ivy Davis’s Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel was one of hundreds of submissions that were reviewed by Dutton’s editorial staff.

Michele Ivy Davis lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with her husband. "One day," she says, "while driving through an older section of town, I saw the words Cadillac and Motel at about the same time on two different signs. I was struck by the contradictory picture they presented and wondered about the people who might own a motel like that." This is her first children’s book. Her website is

Title: Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel
Author: Michele Ivy Davis
Imprint: Dutton Children’s Books
Price: $16.99
On-Sale: May 10, 2004
Pages: 192
Ages: 8 and up
ISBN: 0-525-47221-5

For more information on this and other books from Penguin Young Readers Group check out or contact Eileen Szeto at 212/414-3639 or

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