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Ann Tufariello Article in the news

Tufariello ‘Breaks Through’ With Her Fantasy Novel
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Area – Recent headlines involving 6-year old Falcon Keen, the boy who supposedly was trapped inside a hot-air balloon over the skies of Colorado, bear an uncanny resemblance to part of the storyline of Chatham resident, Ann Tufariello’s new book, “The Break-through”.

In Ms. Tufariello’s middle-grade fantasy novel, the main character, 13-year-old Jack wanders to a carnival and hides in the basket of a hot-air balloon.

Of course, we all know now that Falcon was found safe and sound in the attic of a garage. But for Jack, however, it’s quite a different story. When the balloon he was hiding in takes off without warning, he finds himself on the way to Venus.

“The day that I found out about the balloon-boy story as it was unfolding, I could not believe the coincidence. I was incredibly relieved to learn that the boy was safe and that it was a hoax.” said Ms.Tufariello.

Before “The Breakthrough” became a novel, it was a bedtime story that the author told to her three daughters, Jennifer, Katelyn and Emily.

Ms. Tufariello began telling her daughters the story the night that the family returned home from a Labor Day weekend carnival in Mendham. There were no hot-air balloons at the carnival, and yet the idea of a youngster taking off in one seemed to be a gripping way to start her tale, which also features a three-headed snake named Hydra and a yellow-eyed, pockmarked evil dictator of Pluto named Danko. While on Venus, Jack is given a magical crystal, which he hopes will bring his older brother, Michael, out of a coma.

Danko, however, also wants the crystal because he believes it will give him the power to rule Earth. The author said she became so attached to the characters that she rewrote the story countless times before searching for a publisher.
Ms. Tufariello has her own idea of why fantasy books are such a big hit with young readers these days.

“I believe that fantasy books appeal to kids because they have such vivid imaginations. Kids have no problem suspending disbelief and imagining a boy traveling to other planets on a hot air balloon.
“Many kids,” she continued, “want a plot-driven story with plenty of twists and turns, something that will keep them reading past their bedtime,” adding that she created that type of story because that is what she likes to read as well.
A business major in college, Ms. Tufariello first worked in banking. While in graduate school she wrote a non-fiction book called “Up Your Grades: Proven Strategies for Academic Success,” which is now out of print.

While writing “The Breakthrough,” she started taking classes to become a history teacher. Now that her book is published, she is pursuing a full-time writing career.
“I would like nothing more than to be able to write children’s and young adult books and visit schools,” she said.
Ms. Tufariello will greet readers and sign books at The Town Bookstore on Saturday, November 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, contact The Town Bookstore at (908) 233-3535.

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