Chad Lucas author photo

Chad Lucas is definitely a middle grade author to watch. In THANKS A LOT, UNIVERSE, he effortlessly weaves together the tale of two boys–Brian and Ezra–in a way that is both heartwarming and meaningful. This is a necessary addition for all library shelves and was also a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. It comes out on May 11.


A moving middle-grade debut for anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t belong.

Brian has always been anxious, whether at home, or in class, or on the basketball court. His dad tries to get him to stand up for himself and his mom helps as much as she can, but after he and his brother are placed in foster care, Brian starts having panic attacks. And he doesn’t know if things will ever be “normal” again . . . Ezra’s always been popular. He’s friends with most of the kids on his basketball team—even Brian, who usually keeps to himself. But now, some of his friends have been acting differently, and Brian seems to be pulling away. Ezra wants to help, but he worries if he’s too nice to Brian, his friends will realize that he has a crush on him . . .
But when Brian and his brother run away, Ezra has no choice but to take the leap and reach out. Both boys have to decide if they’re willing to risk sharing parts of themselves they’d rather hide. But if they can be brave, they might just find the best in themselves—and each other.


In your website bio, it says you are never far from a cup of tea. What is your favorite kind of tea to drink?

I love this question. I get most of my favourites from a local shop called World Tea House. I especially love their Kenya Gold tea from the Nandi Hills, and I’m partial to their Vanilla Black. I’ll stop there because I could ramble about tea for a long time!


So could I! THANKS A LOT, UNIVERSE was selected as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Congratulations! What do you think it is about Brian and Ezra’s story that resonates so much with readers?

Thank you! I have to imagine the combination of thrill and relief that comes when readers connect with your book never really gets old, but as a debut author it’s an especially great feeling. I’ve heard from some readers that they appreciate the book’s range of male characters who get to show emotion and have multifaceted personalities. Brian and Ezra are both sporty, but they don’t adhere to the macho “jock” stereotype. And some readers have resonated with the balance of heartbreak and humour—this book tackles some heavy topics, but there are lots of laughs and lighthearted moments too. It’s always interesting to hear what sticks with different readers.


I loved the lighthearted moments too, especially with the side characters. What kinds of things are you doing to prepare for the book’s release day on May 11? Anything you’re particularly excited about?

I’m looking forward to my launch event on May 11. I’ll be doing an Instagram Live with fellow Nova Scotian author Tom Ryan, hosted by Woozles Books, the oldest independent children’s bookstore in Canada. I love that I get to celebrate local connections, while people can still tune in from anywhere. I’m also recording a couple of really fun panels soon that will go online later in May and June. I so enjoy connecting with readers, but I also love getting to talk with other writers too.


The feeling is mutual! What are some of your current projects?

I’m currently in revisions on my second middle grade book, about a Black boy who moves to a mostly white small town and stumbles across shady things happening behind the scenes. It has some spooky elements and it’s a departure in many ways from THANKS A LOT, UNIVERSE, while still involving some similar humour and heartfelt themes. Keep an eye out for it in Spring 2022!


Buy: ~ BookPassage ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Indiebound

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *