Check out these amazing works from our Alumni!

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Writing for Young People * Fiction * Nonfiction * Poetry * Writing for Stage and Screen

Writing for Young People:

Joanna Cooke

Fire Shapes the World

Yosemite Conservancy; April 18, 2023

Life as we know it evolved with fire; there is no us without it.

With lyrical text grounded in the latest research, this picture book shares the primal connection between all living things and fire. Children will grasp that fire is basic and powerful; that it has the capability to both destroy and create; that everything they know in the world has evolved with fire.

There is comfort in understanding the natural processes taking place all around us. By learning the story of fire and how it has changed this planet, this book also addresses the question: Can people adapt to an increasingly fire-prone environment? This answer is: Yes. Because we always have. While fire is to be respected, with proper care and thoughtful planning, it can be a benefit to Earth. We can learn from the past to help create our future. Through understanding, we will thrive.

FIRE SHAPES THE WORLD is an encouraging springboard for conversation illuminated by breathtaking paintings, and it will allow children to explore their connection to this most elemental agent of change.

Call Me Floy

Yosemite Conservancy; May 12, 2020

In this coming-of-age novel, a headstrong girl persists against expectations, following her dream in nineteenth century Yosemite.

Florence Floy Hutchings is the daughter of a famous father, and while the extra attention that brings is not unwelcome, all she really wants is to be herself. However, in 1876 being clever, confident, and bold is not expected of girls on the cusp of turning twelve. Stuck in a stuffy classroom in crowded San Francisco, Floy longs to return to the majestic mountain valley where she was born and where she has always felt free: Yosemite!

Upon returning to her beloved valley, Floy finds that it is changing in confusing ways: the intimate paradise she once knew is opening to more visitors and to troubling attitudes about her indigenous friends and about what girls should and should not do. Yet, against this backdrop of change, Floy pursues her dream of climbing the indomitable Half Dome.

Steeped in the rich atmosphere of old Yosemite and based on real people and true events, Call Me Floy is about a girl who follows her dream up the steepest path imaginable.

The Sequoia Lives On

Yosemite Conservancy; August 7, 2018

From tiny seed to largest tree, the giant sequoia is a living wonder of nature.

Numbers fail when trying to describe this ancient and tremendous tree. The giant sequoia begins life as a seed no larger than an oatmeal flake yet can grow as tall as three blue whales stacked chin to tale. The oldest sequoias have lived as long as forty human lifetimes. The largest are so enormous, twenty children holding hands can’t wrap their arms around the trunks In evocative text and vibrant paintings, The Sequoia Lives On shares the life story of the giant sequoia, casting light on natural questions: How does this tree grow so big? How does it live so long? An extensive author’s note completes the portrait for young readers, inviting them to become the next generation of protectors for the giant sequoia.


Sara Farizan

“A Brief Intermission”
(Available in Night of the Living Queers)

Wednesday Books; August 29, 2023

Night of the Living Queers is a YA horror anthology that explores a night when anything is possible, exclusively featuring queer authors of color putting fresh spins on classic horror tropes and tales.

No matter its name or occasion, Halloween is more than a Hallmark holiday, it’s a symbol of transformation. NIGHT OF THE LIVING QUEERS is a YA horror anthology that explores how Halloween can be more than just candies and frights, but a night where anything is possible. Each short story is told through the lens of a different BIPOC teen and the Halloween night that changes their lives forever. Creative, creepy, and queer, this collection brings fresh terror, heart, and humor to young adult literature.

Contributors include editors Alex Brown and Shelly Page, Kalynn Bayron, Ryan Douglass, Sara Farizan, Maya Gittelman, Kosoko Jackson, Em Liu, Vanessa Montalban, Ayida Shonibar, Tara Sim, Trang Thanh Tran, and Rebecca Kim Wells.

Opportunity Knocks

Scholastic Inc.; February 7, 2023

Lila is trying to find her way in the world――to figure out her thing. Her talented sister, Parisa, and athletic best friend, Melanie, both seem to have found theirs― and Lila can’t help feeling left behind.

But just when she thinks she might have it in her school’s new band program, the floor falls out from beneath Lila. The program may have its funding cut!

Lila visits her local bank in an attempt to secure a loan for the band program. While she’s there, she’s shoved by a passing stranger. Before she can even complain, however, the man leaves the bank and disappears. At her feet, Lila sees a strange box. Inside rests an old key, with a message carved into the box: A simple clue for you who holds the key. Remember to unlock the door for Opportunity.

It turns out the key is magical! After falling asleep with it in her room, Lila is awoken by the appearance of a strange glowing door, which knocks three times from the other side. Upon opening it, Lila is met with the strangest sight. A girl her age waltzes into her room and claims to be Lila’s lucky day. The girl says she’s been called by many names: Providence, Fortuna, Lady Luck, Opportunity― but Lila can call her Felise. Felise will stay with Lila for seven serendipitous days, during which Lila will be the luckiest person in the world!

But the man who lost the key has not forgotten about it――or Lila. Having spent a fortune procuring the Key to Opportunity, he’ll do everything in his power to get it back.

My Buddy Killer Croc

DC Comics; September 6, 2022

My Buddy, Killer Croc is a charming tale of a boy in a new school, his new friends and enemies, and the super-villain who teaches him how to put the bullies in their place.
 
Andy is new to Gotham. He’s shy and quiet and in need of friends. Then he meets his wrestling hero, Waylon Jones, now known as Killer Croc. How will Andy react when he finds out the truth about his idol?

Andy, like a lot of kids, feels a little lost and out of place when he moves to Gotham. He’s quiet and shy…and a little worried that the scar on his face makes him stick out. Some classmates make him feel welcome, and others don’t. But Andy has a secret.

Back in Florida, his dad introduced him to the wrestler Waylon Jones, and Andy’s pretty sure he’s in Gotham now, too. If Andy can find him and ask for some wrestling tips, he can have it all. Finding Jones won’t be too hard, either…because in Gotham, Jones goes by the name Killer Croc! Trouble is, Batman is looking for Andy’s childhood hero, too.

Dead Flip

Algonquin Books; August 30, 2022

Growing up, Cori, Maz, and Sam were inseparable best friends, sharing their love for Halloween, arcade games, and one another. Now it’s 1992, Sam has been missing for five years, and Cori and Maz aren’t speaking anymore. How could they be, when Cori is sure Sam is dead and Maz thinks he may have been kidnapped by a supernatural pinball machine?
 
These days, all Maz wants to do is party, buy CDs at Sam Goody, and run away from his past. Meanwhile, Cori is a homecoming queen, hiding her abiding love of horror movies and her queer self under the bubblegum veneer of a high school queen bee. But when Sam returns—still twelve years old while his best friends are now seventeen—Maz and Cori are thrown back together to solve the mystery of what really happened to Sam the night he went missing. Beneath the surface of that mystery lurk secrets the friends never told one another, then and now. And Sam’s is the darkest of all . . .
 
Award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine and Here to Stay Sara Farizan delivers edge-of-your-seat terror as well as her trademark referential humor, witty narration, and insightful characters.

“The Wedding”
(Available in Come on in: 15 Stories about Immigration and Finding Home)

Inkyard Press; October 13, 2020

This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by critically acclaimed and bestselling YA authors who are shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home–and to find home.

From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today…journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah…from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey…from Fiji, America, Mexico and more… Come On In. With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands…who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL…who give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question “where are you from?” and so much more… Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience, from authors who have been shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home–and to find home.

Here to Stay

Algonquin Young Readers; October 1, 2019

Bijan Majidi is:

* Shy around girls
* Really into comics
* Decent at basketball

Bijan Majidi is not:

* A terrorist

What happens when a kid who’s flown under the radar for most of high school gets pulled off the bench to make the winning basket in a varsity playoff game?

If his name is Bijan Majidi, life is suddenly high fives in the hallways and invitations to exclusive parties—along with an anonymous photo sent by a school cyberbully that makes Bijan look like a terrorist. 

The administration says they’ll find and punish the culprit. Bijan wants to pretend it never happened. He’s not ashamed of his Middle Eastern heritage; he just doesn’t want to be a poster child for Islamophobia. Lots of classmates rally around Bijan. Others make it clear they don’t want him or anybody who looks like him at their school. But it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends.

Here to Stay is a painfully honest, funny, authentic story about growing up, speaking out, and fighting prejudice.

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

Algonquin Young Readers; October 6, 2015

At Armstead Academy, everyone knows everything about everyone. Well, everyone thinks they know everything . . .

Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is a relief. As an Iranian American, she’s different enough; if word got out that Leila liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when beautiful new girl Saskia shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would. As she carefully confides in trusted friends about Saskia’s confusing signals, Leila begins to figure out that all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and some are keeping surprising secrets of their own.

If You Could Be Mine

Algonquin Young Readers; September 9, 2014

This Forbidden Romance Could Cost Them Their Lives

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love–Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed. So they carry on in secret until Nasrin’s parents suddenly announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution: homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. Sahar will never be able to love Nasrin in the body she wants to be loved in without risking their lives, but is saving their love worth sacrificing her true self?


Sabrina Fedel

All Roads Lead to Rome

Delacorte Press; June 18, 2024

When the daughter of a diplomat fake dates a Scottish celebrity in Italy, she soon finds herself living her own Roman Holiday until the feelings get real and the paparazzi’s knives come out.

Introverted, slightly anxious Astoria “Story” Herriot knows everything about Rome—her mom’s an attorney here and the two of them are living la dolce vita… at least until Story’s off to college in the fall.

But when Story is in the wrong gelato shop at the right time, she’s swept up in a fake dating scheme with Scottish heartthrob, Luca Kinnaird, to protect his relationship with a pop princess. There’s something in it for her, too—Luca promises to help fund a scholarship in her dad’s memory. Soon she’s showing Luca the best cafés, sightseeing at the Mouth of Truth, and picnicking at the ruins of the Abbey of Santa Maria del Piano. Story’s travel guide skills are 10/10, but what she knows about being a celebrity—or having feelings for one? Zero.

Pretending to be Luca’s guide—then his girlfriend—gets the paparazzi’s attention . . . and what’s true and what’s fake gets blurry as their different worlds crash together. Sophisticated, hot, rich, and with the most charming accent ever, Luca is full of surprises. And maybe, too, is Story’s perfectly planned future.

It’s a fairy-tale romance in the Eternal City…will it have a fairy tale ending?

Leaving Kent State

Harvard Square Editions; November 11, 2016

On May 4, 1970, the campus of Kent State University became the final turning point in Americans’ tolerance for the Vietnam War, as National Guardsmen opened fire on unarmed student protestors, killing four and wounding nine. It was one of the first true school shootings in our nation’s history. A new young adult novel, Leaving Kent State (Harvard Square Editions), by debut author Sabrina Fedel, brings to life America’s political and social turmoil as it ushered in the new decade of the 1970s. Throughout the harsh winter of 1969-1970, Kent, Ohio, became a microcosm of the growing unrest that threatened the very nature of democracy.

Told from the viewpoint of seventeen-year-old Rachel Morelli, Leaving Kent State explores themes of the day that are strikingly similar to our own: terrorism, war, racial injustice, and gender inequality. As Rachel struggles to convince her dad that she should go to Pratt University in New York to pursue her dream of becoming an artist, Kent slips ever further off of its axis, in step with the growing discord across the nation. Caught between her love for her next door neighbor, Evan, a boy who has just returned from Vietnam, and her desire to escape Kent, Rachel must navigate a changing world to pursue her dreams.


Saraciea J. Fennell

“Cemetery Dance Party”
(Available in The Black Girl Survives in This One)

Flatiron Books; April 2, 2024

A YA anthology of horror stories centering Black girls who battle monsters, both human and supernatural, and who survive to the end 

Be warned, dear reader: The Black girls survive in this one.

Celebrating a new generation of bestselling and acclaimed Black writers, The Black Girl Survives in This One makes space for Black girls in horror. Fifteen chilling and thought-provoking stories place Black girls front and center as heroes and survivors who slay monsters, battle spirits, and face down death. Prepare to be terrified and left breathless by the pieces in this anthology.

The bestselling and acclaimed authors include Erin E. Adams, Monica Brashears, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Desiree S. Evans, Saraciea J. Fennell, Zakiya Dalila Harris, Daka Hermon, Justina Ireland, L. L. McKinney, Brittney Morris, Maika & Maritza Moulite, Eden Royce, and Vincent Tirado. The foreword is by Tananarive Due.

“Goldi and the Three Bodies”
(Available in Relit: 16 Latinx Remixes of Classic Stories)

Inkyard Press; February 6, 2024

In classic stories remixed, Latinx characters take center stage. Pride and Prejudice is launched into outer space, Frankenstein is plunged into the depths of the ocean, and The Great Gatsby floats to an island off the coast of Costa Rica.

A shape-shifter gives up her life to save the boy she loves from an evil bruja. La Ciguapa covets a little mermaid’s heart of gold. Two star-crossed teens fall in love while the planet burns around them.

Whether characters fall in love, battle foes, or grow through grief, each story will empower readers to see themselves as the heroes of the stories that make our world.

Featuring original stories from Olivia Abtahi, David Bowles, Zoraida Córdova, Saraciea J. Fennell, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Torrey Maldonado, Jasminne Mendez, Anna Meriano, Amparo Ortiz, Laura Pohl, Sandra Proudman, NoNieqa Ramos, Monica Sanz, Eric Smith, Ari Tison, and Alexandra Villasante.

Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed: 15 Voices from the Latinx Diaspora

Flatiron Books; November 2, 2021

In Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed, bestselling and award-winning authors as well as up-and-coming voices interrogate the different myths and stereotypes about the Latinx diaspora. These fifteen original pieces delve into everything from ghost stories and superheroes, to memories in the kitchen and travels around the world, to addiction and grief, to identity and anti-Blackness, to finding love and speaking your truth. Full of both sorrow and joy, Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed is an essential celebration of this rich and diverse community.

The bestselling and award-winning contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Cristina Arreola, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Naima Coster, Natasha Diaz, Saraciea J. Fennell, Kahlil Haywood, Zakiya Jamal, Janel Martinez, Jasminne Mendez, Meg Medina, Mark Oshiro, Julian Randall, Lilliam Rivera, and Ibi Zoboi.


Kate Fussner

The Song of Us

Katherine Tegen Books; May 30, 2023

This stunning debut and wholly original queer middle grade novel-in-verse retelling of “Orpheus and Eurydice” adds a new chorus to the songs of great love, perfect for fans of Other Words for Home and Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World.

Love at first sight isn’t a myth. For seventh graders Olivia and Eden, it’s fate. Olivia is a capital-P Poet, and Eden thinks she wants to be a musician one day, but for now she’s just the new girl. And then Eden shows up to Poetry Club and everything changes.

Eden isn’t out, and she has rules for dating Olivia: don’t call. Don’t tell her friends. And don’t let anyone know they’re together.

But when jealousy creeps in, it’s Olivia’s words that push Eden away. While Eden sets out to find herself, Olivia begins a journey to bring Eden back—using poetry. Both Olivia and Eden will learn just how powerful their words can be to bring them together . . . or tear them apart forever.


Beth Raisner Glass

Blue-Ribbon Dad

Harry N. Abrams; May 1, 2011

In this sweet, rhyming picture book, a little boy thinks about all the special things he does with his dad—schoolwork, reading, swimming lessons, haircuts, and more—and decides to craft a present, a homemade blue ribbon, to show his dad how much he loves him. The boy counts down the hours until his dad comes home, recalling their favorite memories and preparing the special gift. 

Simple text for the earliest readers and cuddly squirrel characters make this precious picture book the perfect way to celebrate Dad on Father’s Day, or any day of the year.

Noises at Night

Harry N. Abrams; October 1, 2005

When a little boy can’t fall asleep, he imagines all of the late-night noises in his house as extraordinary adventures. With illustrations by the illustrator of the best-selling Diary of a Wombat, the outlandish images of bedtime dreams are brought to life.

From the hisss of a heater to the whiee of the wind, noises suddenly become other fantastic sounds and soon lead to great adventures for a newly tucked-in boy and his dog. The drip of a faucet becomes the waves splashing the bow of his great ship and the boom of thunder is the drumroll for a circus trapeze artist. 

With dynamic, vibrant illustrations by the popular illustrator, Bruce Whatley, and musical rhyme by Beth Raisner Glass and Susan Lubner, Noises at Night perfectly captures the imagination of every sleepless child at bedtime and shows kids that bedtime is more fun than scary-and exhausting! After all of his dream-like wanderings, the boy and his dog fall asleep.


Emily Inouye Huey

Wat Kept Playing: The Inspiring Story of Wataru Misaka and His Rise to the NBA

Shadow Mountain Publishing; March 5, 2024

As the child of Japanese immigrants, Wataru “Wat” Misaka often felt like he didn’t fully belong in either Japanese or American culture. He was sometimes excluded, treated differently, and bullied, even though he was born in the United States. As he grew up, however, Wat discovered he had a very special talent for playing basketball. Even at just five foot seven, he was unstoppable.

After leading his high school team to a state championship, Wat played for the Utah Utes and helped the team win the 1944 NCAA championship. Wat kept playing even as Japanese Americans from the West Coast were sent to incarceration camps for the duration of World War II. Then, after two years serving in the United States Army, Wat returned to basketball, leading the University of Utah to Madison Square Garden and winning another national championship. The cheering crowd recognized Wat the way he wanted to be seen—as a person who was both Japanese and American and an amazing basketball player. Talent scouts from the New York Knicks were so impressed, they drafted Wat to their team. Wat’s undeniable talent changed history as he became the first person of color to play in the NBA.

Beneath The Wide Silk Sky

Scholastic Press; October 18, 2022

Sam Sakamoto doesn’t have space in her life for dreams. With the recent death of her mother, Sam’s focus is the farm, which her family will lose if they can’t make one last payment. There’s no time for her secret and unrealistic hope of becoming a photographer, no matter how skilled she’s become. But Sam doesn’t know that an even bigger threat looms on the horizon.

On December 7, 1941, Japanese airplanes attack the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. Fury towards Japanese Americans ignites across the country. In Sam’s community in Washington State, the attack gives those who already harbor prejudice an excuse to hate.

As Sam’s family wrestles with intensifying discrimination and even violence, Sam forges a new and unexpected friendship with her neighbor Hiro Tanaka. When he offers Sam a way to resume her photography, she realizes she can document the bigotry around her — if she’s willing to take the risk. When the United States announces that those of Japanese descent will be forced into “relocation camps,” Sam knows she must act or lose her voice forever. She engages in one last battle to leave with her identity — and her family — intact.

Emily Inouye Huey movingly draws inspiration from her own family history to paint an intimate portrait of the lead-up to Japanese incarceration, racism on the World War II homefront, and the relationship between patriotism and protest in this stunningly lyrical debut.


Candice Iloh

Salt the Water

Dutton Books for Young Readers; October 3, 2023

Cerulean Gene is free everywhere except school, where they’re known for repeatedly challenging authority. Raised in a free-spirited home by two loving parents who encourage Cerulean to be their full self, they’ve got big dreams of moving cross-country to live off the grid with their friends after graduation. But a fight with a teacher spirals out of control, and Cerulean impulsively drops out to avoid the punishment they fear is coming. Why wait for graduation to leave an oppressive capitalist system and live their dreams? 
 
Cerulean is truly brilliant, but their sheltered upbringing hasn’t prepared them for the consequences of their choice — especially not when it’s compounded by a family emergency that puts a parent out of work. Suddenly the money they’d been stacking with their friends is a resource that the family needs to stay afloat.
 
Salt the Water is a book about dreaming in a world that has other plans for your time, your youth, and your future. It asks, what does it look like when a bunch of queer Black kids are allowed to dream? And what does it look like for them to confront the present circumstances of the people they love while still pursuing a wildly different future of their own?

Break This House

Dutton Books for Young Readers; May 24, 2022

From Printz honoree and National Book Award Finalist Candice Iloh, a prose novel about a teenager reckoning with her family’s–and her home town’s–secrets.

Yaminah Okar left Obsidian and the wreckage of her family years ago. She and her father have made lives for themselves in Brooklyn. She thinks she’s moved on to bigger and better things. She thinks she’s finally left behind that city she would rather forget. But when a Facebook message about her estranged mother pierces Yaminah’s new bubble, memories of everything that happened before her parents’ divorce come roaring back. Now, Yaminah must finally reckon with the truth about her mother and the growing collapse of a place she once called home. 

Every Body Looking

Penguin Random House; September 22, 2020

Candice Iloh weaves the key moments of Ada’s young life—her mother’s descent into addiction, her father’s attempts to create a home for his American daughter more like the one he knew in Nigeria, her first year at a historically black college—into a luminous and inspiring verse novel.


Amy Jenness

On This Day in Nantucket History

The History Press; October 7, 2014

Nantucket is much more than beautiful beaches and sailboats. One day at a time, author Amy Jenness offers up quirky and fascinating stories of the people and events that shaped this remote island. On August 11, 1841, Frederick Douglass made his first antislavery speech at the Nantucket Atheneum. The Great Fire of July 13, 1846, devastated the island, forcing residents to rebuild what they lost. On December 5, 1981, a nor’easter stranded nearly two thousand visitors and forced seventeen pilot whales to come ashore. Read a story a day or month at a time. Celebrate an entire year of Nantucket history.


Sara Levine

A Terrible Place for a Nest

Roaring Brook Press; May 21, 2024

A child learns to settle into a new home in this lyrical and stirring picture book perfect for fans of MEMORY JARS and EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY.

Juno and his mom have just moved into a new home, and he hates everything about it – the new school, his new classmates, his new room.

Just outside his window, Juno notices a family of mourning doves have started a nest atop the fence, and they seem to be struggling to make it work, too. Sure enough, Juno concludes this new place is a terrible place to build a nest.

But, as winter turns to spring and the doves grow, so does Juno. And while this new place may be scary and sometimes lonely, they will all make it work, together.

Lyrical and hopeful, A Terrible Place for a Nest is a tender and uplifting tale about facing new experiences with empathy and courage.

Sensitive

Carolrhoda Books; October 3, 2023

“You feel way too much.” / “Will you stop being dramatic?”

This tender picture book follows a girl who is told she is too intense, too sensitive, too much. She’s told to grow a thicker skin, but the words of others slip right through. They somersault around inside and press against her heart.

What can she do to stop the hurt?

She needs to take time alone to think and read, rest and create.

Thoughtful text, detailed collage illustrations, and an unexpected word puzzle combine in Sara Levine and Mehrdokht Amini’s moving portrayal of a girl who discovers that what others call a weakness can also be a gift.

Poop for Breakfast: Why Some Animals Eat It

Lerner/Millbrook; April 4, 2023

Eating poop is gross! So why do some animals do it? For lots of good reasons!

Male butterflies slurp up poop to give as a gift to females, which makes their eggs stronger. Robins scarf down the poop of young chicks because it’s full of undigested nutrients. And baby elephants gobble up the poop from adults to get essential bacteria into their digestive systems. This disgustingly informative book is bursting with lots of surprising information about animals—and digestion!

A Peek at Beaks: Tools Birds Use

Millbrook Press; September 7, 2021

Guess which birds have beaks resembling commonly used tools in this playful picture book from award-winning author Sara Levine. Delightfully detailed collage artwork by Kate Slater helps this book take flight!

Germs Up Close

Millbrook Press; April 6, 2021

Have you ever seen a germ up close? Really, really close? Award-winning science writer Sara Levine introduces readers to a variety of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi that can make people sick―including SARS-CoV-2, E. coli, and ringworm. Micrographs and illustrations show extremely close-up views of the germs that are at once incredible and a little gross.

The book concludes with tips for staying healthy as well as information about the immune system, vaccines, and medicines. It gives readers accessible, up-to-date scientific information presented in a way that emphasizes curiosity rather than fear.

The Animals Would Not Sleep!

Charlesbridge; October 13, 2020

With bedtime fast approaching, young Latinx scientist Marco wants to sort his stuffed animals into categories that will help them comfortably settle down. He observes, compares, and groups, but the animals refuse every classification. Finally Marco combines math with empathy to get the most important result: maximum snuggles.

Eye by Eye

Millbrook Press; September 1, 2020

What kind of animal would you be if you had eight eyes? Or if your pupils were the shape of the letter W? Keep an eye out for weird and surprising facts in this playful picture book, which brings together comparative anatomy with a guessing game format. See how your animal eyes are like―and unlike―those of starfish, spiders, goats, cuttlefish, owls, and slugs.

Flower Talk

Millbrook Press; March 5, 2019

This new book from Sara Levine features a cantankerous talking cactus as a narrator, revealing to readers the significance of different colors of flowers in terms of which pollinators (bees, bats, birds, etc.) different colors “talk” to. A fun nonfiction presentation of science info that may be new to many kids–and adults!

Fossil by Fossil

Millbrook Press; January 1, 2018

What dinosaur would you be if you had a bony ridge rising from the back of your skull and three horns poking up from the front?

Answer: a triceratops!

This picture book will keep you guessing as you find out how human skeletons are like—and unlike—those of dinosaurs!

Tooth by Tooth

Millbrook Press; January 1, 2016

What animal would you be if a few of your teeth grew so long that they stuck out of your mouth even when it was closed? What would you be if your top canine teeth grew almost all the way down to your feet? This picture book will keep you guessing as you read about how human teeth are like—and unlike—those of other animals. 

Bone by Bone

Millbrook Press; August 1, 2013

What animal would you be if your finger bones grew so long that they reached your feet? Or what if you had no leg bones but kept your arm bones? This picture book will keep you guessing as you read about how human skeletons are like—and unlike—those of other animals.


Axie Oh

ASAP

HarperTeen; February 6, 2024

New York Times bestselling author Axie Oh’s ASAP is the much anticipated companion novel to beloved romance XOXO, following fan favorites Sori, the wealthy daughter of a K-pop company owner, and Nathaniel, her K-pop star ex-boyfriend, in a swoon-worthy second chance love story.

Sori has worked her whole life to become a K-pop idol, until she realizes she doesn’t want a life forever in the spotlight. But that’s not actually up to Sori—she’s caught between her exacting mother’s entertainment company and her father’s presidential aspirations. And as the pressure to keep her flawless public image grows, the last person she should be thinking about is her ex-boyfriend.

Nathaniel is off limits—she knows this. A member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world and forbidden from dating, he isn’t any more of an option now than he was two years ago. Still, she can’t forget that their whirlwind romance was the last time she remembers being really happy. Or that his family welcomed her into their home when she needed it most. . . .

So when Nathaniel finds himself rocked by scandal, Sori offers him a hideaway with her. And back in close quarters, it’s hard to deny their old feelings. But when Sori gets an opportunity to break free from her parent’s expectations, she will have to decide: Is her future worth sacrificing for a second chance at love?

“A Unique Point of View”
(Available in Writing in Color)

Margaret K. McElderry Books; August 22, 2023

Rethink the way you approach writing in this revolutionary and informative new anthology from fourteen diverse authors that demystifies craft and authorship based on their experiences as writers of color—perfect for fans of Fresh Ink and Our Stories, Our Voices.

So, you’re thinking of writing a book. Or, maybe you’ve written one, and are wondering what to do with it. What does it take to publish a novel, or even a short story? If you’re a writer of color, these questions might multiply; after all, there’s a lot of writing advice out there, and it can be hard to know how much of it really applies to your own experiences. If any of this sounds like you, you’re in the right place: this collection of essays, written exclusively by authors of color, is here to encourage and empower writers of all ages and backgrounds to find their voice as they put pen to page.

Perhaps you’re just getting started. Here you’ll find a whole toolkit of advice from bestselling and award-winning authors for focusing on an idea, landing on a point of view, and learning which rules were meant to be broken. Or perhaps you have questions about everything beyond the first draft: what is it really like being a published author? These writers demystify the process, sharing personal stories as they forged their own path to publication, and specifically from their perspectives as author of color.

Every writer has a different journey. Maybe yours has already started. Or maybe it begins right here.

Contributors include: Julie C. Dao, Chloe Gong, Joan He, Kosoko Jackson, Adiba Jaigirdar, Darcie Little Badger, Yamile Saied Mendez, Axie Oh, Laura Pohl, Cindy Pon, Karuna Riazi, Gail D. Villanueva, Julian Winters, and Kat Zhang.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

Feiwel & Friends; February 22, 2022

Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is an enthralling feminist retelling of the classic Korean folktale “The Tale of Shim Cheong,” perfect for fans of Wintersong, Uprooted, and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.

Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.

Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of Shin—a mysterious young man with no soul—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits, Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…

XOXO

Harper Teen; July 13, 2021

Cello prodigy Jenny has one goal: to get into a prestigious music conservatory. When she meets mysterious, handsome Jaewoo in her uncle’s Los Angeles karaoke bar, it’s clear he’s the kind of boy who would uproot her careful plans. But in a moment of spontaneity, she allows him to pull her out of her comfort zone for one unforgettable night of adventure…before he disappears without a word.

Three months later, when Jenny and her mother arrive in South Korea to take care of her ailing grandmother, she’s shocked to discover that Jaewoo is a student at the same elite arts academy where she’s enrolled for the semester. And he’s not just any student. He’s a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.

When a relationship means throwing Jenny’s life off the path she’s spent years mapping out, she’ll have to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love

Rogue Heart
Book 2 of the Rebel Seoul series

Tu Books; October 8, 2019

NEO BEIJING, 2201. Two years after the Battle of Neo Seoul, eighteen-year-old telepath Ama works by day in a cafe and moonlights as a lounge singer in a smoky bar at night. She’s anonymous, she’s safe from the seemingly never-ending war, and that’s how she’d like to stay. But then PHNX, a resistance group specializing in espionage and covert missions, approaches her with an offer to expose a government experiment exactly like the one she fled. Soon, Ama is traveling with PHNX on a series of dangerous assignments, using her telepathic powers to aid the rebellion against the authoritarian Alliance.

As the war ramps up, PHNX is given its most dangerous mission yet: to infiltrate the base of the Alliance’s new war commander, a young man rumored to have no fear of death. But when Ama sees the commander for the first time, she discovers his identity: Alex Kim, the boy she once loved and who betrayed her.

Now, Ama must use her telepathic abilities to pose as an officer in Alex’s elite guard, manipulating Alex’s mind so that he doesn’t recognize her. As the final battle approaches, Ama struggles with her mission and her feelings for Alex. Will she be able to carry out her task? Or will she give up everything for Alex again—only to be betrayed once more?

Part heist novel, part love story, Rogue Heart is perfect for fans of Marie Lu’s Warcross and Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series.

Rebel Seoul
Book 1 of the Rebel Seoul series

Tu Books; September 15, 2017

After a great war, the East Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising in the ranks of the academy. Abandoned as a kid in the slums of Old Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past and prove himself a loyal soldier of the Neo State.

When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots for a never-ending war.

With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner, earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he stands—as a soldier of the Neo State, or a rebel of the people.

Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas in this mind-blowing, New Visions Award-winning science fiction debut.


Patty O’Connell Pearson

We Are Your Children Too

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; January 10, 2023

In 1954, after the passing of Brown v. the Board of Education, the all-White school board of one county in south central Virginia made the decision to close its public schools rather than integrate. Those schools stayed closed for five years.

While the affluent White population of Prince Edward County built a private school—for White children only—Black children and their families had to find other ways to learn. Some Black children were home schooled by unemployed Black teachers. Some traveled thousands of miles away to live with relatives, friends, or even strangers. Some didn’t go to school at all.

But many stood up and became young activists, fighting for one of the rights America claims belongs to all: the right to learn.

Conspiracy: Nixon, Watergate, and Democracy’s Defenders

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; October 13, 2020

The story of President Richard Nixon and those who fought against him comes to life in this insightful and accessible nonfiction middle grade book from the author of Fly Girls and Fighting for the Forest.

The Watergate scandal created one of the greatest constitutional crises in American history. When the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon and the Supreme Court ruled that he had to turn over to Congress the tapes that proved the claims against him, he realized his support in the Senate had collapsed. He resigned rather than face almost certain conviction on abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

We know the villain’s story well, but what about the heroes? When the country’s own leader turned his back on the Constitution, who was there to defend it?

Conspiracy is about the reporters, prosecutors, judges, justices, members of Congress, and members of the public who supported and defended the Constitution when it needed it most.

Fighting for the Forest: How FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps Helped Save America

Simon & Schuster; October 8, 2019

When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in March 1933, the United States was on the brink of economic collapse and environmental disaster. Thirty-four days later, the first of over three million impoverished young men were building parks and reclaiming the nation’s forests and farmlands. The Civilian Conservation Corps—FDR’s favorite program and “miracle of inter-agency cooperation”—resulted in the building and/or improvement of hundreds of state and national parks, the restoration of nearly 120 million acre of land, and the planting of some three billion trees—more than half of all the trees ever planted in the United States.

Fighting for the Forest tells the story of the Civilian Conservation Corp through a close look at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia (the CCC’s first project) and through the personal stories and work of young men around the nation who came of age and changed their country for the better working in Roosevelt’s Tree Army.

Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII

Simon & Schuster; February 12, 2019

At the height of World War II, the US Army Airforce faced a desperate need for skilled pilots—but only men were allowed in military airplanes, even if the expert pilots who were training them to fly were women. Through grit and pure determination, 1,100 of these female pilots—who had to prove their worth time and time again—were finally allowed to ferry planes from factories to bases, to tow targets for live ammunition artillery training, to test repaired planes and new equipment, and more.

Though the Women Airforce Service Pilots lived on military bases, trained as military pilots, wore uniforms, marched in review, and sometimes died violently in the line of duty, they were civilian employees and received less pay than men doing the same jobs and no military benefits, not even for burials.

Their story is one of patriotism, the power of positive attitudes, the love of flying, and the willingness to serve others with no concern for personal gain.


Cynthia Platt

Postcards from Summer

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; May 31, 2022

Seventeen-year-old Lexi has always wanted to know more about the mother who passed away when she was only a child. But her dad will barely talk about her. He says he’d rather live in the present with Lexi, her stepmom, and her half-brother. Lexi loves her family, too, but is it so wrong to want to learn about the mom she never got to know?

When Lexi’s grandma dies and secretly leaves her a worn blue chest that belonged to Lexi’s mother, Lexi is ecstatic to find a treasure trove of keepsakes. Her mom held onto letters, pamphlets, flyers, and news articles all from the same beautiful summertime getaway: Mackinac Island—plus a cryptic postcard that hints at a forbidden romance. If Lexi wants answers, this island is where she needs to go.

Without telling her dad, Lexi goes to the gorgeous Mackinac Island in Lake Superior, reachable only by ferry. Cars are forbidden and bikes are the number one mode of transportation along the quaint cobblestone streets, and the bright white hotel that looms like a high castle over charming cafés and bookshops. While following her mother’s footsteps, Lexi befriends an elderly former Broadway star and a charming young hotel worker while quickly falling in love with her surroundings.

But though the island may be beautiful, it’s hiding unfortunate secrets—some with her mother at the center. Could some questions be best left buried beneath the blue waters?

Easter Starring Egg!

Clarion Books; January 4, 2022

Others may get picked first at the Easter egg hunt, but Egg has sparkle on the outside, confidence on the inside, and the patience to wait for his perfect kid. 

The big Easter egg hunt may be a time to hide, but Egg wants to stand out! Fancied up for his big rendezvous with the perfect kid, Egg knows deep down in his yolk that a special friendship is about to be hatched with the kid who will see him for him.

Parker Bell and the Science of Friendship

Clarion Books; May 21, 2019

Budding scientist Parker Bell really wants to win the school Science Triathlon and follow in the footsteps of her idols, chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall and astronaut Mae Jemison. She’s sure that if she teams up with her trivia whiz BFF, Cassie, they will dominate the Science Bee, Egg Drop, and Animal Adaptation Presentation. When Cassie invites her new friend, Theo, to join their team, Parker is worried—that Theo won’t help them win and might steal her best friend. As the three work together, Parker learns that you don’t have to be the best to be a real scientist and a good friend.

Grow

Amicus Ink; March 13, 2018

Can one little girl transform a neighborhood? With a seed of an idea and helping hands from neighbors, a girl’s dream to clean up an abandoned city lot grows into something much larger. Cynthia Platt’s light prose is brought to life by artist Olivia Holden’s beautiful pastels in this inspiring story of hope and community.

Panda-Monium!

Tiger Tales; March 1, 2011

What does a Panda do when his tummy rumbles? He looks for crunchy, munchy bamboo! But Beckett doesn’t notice the two pandas behind him and the growing numbers who follow him as he leads them on a search for crunchy, munchy bamboo and panda-monium ensues! This bouncy, rhyming read-aloud offers an entertaining lesson in counting.

A Little Bit of Love

Tiger Tales; March 1, 2011

Start with a hungry small mouse who is tired of cheese. Add her mama and an idea for the perfect treat. Mix in a search for some special ingredients, and you have a sweet-as-pie picture book to share with someone you love! A beautifully illustrated story about a small mouse who learns that when you make something for your little one, it’s always made of love. Feel fuzzy mice on the cover of this charming read-aloud that’s just right for a baker’s little helper!


Lisa Robinson

Gifts From Georgia’s Garden: How Georgia O’Keeffe Nourished Her Art

Neal Porter Books; March 19, 2024

Come behind the scenes of Georgia O’Keeffe’s famous flower paintings to her sustainable homestead in New Mexico, where art was everything and everything was art.

Most of us have heard the name Georgia O’Keeffe— she’s one of the most famous women in art history. But did you know that for most of her life, she lived on her own land in New Mexico, grew her own food, bought locally, and even made her own clothing?

Georgia’s garden and her art fed and enriched one another, just as her bean plants enriched the soil and her home-grown feasts fed her friends. In spite of the era’s prejudice against female artists, Georgia lived and thrived in her verdant sanctuary well into old age. 

Soothing and inspiring, Gifts from Georgia’s Garden illuminates the life and philosophy of a figure every child should know. Backmatter adds context to O’Keeffe’s story and invites families to try out her sustainable gardening techniques— and her pecan butterball cookies.

Giraffe and Jackal Are Friends (Again!)

Sounds True; November 7, 2023

Giraffe and Jackal express their feelings and resolve differences in a positive way, through the power of Nonviolent Communication. 

Giraffe and Jackal are best friends, even though their personalities are different. Jackal tends to be grouchy and easily snap at others, while Giraffe is more peaceful and thoughtful. When the new kid, Aardvark, moves to school, Giraffe reaches out to be friends, but Jackal feels jealous and threatened. Jackal lashes out, endangering Aardvark, and a conflict ensues. By employing compassionate communication techniques, Giraffe helps Jackal work through his conflicted feelings in a positive way so that all three can be friends.

Based on the renowned Nonviolent Communication teachings of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, this picture book offers kids easy-to-learn coping and communicating skills, all through the lens of a playful story with stunning illustrations and great characters.

Forest Bath Right Down This Path

Sounds True; May 9, 2023

Join in a forest bathing adventure as a young girl helps her father to leave his cell phone behind and embrace the sights, smells, and sounds of the natural world around him.
 
On a sticky summer day, when it is too hot to do anything, Kayla suggests a forest bath. Daddy needs a little more convincing, but soon they are heading into the forest.
 
Kayla takes in the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural world around her. Cinnamon fern and bunchberry grow in the shade. The packed dirt under Kayla’s feet is hard and the sunlight through the branches is soft. She breathes a symphony of scents—soil, sedge, and moss—and finds a stream with an icy current. A black-throated green warbler trills in the distance zee-zee-zee-zoo-zee.
 
As the worries and distractions of the day melt away, Kayla and her father relax and enjoy the pleasure of forest bathing—and of being together.

The Sweetest Scoop: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Revolution

Abrams Books for Young Readers; May 10, 2022

A biography of the entrepreneurial, activist duo behind Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and their rocky road to success

Chunky Monkey. Cherry Garcia. Truffle Kerfuffle.Legendary ice cream makers Ben & Jerry are behind some of the wackiest, tastiest flavors we know and love. It all began when two groovy guys, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, met when they were twelve years old. Ben liked art, Jerry liked science, and they both loved food . . . especially ice cream!They started a business together, and with no idea how to actually make ice cream, they made it happen with teamwork, determination, and an appetite for fun and experimentation. When the doors of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream shop finally opened, crowds flocked. But the pair would still have a rocky road ahead–and ambitious, activist goals to fulfill.Chock-full of facts and humor, this entertaining biography about two hardworking partners living their Americone Dream gives readers plenty to chew on. Through their inventiveness, passion, and activism, Ben & Jerry dreamed of making the world a better, more delicious place–one scoop at a time.

Were I Not a Girl: The Inspiring and True Story of Dr. James Barry

Schwartz & Wade Books; October 20, 2020

This unique picture book biography tells the story of Dr. James Barry, born female, who lived as a man from age 18 to his death.

Like other girls of her time, Margaret Bulkley didn’t go to school. She wouldn’t grow up to own property, be a soldier, a doctor, or hold any job other than perhaps maid or governor–such was a girl’s lot in 19th century England. And was she comfortable born in a girl’s body? We will never know. What we do know is that at the age of 18, she tugged off her stockings and dress, cut her red-gold curls, and vanished. In her place appeared a young man. Margaret became James Barry. James would attend medical school, become a doctor and a soldier, travel the world. He would fall in love, deliver babies, and fight in a duel. And he would live a rich full life.Here is a picure book that is both a fascinating and sensitively drawn portrait of someone who would not be undervalued, and an important introduction to the concept of gender identity.

Madame Saqui: Revolutionary Rope Dancer

Schwartz & Wade Books; March 24, 2020

A stunning picture book biography about the tightrope walker who dazzled Paris as she danced across the sky with impeccable balance and unparalleled skill during the French Revolution.

In revolutionary France, a girl named Marguerite Lalanne longed to perform above large crowds on a tightrope, just like her acrobatic parents. Sneaking off to the fairgrounds for secret tightrope walking lessons, Marguerite finessed her performance skills, ultimately performing for crowds as a young rope dancer. And eventually, Marguerite would perform as Madame Saqui, waltzing and pirouetting across- and never falling off- countless ropes above adoring crowds. A nouvelle chérie de Paris, Madame Saqui cemented her place in circus history, winning the adoration of the French people and royalty alike, including Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.This remarkable biography unveils the inspiring story of a trailblazing woman who revolutionized the circus world– without ever missing a step.

Pippa’s Night Parade

Two Lions; October 08, 2019

Pippa’s wonderfully wild imagination is perfect for dreaming up wildly adorable creations. But at night, her imagination runs a little too wild. That’s when the villains and monsters and beasts sneak out of her storybooks to scare her. Pippa tries everything: from night-lights to triple knots to clever disguises. But when the baddies keep coming, she realizes she’ll need to come up with something new. To prepare for this battle, Pippa will have to use everything she’s got–especially that wild imagination. Ready or not, here she comes!

Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten!

Two Lions; August 01, 2019

Yo, ho, ho! It’s a mutiny against kindergarten!

Pirate Emma is about to start kindergarten! But Emma’s not so sure she’s ready for a new captain and crew. Especially since Cap’n Chu–the roughest, toughest, awesomest preschool cap’n ever–is right down the hall. So Emma decides to head back to the preschool ship to see if she can stir up a mutiny against kindergarten! Is that what she really wants? Or does she just miss her beloved Cap’n Chu? Batten down the hatches, mateys, because the first day of school is going to be stormy!


Leah H. Rogers

The Barn

Candlewick Press; October 26, 2021

I am a barn. All are safe within my walls.

One hundred years ago, many hands raised a red-cedar barn. Now the barn stands tall, smelling of freshly cut hay and dusty horses. As the animals wake and wander through its weathered doors, the barn watches the day unfold. Chickens peck, cows shoo flies with swishing tails, swallows fly in and out, and a cat crouches in the grass to hunt for dinner. When peepers start their evening song and the animals settle in their bedding again–the horses in their stalls, the cows in their pen, the swallows in their nests–the barn settles, too, until morning, when it gets to live the day all over again. Written by a debut author and narrated by the barnyard’s serene sentinel, this lyrical and beautifully illustrated introduction to farm life is also a gentle way to wind down to bedtime.


Claudia Rueda

Redlocks and the Three Bears

Chronicle Books; November 2, 2021

Goldilocks meets Little Red Riding Hood in this charming and unexpected fairytale mashup from the New York Times bestselling Illustrator of Easter Cat

KNOCK! KNOCK! When the Three Bears answer the door, it’s not Goldilocks they meet, but a stranger from a different story. It’s Little Red Riding Hood—and the Big Bad Wolf is close behind her! Still, much unfolds as expected: porridge is eaten, a chair is broken, and there is a girl asleep in Baby Bear’s bed. Does Little Red fit in this book after all? Perhaps it’s the Wolf who will surprise us. With a bit of courage and much compassion, the Bears and Little Red learn that characters, just like the stories we tell, can change over time.

In this quirky combination of familiar fairy tales, Claudia Rueda tells a new story about what happens when we open our minds, hearts, and homes to the utterly unexpected.

Bunny Overboard

Chronicle Books; May 12, 2020

The critically acclaimed interactive picture book series continues! 

In this delightfully interactive read aloud companion to Bunny Slopes and Hungry Bunny, eager children will get to blow to put wind in Bunny’s sails, rock the book to make waves, knock on the window of a sunken ship, and literally appear in a mirror embedded inside the book! 

New York Times bestselling author Claudia Rueda’s latest raucous adventure is as wild as the high seas, as surprising as sunken treasure—and as satisfying as a lemonade on a hot summer day. This nautical experience of a book will make a splash with readers, on and off land!

Hungry Bunny

Chronicle Books; September 11, 2018

From Claudia Rueda, author and illustrator of Bunny Slopes and the award-winning, New York Times bestseller, Here Comes the Easter Cat.

In this charming sequel to Bunny Slopes, Bunny needs help picking apples for mama’s apple pie. Young readers will delight in using the included red ribbon to help Bunny reach new heights and pick those tasty apples. Children will have fun as they rock the book back and forth and turn it around and around for a unique roller-coaster adventure on Bunny’s way home. Filled with puns and Claudia’s Rueda’s warm sense of humor, this book has jokes for readers young and old, and will have the whole family giggling. Adorable illustrations, interactive narration, an unexpected plot, and a cozy and reassuring ending make this a favorite of adults as well as kids.

Bunny Slopes

Chronicle Books; October 4, 2016

Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can’t conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda’s innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope— and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.

Huff & Puff (E-Book)

Abrams Appleseed; July 1, 2013

This interactive retelling of the Three Little Pigs story allows the reader to play the part of the big bad wolf. Three interior die-cut holes invite readers to huff, puff, and blow the pigs’ houses down! This fractured fairy tale ends sweetly when, rather than blowing down the third pig’s brick home, the wolf/reader blows out the candles on a cake baked by the pigs! A satisfying and engaging read for every young Three Little Pigs fan.

My Little Polar Bear

Scholastic Press; November 1, 2010

This quintessential love book for parent and child — a standout in the genre — promises to become a perennial favorite for generations to come. A winter wonderland awaits a young polar bear cub that emerges from its den for the first time. As the cub sets out on adramatic arctic journey, it worries whether it has the skills to survive. But a parent’s abiding presence and simple, reassuring words instill confidence and love. In the tradition of classics such as The Runaway Bunny and Mama Do You Love Me?, this graceful, soothing tale speaks to the powerful bond between parent and child, and to the many stages of a child’s growing independence, from first steps to first school experience and even to leaving home.

Let’s Play In the Forest While the Wolf Is Not Around

Scholastic Press; September 1, 2006

“Let’s play in the forest while the wolf is not around,” sing the animals in the forest. “Wolf, are you there?”

“I am putting on my underpants,” Wolf answers.

As Duck, Bunny, Moose, Beaver, and others play between the trees, Wolf continues getting dressed: undershirt, pants, T-shirt, socks, and shoes. By the time he has combed his hair and put on his backpack, Wolf is VERY hungry, and the animals are suddenly VERY afraid.


Jana Van der Veer

“How Community Can Help Solitary Creatives Finish”
(Available in The Coach’s Guide to Completing Creative Work)

Routledge; June 27, 2023

This book brings together 38 creativity coaches from around the world to offer coaches, therapists, creatives and clients accessible and practical tools to get their creative work done.

Curated by two leading creativity coaches, these chapters seek to help coaches and clients alike tackle common challenges that all creatives face when finishing a project. Chapters cover topics such as procrastination, failure, accountability, perfectionism, mindfulness, the importance of support, perseverance and more, with each section finishing with tips for both clients and coaches that can be used in sessions. Filled with rich case studies and true stories from creativity coaches throughout, this book addresses the current issues of our times, such as the distractions of social media, remote working and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicable to a range of creative disciplines, this book is essential reading for coaches, therapists and their creative clients looking to complete their creative work efficiently and effectively.


Rose Viña

Alicia Alonso Dances On

Albert Whitman & Company; October 1, 2021

As a young girl in Cuba, Alicia Alonso practiced ballet in tennis shoes. Within a few years, she was in New York City, with a promising ballet career. But her eyesight began to fail. When Alicia needed surgeries to save her vision, dancing was impossible, but she wouldn’t give up her dream. She found the strength and determination to return to the stage and become a prima ballerina. This is the true story of a woman who overcame her challenges, mastered her art, and inspired others to dance and dream.

Ice Breaker: How Mabel Fairbanks Changed Figure Skating

Albert Whitman & Company; October 1, 2019

In the 1930’s, only white figure skaters were allowed in public ice rinks and to compete for gold medals, but Mabel Fairbanks wouldn’t let that stop her. With skates two sizes too big and a heart full of dreams, Mabel beat the odds and broke down color barriers through sheer determination and athletic skill. After skating in ice shows across the nation and helping coach and develop the talents of several Olympic champions, Mabel became the first African-American woman to be inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.


Andrea Wang

Summer at Squee

Kokila; March 05, 2024

From Newbery Honor–winning author Andrea Wang, a new middle grade novel about a Chinese American tween who attends a Boston-based Chinese cultural overnight camp—and the many ways it transforms her.

Phoenny Fang plans to have the best summer ever. She’s returning to Summertime Chinese Culture, Wellness, and Enrichment Experience (SCCWEE for short and “Squee” to campers in the know), and this year she’s a senior camper. That means she, her best friend, Lyrica Chu, and her whole Squad will have the most influence. It almost doesn’t matter that her brother is a CIT (counselor-in-training) and that her mom and auntie are the camp directors. Time spent at Squee is glorious, free, and sacred.

On the day she arrives, though, Phoenny learns that the Squad has been split up, and there’s an influx of new campers this year. Phoenny is determined to be welcoming and to share all the things she loves about camp with the new campers—who doesn’t love spending hours talking about and engaging in cultural activities? But she quickly learns how out of touch she is with others’ experiences, particularly of the campers who are adoptees. The same things that make her feel connected to her culture and community make some of the other campers feel excluded.

Summer at Squee turns out to be even more transformative than Phoenny could’ve imagined, with new friendships, her first crush, an epic show, and a bigger love for and understanding of her community.

Luli and the Language of Tea

Neal Porter Books; May 24, 2022

When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can’t speak English, neither can anyone else. That’s when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together.

Luli removes her teapot, thermos, and teacups from her bag and calls out “Chá!” in her native Chinese. One by one, her classmates pipe up in recognition: in Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili. Tea is a tasty language they all know well, and it gives them a chance to share and enjoy each other’s company. When all the tea is gone and it’s time for dessert, Luli gets to use her favorite English word, cookie! After that, the playroom isn’t so quiet.

Informed by her own experience as the child of Chinese immigrant parents, Andrea Wang makes the point that when you’re looking to communicate with people, you look for a common bond. The word for “tea” is similar in many languages, and tea becomes the unifying metaphor that brings a diverse group of children together. Additional material at the back of the book explores the rich and ancient history of tea drinking across cultures all around the world and contains maps, statistics, and fascinating details that will delight young readers.

The Many Meanings of Meilan

Kokila/Penguin Young Readers; August 17, 2021

A family feud before the start of seventh grade propels Meilan from Boston’s Chinatown to rural Ohio, where she must tap into her inner strength and sense of justice to make a new place for herself in this resonant debut.

Meilan Hua’s world is made up of a few key ingredients: her family’s beloved matriarch, Nai Nai; the bakery her parents, aunts, and uncles own and run in Boston’s Chinatown; and her favorite Chinese fairy tales.

After Nai Nai passes, the family has a falling-out that sends Meilan, her parents, and her grieving grandfather on the road in search of a new home. They take a winding path cross-country before landing in Redbud, Ohio. Everything in Redbud is the opposite of Chinatown, and Meilan’s not quite sure who she is–being renamed at school only makes it worse. She decides she is many Meilans, each inspired by a different Chinese character with the same pronunciation as her name. Sometimes she is Mist, cooling and invisible; other times, she’s Basket, carrying her parents’ hopes and dreams and her guilt of not living up to them; and sometimes she is bright Blue, the way she feels around her new friend Logan. Meilan keeps her facets separate until an injustice at school shows her the power of bringing her many selves together.

The Many Meanings of Meilan, written in stunning prose by Andrea Wang, is an exploration of all the things it’s possible to grieve, the injustices large and small that make us rage, and the peace that’s unlocked when we learn to find home within ourselves.

WATERCRESS

Neal Porter Books/Holiday House; March 30, 2021

Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl’s parents stop suddenly when they spot something growing in a ditch by the side of the road…watercress! With an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail-covered plant as they can.

At first, it’s embarrassing. Why can’t her family get food at the grocery store? But when her mother shares the story of her family’s life in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress in this tender story inspired by the author’s childhood memories and illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Jason Chin.

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando

Little Bee; March 5, 2019

Amid the rubble of Japan after World War II, Momofuku Ando encountered people lined up in the bitter cold waiting for the smallest bit of food. The world is peaceful only when everyone has enough to eat, he thought. Haunted by this memory, Ando worked in a little shed in his backyard, experimenting and trying to create a new kind of noodle soup that was quick to make, nutritious, and tasty in order to feed the hungry.

Ando worked day and night, but still came up short time and again. He kept tinkering with different formulas. Through persistence, creativity, and inspiration, he finally succeeded!

Slurp up the true story behind one of the world’s most popular foods!

The Nian Monster

Albert Whitman; December 2016

Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don’t work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster?


Jasmine Warga

A Strange Thing Happened in Cherry Hall

Balzer + Bray; September 10, 2024

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of A Rover’s Story and Other Words for Home comes an extraordinary story about two friends, a ghost, a missing painting, and a turtle named Agatha. The perfect next read for fans of The Swifts, Kate DiCamillo, and Erin Entrada Kelly.

A painting has been stolen…!

When Rami sees a floating girl in the museum, he knows he has seen her somewhere before. Then he realizes: She looks just like the girl in the painting that has gone missing. But how does her appearance connect to the theft?

Agatha the turtle knows—she has been watching from the garden. But she can’t exactly tell anyone…can she?

Will Rami, with the help of his classmate, Veda, be able to solve the mystery? The clues are all around them, but they’ll have to be brave enough to really look.

This is a whimsical, moving story about the universal desire to be seen and understood and how art can help us find connection, even when we are at our loneliest.

A Rover’s Story

Balzer + Bray; October 4, 2022

THE TALE OF A SMALL MACHINE WITH A BIG HEART…

Meet Resilience, a Mars rover determined to live up to his name.

Res was built to explore Mars. He was not built to have human emotions. But as he learns new things from the NASA scientists who assemble him, he begins to develop human-like feelings. Maybe there’s a problem with his programming….

Human emotions or not, launch day comes, and Res blasts off to Mars, accompanied by a friendly drone helicopter named Fly. But Res quickly discovers that Mars is a dangerous place filled with dust storms and giant cliffs. As he navigates Mars’s difficult landscape, Res is tested in ways that go beyond space exploration.

As millions of people back on Earth follow his progress, will Res have the determination, courage — and resilience — to succeed…and survive? 

The Shape of Thunder

Balzer + Bray; May 11, 2021

Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year.

Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did.

On the day of Cora’s twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note. She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever—and stop him.

In spite of herself, Cora wants to believe. And so the two former friends begin working together to open a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves.

The Shape of Thunder is a deeply moving story, told with exceptional grace, about friendship and loss—and how believing in impossible things can help us heal.

Other Words for Home

Balzer + Bray; May 28, 2019

Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind her, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her home town start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the U.S. –and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home, and most importantly, finding yourself.

Here We Are Now

Balzer + Bray; November 7, 2017

Taliah Sahar Abdallat lives and breathes music. Songs have always helped Tal ease the pain of never having known her father. Her mother, born in Jordan and very secretive about her past, won’t say a word about who her dad really was. But when Tal finds a shoebox full of old letters from Julian Oliver – yes, the indie rock star Julian Oliver – she begins to piece the story together. 

She writes to Julian, but after three years of radio silence, she’s given up hope. Then one day, completely out of the blue, Julian shows up at her doorstep, and Tal doesn’t know whether to be furious or to throw herself into his arms. Before she can decide, he asks her to go on a trip with him, to meet her long-estranged family, and to say goodbye to his father, her grandfather, who is dying.

Getting to know your father after sixteen years of estrangement doesn’t happen in one car ride. But as Tal spends more time with Julian and his family, she begins to untangle her parents’ secret past, and discovers a part of herself she never recognized before. 

By the acclaimed author of My Heart and Other Black Holes, this is an intergenerational story of family and legacy and the way love informs both of those things. It’s about secrets and the debt of silence. It’s about the power of songs. And most of all, it’s about learning how to say hello. And goodbye.

My Heart and Other Black Holes

Balzer + Bray; February 10, 2015

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who’s haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.


Stephanie Willing

West of the Sea

Penguin Young Readers Group; August 15, 2023

Tae Keller meets Tracey Baptiste in a tale of generational trauma, told with a cryptozoological twist.

When her mom disappears from their small Texas town, paleontology-loving Haven is determined to find her. But as she uncovers truths about her mom’s identity, Haven also uncovers a monstrous family secret. Her mom can take the shape of a human and, in the right environment, also turn into an amphibious creature known as a kitskara. And now that she’s growing up, Haven is discovering she has this ability, too. This newfound identity is her only clue to help her track her mother and bring her back home.

And so she, her older sister Margie, and her new friend Rye set off on a road trip across Texas’s Gulf Coast to her late grandparents’ abandoned home, where they’re sure her mom has disappeared to…along with plenty of family secrets.

Infused with a deep love of fossils and Celtic mythology, West of the Sea is a lyrical, heart-filled coming-of-age story for fans of cryptozoology—and anyone who has struggled to find their place in the world when they feel different.


Fiction:

Jorge Armenteros

We Are Not But We Are

Spuyten Duyvil Press; March 16, 2023

Mirroring our times, this is a fictional account of a man who, upon crossing a street, enters an irregular universe where purposefulness is only apparent. Instead of dealing with a single possible reality, he begins to accept the alluring indeterminacy in stochastic or random processes. His meditative search breaks the arrow of time and leads him to conceive of the world as having alternating layers of causality and chaos. He finally sees his own reflection in the expressionless face of a woman whose chant helps him break the circle of fate.

Touch That Which We Cannot Possess

Spuyten Duyvil Press; February 12, 2021

“Jorge Armenteros’ Touch That Which We Cannot Possess is a wonderful novel: passionate, fascinating, and educational at the same time. It is all about being human, music, love, and miracle. Readers who are far from classical music will learn a lot and get interested in music as it has been happening with many generations after reading Leo Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata.” — Levon Ambartsumian, Franklin Professor of Violin, University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music

“In the tradition of Tolstoy’s “Kholstomer” or Victor Pelevin’s “The Life and Adventures of Shed No. XII,” Jorge Armenteros takes us on a consciousness expanding picaresque with an unnamed “cheap” violin from 17th century Venice to modern day New York, from classical music to jazz, to a deep exploration not only of our relationship with music but of “the brotherhood of bodies,” both animate and inanimate, with which we inhabit this world. As Armenteros says so eloquently, “There is the music of birds and elephants. There is the music of fish underwater. There is the music of falling leaves. And there is the music of the world spinning and the winds whirling.” Bravo for the hands that write such musical sentences. Bravo for the imagination that dares to show us what a novel can do. Bravo for this new book by Jorge Armenteros.” — Peter Grandbois, author of Half-Burnt and The Three-Legged World

“If Kafka wrote about objects instead of his insect and animal stories, you’d get something akin to Armenteros’ deliciously fine-tuned and deeply original lyrical novel, Touch That Which We Cannot Possess. After reading this book, you may never glimpse an object the same way again; a carnal body mired in beauty, desire, shit, love, lust, jealousy, vengefulness, and loneliness. A sweet and vindictive thing that breathes, feels, thinks, and manipulates; but also, a thing that is loved, abused, and violated, string by string, hole by hole. Visually and aurally mesmerizing, the novel weaves a refreshing tale of a violin, whose dissected and continually repackaged body reflects our own shattered identities and souls as we interact with lovers and abusers. Vivid, chilling, and intoxicating, it’s a book best enjoyed with a glass of absinthe in an opium den, redolent of sweat, eau de cologne, and packed bodies. Sensually addictive and brilliantly memorable, like a first kiss or cigarette.” — Pedram Navab, author of This Will Destroy You

The Book of I

Jaded Ibis Press; September 4, 2014

A bold and lyrical novel about the inner turmoil of a painter with schizophrenia who finds himself at the edge of a cliff, at the edge of his life. The novel explores our fragmented human nature through the distorted lens the painter provides. And from under a chorus/amalgam of voices and delusions, the painter raises to discover what it means to be a person, what makes us human.

Air

Spuyten Duyvil Publishing; April 29, 2016

Imena, a student of perfumery, arrives in Marrakech in an attempt to free herself from the overbearing intensity of her boyfriend Patricio, a philosophy professor at l’Université Paris-Sorbonne. She takes residence behind the red door of a hotel whose attendant, the striped tunic, officiates life under an aura of mysticism and danger. René, Patricio’s junior colleague, decides to leave for Guadeloupe in search of his gender identity, a painful trans-formative sojourn that delivers him beyond himself.

The Roar of the River

Spuyten Duyvil Publishing; September 2, 2017

Set in a perched village of the French Alps, between a roaring river and the moonlight, a man dressed in a stripped tunic seeks refuge from his dying past. Instead, he encounters an iconoclastic set of characters that offer him love, instigate fear, explore the meaning of language, and elicit revenge. Following the musical structure of the 17th century fugue, the narrative voices succeed each other until coming together in a polyphonic search for light among the darkness of their origins.

The Spiral of Words

Spuyten Duyvil Publishing; October 3, 2019

An intrepid writer undertakes a long walk towards the ocean where he hopes to source the essential and immortal words he yearns for. Along the way, he traverses the streets of Nice, Lisbon, Cádiz and Marrakech where he confronts the shapes and shadows that harbor his inner fears and desires. His reality then collides with the elliptical passage of the mythical man in the striped tunic. The two minds create a spiral of words spawning a narrative that emboldens the writer and unearths the past of the striped tunic. With this novel, the STRIPED TUNIC TRILOGY comes full circle. The two previous novels are AIR and THE ROAR OF THE RIVER.


Mina Athanassious

A Face Like the Moon

Mosaic Press; September 18, 2018

A Face Like the Moon is the debut short story collection from Coptic Canadian writer Mina Athanassious. The eight stories in this book revolve around the world of young Coptic children living in urban and rural areas of Egypt. “All Good Things Thrown Away” delves into Egypt’s notorious “Garbage City” and the lives of Cairo’s garbage collectors. The title story moves to a small remote village in southern Egypt where a young ten-year-old boy struggles with a family tragedy. All together, Athanassious’s debut collection of short stories offers a truly remarkable and moving look at the lives of Coptic children coming of age in Egypt and marks a bold and original new voice in Canadian fiction.


Tavi Taylor Black

Serabelle: Where the Wealthy Come to Play

Black Rose Writing; April 25, 2024

An island sheltered from modern progress. Strict lines between servants and masters. Will crossing them leave her fatally exposed?

Bar Harbor, Maine. 1913. Mabel Rae is smart, reckless, and naïve. So when the ambitious seventeen-year-old joins the staff at a rocky cliffside cottage, she willingly lets the boisterous estate owner’s improper advances sweep her off her feet. And the slender young woman dismisses the vulnerability of her position when she discovers she’s pregnant with his unacknowledged child.

Brought harshly down to earth after she’s caught up in the machinations of a family feud, Mabel decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands. But with no money and few rights, she fears a forced marriage to the brutish gardener is her only socially acceptable option.

Is her future forever stunted, or can she become a beacon of change?

In a classic upstairs-downstairs tale, award-winning author Tavi Taylor Black spins an intricate web of idealism’s battle against harsh reality. Set at a time when suffrage was at its height, temperance was gaining momentum, and war loomed in Europe, this spellbinding novel shines a light on inequities we still face today.

Serabelle is a darkly humorous work of historical fiction. If you like intricate relationships, lyrical prose, and stories that tackle serious issues, then you’ll love Tavi Taylor Black’s vivid portrait of the Gilded Age.

Where Are We Tomorrow?

TouchPoint Press; May 31, 2021

Alex Evans, a thirty-six year old touring electrician, discovers through an accidental pregnancy and then the pain of miscarriage that she truly wants a family. But to attempt another pregnancy, she’ll have to change both her career and her relationship; her partner Connor, ten years her senior, isn’t prepared to become a father again.

When Alex is implicated in an accident involving the female pop star she works for, she and three other women on tour rent a house together in Tuscany. While the tour regroups, confessions are made, secrets are spilled: the guitar tech conceals a forbidden love, the production assistant’s ambition knows no limits, and the personal assistant battles mental issues.

Through arguments and accidents, combating drug use and religion, the women help each other look back on the choices they’ve made, eventually buoying each other, offering up strength to face tough decisions ahead.


Aqueela C. Britt

“Everything Falls Apart in the End”
(Available in Emerge: 2022 Lambda Fellows Anthology)

Independently Published; February 27, 2023

This anthology is a collection of literary work from the 2022 Lambda Literary Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, Screenwriting, Speculative Fiction, Poetry, and Playwriting. Over 50 writers are included in this anthology. “Everything Falls Apart in the End” is an excerpt of the author’s YA novel-in-progress.

London Reign

Ghettoheat; September 18, 2007

London Reign is about an androgynous teen with a secret, battling turmoil of the inner streets, physical abuse from family, while being in a steamy love triangle. London Reign deals with sexuality, relationships, monogamy, gender roles, love, lust and betrayal.


Alissa Butterworth

“The Carriage Held But Just Ourselves”
(Available in Telephone)

Crosstown Press; April 21, 2021

The small seaside town where Aurelie grows up is haunted by the urban legend of the Terror; the story goes that if you see the specter three times, you’ll die. Aurelie’s greatest wish from childhood is to see it head on–when the Terror finally reveals itself, Aurelie learns that the legends she’s always heard aren’t anywhere close to reality.


Margaret F. Chen

Suburban Gothic

OPUS; February 26, 2020

Contemporary, middle-class America is the setting for these fifteen tales of ordinary men, women, and children: an estranged couple survives a road trip to hell, another unhappy couple spars with exasperating neighbors, an unwanted daughter goes on an unusual hike, and children are misunderstood or must fend for themselves. Here, in this unsettling collection, normal people are confronted with the unknown, the unpredictable, and the extraordinary, and practical, everyday life balances precariously with chaos and the absurd.

Three Terrible Tales

OPUS; August 7, 2019

In each of these three tales, lonely and romantic-minded women long for impossibly close friendships, a sense of belonging and home, or to escape into a world of safety, nature, slowness, and calm—in a time when such things are beginning to fade and becoming relics and undertakings of the past. The world in these stories is fast-paced and rapidly changing, for good or for worse, where distant friends, acquaintances, therapists, and even strangers form one’s surrogate family—and it is in this milieu, a sensitive old soul, a bored young woman, and an anxious single mother must find a way to maintain their unique identities and stay psychologically resilient.


Leland Cheuk

No Good Very Bad Asian

C&R Press; November 1, 2019

Meet Sirius Lee, a famous Chinese American comedian. He is a no good, very bad Asian. He is not good at math and has no interest in finding a “good Chinese girlfriend.” And he refuses to put any effort into becoming the CEO/lawyer/doctor his parents so desperately want him to be. All he wants to do is make people laugh. A cross between Paul Beatty’s The Sellout and Jade Chang’s The Wangs Vs. The WorldNo Good Very Bad Asian follows Sirius’s life from his poor upbringing in the immigrant enclaves of Los Angeles to the loftiest heights of stardom as he struggles with substance abuse and the prejudice he faces despite his fame. Ultimately, when he becomes a father himself, he must come to terms with who he is, where he came from, and the legacy he’ll leave behind.

Written by author and MacDowell Colony fellow Leland Cheuk, who did standup comedy for several years in New York City, No Good Very Bad Asian is a hilarious and affecting exploration of identity in America.

Letters from Dinosaurs

Thought Catalog Books; August 31, 2016

A penniless father tries to reconnect with his estranged Internet mogul son by penning a letter. A seemingly content Chinese-American couple’s marriage unravels when a friend brings over his new white girlfriend for dinner. A former gaming champion attends a Buddhist funeral in the hometown he abandoned and his life changes forever. The traumatized best friend of a campus shooter becomes homebound by choice for years, testing the patience of his aging parents. A fantasy baseball league email thread goes horribly wrong when one of the members overshares about a family tragedy. A lovestruck college student discovers his father’s involvement in a Madoff-level Ponzi scheme and must decide whether he’s cowardly or courageous in both love and family.

In eleven stories that range from heartfelt to satirical, ‘Letters from Dinosaurs’ is a fresh and complicated portrayal of American Asian lives, exposing the fissures between family, friends, and lovers opened by race, culture, and class.

The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong

Chicago Center for Literature and Photography; May 14, 2015

The Pongs are an American immigrant family that has seen it all. They helped build the transcontinental railroads of the Victorian Age. They were mistakenly interned with Japanese-Americans during World War II. They may even have co-invented the landmark video game that bears the family’s last name. But despite all they’ve endured, each new generation’s patriarch has had one thing in common: a penchant for degeneracy. Sulliver Pong was supposed to be the exception. Married and living in Copenhagen, he was supposed to have escaped his toxic hometown of Bordirtoun; and most importantly, its mayor, his father Saul. When Saul visits unannounced, he begins to draw his son back into his corrupt world of city politics and redevelopment schemes. Yoked to his feelings of guilt for his abused mother and his lust for a now-married adolescent crush, book-smart but life-dumb Sulliver finds himself running for mayor against his father–a decision that will carry hilarious and unfortunate consequences for all involved. A laugh-out-loud black comedy about a dysfunctional family that has endured almost every major injustice in Asian-American history, but can’t endure each other, Leland Cheuk’s irreverent debut is perfect for existing fans of Jonathan Franzen or the Coen Brothers.


E. Christopher Clark

The Blood of Seven Queens: Prologue

Clarkwoods; December 2023

Join the mischievous Cheshire Cat, the world’s worst scarecrow, and the gifted Granny Goose for an adventure in the magical, post-apocalyptic paradise called Eden.

This issue contains the 12-page “Blood of Seven Queens: Prologue,” plus enchanting extras.

The Dance of Dreams
Book 5 of The Stains of Time

Clarkwoods; September 27, 2022

Destiny has a hold on them. But when their entire bloodline is threatened, will the bold actions of two fearless women trigger catastrophic consequences?

Death haunts Belinda Michaelson. After surviving an apocalypse in another dimension, the otherworldly barkeep is determined to keep her new timeline safe from the universe’s wrath. But she can’t resist tempting fate by staying close to those she called family in her past life.

Tracy Silver has finally found happiness. But after she accidentally frees a bitter foe from purgatory, she watches in horror as the resurrected woman murders her groom to settle old scores. Using a magical potion to bring him back from the dead—only to lose him again a few months later—the grieving bride ignites a dangerous race to win a century-long feud.

With Belinda stuck between a rock and a hard place when her time-traveling tavern disappears, she taps into her personal gifts to save her family and stop the world from ending once again. But with Tracy sailing through eras to “fix” the past, desperate to return her beloved to her arms no matter the cost, can Belinda convince Tracy to stop denying destiny before it’s too late?

Can they repair what’s been broken before Armageddon reappears with a vengeance?

The Dance of Dreams is the triumphant conclusion to The Stains of Time family saga series. If you like ricocheting anomalies, sly humor, and ordinary lives flipped on their heads, then you’ll adore E. Christopher Clark’s contemporary fantasy.

Buy The Dance of Dreams to fiddle with the cogs of reality today!

The Elixir of Denial
Book 4 of The Stains of Time

Clarkwoods; December 21, 2021

If she notched her bedpost, it’d look like a ruler. But she knows she’ll only ever have one true love… until a trek through time proves her wrong.

Ashley Silver is stuck in mourning. Since the woman of her dreams was killed outside a time-traveling pub, the stripper has been scattering ashes across the country—and drowning her sorrows in meaningless sex. Then, when a potion with the potential to resurrect her love shatters in her face, she doubles down on her resolve to bring the rockstar back by any means.

Journeying between eras with the help of the mystical, age-phasing bar, Ashley passes out from the shock of spotting her future self locked in a loving embrace with a stranger. And with everything ahead of her dependent on this massive fork in the road, she must make the heaviest decision of her life.

Will her destiny twist into something unrecognizable, or unbelievably beautiful?

The Elixir of Denial is the heart-trembling fourth book in The Stains of Time family saga series. If you like fascinating characters, trippy twists, and complexities that will keep you guessing, then you’ll adore E. Christopher Clark’s whirlwind ride into the soul.

The Chains of Desire
Book 3 of The Stains of Time

Clarkwoods; October 6, 2020

She’s going to be famous. Her dreams are within reach. And if it all comes to pass, she will be murdered…

Boston, Massachusetts, 1990. Music is the one sure thing twelve-year-old Robin Gates has in her life. Though she’s disgusted by the looks she gets from grown male patrons, playing guitar and singing in her mother’s strange bar provides a path to her envisioned future. Until she reads a newspaper from 2006 that contains her obituary…

1998. As a kid, Ashley Silver saw how her family’s artistic efforts brought only despair and poverty. Now eighteen, she refuses to accept that fate and embarks on a lucrative career as an exotic dancer. But despite her misgivings about Robin’s ambition to become a rock star, Ashley can’t help but fall hard for her childhood friend.

Destined to die in her true love’s arms, Robin desperately seeks any means to change her fortune and protect her girlfriend from the doomed truth. But Ashley knows her partner is keeping some dark secret, and it threatens to tear them apart forever.

Is Robin’s death truly predetermined, or can the troubled couple force a happily-ever-after?

The Chains of Desire is the extraordinary third book in The Stains of Time family saga series. If you like intriguing paradoxes, delightful characters, and emotional ups and downs, then you’ll love E. Christopher Clark’s compelling journey into magical realism.

Under the World

Clarkwoods; March 10, 2020

A realm of gilded thrones. A land of tarnished dreams. One world, with two sides.

The fate of seven kingdoms is at stake during an epic card game. A runner flees her broken marriage and barrels straight into her high school reunion. A housebroken husband trades his beloved beagle for a sad, gray donkey. And a brother and sister chase a ghost down a long and lonesome highway into their haunted forest of their past.

Young men and the difficult women who save them, old men and the dream girls who keep them up at night—join these eight heroes in unearthing the startling truth of what rests Under the World.

Will they like what they find there? Will they even be able look it in the eye? And how about you?

Under the World is a short story collection by E. Christopher Clark. If death frightens you, but an unfulfilled life frightens you even more; if you like a good fairy tale as much as you love spine-tingling suspense, then you’ll love this genre-bending union of fantasy and reality.

The Boot of Destiny
Book 2 of The Stains of Time

Clarkwoods; February 18, 2020

She loved him as a father. When he breaks her heart, she’ll raise his darkest specters…

High-school valedictorian Tracy Silver embraced her uncle as the dad she never had. But her perfect image of him shattered when she caught the married man with a half-naked stripper. Now he’s back in town, and she’s determined to render justice with a magical potion.

With the supernatural elixir running through the man’s veins, Tracy presents his memories as evidence in a mystical courtroom. But though she defies him to confirm he’s not like every other man, her righteousness is shaken with the revelation of his dark and shocking secrets.

Can Tracy prove her uncle’s betrayal was real, or will she uncover a deeper truth?

The Boot of Destiny is the second book in the intriguing Stains of Time family saga series. If you like nuanced characters, deep moral quandaries, and a touch of metaphysical mystery, then you’ll love E. Christopher Clark’s coming-of-age tale.

The Piano of Death
Book 1 of The Stains of Time

Clarkwoods; February 18, 2020

She struggles with regret and secrets. Forced to relive her past, can she rewrite her future?

Veronica Silver’s life feels like an endless list of “what ifs?” Pregnant at sixteen, her strict father shoved her into a loveless marriage far away from the woman she truly loved. But her conflicted mind is in for a reboot when a piano falls out of the sky and triggers a harrowing journey down memory lane.

Reviewing her actions with the help of a mysterious figure strikingly resembling her dad, she finds herself on trial over her fateful decisions. But as she relives each scene with fresh eyes, she may trigger a chain reaction that could threaten her beloved daughter and uproot their entire family tree.

Can Veronica rise above a lifetime of mistakes and forge a bright new world?

The Piano of Death is the first book in the captivating Stains of Time family saga series. If you like diverse characters, deep emotional drama, and a touch of magical realism, then you’ll love E. Christopher Clark’s brain-bending tale.

The Seven Wives of Silver

Clarkwoods; November 27, 2018

Family secrets. Forbidden obsessions. A shocking truth to bind them forever.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 19th Century. Silas Silver is desperate to have children and fulfill his mother’s dying wish. But after being ripped from his forbidden love and tossed into the Civil War, he comes to dread the loveless task. And as each one of his young wives suffers an untimely death, he suspects his bloodline is cursed.

Bounty hunter Sarah is a skilled gunslinger with a troubled mind. But her fears about her brother’s violent streak compel her to cut short her sharpshooting career in the untamed West. Returning home, Sarah is shocked to discover the time-defying truth of what goes on behind the dark homestead doors.

Torn between helping him and stopping him, a sister’s love for her brother may end up dooming their family name. With their future heritage in danger, can Silas and Sarah leave their destructive pasts and forge a new destiny?

Bad Poetry Night

Clarkwoods; April 24, 2018

A family of secrets. A writer who can’t keep his mouth shut. An olive branch in the form of book no one will understand anyway.

Matthew Silver has been publishing books about his family for years, and staging plays about their exploits in the barn of their ancestral home on Cape Cod for even longer than that. But when the father who disowned him years before suggests a long-desired reconciliation might finally be possible, if only Matt will attack someone other than his family in the next book, can Matt stay civil long enough to rebuild burnt bridges?

Presenting his father with the collection of poetry that will be his next publication, Matt crosses his fingers. But he knows there are parts of the manuscript that will touch a nerve in the old man, no matter how thickly veiled they are. And as much as Matt wants his father to forgive him, what he wants even more than that is for Dad to finally listen.

Will Matt’s attempt to play nice reunite a father and son long divided, or will his cutting words only drive them further apart?

Bad Poetry Night is the first collection of poetry by the novelist E. Christopher Clark. If you like unconventional storytelling, characters with zero filter, and irreverent humor, then you’ll love the first poetry collection by this fearless and defiant writer.

Missing Mr. Wingfield

Clarkwoods; October 24, 2017

A mother and daughter failed by the men they looked up to. The beginnings of a family saga that stretches across time. Two novels woven together as one.

Veronica Silver’s life feels like an endless list of “what ifs?” Pregnant at sixteen, her strict father shoved her into a loveless marriage far away from the woman she truly loved. But her conflicted mind is in for a reboot when a piano falls out of the sky and triggers a harrowing journey down memory lane.

High-school valedictorian Tracy Silver embraced her uncle as the dad she never had. But her perfect image of him shattered when she caught the married man with a half-naked stripper. Now he’s back in town, and she’s determined to render justice with a magical potion.

Can Veronica and Tracy uncover the deeper truths of their lives by re-examining a lifetime of mistakes?

Missing Mr. Wingfield collects the first two novels of E. Christopher Clark’s family saga series The Stains of Time, weaving them together with bonus materials found nowhere else.

Out of the Woods

Clarkwoods; May 17, 2017

On one side of the forest lay the lands of psychological realism. On the other rest the realms of fantasy and fabulism. And in the long shadows of the trees themselves…

Three sons send their father to Valhalla in his old jalopy. A rusted robot waits on the stone wall by a child’s bus stop. An undertaker is one coin short at the river Styx. And in the bookending stories “Anything But Pure” and “Receding,” a soldier seeks to unbury stories once lost to a winter of war.

Fathers and the daughters they find, girls and the dogs they’ve loved, and a woman from Kansas with a cyclone in her heart—each discovers what happens when people go too far, love too hard, and take too much on their way Out of the Woods.

But will they learn from what they learn? Will they grow. And will you?

Out of the Woods is a short story collection by E. Christopher Clark. If you liked Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties, Lincoln Michel’s Upright Beasts, or Luke Geddes’ I Am a Magical Teenage Princess, you’ll love this genre-bending blend of hypnotic fictions inspired by those three great works.

All He Left Behind

Clarkwoods; September 7, 2010

11 stories. A rogues gallery of broken men. How much of themselves will they give up to get what they want? How many loved ones will they leave behind?

Matthew Silver is an alcoholic, a self-proclaimed nymphomaniac, and the unofficial keeper of his family’s long and sordid history. Disowned by his homophobic father in the wake of a disastrous coming out, Matt was taken under the wing of his far more open-minded grandfather. But when Grampy dies and leaves Matt alone under the roof of their family’s ancestral home on Cape Cod, Matt becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth of how the Silvers came to be so broken.

Collecting stories of his family and the people who loved them, Matt weaves together a tapestry ornamented by heroes who range from the loathsome to the lustful, the lascivious to the mischievous. But when years of research get him no closer to elusive truth he’s been after, how far will he go to unburden himself of the pain generations of Silver men have heaped upon his shoulders.

All He Left Behind is the second short story collection by the author E. Christopher Clark. If you like unflinching portrayals of morally ambiguous characters, then you’ll love the short fictions of this fearless and defiant young writer.

Those Little Bastards

Clarkwoods; October 1, 2002

16 tenants. An apartment building that’s in Los Angeles one chapter and Boston the next. A little old landlady who’s just trying to save the world…

Emily Henderson went to church every Sunday. She married the love of her life, had herself a couple of kids, and ran a boarding house for wayward souls in her retirement. But when scientists discovered how to clone her beloved Lord and Savior from DNA found on his death shroud, Emily chafed under the rule of her world’s blasphemous Jesus 2.0.

After a tenant of hers sacrifices himself to save their city, Emily travels back in time to see if she can stop the speeding train of history before it goes off the rails once again. Along the way, she meets a depraved and lonely man who hacks his way to a date in the days before Tinder; a piano instructor has a tawdry affair with a young pop star he’s tutoring; and a husband sent to the doghouse roped into a murder plot by two vagrants living in a nearby open field.

Can Emily save these flawed people from the fate she knows is coming for them all? And if she can, should she?

Those Little Bastards is the obnoxious 2002 debut of author E. Christopher Clark—an “uncensored and unabridged” collection of short stories “peppered with tang and spice” (Psychofairy). If you like stories of vamps and vampires, femme fatales and dirty old men, then you’ll love the short fictions of this fearless and defiant young writer.


S.E. Clark

“Feast”
(Available in Weird Horror, Issue 3)

Undertow Publications; Fall 2021

In this horror holiday short story, two vampires attend a Christmas party thrown by the immortal elite, but when they discover what exactly will be served, they must decide if they will indulge their bloodiest hunger or save the Feast.


Katie Cotugno

Hemlock House

Delacorte Press; August 13, 2024

Set in the aspirational world of the Ivy-League, this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Liar’s Beach sees the return of iconic detective Holiday Proctor and her childhood friend Linden, as they work to uncover a mysterious murder on campus.

They did some bad things.

More than a year after childhood friends Michael Linden and Holiday Poirot solved a headline-making murder on Martha’s Vineyard, Lindenis ready to start over as a freshman at Harvard—and, he hopes, to reunite with his old girlfriend, Greer. But just as things start to heat up between them, a friend is found dead in Greer’s dorm, Hemlock House.

The police believe the death is the result of an overdose, but Linden suspects there’s more to the story. The victim was wearing Greer’s clothes and sleeping in Greer’s bed when she died . . . and Greer has a long list of enemies. It makes Linden wonder: Was this a case of mistaken identity? Was someone trying to kill Greer? Is she in danger? Is he?

Nearly everyone on campus has something to hide—and some mysteries are better left buried. . . .

Meet the Benedettos

Harper Perennial; December 5, 2023

The Kardashians meets Pride and Prejudice in this charming comical follow-up to Birds of California, in which an A-list movie star moves to Los Angeles—and next door to a family of five eligible sisters.

Every family is complicated, and the Benedettos are no exception. A few years after a reality show skyrocketed them to pop culture fame, the five twenty-something sisters are living together in their parent’s crumbling McMansion, almost broke and teetering towards rock bottom. Their fortunes brighten when Charlie Bingley, the dashing star of Captain Fantastic, moves into the neighborhood with Will Darcy, his best friend from Julliard, in tow.

Charlie immediately falls for warm and lovely June, the oldest Benedetto sister. While the Benedetto’s flighty matriarch, Cinta, brashly encourages the potential match, there are plenty of others determined to steer Charlie away from this ridiculous family of reality show has-beens.

Lilly Benedetto, the sensible second oldest sister, is all too aware that her family is viewed as a spectacle. She usually doesn’t care what the world thinks because she faces deeper sorrows. And she most certainly does not have the patience for the likes of Will Darcy, a man plagued by his own private demons. Lilly finds Will to be stuck-up, arrogant, and judgmental. Will thinks Lilly is loud, brash, and defensive. And while the two clash at every turn, they can’t seem to stay away from each other . . .

Katie Cotugno brings a big, boisterous cast of characters to life in this deliciously sprawling Los Angeles story—a thoroughly fresh and modern tale about a family that’s “famous for being famous,” the ways that preconceived notions make fools of us all, and how unexpected romance can bloom despite the odds.

Liar’s Beach

Delacorte Press; May 2, 2023

A fresh new take on Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery The Mysterious Affair at Styles, with iconic detective Hercule Poirot recast as a brilliant, brash teen girl named Holiday, and narrated by her childhood friend Linden, an athlete-scholar who fits right in at his elite New England prep school—all the while hiding some secrets of his own.

Michael Linden—or just Linden to his preppy boarding school pals—doesn’t belong in wealthy, storied Martha’s Vineyard. But when his roommate Jasper invites him to spend the end of summer at his massive beachfront home, August House, Linden tries his best to fit in. Linden wouldn’t call it lying, exactly. Though it turns out August House is full of liars.

Then someone is found unconscious in Jasper’s pool, and everyone has something to hide—Jasper, his beautiful sister Eliza, their older brother Wells, and their friends. The accident is written off as just that—an accident—but Linden begins to wonder…

Enter: Holiday Proctor. Linden’s childhood friend, and the one person on the island who knows the truth about Linden. There’s nothing Holiday loves more than a good old-fashioned mystery and she’s convinced there’s a potential killer on the Vineyard. The only question is…who?

Birds of California

Harper Perennial; April 26, 2022

Former child actor Fiona St. James dropped out of the spotlight after a spectacularly public crash and burn. The tabloids called her crazy and self-destructive and said she’d lost her mind. Now in her late twenties, Fiona believes her humiliating past is firmly behind her. She’s finally regained a modicum of privacy, and she won’t let anything—or anyone—mess it up.

Unlike Fiona, Sam Fox, who played her older brother on the popular television show Birds of California, loves the perks that come with being a successful Hollywood actor: fame, women, parties, money. When his current show gets cancelled and his agent starts to avoid his calls, the desperate actor enthusiastically signs on for a Birds of California revival. But to make it happen, he needs Fiona St. James.

Against her better judgment, Fiona agrees to have lunch with Sam. What happens next takes them both by surprise. Sam is enthralled by Fiona’s take-no-prisoners attitude, and Fiona discovers a lovable goofball behind Sam’s close-up-ready face. Long drives to the beach, late nights at dive bars . . . theirs is the kind of kitschy romance Hollywood sells. But just like in the rom-coms Fiona despises, there’s a twist that threatens her new love. Sam doesn’t know the full story behind her breakdown. What happens when she reveals the truth?

You Say It First

Balzer + Bray; June 16, 2020

Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: her boyfriend Mason is sweet and supportive, she and her best friend Emily plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she even finds time to clock shifts phonebanking at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio, who gets under her skin from the moment he picks up the phone.

Colby is stuck in a rut, reeling from a family tragedy and working a dead-end job—unsure what his future holds, or if he even cares. The last thing he has time for is some privileged rich girl preaching the sanctity of the political process. So he says the worst thing he can think of and hangs up.

But things don’t end there.…

That night on the phone winds up being the first in a series of candid, sometimes heated, always surprising conversations that lead to a long-distance friendship and then—slowly—to something more. Across state lines and phone lines, Meg and Colby form a once-in-a-lifetime connection. But in the end, are they just too different to make it work?

You Say It First is a propulsive, layered novel about how sometimes the person who has the least in common with us can be the one who changes us most.

Rules for Being a Girl

Balzer + Bray; April 7, 2020

Candace Bushnell, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sex and the City, and Katie Cotugno, New York Times bestselling author of 99 Days, team up to write a fierce, propulsive novel about a girl who is preyed upon by a manipulative teacher and finds the power to fight back. Perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Laurie Halse Anderson.

It starts before you can even remember: You learn the rules for being a girl. . . .

Marin has always been good at navigating these unspoken guidelines. A star student and editor of the school paper, she dreams of getting into Brown University. Marin’s future seems bright—and her young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. Beckett, is always quick to admire her writing and talk books with her.

But when “Bex” takes things too far and comes on to Marin, she’s shocked and horrified. Had she somehow led him on? Was it her fault?

When Marin works up the courage to tell the administration what happened, no one believes her. She’s forced to face Bex in class every day. Except now, he has an ax to grind.

But Marin isn’t about to back down. She uses the school newspaper to fight back and she starts a feminist book club at school. She finds allies—and even romance—in the most unexpected people, like Gray Kendall, who she’d always dismissed as just another lacrosse bro.

As things heat up at school and in her personal life, Marin must figure out how to take back the power and write her own rules.

9 Days and 9 Nights

Balzer + Bray; May 1, 2018

Molly Barlow isn’t that girl anymore. A business major at her college in Boston, she’s reinvented herself after everything that went down a year ago… After all the people she hurt and the family she tore apart. Slowly, life is getting back to normal. Molly has just said I love you to her new boyfriend, Ian, and they are off on a romantic European vacation together, starting with scenic London. But there on a tube platform, the past catches up to her in the form of Gabe, her ex, traveling on his own parallel vacation with new girlfriend Sadie. After comparing itineraries, Ian ends up extending an invite for Gabe and Sadie to join them on the next leg of their trip to Ireland. Sadie, who’s dying to go there, jumps at the prospect. And Molly and Gabe can’t bring themselves to tell the truth about who they once were to each other to their new significant others. Now Molly has to spend 9 Days and 9 Nights with the boy she once loved, the boy whose heart she shredded, without Ian knowing. Will she make it through as new improved Molly, or will everything that happened between her and Gabe come rushing back?

“Siege Etiquette”
(Available in Meet Cute)

HMH Books for Young Readers; January 2, 2018

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.
 
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

“Riddles in Mathematics”
(Available in Three Sides of a Heart: Stories About Love Triangles)

HarperTeen; December 19, 2017

In this collection, edited by Natalie C. Parker, top YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is sixteen fresh, diverse, and romantic stories you don’t want to miss. A teen girl who offers kissing lessons. Zombies in the Civil War South. The girl next door, the boy who loves her, and the girl who loves them both. Vampires at a boarding school. Three teens fighting monsters in an abandoned video rental store. Literally the last three people on the planet. 

What do all these stories have in common?

The love triangle.

Featuring stories by by Renee Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagan, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, EK Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.

Top Ten

Balzer + Bray; October 3, 2017

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of best friends. Prickly, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ultra-popular Ryan is a hockey star who can get any girl he wants–and frequently does. But somehow their relationship just works; from dorky Monopoly nights to rowdy house parties to the top ten lists they make about everything under the sun.

Now, on the night of high school graduation, everything is suddenly changing—in their lives, and in their relationship. As they try to figure out what they mean to each other and where to go from here, they make a final top ten list: this time, counting down the top ten moments of their friendship.

Fireworks

Balzer + Bray; April 11, 2017

From bestselling author Katie Cotugno comes the story of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being two best friends on the verge of greatness.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where super-producer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

99 Days

Balzer + Bray; April 21, 2015

Molly Barlow is facing one long, hot summer—99 days—with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for . . . his brother.

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything. She has every right to hate me, of course: I broke Patrick Donnelly’s heart the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe wouldn’t quit till he got me to come to this party, and I’m surprised to find I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

How to Love

Balzer + Bray; October 1, 2013

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: natural as breathing, endless as time. He’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists—until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love, hiding out in the back of the restaurant their families own together and taking winding, late-night road trips in his Jeep. But then one day, without a word, Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated – and pregnant – Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to life without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again, making a big play to get Reena back–and to be the kind of dad Hannah deserves. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him–she’s too hurt, too angry, too busy for any kind of happy reunion. Still, she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?


Angelo A. D’Amato, Jr.

“To Daydream on Dewdrops”
(Available in Almost)

Grimbold Books; November 20, 2022

A branch grazes your cheek as it falls from overhead. You ignore a call and never receive the apology that won’t be offered again. Perhaps against your judgment, you close your ears to a plaintively told story that would have cost you everything to believe. You turn down one path, leaving another to fall into shadow behind you, closed forever.

The world is full of stories about things that happen to us, but sometimes the more alluring story is hidden in the things that don’t. In this sixth anthology from the Oslo Writers League, we explore those moments when what might have been slips-or is cast-from our hands, for better or worse.

For the first time, we welcome writers from both within the Oslo Writers League and from around the world to contribute their stories, memoirs, poems and explorations of worlds unknown.

Contributing authors are: Karen Havelin, GKS Waller, Maddie Lama Sjåtil, Jennifer Brown, André Sevenius Nilsen, Mia Kirsi Stageberg, Chris Huby, A.R. Hankin, Mir Arif, Carolyn Magnussen, Sharanna Devadas Lehm, Julie Lydall, JK Stenehjem, Naida Mujkic, Johanna B. Stumpf, Angelo D’Amato, Jr., Isaac Peterson, Elise Jones, Jane Valerie Steenbuch, Sari C. Cunningham, Cas Blomberg, Tania Vikki, and Bree Switzer


Karin Cecile Davidson

The Geography of First Kisses

Kallisto Gaia Press; April 11, 2023

In The Geography of First Kisses, one finds portrayals of quiet elegance reminiscent of early-20th-century art films. The fourteen ethereal stories are tethered to the bays and backwaters of southern Louisiana, the fields of Iowa and Oklahoma, the pine woods of Florida, places where girls and women seek love and belonging, and instead discover relationships as complicated, bewildering, even sorrowful. A New Orleans girl spends a year collecting boyfriends and all the while considers the reach of her misadventures; a newlywed couple travels to Tulsa in search of a horse gone missing, perhaps more in search of themselves; a new mother is faced with understanding the miracles and mysteries of faith when her baby disappears; a young daughter travels to Tallahassee with her mother, trying to unravel the meaning of love crossed with abandonment. Saturated with poetic illusion and powered with prose of a dark, pulsating circuitry, the collection combines joy, heartache, and tenacity in a manner sorely missed in today’s super-structured literature.

Sybelia Drive

Braddock Avenue Books; October 6, 2020

In the small lake town where LuLu, Rainey, and Saul are growing up, day-to-day life is anything but easy. Navigating the usual obstacles of youth would be enough for anyone, but for this trio a world marred by the Vietnam war, detached parents, and untimely death create circumstances overloaded with trouble. Yet through their unyielding resourcefulness and the willingness to expose their vulnerabilities, these three friends discover deeper bonds than even they could ever imagine.

Told through kaleidoscopic images and in prose that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Sybelia Drive is a story of three friends who push beyond the typical woes of childhood into teenage years transformed by the shared baggage of a generation, years when men walk on the moon; students are killed during a peace demonstration at Kent State; and the obligations of military service claim the lives of fathers, husbands, and children.

Investigating the personal impact of social upheaval with unparalleled sensitivity and depth, Sybelia Drive is a novel that will stay with you for a long, long time. It is an extraordinary debut.


Curt Eriksen

A Place of Timeless Harmony

Texas Review Press; November 23, 2017

When Richard Delmore and his lover Sofie Cerruti decide to escape from the confines of their affair in the Twin Cities, they choose the white sands of Zanzibar and the verdant slopes of the outer lip of the Ngorongoro Crater as their romantic destination.  It’s a temporary paradise they’re after, a reprieve from the limitations of the life of deception they lead in the States.

But once they begin their safari through the Serengeti the two lovers become spiritually lost in the teeming yet inhospitable plains of East Africa, where they are forced not only to deal with the consequences of the truths they have kept from each other—the deeper and darker secrets that are painfully worked out allegorically through the events that surround them—but to observe the contrast between their “civilized” and sophisticated lives in Minnesota, and the primitive and sometimes primordial world they have entered.


David Farrow

The Neverglades: Multiverse Chronicles

Self-Published; December 15, 2023

Pacific Glade (also known as “the Neverglades”) is a town full of stories. In David Farrow’s Neverglades trilogy, you followed one of these stories: a tale of homicide detectives, eldritch investigators, cosmic monstrosities, and rifts in the fabric of reality. But this is one tale among many, one timeline among trillions. Don’t you want to know what other stories are out there?

In this collection, eight talented authors take you on a journey through the Neverglades multiverse, exploring over a dozen new variations of the stories you know. From superheroes to gunslingers, from space goddesses to shapeshifting politicians, from Hollywood backdrops to apocalyptic wastelands, these stories will show you sides of the Neverglades you’ve never experienced before – and never could have imagined.

WELCOME TO THE MULTIVERSE.

Featuring stories by: David Farrow, William Dalphin, Zane Ness, Sara J. Paschal, Kel Byron, Paul Stefani, Hunter Souvannarath, and Clarice Anfield

The Neverglades: Volume Three

Self-Published; July 7, 2021

In this third and final collection, battles are fought, familiar faces return, and the story of the Neverglades comes to its epic and emotional conclusion. Featuring ten brand new stories exclusive to this volume as well as new illustrations by Chris Bodily.

The Neverglades: Volume Two

Self-Published; October 4, 2020

The Neverglades have seen their fair share of supernatural phenomena over the years, but a new threat has arisen in town: the Semblance, a shapeshifting entity with a centuries-old grudge against the Inspector. Plagued by walking nightmares and unable to trust even their own neighbors, the people of Pacific Glade have never faced a more insidious foe…

Fleshy Sensoria and Other Stories

Self-Published; April 28, 2020

The universe of the Neverglades grows bigger than ever in this collection of terrifying short stories, including four brand new tales never before seen on Reddit. Written for the r/NoSleep format, these stories are like found objects: snippets of various lives at their eeriest. With metafictional elements that make the reader a participant in each story, the tales in “Fleshy Sensoria” are real in the sense that only the most immersive dreams can be. You may have a hard time waking up.

The Neverglades: Volume One

Self-Published; July 12, 2019

In these nine interwoven stories, follow homicide detective Mark Hannigan and his otherworldly partner, the Inspector, as they investigate paranormal phenomena in the isolated town of Pacific Glade. Based on the r/NoSleep series of the same name, this fan favorite series is now available for the first time in print and eBook format.


D. Dina Friedman

Here in Sanctuary—Whirling

Querencia Press, LLC; February 16, 2024

“Whatever else it may be, poetry is foremost a witnessing, and D. Dina Friedman is our conscience and guide as she transports us to the border—physically and poetically—so we can better understand the pain and struggle that keeps “the machinery of the world running,” and what drives a person to become so desperate that “he might send his daughter over the bridge alone to face the guards.” How is it that we have become “people who love each other / hating the people across the river, who love each other.” In deceptively plain-spoken language that reaches deep into what it means to be human, Dina uses her words to sharpen our senses and focus our attention. But if we listen closely, we will also find a necessary courage in “a child’s pair of striped overalls hanging on barbed wires,” or even in “a makeshift tent / called school,” where hope hides in every heart “soft as the young cat / stretched luxurious across the bed,” or a “puff / of milkweed riding the wave of the wind.” Dina’s words burst forth like a “bashful baby suddenly smiling.” She teaches us, with humor, horror, love, and concentration what it means to truly see and listen to those in need. Here in Sanctuary—Whirling is a beautiful and important book of poetry.”

—Richard Michelson, National Jewish Book Award Winner, author of Sleeping As Fast As I Can

Immigrants

Creators Publishing; November 15, 2023

With sensitivity and wit, Friedman creates a tableau of characters, scenery, sounds, smells, and tastes as varied as those who have claimed or seek to claim a home within our borders.

In this compelling collection of stories, we find immigrants everywhere: in the poignant and doomed relationships between the documented and undocumented; in a squalid encampment by the Rio Grande, where a young mother sends her daughter over the bridge to the U.S. alone; in the heart of multicultural New York, where a Jewish woman seeks a loan from a Muslim bank manager to fund her cancer treatment; and in a New England home, where bats in the attic are threatening the last vestiges of stability for a divorced and desperate middle-aged woman and her twenty-something Chinese American tenant.

These stories explore the deep ambiguities in how we perceive each other. Readers will grow to love Friedman’s characters, despite their flaws, as they grapple toward a deeper caring for the world around them.

Wolf in the Suitcase

Finishing Line Press; March 1, 2019

Dina Friedman voices her poems so casually, only careful readers will wholly appreciate her unruly imagination. Syntactically, a poem like “We Are Stuck in October” destabilizes us right off the bat: “the remnants of leaves/shellacked on the slippery stoop test our dogged/tenacity.”  By poem’s end, we’ve encountered a funeral, a Yankees game, athletes’ acts of conscience during the national anthem, and the ecological perils threatening “these slippery, tilted times.”  Each poem in this book takes us on a journey, many involving Friedman’s Jewish heritage, deeply but skeptically engaged.  “Munich” finds present-day remnants of a murderous history “where fires consumed my ancestors’ hair”; while “The Tenth Plague” gives up-to-the-minute idioms to an Egyptian firstborn harassed by “the Guy [who] hardened the Pharaoh’s heart.”  If Friedman’s default tone is disabused irony, she’s not adverse to praise, as in the stunning “Letter to God from Florida.”  From the itchy intimacy of extracting a child’s head lice to “the sobbing guitar” of the blues, this poet, in her lovely debut, gives thanks for all the world affords. Readers will thank her back.

–Steven Cramer, author of Clangings and Goodbye to the Orchard

escaping into the night

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; September 8, 2009

Halina Rudowski is on the run. When the Polish ghetto where she lives is liquidated, she narrowly escapes, but her mother is not as lucky. Along with her friend, Batya, Halina makes her way to a secret encampment in the woods where Jews survive by living underground. As the group struggles for food, handles infighting, and attempts to protect themselves from the advancing German army, Halina must face the reality of life without her mother.

Based on historical events, this gripping tale sheds light on a little-known aspect of the holocaust, the underground forest encampments that saved several thousand Jews from the Nazis.

Playing Dad’s Song

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; September 5, 2006

Eleven-year old Gus Moskowitz isn’t too thrilled when his mom comes home with an oboe and the news that she’s arranged for him to take lessons with a retired symphony musician. “Maybe you can learn to compose,” she says, trying to convince him. But what Gus wants to compose isn’t music—it’s a different version of his life: a life without Ivan the Terrible, who taunts him every day at middle school; a life without his older sister Liza, argument wizard extraordinaire and the shoo-in star of every school play. Most of all, in Gus’s life the way he’d like to compose it, September 11th would have never happened and his dad would still be alive, singing in the subways, and picking him up on Wednesday nights, the way he always did, flinging open the door and belting, “The Phantom of the Opera is here!”

It’s an accident that gets Gus to consider trying out for Captain Hook in the upcoming school production of Peter Pan. After buying an eye patch to cover up another run-in with Ivan the Terrible, he’s got to give his mom some excuse. But then he remembers that his dad, a struggling actor, had always liked playing bad guys. Dad believed most people didn’t play villains with enough heart. If Gus could play Captain Hook with the right kind of heart, maybe he could bring his father back somehow. Maybe through acting, he’d finally be able to feel his father inside him.

But there’s one problem.

Gus has stage fright. Terrible stage fright. He can’t even do his class presentation. How is he ever going to make it through an audition?

With the help of his sister, Liza, his oboe teacher, Mr. M., and the nameless neighborhood dog tied up in the yard by the edge of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, Gus learns some valuable lessons about auditioning, composing and life.


Cynthia Sally Haggard

Farewell My Life

Spun Stories Press; July 1, 2019

Angelina led a life which required her to fib. When Angelina, the black sheep of the Pagano family, meets the mysterious Mr. Russell, she has no idea that she has seen him before…in another country. And so begins Farewell My Life, a novel in three parts, which spins an operatic tale of dangerous love and loss.

The Lost Mother, the first part of this novel, slices back and forth between time and space, opening in the charming village of Georgetown, Washington D.C. while reflecting a family’s troubled past in the lovely village of Marostica in the Italian Veneto. An Unsuitable Suitor, the second part of the novel, is a Cinderella-ish tale with not-so-charming princes who inhabit the edgy setting of 1920s Berlin. Farewell My Life, the last part of the novel, set again in Berlin, Germany, during the dark 1930s as the Nazis gain power, takes comfortable lives, assumptions and civilizations and crumbles them into ash.

Thwarted Queen

Spun Stories Press; October 18, 2011

THWARTED QUEEN is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.

This novel contains many voices, not least those of the Londoners, who forged their own political destiny by engaging in public debate with the powerful aristocrats of the time – Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (the King’s uncle), Richard, Duke of York (the King’s cousin) and Richard, Earl of Warwick, (known as Warwick the Kingmaker) – and set the stage for American Democracy.


Jody Hobbs Hesler

What Makes You Think You’re Supposed to Feel Better: Stories

Cornerstone Press; October 15, 2023

The grisly death of the hermit outsider in a tight-knit neighborhood prompts a young mom to yearn for solitude. A man wrestles with regrets from a 30-year-old affair while his wife hovers toward death in the ICU. An older, childless woman aches to rescue the seemingly mistreated child she observes in the grocery store. And a girl’s desire to avoid the party her father dragged her to nearly gets her abducted. Told with restraint and deep compassion against the backdrop of Virginia back streets and small towns, Jody Hobbs Hesler’s debut collection shines with its portraits of longing, disconnection, and the ache for renewal and redemption that comes from our own frailties.


Cindy House

Mother Noise

Scribner / Marysue Rucci Books; May 17, 2022

Mother Noise opens with Cindy, twenty years into recovery after a heroin addiction, grappling with how to tell her nine-year-old son about her past. She wants him to learn this history from her, not anyone else; but she worries about the effect this truth may have on him. Told in essays and graphic narrative shorts, Mother Noise is a stunning memoir that delves deep into our responsibilities as parents while celebrating the moments of grace and generosity that mark a true friendship—in this case, her benefactor and champion through the years, David Sedaris.

This is a powerful memoir about addiction, motherhood, and Cindy’s ongoing effort to reconcile the two. Are we required to share with our children the painful details of our past, or do we owe them protection from the harsh truth of who we were before?

With dark humor and brutal, clear-eyed honesty, Mother Noise brilliantly captures and gorgeously renders our desire to look hopefully forward—while acknowledging the darkness of the past.


Celia Jeffries

Blue Desert

Rootstock Publishing; April 20, 2021

Blue Desert is the story of Alice George, a headstrong young British woman, and her life among the Tuareg, a tribe of nomadic warriors. While the outside world faced the catastrophe of World War I, the Tuareg continued to crisscross the Sahara. A matrilineal society in which the men are veiled and the women hold property—a world in which anything can happen—it was a world well suited to eighteen-year-old Alice, who discovers a life she could never live in corseted England.

In 1917, Alice returns home to a world completely alien to the one she had left seven years before. Her silence about her life in the Sahara is broken five decades later when she receives a telegram announcing Abu has died in the desert. “Who is Abu?” her husband asks. “My lover,” she replies. Thus begins a weeklong journey of revelation as Alice finally lays bare her secrets.

“An exquisite story about a woman finding her place, in the outer landscape of her surroundings as well as the inner landscape of her heart.” — Jennifer Rosner, author of The Yellow Bird Sings

“Crossing continents, cultures, and history, this story of one woman’s ordeal and renewal is filled with hope and generosity. The same can be said of Blue Desert, an exquisite, expansive, and transporting novel.” —Hester Kaplan, author of The Tell


Hayley Krischer

Where Are You, Echo Blue?

Dutton; July 16, 2024

A smart, juicy, and page-turning novel about celebrity, fandom, and the price of ambition following a journalist’s obsessive search for a missing Hollywood starlet

When Echo Blue, the most famous child star of the nineties, disappears ahead of a highly publicized television appearance on the eve of the millennium, the salacious theories instantly start swirling. Mostly, people assume Echo has gotten herself in trouble after a reckless New Year’s Eve. But Goldie Klein, an ambitious young journalist who also happens to be Echo’s biggest fan, knows there must be more to the story. Why, on the eve of her big comeback, would Echo just go missing without a trace?

After a year of covering dreary local stories for Manhattan Eye, Goldie is sure this will be her big break. Who better to find Echo Blue, and tell her story the right way, than her? And so, Goldie heads to L.A. to begin a wild search that takes her deep into Echo’s complicated life in which parental strife, friend break ups, rehab stints, and bad romances abound. But the further into Echo’s world Goldie gets, the more she questions her own complicity in the young star’s demise . . . yet she cannot tear herself away from this story, which has now consumed her entirely. Meanwhile, we also hear Echo’s side of things from the beginning, showing a young woman who was chewed up and spit out by Hollywood as so many are, and who may have had to pay the ultimate price. 

As these young women’s poignant and unexpected journeys unfold, and eventually meet, Where Are You, Echo Blue? interrogates celebrity culture, the thin line between admiration and obsession, and what it means to tell other peoples’ stories, all while ushering us on an unruly ride to find out what did become of Echo Blue.

The Falling Girls

Penguin Random House; October 5, 2021

Shade and Jadis are everything to each other. They share clothes, toothbrushes, and even matching stick-and-poke tattoos. So when Shade unexpectedly joins the cheerleading team, Jadis can hardly recognize who her best friend is becoming. 
 
Shade loves the idea of falling into a group of girls; she loves the discipline it takes to push her body to the limits alongside these athletes . Most of all, Shade finds herself drawn to The Three Chloes—the insufferable trio that rules the squad—including the enigmatic cheer captain whose dark side is as compelling as it is alarming.
 
Jadis won’t give Shade up so easily, though, and the pull between her old best friend and her new teammates takes a toll on Shade as she tries to forge her own path. So when one of the cheerleaders dies under mysterious circumstances, Shade is determined to get to the bottom of her death. Because she knows Jadis—and if her friend is responsible, doesn’t that mean she is, too?
 
In this compelling, nuanced exploration of the layered, intoxicating relationships between teen girls, and all the darkness and light that exists between them, novelist Hayley Krischer weaves a story of loss and betrayal, and the deep reverberations felt at a friendship’s breaking point.

Something Happened To Ali Greenleaf

Razorbill; October 6, 2020

CW: Intense scenes depicting sexual assault and drug abuse, reference to an eating disorder, mental illness, trauma, PTSD, bullying, victim blaming

Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn’t be more different.

Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. They’ve never even talked to each other, until a party when Ali decides she’ll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, her longtime crush and the soccer team’s superstar. But Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go. When she resists–he rapes her.

Blythe sees Ali when she runs from the party, everyone sees her. And Blythe knows something happened with Sean; she knows how he treats girls. Even so, she’s his best friend, his confidant. When he tells her it was a misunderstanding, she decides to help him make things right.

So Blythe befriends Ali, bringing her into a circle of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. Despite the betrayal at the heart of their relationship, they see each other, in a way no one ever has before.

In her searing, empowering debut novel, Hayley Krischer tells the story of what happened that night, and how it shaped Ali and Blythe forever. Both girls are survivors in their own ways, and while their friendship might not be built to last, it’s one that empowers each of them to find justice on their own terms.


Chaney Kwak

The Passenger: How a Travel Writer Learned to Love Cruises & Other Lies from a Sinking Ship

David R. Godine, Publisher; June 2021

In March 2019, the Viking Sky cruise ship was struck by a bomb cyclone in the North Atlantic. Rocked by 60-foot swells and 87-mile-per-hour gales, the ship lost power and began to drift straight toward the notoriously dangerous Hustadvika coast in Norway. This is the suspenseful, harrowing, funny, touching story by one passenger who contemplated death aboard that ship.

Chaney Kwak is a travel writer used to all sorts of mishaps on the road, but this is a first even for him: trapped on the battered cruise ship, he stuffs his passport into his underwear just in case his body has to be identified. As the massive cruise ship sways in surging waves, Kwak holds on and watches news of the impending disaster unfold on Twitter, where the cruise ship’s nearly 1,400 passengers are showered with “thoughts and prayers.” Kwak uses his twenty-seven hours aboard the teetering ship to examine his family history, maritime tragedies, and the failing relationship back on shore with a man he’s loved for nearly two decades: the Viking Sky, he realizes, may not be the only sinking ship he needs to escape.

The Passenger takes readers for an unforgettable journey from the Norwegian coast to the South China Sea, from post-WWII Korea to pandemic-struck San Francisco. Kwak weaves his personal experience into events spanning decades and continents to explore the serendipity and the relationships that move us—perfect for readers who love to discover world travel through the eyes of a perceptive and humorous observer.


Lyz Lenz

This American Ex-Wife

Crown; February 20, 2024

A deeply validating manifesto on the gender politics of marriage (bad) and divorce (actually pretty good!) in America today, and an argument that the former needs a reboot—from journalist and proud divorcée Lyz Lenz

Studies show that nearly 70 percent of divorces are initiated by women—women who are tired, fed up, exhausted, and unhappy. Lyz is one such woman whose life fell apart after she reached a breaking point in her twelve-year marriage. In this exuberant and unapologetic book, Lyz Lenz is flipping the script on that narrative and preaching the good gospel of the power of divorce.

The end of a marriage is often seen as the failure of the individual—most often, the woman. We’ve all seen how the media portrays divorced women: sad, lonely, drowning their sorrows in a bottle of wine, desperate for a new man. It’s as though they did something wrong, so they’ve been cast out from society. Lyz sees divorce as a practical and powerful solution for women to take back the power they are owed, while examining why we call divorce a failure, when it’s heterosexual marriage that has been flawed all along. How can women succeed in marriage when our relationships are based on inequality?

This book weaves reportage with sociological research, literature with popular culture, and personal stories of coming together and breaking up to create a kaleidoscopic and poignant portrait of American marriage today. Lyz argues that the mechanisms of American power, justice, love, and gender equality remain deeply flawed, and that marriage, like any other cultural institution, is due for a reckoning. Unlike any other book about divorce, this raucous manifesto for acceptance, solidarity, and collective female refusal takes readers on a riveting ride—all while pointing us all toward something a little more free.

Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women

Bold Type Books; August 11, 2020

Written with a blend of wit, snark, and raw intimacy, Belabored is an impassioned and irreverent defense of the autonomy, rights, and dignity of pregnant people. Lenz shows how religious, historical, and cultural myths about pregnancy have warped the way we treat pregnant people: when our representatives enact laws criminalizing abortion and miscarriage, when doctors prioritize the health of the fetus over the life of the pregnant patient in front of them, when baristas refuse to serve visibly pregnant women caffeine. She also reflects on her own experiences of carrying her two children and seeing how the sacrifices demanded during pregnancy carry over seamlessly into the cult of motherhood, where women are expected to play the narrowly defined roles of “wife” and “mother” rather than be themselves.

Belabored is an urgent call for us to trust women and let them choose what happens to their own bodies, from a writer who “is on a roll” (Bitch Magazine).

God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America

Indiana University Press; July 19, 2019

In the wake of the 2016 election, Lyz Lenz watched as her country and her marriage were torn apart by the competing forces of faith and politics. A mother of two, a Christian, and a lifelong resident of middle America, Lenz was bewildered by the pain and loss around her―the empty churches and the broken hearts. What was happening to faith in the heartland?

From drugstores in Sydney, Iowa, to skeet shooting in rural Illinois, to the mega churches of Minneapolis, Lenz set out to discover the changing forces of faith and tradition in God’s country. Part journalism, part memoir, God Land is a journey into the heart of a deeply divided America. Lenz visits places of worship across the heartland and speaks to the everyday people who often struggle to keep their churches afloat and to cope in a land of instability. Through a thoughtful interrogation of the effects of faith and religion on our lives, our relationships, and our country, God Land investigates whether our divides can ever be bridged and if America can ever come together.

“All the Angry Women”
(Available in Not That Bad)

Harper Perennial; May 1, 2018

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are “routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied” for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics, including actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, and Claire Schwartz. Covering a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation, this collection is often deeply personal and is always unflinchingly honest. Like Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to MeNot That Bad will resonate with every reader, saying “something in totality that we cannot say alone.”

Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that “not that bad” must no longer be good enough.


Hunter Liguore

The Modern Art of War: Sun Tzu’s Hidden Path to Peace and Wholeness

Watkins Media; April 9, 2024

Aimed at a self-development market, this timely and fresh take on that perennial bestseller the Art of War challenges us to see the text not as a tool for warfare but as a guide to inner harmony and personal fulfilment.

Sun Tzu’s Art of War has been read mostly as a book of war strategies that teaches us how to beat our opponents on the battlefield. The Modern Art of War presents a new interpretation: it isn’t about conquering your enemies, devising strategies to overtake armies, or getting ahead against your competitors. Instead, the real art of war is the fight to control your mind and the thoughts that rule it. What if Sun Tzu wasn’t a general at all, but a spiritual advisor, and that the Art of War was written not for a king, but for the people?

This book will teach readers how to “conquer” or still the mind in order to reveal their own hidden teacher and recognize that the root of conflict (or war) begins within. By creating harmony within one’s self, readers can then carry it forward to help bring more peace into the world.

The Whole World Inside Nan’s Soup

Yeehoo Press; August 24, 2021

A rumination on our ability to recognize our interconnectedness with all people, that in order to eat a single meal, it takes the whole world to make it.

There’s something special bubbling in Nanni’s big metal pot. And it smells delicious! What ingredients might be inside? When Nanni lifts the lid on her soup, she reveals the whole world inside: from the seeds that grew into vegetables, to the gardeners who lovingly tended to the plants, to the sun, moon, and stars that shone its light above them. And, of course, no meal is complete without a recipe passed down generations of family, topped and finished with Nanni’s love.

In this tender tale by award-winning author Hunter Liguore and artist Vikki Zhang, readers will marvel at how a community and world can come together to put on an unforgettable meal between a granddaughter and her Nanni.


Gene Luetkemeyer

My Year at the Good Bean Café

Laughing Buddha Books; May 1, 2023

An unlikely and inexplicable event prompts Adrian Lomachenko to quit his high-paying job in the financial district of San Francisco and pursue a career in writing, his long-repressed true calling. Determined to write a novel that examines the nature of unlikely and inexplicable events and how they impact our lives, he relocates to the quaint artistic community of Jacksonville, Oregon, where he will seat himself daily at 6:00 am at the same table in the town’s eclectic coffee shop, the Good Bean Café, observe its patrons, engage in conversation, and with a little help from his capricious Muse, Miranda, write a story around a watershed moment in the lives of each of twelve characters, real or imagined, one for each month of the year. The challenge will be to finish each story in the month in which it was begun, and his book within a year. Does he meet his goal? And how does the exploration of unlikely and inexplicable events affect his life going forward?

My Year at the Good Bean Café is a quirky work of metafiction, a story about itself and its own creation, that explores the nature of identity, the process of becoming, the imponderable intelligence of the Universe, and the magic of art in all its manifestations.

“This is the strangest novel I have read (and enjoyed) in many years…trust me when I say you’ll never be bored reading this.” — The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

The Penitentiary Tales: A Love Story

Laughing Buddha Books; November 12, 2019

Penitentiary Tales: A Love Story recounts the escapades of Dean Davis, a thirty-something, educated, straight white male from the affluent community of Sausalito, in Marin County, California, who is sent to an Illinois prison dominated by a daunting, ethnically diverse population of inmates from the mean streets of Chicago. His wife Lucy and infant daughter Lola await on the outside. Lucy pleads that Dean not let the experience change him, that he be the same man when he gets out that he was when he went in.

Like Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, which celebrates the lives of the disenfranchised during the Great Depression without railing against social injustice, Penitentiary Tales: A Love story sheds light on the daily lives of its characters, and on their humanity no matter how obscured by circumstance.

EA Luetkemeyer spent four years of a ten year sentence in an Illinois State Prison in the eighties for possession of Marijuana, an experience he embraces and which informs much of his writing and his world-view.

Inside the Mind of Martin Mueller

BookBaby; November 7, 2018

A dazzling debut novel, Inside The Mind of Martin Mueller tells the story of a man of wealth and taste whose mission in life is no less than to “reassemble the scattered shards of the shattered Over-soul of mankind.” He believes the penitentiary he’s an inmate of is in the basement of his country estate. Daily he discards the fine clothes of a retired billionaire and dons the blue denim of a prisoner and takes an elevator down to his cell where he toils obsessively at his masterpiece, a manuscript which when completed will alter the course of the evolution of humanity and earn him a high place among his brethren-to-be, the Illuminati. Is he delusional? Which is real—the mansion or the cell block or both? Inside The Mind of Martin Muller is a Rorschach inkblot test of a twisted tale: what you see is what you get.

The Book of Chuck

Transformation Publishing; April 3, 2009

The Book of Chuck is a memorial compilation of poetry and prose to honor a brother who died in 2006, a few months before his 60th birthday. He was a mostly unpublished poet who saved decades of his writing–in notebooks, on calendars and napkins and scraps of paper. His poetry and prose pieces are intertwined with anecdotes, incidents, and sentiments provided by family and friends. Gene originally published The Book of Chuck to distribute to those who knew him.


Celeste Mohammed

A Different Energy: Women in Caribbean Oil & Gas

Words Matter Communications Limited; January 1, 2024

A Different Energy stands as a testament to the enduring wisdom and strength of Caribbean women. It sounds a call for a more diverse, inclusive and equitable development of one of the world’s most male-dominated domains: the oil and gas industry.

Over the last decade, as global energy has become hyper-focused on the Southern Caribbean, the role and opinions of local women have too often been overlooked. In this compelling, first-of-its-kind book, award-winning lawyer-turned-writer Celeste Mohammed remedies that omission.

In powerful, eye-opening portraits of eight Trini, Surinamese and Guyanese women who are employed in the Caribbean oil and gas industry, Mohammed uses a range of styles to keep the gender conversation refreshingly candid, often humorous, and always thought-provoking.

With a voice both earnest and confiding, intellectual and intimate, this book’s commentary and analysis extract from the women’s stories lessons for any woman seeking to defy odds, shatter stereotypes, and forge paths in a business culture which underestimates her.

“Sundar larki”
(Available in Daughters of Latin America)

Amistad; August 15, 2023

Spanning time, styles, and traditions, a dazzling collection of essential works from 140 Latine writers, scholars, and activists from across the world—from warrior poet Audre Lorde to novelist Edwidge Danticat and performer and author Elizabeth Acevedo and artist/poet Cecilia Vicuña—gathered in one magnificent volume.

Daughters of Latin America collects the intergenerational voices of Latine women across time and space, capturing the power, strength, and creativity of these visionary writers, leaders, scholars, and activists—including 24 Indigenous voices. Several authors featured are translated into English for the first time. Grammy, National Book Award, Cervantes, and Pulitzer Prize winners as well as a Nobel Laureate and the next generation of literary voices are among the stars of this essential collection, women whose work inspires and transforms us.

An eclectic and inclusive time capsule spanning centuries, genres, and geographical and linguistic diversity, Daughters of Latin America is divided into 13 parts representing the 13 Mayan Moons, each cycle honoring a different theme. Within its pages are poems from U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón and celebrated Cervantes Prize–winner Dulce María Loynaz; lyric essays from New York Times bestselling author Naima Coster, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Guggenheim Fellow Maryse Condé; rousing speeches from U.S. Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Lencan Indigenous land and water protector Berta Caceres; and a transcendent Mazatec chant from shaman and poet María Sabina testifying to the power of language as a cure, which opens the book.

More than a collection of writings, Daughters of Latin America is a resurrection of ancestral literary inheritance as well as a celebration of the rising voices encouraged and nurtured by those who came before them. 

In addition to those mentioned above, contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Julia Alvarez, Albalucia Angel, Marie Arana, Ruth Behar, Gioconda Belli, Miluska Benavides, Carmen Bouollosa, Giannina Braschi, Norma Cantú, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Angie Cruz, Edwidge Danticat, Julia de Burgos, Lila Downs, Laura Esquivel, Conceição Evaristo, Mayra Santos Febres, Sara Gallardo, Cristina Rivera Garza, Reyna Grande, Sonia Guiñasaca, Georgina Herrera, María Hinojosa, Claudia Salazar Jimenez, Jamaica Kincaid, María Clara Sharupi Jua, Amada Libertad, Josefina López, Gabriela Mistral, Celeste Mohammed, Cherrié Moraga, Angela Morales, Nancy Morejón, Anaïs Nin, Achy Obejas, Alejandra Pizarnik, Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, Elena Poniatowska, Laura Restrepo, Ivelisse Rodriguez, Mikeas Sánchez, Esmeralda Santiago, Rita Laura Segato, Ana María Shua, Natalia Toledo, Julia Wong, Elisabet Velasquez, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, Helena María Viramontes, and many more.

Pleasantview

Ig Publishing; May 4, 2021

Coconut trees. Carnival. Rum and coke. To many outsiders, these idyllic images represent the supposed easy life in Caribbean nations such as Trinidad and Tobago. However, the reality is far different for those who live there—a society where poverty and patriarchy savagely rule, and where love and revenge often go hand in hand.

Written in a combination of English and Trinidad Creole, Pleasantview reveals the dark side of the Caribbean dream. In this novel-in-stories about a fictional town in Trinidad, we meet a political candidate who sets out to slaughter endangered turtles for fun, while his rival candidate beats his “outside-woman,” so badly she ends up losing their baby. On the night of a political rally, the abused woman exacts a very public revenge, the trajectory of which echoes through Pleasantview, ending with one boy introducing another boy to a gun and to an ideology which will help him aim the weapon.

Merging the beauty and brutality of Trinidadian culture evoked by writers such as Ingrid Persaud and Claire Adam with the linguistic experimentation of Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven KillingsPleasantview is a landmark work from an important new voice in international literary fiction.


Lee Okan

The Lives of Atoms

Nixes Mate Books; March 28, 2018

In an ambitious first book Lee Okan draws a daring parallel between the life of the universe and our own lives and loves. Here is a remarkable weaving of metaphysics and physics, in dreamlike writing as much poetry as prose. Here is a fiction aware of its construction – and willing to let us witness its sequences and discoveries. — Danielle Legros Georges, Poet Laureate, City of Boston


Buki Papillon

An Ordinary Wonder

Dialogue Books (Little, Brown UK); September 7, 2021

Oto leaves for boarding school with one plan: excel and escape his cruel home. Falling in love with his roommate was certainly not on the agenda, but fear and shame force him to hide his love and true self.

Back home, weighed down by the expectations of their wealthy and powerful family, the love of Oto’s twin sister wavers and, as their world begins to crumble around them, Oto must make drastic choices that will alter the family’s lives for ever.

Richly imagined with art, proverbs and folk tales, this moving and modern novel follows Oto through life at home and at boarding school in Nigeria, through the heartbreak of living as a boy despite their profound belief they are a girl, and through a hunger for freedom that only a new life in the United States can offer.

An Ordinary Wonder is a powerful coming-of-age story that explores complex desires as well as challenges of family, identity, gender and culture, and what it means to feel whole.


Lauren Paredes

Erasure Poems
(Available in Trnsfr Issue 7)

Trnsfr; 2020

Trnsfr is back. It’s 2020 and the world is on fire. Cut your hair.

Fiction by X. C. Atkins, Mel Bosworth & Ryan Ridge, Paul Kavanagh, David Nutt, Gina Nutt, Forrest Roth, and Joe Sacksteder Poetry by Rosie Accola, Diannely Antigua, Emily Brandt, Tim Carter, Holly Day, jayy dodd, Kit Hodge, Debora Kuan, Michael Sikkema, and Lisa Summe Art: Cover illustration by Jordan Gaza; interior artwork by Louie Barrett, Todd Colby, and Casey Hannan Plus a packet of erasures by Lauren Paredes and a supplement by Brandon Downing

Otherwise, Magic

First Matter Press; February 28, 2019

“A lovely collection of divinatory symbols masquerading as poems, in Otherwise, Magic, Lauren Paredes beckons us into her world where the paradox of modern life combines with fairy tale. She shrouds us in beautiful language, gentle rhythm and a wide-eyed wonder. We, like the speaker, find spiritual meaning in ‘the only newborn to board this plane,’ ‘the taste of merlot and party-soft cheese’ and always, always, the celestial influence of the Moon and her metaphysical counterparts.”
—Elizabeth Hellstern, author of How to Live: A Suggestive Guide & creator of the Telepoem Booth®


Benjamin Roesch

Felix & Squeak and the Ghost Who Forgot Everything

Onion River Press; May 19, 2023

When eleven-year-old Felix’s family inherits an old mansion and moves without warning, it doesn’t take long to figure out there’s a ghost living in the basement. But Papa Joe is no typical ghost. He’s–well–nice. He’s also been stuck in the basement since the 1800s, housebound by the rules of the Ghost Protocol Book. He’s desperate to escape and it looks like the new kid in town is his only hope. 

But Felix doesn’t stand a chance of helping Papa Joe without the help of his new friend Squeak, and an Irish Wolfhound named Honest Abe. Together, this accidental ghost squad will brave dark woods, dusty basements, and snooping parents to get to the bottom of this ghostly mystery.

Blowin’ My Mind Like a Summer Breeze

Deep Hearts YA; July 22, 2022

Fifteen-year-old Rainey Cobb never thought meeting someone could actually change her life. But, then again, she’s never met anyone like Juliet.

It’s 1995 and The Cobb Family Band, led by Rainey’s rock star parents, has arrived for a week-long gig at the Midwestern resort owned by Juliet’s family. Dazzled by Juliet’s carpe diem attitude, DIY tattoos, and passion for grunge, Rainey falls hard. And when Juliet gives Rainey a mixtape that unlocks her heart’s secret yearnings, Rainey starts seeing herself—and her vagabond, show-biz life—through new eyes.

If Rainey quits the band, her parents’ fading career might never recover. But if she doesn’t leap now, she might be stuck forever in a life she didn’t choose…and always wonder who she could have been.


Rebecca Rolland

Velocity

Gemma; December 20, 2023

Lucy Brick, a college student, starts noticing delivery drivers on motorbikes zooming all over Manhattan. They look alike and act weird. They use chopsticks to “charge” themselves. They even ignore traffic warnings. Some of Lucy’s friends have joined the drivers. They invite Lucy to sign up, too. Her friends tell her it’s the best time in their lives. Being a dliv gives them lots of energy. Better, it makes them more popular than their wildest dreams. It’s very tempting!

But Lucy begins to wonder what has really happened to these drivers. How can they have such abilities? Could joining them be fun-or dangerous? Lucy is going to find out.

Velocity is the first in the series The Activ8r Adventures, where AI enhancements to human beings give them amazing powers…but at what cost?

The Book of Leavening

Unsolicited Press; December 12, 2023

What if we “Fast forward a hundred years?” as the first poem in The Book of Leavening asks. Would our “voices turn votives: every hour/ candling from windowsill to sea”? Would we “find fortune in last casts of light?” These poems are deeply concerned with imagining a future far beyond our current lives. 

Through free verse poems  mixed with ghazals, the poet considers not simply the joys and storms of our current lives, but also how those joys and storms will ripple into future generations. Wrestling with questions of how the personal affects the universal, these poems interrogate milestones and rituals–marriage, childbirth, the loss of friends and relatives–to explore how these common passages feel from the inside. They also question the vows we make, personally, and as a civilization: “What can I do to love/ the way I promised?” 

What happens, when our world seems to make it ever more difficult to define and live out one’s values? What does one hear, when one listens deeply to what the landscape tells us? This narrator finds hope and even salvation in that deep listening; as she states, “I listen at times to backs of bread,/ backs of books, fronts of hands. Listen/ so long, I question if anyone courts/ noise anymore.” There may be no simple solutions–but, through the act of paying close attention, and directing compassion at what she sees, the poet shines a light on a hopeful path forward.

The Art of Talking with Children

HarperOne; March 1, 2022

From a Harvard faculty member and oral language specialist, an invaluable guide that gives readers evidence-based tools and techniques to communicate more effectively with children in ways that let them foster relationships with less conflict and more joy and kindness.

Science has shown that the best way to help our kids become independent, confident, kind, empathetic, and happy is by talking with them. Yet, so often, parents, educators, and caregivers have trouble communicating with kids. Conversations can feel trivial or strained—or worse, are marked by constant conflict.

In The Art of Talking with Children, Rebecca Rolland, a Harvard faculty member, speech pathologist, and mother, arms adults with practical tools to help them have productive and meaningful conversations with children of all ages—whether it’s engaging an obstinate toddler or getting the most monosyllabic adolescent to open up.

The Art of Talking with Children shows us how quality communication—or rich talk—can help us build the skills and capacities children need to thrive.

The Vine of Somewhere

Dancing Girl Press & Studio; 2017

Liquids “create indeterminate forms at the surface… that are never absolutes”

How can distance increase, entice hundreds of miles? More the girl chases, more messages face backward, till she’s left only

militancy, marching-music, wind. Sputtering, she knocks breath’s buttons: jackets thread stitches, spin hooks. Itinerant, pooled glass transmits message; what about the ever-counting child? Scholar might teethe

self from trouble, yet ruin mud-spilled fields. To speak, she raps throat, clears borders: mouth swooning (cautious, inked)

she dives. Bad weather at least offers solace: clouds,

cumulus, flattened, press workhorse, then

good shepherd, on her tongue—

The Wreck of Birds

Bauhan Publishing; May 12, 2012

“Rebecca Givens Rolland embraces an assimilation of internal feeling and thought with circumstances of the natural world and the conflicts and triumphs of our human endeavors. Here, we discover a language that seeks to at once replicate and transcend experiences of loss and disaster, and together with the poet ”we hope that such bold fates will not forget us.” Even at the speaker’s most vulnerable moments, when ”Each word we d spoken / scowls back, mirrored in barrels of wind” these personal poems insist on renewal. With daring honesty and formal skill, The Wreck of Birds achieves a revelatory otherness what Keats called the ”soul-making task” of poetry.” –Walter E. Butts, 2009-2014 New Hampshire Poet Laureate

On the Refusal to Speak

Dancing Girl Press & Studio; 2012

Text Message

I planted a microphone in the bush, and the bush
sang. No burning, just a muted internal

hum. Floodwaters sloshed by to say hello,
proffering an upsurge of bulbs. Scarlet,

azalea, do-not-forget-my-name. No
gardener, I keeled them up in clumps. Almost

no effort to crush them, just a squeeze;
I wouldn’t say I was sorry to blacken their

lines. Next time, I’ll bring jam and a bucket
of daisies: singe me, I’ll wager white petals sneer.


Nada Samih-Rotondo

All Water Has Perfect Memory

Jaded Ibis Press; September 2023

Life changed forever for six-year-old Nada following Iraq’s invasion of her birth country, Kuwait, and subsequent immigration to the United States with her maternal family. Just as she finally settles into her strange new life apart from her father in Rhode Island, learns English, and grasps the fact that she is not merely visiting but is here to stay, life throws other surprises her way to forever change her world.

A debut work from a Palestinian American author, All Water Has a Perfect Memory is a memoir that takes readers from the author’s ancestral origins- the coast of Yaffa, Palestine, to her birthplace of Kuwait, eventually landing on the shores of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. The narrative confronts generations of silence and, ultimately, revelation with an imaginative blend of folklore and history that explores the relationship between our bodies, ancestors, and the Earth. The work explores the way the author is intertwined with her maternal line while reuniting with her father after a 30-year separation.

Voices once hidden in the waters of our bodies are amplified and released to forever alter the landscape, breaking cycles and seeding an audacious hope interconnected to lands past and present.


Elizabeth Shick

The Golden Land

University of Nebraska Press; September 2024

Winner of the AWP Prize for the Novel, this debut novel digs deep into the complexities of family history and relationships.

​When Etta’s grandmother dies, she is compelled to travel to Myanmar to explore complicated adolescent memories of her grandmother’s family and the violence she witnessed there. Full of rich detail and complex relationships, The Golden Land explores those personal narratives that might lie beneath the surface of historical accounts.

“A heartfelt exploration of the ties of family, The Golden Land is an engrossing tale told across generations with the explosive history of Myanmar as its backdrop.  Elizabeth Shick has written a compelling, emotionally complex novel that explores the difficulties of defining oneself amid the struggle of competing cultures.  This is a timely, necessary book.” –Sabina Murray, author of The Human Zoo and Valiant Gentlemen


Nathan Tavares

Welcome to Forever

Titan Books; November 7, 2023

A sweeping, psychedelic romance of two men caught in a looping world of artificial realities, edited memories, secretive cabals and conspiracies to push humanity to the next step in its evolution.

For fans of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, Ubik, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Evangelion.

Fox is a memory editor – one of the best – gifted with the skill to create real life in the digital world. When he wakes up in Field of Reeds Centre for Memory Reconstruction with no idea how he got there, the therapists tell him he was a victim in a terrorist bombing by Khadija Banks, the pioneer of memory editing technology turned revolutionary. A bombing which shredded the memory archives of all its victims, including his husband Gabe.

Thrust into reconstructions of his memories exploded from the fragments that survived the blast, Fox tries to rebuild his life, his marriage and himself. But he quickly realises his world is changing, unreliable, and echoing around itself over and over. 

As he unearths endless cycles of meeting Gabe, falling in love and breaking up, Fox digs deep into his past, his time in the refugee nation of Aaru, and the exact nature of his relationship with Khadija. Because, in a world tearing itself apart to forget all its sadness, saving the man he loves might be the key to saving us all.

A Fractured Infinity

Titan Books; November 22, 2022

A thrilling race across the multiverse to save the infinite Earths – and the love of your life – from total destruction for fans of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustThe Time Traveler’s Wife and Rick and Morty.

Film-maker Hayes Figueiredo is struggling to finish the documentary of his heart when handsome physicist Yusuf Hassan shows up, claiming Hayes is the key to understanding the Envisioner – a mysterious device that can predict the future.
 
Hayes is taken to a top-secret research facility where he discovers his alternate self from an alternate universe created the Envisioner and sent it to his reality. Hayes studies footage of the other him, he discovers a self he doesn’t recognize, angry and obsessive, and footage of Yusuf… as his husband.
 
As Hayes finds himself falling for Yusuf, he studies the parallel universe and imagines the perfect life they will live together. But their lives are inextricably linked to the other reality, and when that couple’s story ends in tragedy Hayes realises he must do anything he can to save Yusuf’s life. Because there are infinite realities, but only one Yusuf.
 
With the fate of countless realities and his heart in his hands, Hayes leads Yusuf on the run, tumbling through a kaleidoscope of universes trying to save it all. But even escaping into infinity, Hayes is running out of space – soon he will have to decide how much he’s willing to pay to save the love of his life.


Hurley Winkler

“On Crests and Troughs”
(Available in 15 Views of Jacksonville)

Burrow Press; 2018

15  Views of Jacksonville: Stories From a Bold City is a literary portrait of Jacksonville, FL told in fifteen short stories and one essay by sixteen Jacksonville authors. Sprawling from Atlantic Beach to Orange Park, Northside to Arlington, these stories navigate the city sporadically, capturing Duval County in a way only those who know her can. Story to story, you’ll cross bridges and be introduced to this city’s small pockets of bold absurdity.


Nonfiction:

Michael Anthony

Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag: A Memoir

Street Noise Books; November 15, 2022

A rough-and-tumble Iraq War veteran is young and in love, and the last thing on his mind is food and the ethics of eating meat. But when his girlfriend becomes a vegetarian and animal rights activist, suddenly food is all he thinks about.

A true story of how love and vegetarianism can triumph over all else. Love, heartache, and the rest of the ingredients that make a reader laugh, smile, and stop-and-think, are all found in this enthralling graphic memoir. Amidst the stories of love and frustration, there are treatises on food, vegetarianism, and the ethics of the animal rights movement (some of it juxtaposed against Michael’s graphic wartime experiences). Told with Michael’s sardonic perspective and the delightful artwork of debut graphic novelist Chai Simone, this is a journey of true love gone temporarily astray.

Civilianized

Zest Books TM; August 1, 2016

After twelve months of military service in Iraq, Michael Anthony stepped off a plane, seemingly happy to be home—or at least back on U.S. soil. He was twenty-one years old, a bit of a nerd, and carrying a pack of cigarettes that he thought would be his last. Two weeks later, Michael was high on Vicodin, drunk and drinking more, and picking a fight with a very large Hell’s Angel. At his wit’s end, he came to an agreement with himself: If things didn’t improve in three months, he was going to kill himself (but in the meantime, he had some dating classes to attend). Civilianized is a surprising and dark-humored memoir that chronicles Michael’s search for meaning in a suddenly destabilized world.

Mass Casualties

Adams Media; October 18, 2009

It was Week 7 of basic training . . . eighteen years old and I was preparing myself to die.

They say the Army makes a man out of you, but for eighteen-year-old SPC Michael Anthony, this fabled rite of passage is instead a dark and dangerous journey. After obtaining his parents’ approval to enlist at seventeen, Anthony begins this journey with an unshakeable faith in the military based on his family’s long tradition of service. But when he finds himself in a medical unit of misfits as lost as he is, Anthony not only witnesses firsthand the unspeakable horror of war, he experiences the undeniable misconduct of the military. Everything he’s ever believed in dissolves, forcing Anthony to rethink his ideals and ultimately risk his career—and his freedom—to challenge the military that once commanded his loyalty.

This searing memoir chronicles the experiences that change one young soldier forever. A seasoned veteran before the age of twenty-one, he faces the truth about the war—and himself—in this shocking and unprecedented eyewitness account.


Jodi Sh. Doff

“Robbie’s Mardi Gras”
(Available in Whorephobia: Strippers on Art, Work, and Life)

Seven Stories Press; December 6, 2022

No one knows more than strippers about being looked at: as objects of desire, objects of curiosity, as angels or Jezebels or hookers with hearts of gold. In this anthology, twenty-three dancers whose careers span decades, geographies, and identities demand to be seen. Through stories from first nights on the job to the day they hung up their sky-high heels—or decided they never will—these writers offer glimpses into lives of camaraderie and celebration, joy, pride, despair, frustration, self-doubt, and fear.
 
Their unfiltered perspectives on their lives, onstage and off, are a powerful counternarrative to the whorephobia that shrouds the conventional portrayals of strippers in crime movies, TV shows, music videos, newspaper articles, and legislative debates. Each of these illuminating essays and interviews peels away tired myths and salacious speculation and presents the naked truth: that sex work is real work and strippers are real people.


Célèste Fohl

“What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Gilmore Girls
(Available in Women of Amy Sherman-Palladino)

Fayetteville Mafia Press; November 26, 2019

Smart, quirky, female-centric, drenched in pop-culture references—Amy Sherman-Palladino’s singular TV voice has won her legions of fans and critical appreciation over the past two decades, thanks to shows like “Gilmore Girls,” “Bunheads,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Sherman-Palladino—the first woman ever to win Emmy Awards for both comedy writing and directing in a single year—may write about different decades and milieus, but her sensibility is unique and unmistakable throughout. Her greatest contribution may be her pantheon of unforgettable female characters, including Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel), Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy), Michelle Simms (Sutton Foster), Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein), and Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). In The Women of Amy Sherman-Palladino, writers from different walks of life—scholars, critics, writers, comedians, dancers—take us on a journey through the worlds of these characters, and how they have influenced their own lives. This is the second book in “The Women of” series, after The Women of David Lynch, published in June 2019. This unique series, covers great female characters in television and film.


Lisa Gruenberg

My City of Dreams: A Memoir

TidePool Press; January 1, 2019

In this carefully researched and hauntingly written memoir, Lisa Gruenberg not only records her own life, but also that of relatives long lost to darkness, terror, and murder. In dreamlike sequences she weaves known facts of the lives of those lost into tableaus of imagined family dinners, conversations and leisure activities set in the Vienna landscape. She especially brings back to life some of the girls and women whose fates remain largely unknown. Indeed, she embodies her aunt Mia as she walks in her shoes, sees with her eyes, and speaks with her voice. These flights into the past are presented within the framework of Gruenberg’s own family, her husband and daughters, and her father. He escaped from Vienna in 1939 and shared few of his memories with her, and that only late in life when disease had beaten down his defenses against remembering.

The trauma and feeling of guilt often described in Holocaust survivors is reflected in this memoir, also the burden shared by so many of their children and grandchildren. At the same time, this tale is one of lightness and finding balance in all these difficulties and trials. There is an endless network of cousins and friends of cousins, one more colorful than the next. They are spread all over the world and Gruenberg seeks many of them out in her search for the past.

At the center stands author’s ability to look at the truth unflinchingly, including truths apparent in herself. She shares her insights in all their nakedness, starkness and, yes, hilarity. This, together with the author’s luminous prose, make My City of Dreams an important landmark in 21st century testimony of the Holocaust.

Read an excerpt from the book


Janet Hurley

Glove Shy: A Sister’s Reckoning

Lystra Books & Literary Services, LLC; May 30th, 2023

The heartbeat of family life is the thump of fists on a heavy bag.

In the 1970s, Janet Hurley’s older brother, Brian, was the teenage prot g of a World Heavyweight Champion who lived in their hometown. Brian was a young man of brilliance and wit. His talents were broad, yet boxing was the path he chose. And, soon enough, family life revolved around his training, his bouts, his future: Olympic medals? A pro career?

Glove Shy is a tender-tough memoir, a loving look at how a sport as elemental as boxing can obscure the powerful forces this family never saw coming. But, when one of your own is in the ring, slugging, being slugged, what else can matter?

Glove Shy is a well-told story of what happens when the blows hit far beyond the ropes. Hurley is a talented writer, with strong and vivid prose. She is also brave, willing to get in the ring with her own past.

“This I know for sure – Glove Shy is one of the finest memoirs I have read in my long life and I have read a lot.” –Rachel Manley, Lesley MFA Faculty and author of  Drumblair: Memories of Jamaican Childhood, Slipstream: A Daughter Remembers, Horses in Her Hair: A Grandaughter’s story, and In My Father’s Shade


Megan Margulies

My Captain America: A Granddaughter’s Memoir of a Legendary Comic Book Artist

Pegasus Books; August 4, 2020

In the 1990s, Megan Margulies’s Upper West Side neighborhood was marked by addicts shooting up in subway stations, frequent burglaries, and the “Wild Man of 96th Street,” who set fires under cars and heaved rocks through stained glass church windows. The world inside her parents’ tiny one-bedroom apartment was hardly a respite, with a family of five—including some loud personalities—eventually occupying the 550-square-foot space.

Salvation arrived in the form of her spirited grandfather, Daddy Joe, whose midtown studio became a second home to Megan. There, he listened to her woes, fed her Hungry Man frozen dinners, and simply let her be. His living room may have been dominated by the drawing table, notes, and doodles that marked him as Joe Simon the cartoonist. But for Megan, he was always Daddy Joe: an escape from her increasingly hectic home, a nonjudgmental voice whose sense of humor was as dry as his farfel, and a steady presence in a world that felt off balance.

Evoking New York City both in the 1980s and ’90s and during the Golden Age of comics in the 1930s and ’40s, My Captain America flashes back from Megan’s story to chart the life and career of Rochester-native Joe Simon, from his early days retouching publicity photos and doing spot art for magazines, to his partnership with Jack Kirby at Timely Comics (the forerunner of Marvel Comics), which resulted in the creation of beloved characters like Captain America, the Boy Commandos, and Fighting American.

My Captain America offers a tender and sharply observed account of Megan’s life with Daddy Joe—and an intimate portrait of the creative genius who gave us one of the most enduring superheroes of all time.


Kathy Park (Woolbert)

Bowing Into Sensei Glioblastoma

Self-Published; May 22, 2021

Poetry and prose that describes using aikido principles, humor, a positive attitude, and grit to live with the multiple challenges of glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. This book is intended to be helpful to anyone facing life challenges, whether they be serious and life threatening or day-to-day.

Aikido Off the Mat: One woman’s journey using Aikido principles to stay sane in body, mind, and spirit

Blue Snake Books; August 7, 2018

A deeply personal and compelling memoir that illustrates how the basic principles of Aikido can help us cope with the challenges of life outside the dojo

Drawing from more than forty years of experience as an Aikido practitioner and teacher, Kathy Park explains how principles such as embodiment, grounding, centering, extension, 360-degree awareness, blending, and alignment can be applied to everyday life. Candid stories from her own life show how the purpose of practicing Aikido on the mat is to take it off the mat and into the world.

Coyote Points the Way: Borderland Stories and Plays

Mercury HeartLink; February 10, 2015

Coyote Points the Way: Borderland Stories and Plays. is a compilation of fiction, nonfiction and ten-minute plays that explore the borderlands, both literal and figurative, where individual resourcefulness, creativity, intuitive knowing and courage make all the difference. Many of the stories are set in Colorado’s vast San Luis Valley, the largest alpine valley in the lower 48 states; two of the plays are derived from the author’s experience teaching holistic health in a federal women’s prison; and all of the pieces are inspired by the people, animals, times and places that continue to shape the author’s life.

Seeing Into Stone: A Sculptor’s Journey

Mercury HeartLink; October 29, 2011

Set in a ghost town in California’s Mojave Desert, Seeing Into Stone: A Sculptor’s Journey is a memoir about the author’s struggle with flaws in her vision, her carvings and her new marriage as she searches for her identity as an artist. Through her fifteen-year apprenticeship with Gordon Newell, a wise and patient stone sculptor, she learns that carving stone and wood can be understood as a metaphor for life: go with the grain and not against it; trust that the form inside will emerge in its own good time; and realize that understanding comes slowly, chip by chip.


Janet Pocorobba

The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me

Stone Bridge Press; March 12, 2019

The word sensei in Japanese literally means “one who came before,” but that’s not what Janet Pocorobba’s teacher wanted to be called. She used her first name, Western-style. She wore a velour Beatles cap and leather jacket, and she taught foreigners, in English, the three-stringed shamisen, an instrument that fell out of tune as soon as you started to play it. 

Vexed by the music and Sensei’s mission to upend an elite musical system, Pocorobba, on the cusp of thirty, gives up her return ticket home to become a lifelong student of her teacher. She is eventually featured in Japan Cosmo as one of the most accomplished gaijin, “outside people,” to play the instrument.

Part memoir, part biography of her Sensei, The Fourth String looks back on the initial few years of that apprenticeship, one that Janet’s own female English students advised her was “wife training,” steeped in obedience, loyalty, and duty. Even with her maverick teacher, Janet is challenged by group hierarchies, obscure traditions, and the tricky spaces of silence in Japanese life.

Anmoku ryokai , Sensei says to explain: “We have to understand without saying.”

By the time Janet finds out this life might not be for her, she is more at home in the music than the Japanese will allow.

For anyone who has had a special teacher, or has lost themselves in another world, Janet Pocorobba asks questions about culture, learning, tradition, and self. As Gish Jen has said of The Fourth String, “What does it mean to be taught? To be transformed?”


Anne Riesenberg

The Palace of Unbearable Feeling

Lily Poetry Review; February 1, 2023

Equally resonant as visual chants or textual mandalas, these 18 poems emerge from the international lineage of concrete poetry. Written during the pandemic in response to prolonged isolation and the perils of a world on tilt, The Palace Of Unbearable Feeling explores the materiality of language while addressing personal and collective issues of loss, right action, consciousness, and possible avenues of renewal. Built as verbal-aural-visual stimulants, the resulting multivalent constructions present a variety of opportunities for contemplation.


Julie Wittes Schlack

Burning and Dodging: A Novel

Black Rose Writing; December 23, 2021

On the cusp of sixty, after a lifetime of supporting the aspirations of others, would-be artist Tina Gabler is feeling a sense of urgency to take her own ambitions seriously and put her creative talents to the test. Temporarily unattached, Tina takes a position with former prime-time news anchor, Peter Bright at his home in the Thousand Islands. Aging and frail, Peter is trying to finish a book about the decline of objectivity in photojournalism—a meticulously documented exposé of iconic but staged photographs that defined “reality” for an increasingly lazy and credulous public that, Peter believes, demands stories more than facts.

As Peter’s research assistant, Tina tracks down not just the provenance of his photos, but also the unidentified child in a Roman Vishniac photograph and Peter’s estranged daughter, a Cree girl he adopted during the notorious “Sixties Scoop” in Canada. But in trying to create happy endings for other people’s children, she must reexamine her relationship with her own father, and the quest for collective versus personal achievement that has brought her to this unsettled moment.

Funny, searching, and gorgeously written, Burning and Dodging entertains as it reveals how the stories we construct about others support the stories we tell about ourselves.

“Mindfulness and Memoir”
(Available in The Science of Story)

Bloomsbury; January 9, 2020

Bringing together a diverse range of writers, The Science of Story is the first book to ask the question: what can contemporary brain science teach us about the art and craft of creative nonfiction writing? Drawing on the latest developments in cognitive neuroscience the book sheds new light on some of the most important elements of the writer’s craft, from perspective and truth to emotion and metaphor.

This All-At-Onceness

Regal House Publishing; May 31, 2019

In This All-at-Onceness, Julie Wittes Schlack takes us on her vivid, personal journey through the political and cultural movements that have shaped every generation from the Baby Boomers to the Parkland kids. She examines the unlikely and twisting relationship between idealism and engineering that has promised a future of progress and hope, but only occasionally delivered on it, and asks why.

Her tale begins in 1967, when both the Summer of Love and Our World, the first live broadcast to and from the entire globe, created a sense that a compassionate, progressive global village was in the making. Through the civil rights and ant-war movements to the birth of Second Wave feminism, from the wintery ‘70s to the shiny rise of corporate culture in the ‘80s, from the democratic early days of the Web to today’s social surveillance state, Wittes Schlack tells a story about idealistic energy and how it travels through time.

Personal and political, intimate and informative, bracing and comic, these linked essays take us to an abortion mill in rural Quebec, the Michigan home of numerous UFO sightings, an abandoned Shaker village, the dust-clogged air of garment sweatshops in Allentown, a philanthropic corporate breakfast, and a series of dystopian market research conferences. They ask: Are we at the gates of the digital Promised Land? Or are we exiles wandering in the desert with only tweeting Kardashians for company?


L Scully

Fuck Me: A Memoir

Gnashing Teeth Publishing; April 25, 2023

In this honest look at sex addiction and grappling with identity, L Scully has laid bare their most intimate scars and dared the reader to trace the outlines. With personal essays, photographs, and journal entries, L Scully invites us to examine our own motives and question the lies we often tell ourselves. L Scully is a wholly unforgettable and much needed new voice in memoir.


Kelly Fig Smith

“The Hatbox”
(Available in Three Minus One: Stories of Parents’ Love and Loss)

She Writes Press; May 6, 2014

Three Minus One: Parents’ Stories of Love and Loss is a collection of intimate, soul-baring stories and artwork by parents who have lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death, inspired by the film Return to Zero.
 
The loss of a child is unlike any other, and the impact that it has on the mother, the father, their family, and their friends is devastating—a shockwave of pain and guilt that spreads through their entire community. But the majority of those affected, especially mothers, often suffer their pain in silence, convinced that their grief and trauma is theirs to bear alone. This anthology of raw memoirs, heartbreaking stories, truthful poems, beautiful painting, and stunning photography from the parents who have suffered child loss offers insight into this unique, devastating and life-changing experience—breaking the silence and offering a ray of hope to the many parents out there in search of answers, understanding, and healing.


Deborah Sosin

Sober Starting Today: Powerful Mindfulness & CBT Tools to Help You Break Free from Addiction

New Harbinger, March 1, 2024

A clear, compassionate guide to lasting sobriety. If you’re struggling with problem substance use, you’re not alone. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is one of the most serious medical, psychological, and social issues facing our society today. And asking for help takes courage. Drawing on effective mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies, Sober Starting Today Workbook offers a compassionate pathway for getting sober—and staying sober. With this workbook, you’ll learn how to avoid triggers, manage urges and cravings, identify alternatives to using, balance difficult emotions, and deal with challenging social situations. Along the way, you’ll also strengthen your mind-body connection as you practice mindful breathing and grounding activities, learn powerful self-compassion techniques, and explore healthier eating and sleeping habits. If you’re ready to live a life free from the painful consequences of substance use or addiction, this workbook can help you get started, right now.

Charlotte and the Quiet Place

Plum Blossom Books; August 11, 2015

Charlotte likes quiet. But wherever Charlotte goes, she is surrounded by noise, noise, noise—her yipping dog, Otto; the squeaky, creaky swings; the warbling, wailing sirens. Even in the library, children yammer and yell. Where can Charlotte find a quiet place? Sara Woolley’s magnificent watercolors bring Charlotte’s city to life when Otto leads her on a wild chase through the park. There, Charlotte discovers a quiet place where she never would have imagined!

Sometimes children need a break from our noisy, over-stimulating world. Charlotte and the Quiet Place shows how a child learns and practices mindful breathing on her own and experiences the beauty of silence. All children will relate to the unfolding adventure and message of self-discovery and empowerment. Parents, teachers, and caretakers of highly active or sensitive children will find this story especially useful.


Amber Wong

“Nature Has Its Say”
(Available in The Pandemic Midlife Crisis: Gen X Women on the Brink)

The HerStories Project; August 2021

In this essay collection, thirty-one midlife women describe their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are writers, teachers, artists, mothers, daughters, caregivers, activists, friends, and neighbors. They share stories of heartache, joy, loss, love, sacrifice, despair, anxiety, loneliness, and connection. Resilience is at the heart of each essay. Gen X women were overwhelmed and stretched like never before by this pandemic. They were hit hard in all of their many roles — as workers, as caregivers, and more. In this anthology, women share how they coped with this unprecedented crisis. This collection will take you behind the news headlines of job losses, virtual schooling, and quarantines. These stories reveal how real women have confronted the daily challenges of pandemic life.


Leah Young

Divine Flow

Self-Published; May 9, 2008

Divine Flow is a collection of inspiring affirmations complemented by the original artwork of healing artist Mindy Sommers. The book is so beautiful it’s hard to choose whether the art or the affirmations are the most compelling. A beautifully orchestrated piece of readable art created to inspire, illuminate and ignite your life.


Poetry:

Clarissa Adkins

Building Alexandria

Lily Poetry Review; April 2, 2021

“Clarissa Adkins has a mind I’d love to inhabit, fully attuned to the strangenesses of love, parenthood, mortality, and fleeting beauty. These poems are playful, sharp, dextrous, and witty—but they’re also filled with sonic brilliance, her mastery of the musical possibilities of language evident throughout. This is a terrific first book, one that I’ll return to with great pleasure.” — Kevin Prufer, author of The Art of Fiction


Rex Carey Arrasmith

“twelve”
(Available in New Note Poetry 2022)

New Note Poetry; April 26, 2023

New Note Poetry is a quarterly online poetry magazine that features the boldest poets and their verses. They believe poetry is the jazz of the written word, meaning they embrace the wild, untamed, and idiosyncratic. This end-of-year print anthology compiles 80 cutting-edge poems from all four of New Note’s 2022 issues with exclusive commentary from award-winning poets and new trailblazers alike. For those craving experimental poetry from a wide, diverse range of voices, look no further.


KB Ballentine

Spirit of Wild

Blue Light Press; May 10, 2023

Wild weaves through each of us, but the spirit of wild doesn’t always rage. Sometimes it is the gentle, quiet moments alone in our souls that show us who and what we are. The spirit of strength, the spirit of wonder, the spirit of curiosity, the spirit of fury, the spirit of peace are all part of us. But we bottle or ignore them, questioning our anxiety and depression.

These poems speak to that spark in each of us that we might remember even through our sorrows, tragedies, joys, and silent seasons that the spirit of wild doesn’t call us – it is us. Don’t ignore it. Don’t let it go. Hold it tight as you dream, when you wake, and as you live your day. Yes, live. Live and embrace wild.

Edge of the Echo

Iris Press; May 7, 2021

KB Ballentine gathers poems into four sections that honor the ancient rhythms of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Edge of the Echo explores these elements and how they weave through the human experience and, though we are encompassed by them every day, we don’t fully understand them. At the threshold of each season there is a mystic balance between the stones and the stars. The early Celts recognized what we have forgotten: the seasons of the year reflect an invisible geography between nature and the human soul. In this world full of upheaval and clatter, we need more than ever the tenacity of nature—its magic and variety that mends our weariness. This collection of poems invites the elements to speak to us once again.

The Light Tears Loose

Blue Light Press; July 2, 2019

Sky, trees, water, birds: though nature appears everywhere in my work, it rarely does so for its own sake. It is more symbolic of internal or external struggle, development, and thought rather than as “pretty” detail. The poems in The Light Tears Loose move from illustrations of light into dark – then darker – territory before they morph back to light.

Past and present circumstances often feel overwhelming, but it is in seeking that “silver lining” that we find reason to move forward, to keep going when the way seems vague or threatening. Our fear in living does not keep us from experiencing love and beauty, friendship and brightness along the way.

As witnesses in the world, by connecting with nature, we can indulge ourselves with rest and renewal because we see it happen day after day, season after season. Darkness and winter come to us all but so do sunshine and spring. This is what we hold on to, even when the shadows creep so close we can’t breathe. Keep moving forward: on the other side is the light.

Almost Everything, Almost Nothing

Middle Creek Publishing & Audio; September 6, 2017

Our connections with the past, with each other and our surroundings, and with current events sculpt our attitudes and actions. In Almost Everything, Almost Nothing these moments of connection come and go, as though a needle were piercing and stitching a field of material, a material patterned with the more constant but with its own seasonally shifting cycles of birds and flowers and weather patterns. The current events of this decade lie here like bones or hues of ashes and bruise, the occasional seep of deep aches.

—David Anthony Martin, author of Span and Deepening The Map

The Perfume of Leaving

Blue Light Press; August 12, 2016

The Perfume of Leaving follows bass notes of loss and top notes of yearning through seasons of life. This journey we must all take brings sorrow and laughter, hurt and joy, but, most importantly, discovery of ourselves and our fellow travelers. The perfume that lingers in our lives is sometimes more potent than the stoppered bottle we cling to. Let go. Breathe deep.

What Comes of Waiting

1st World Publishing; July 26, 2013

Some people flow in and out of our lives like water – rushing through like a stream, surrounding us like a peaceful lake then maybe traveling on to the sea. Some people are more like rocks: sturdy, stable, reliable – always there. Everyone we meet informs our sensibilities of the larger world around us, not allowing us to become so absorbed that we forget ourselves in this mad-dash through life.

What Comes of Waiting introduces the reader to people who voluntarily leave us as well as those we lose without their choice, much sooner than we would wish. The later poems embrace the people who endure, those who stay with us through sorrow and joy. Rock and water, both sources of inspiration.

Fragments of Light

Celtic Cat Publishing; June 30, 2009

Light stalking shadow. Spring chasing winter. Fragments of Light explores cycles, how light and shadow affect nature, people. Begin the journey and chase the changing months in the moon poems. Linger within them as language wraps around allusion. Discover the various names for each full moon.

Follow as each morning dawns with hope and promise; reflect as night descends and “shadows stretch/ hoary fingers” (“Cold Moon”). Pursue the ambiguous, intangible feelings that are as difficult to grasp as shifting light.

Move with each season’s shadow and light. Each requires the other. Adversity attempts to cover light with its darkness. But, though the moon waxes and wanes, fragments of light are never extinguished. Continue to reach for that light throughout the weeks and months ahead – homing towards journey’s end.

Gathering Stones

Celtic Cat Publishing; 1st edition; January 21, 2008

Have you ever been to a place so breathtaking some emotional well-spring rises that makes it hurt to view it? I have—on the western coast of that little green rock known as Ireland, Erin, Eire, Rosaleen.

Many names to match her many qualities—terrifying and lovely, serene and turmoiled; a land peopled by warriors and druids, farmers and fishermen, commoners and kings. Then there are the Others—the Little People of folklore and legend, and the stones that have existed since before time began—they, too, have a story to tell.

From the cities of the North and East to the moonscape of the Burren stepping out to the Aran Islands in the West, Ireland is an island of voices – each yearning to be heard. Not to the exclusion of the others, but in addition to them—a joining of spirits across the ages.

And voices answer across the ocean, each heartbeat echoes the pounding surf, its depths as beyond reach as the past. For every coastal town that saw her children leave for a better life, for each field filled with the blood of her youth, there has been a homecoming. A few generations after many families left Ireland for the hope of a better life—or at least a life—her children are returning.

Gathering Stones will take you on a journey of Ireland’s past through her turbulent history and into her promising future. Gather stones of new memory as you read, a better vision of what she can become. Between wisps of fog and watery sun, blue peeks again and pinpricks of silver shimmer across the sea.


Shari Caplan

The Red Shoes: A Phantasmagoric Ballet on Paper

Lambhouse Books; September 2023

A dance, a queering, a spell…

In Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, a young girl is punished for wearing her magical red shoes—and for all this potent color implies.

Now, poet and performer Shari Caplan re-choreographs the timeless tale, spinning a spell uniquely her own—a story of oppression and empowerment, femininity and movement.

It is a poem, a play, a rehearsal of the anxieties of womanhood. It is an incantation to reshape the tale.

Advice from a Siren

Dancing Girl Press; July 2016

“Advice from a Siren is a very strong group of poems, and I anticipate sharing it with students, particularly those who are interested in how culture creates and shapes identities… the poems both document the ugliness of patriarchy (“Winners,” “Clerks,” “The Bruise”…) and explore the dimensions and possibilities of resistance through femininity (“Clementines,” “A Metaphor a Girl Can Be,” “Baudelaire’s Lover”…). It is a collection that rewards rereading, and that is wonderfully playful and serious. I’m glad that it is out in the world.” — J.D. Scrimgeour


Dan Carey

“Cabernet Frank,” “Kelly’s at Sunrise,” and “While Writing, I Look in the Mirror”
(Available in DropOut Literary Journal #1)

DropOut Publishing House; July 21, 2021

DropOut Publishing House‘s debut literary journal is a collection of fiction, poetry and art from creatives around the world.


Mollie Chandler

“The Wait”
(Available in Massachusetts’s Best Emerging Poets)

Z Publishing; 2019

Words fly freely in Massachusetts, a distinctly American state. Freedom was sparked in Boston, where colonists stood up against the British and launched the American Revolution. But a love of independence is only one part of the state’s charm. As home to Harvard and MIT, Massachusetts is a beacon of higher education and a thriving start-up culture. And to this day, countless words express its ideals.

And in Massachusetts’ Best Emerging Poets 2019, 55 up-and-coming poets share their own ideals. Covering a wide array of topics ranging from love and heartbreak, family and friendship, the inherent beauty of nature, and so much more, these previously unknown young talents will amaze you. Containing one poem per poet, this anthology is a compelling introduction to the great wordsmiths of tomorrow.


Eileen Cleary

Wild Pack of the Living

Nixes Mate Books; February 1, 2024

“Grief and beauty, art and compassion inform this extraordinary collection which has at its core a sequence based on the abduction of Steven Stayner at seven years old. The poems are rendered in diction stark in its power, yet they also speak in the most delicate and poignant imagery. For example, remembering her own forced separation from her mother, the speaker says of herself and Steven, “after this happened/ the rain on a leaf/ no longer belonged to either of us.” Cleary’s exploration of loss and separation continues in the sections “Jane Doe” and “Hospice Rounds” in language simultaneously accurate and unexpected. Luminous and empathetic but never sentimental, this collection is a gift of hope and clarity from an exceptional talent. Cleary has put her considerable poetic gifts and generous spirit into poems that never prettify but elevate and redeem the human condition.” –Kathleen Aguero, author of World Happiness Index

Voices Amidst the Virus: Poets Respond to the Pandemic (Anthology)

Lily Poetry Review; October 5, 2020

122 pages. Poems about our shared experiences of isolation, lock-down, re-entry. Poems which confront despair and reach for hope. And of course, sourdough. Featuring works by multiple Lesley MFA alums and mentors.

Child Ward of the Commonwealth

Main Street Rag Press; June 26, 2019

“We humans often lie about the nature of our childhoods because certain wounds cannot be born enough to be fully expressed. In Child Ward of the Commonwealth, Eileen Cleary brilliantly captures the truthfulness of child consciousness within a world of trauma for her speaker. That Cleary’s poems do this with such beauty, clarity, and formal acumen astonishes me. This is a devastating collection, one in which many readers will find the relief of seeing themselves. –Erin Belieu


Lisa DeSiro

Simple as a Sonnet

Kelsay Books; January 27, 2021

In DeSiro’s subversive and performative collection, that takes as its subject the postmodern straight woman’s relationship to straight men, every line reads boldly toward wit, through to wit’s philosophical brother, paradox. Think Bishop. Think Millay. Don’t think Shakespeare, as you are brought under the sly spell these poems cast, weaving the artifact that is both the poem and the exquisite trapping of The Love Relationship itself. DeSiro, as Sonnetess, riffs into this most ancient dilemma bound in a poetics that we are simply, in no way, beyond.

-Deborah Schwartz, author of A Girl Could Disappear Like This

Labor

Nixes Mate; 2018

“I have to keep looking; try to see more, speak more, turn away less,” says Lisa DeSiro in her fine first book, Labor. And this is what her poems do: they keep their eyes peeled, their ears open, and their hearts receptive. (Boston street bustle comes vividly alive in many of these poems.) But receptivity demands a tolerance for paradox, and DeSiro’s poems—in disarmingly simple, idiomatic language—plumb the secrets of the world’s contradictions. “Go ahead, enjoy this day” begins a poem titled “9/11 Anniversary, Public Garden.” At home with the prose poem as well as the tightly rhymed lyric, DeSiro distills memorable music from the most colloquial moments — “We were all thumbs on our dumb phones” — and offers readers a vibrant panoply of sights and sounds, captured and conveyed in her impressively taut writing.
Steven Cramer, author of Clangings and Goodbye to the Orchard

“Pride”
(Available in Writers Resist: The Anthology 2018)

Running Wild Press; October 1, 2018

It began November 9, 2016, in a message, simple yet with an undercurrent of utter dismay: “What the fuck do we do now?” Sara asked, her grief and rage overcoming her manners.

“Why are you asking me? I hardly know you.” K-B wasn’t ready for correspondence, having spent the previous day working a polling place giddy with Trump supporters.

“I know from our MFA program that you’re an activist. I’m not, but we have to do something. What do we do?”

“Well, we’re writers. …”

So was born Writers Resist. The online literary journal launched at WritersResist.com on December 1, 2016.

After a year of publishing stories, poetry, essays and art from the United States and beyond, Sara and K-B asked each other, “So, what do we do now?”

So was born Writers Resist: The Anthology 2018, with the works of 73 contributors, including, not-yet-known, well-known, and a few notorious writers and artists of the resistance.
–Writers Resist

Grief Dreams

White Knuckle Press; 2017
(E-chapbook, available in full)

“These short prose poems are based on dreams I had while my mother was in hospice care and in the years following her death. Recreating the dreams on paper helped me grapple with my grief and mourning. The imagery of the dream worlds was vivid and often surreal. To portray it, I tried to focus on visual and auditory elements, describing what was seen and heard, while keeping the container compact. I picture these scenes as miniature animated films.” –Lisa DeSiro

“A Survivor Exorcises an Evil Spirit”
(Available in Nasty Women Poets)

Lost Horse Press; September 2017

An anthology of poems from women who proudly celebrate their own nastiness and that of other women who have served as nasty role models; poems by and about women defying limitations and lady-like expectations; women refusing to be “nice girls;” women embracing their inner bitch when the situation demands it; women being formidable and funny; women speaking to power and singing for the good of their souls; women being strong, sexy, strident, super-smart, and stupendous; women who want to encourage little girls to keep dreaming.

“Widmung”
(Available in Er ist der Vater, wir sind die Bub’n
Essays in Honor of Christoph Wolff)

Steglein Publishing, Inc.; October 13, 2010

Er ist der Vater, wir sind die Bub’n: Essays in Honor of Christoph Wolff presents recent research by Christoph Wolff’s colleagues at the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig and at the C.P.E. Bach complete works edition in Cambridge in honor of Prof. Wolff’s 70th birthday. The contributions focus principally on C.P.E. Bach, but also include an essay on J.S. Bach’s bible, an original composition, and an original sonnet, the latter two composed specifically for the dedicatee.


Frances Donovan

Arboretum in a Jar

Lily Poetry Review; January 29, 2023

“In this rich collection of poems, Frances Donovan weaves lyric poetry with memoir, dramatic personae with careful self-reflection, all in complex meditation on trauma, sexual awakening, recovery, and femininity.  Rapunzel, Snow White, and princesses in many guises are alive in these poems, not as fairy tale characters, but as versions of the speaker’s fragmented self, as figures through which self-discovery must eventually occur.  Here, she observes flowers, “barely blooming, though still marigold /…heart-shaped, / reaching toward a light they barely understand.” Complex and deeply moving, Arboretum in a Jaris a book I will return to with great pleasure.” 

– Kevin Prufer, author of The Art of Fiction and How He Loved Them

Mad Quick Hand of the Seashore: Love Poems

Self-Published; March 10, 2018

Named a finalist in the 31st annual Lambda Literary Awards for bisexual poetry.

“A charged portrait of a woman of erotic complexity … poems that widen from the personal to encompass myth … It’s sumptuous to plunge into these poems, most of which occur at the shore.” – Grey Held, author of Two Star General and Spilled Milk

“The border-world of Frances Donovan’s chapbook is sensually extravagant, lush with detail. Every seashore, highway, and body has its own messages to impart …  these poems are floral and gritty, Hellenistic and mundane, in unlikely but appealing proportions.” – Lesley Wheeler, author of Radioland

“… as wise and lyrical as it is sexy … set aside a spacious afternoon hour to savor this book. ” – Wandajune Bishop


Suzanne E. Edison

Since the House Is Burning

MoonPath Press; April 18, 2022

“Suzanne Edison’s gorgeously lyrical collection Since the House Is Burning understands one of the most important principles of poetry: that it first be a pleasure in language. Of course, these are often bittersweet pleasures, if a poet is willing to tell the truth of her experience as Edison does here (in this case, as a wife, mother, daughter; as citizen of a world on fire and a caretaker to many). Musically adept, formally precise, both clear eyed and unfailingly empathetic in its worldview, it’s a beautiful book-one any thoughtful reader of poetry will be glad to know.” – Erin Belieu, author of Come-Hither, Honeycomb, from Copper Canyon Press

The Body Lives Its Undoing: Exploring Autoimmune Disease through Poetry and Visual Art

The Benaroya Research Institute; 2018

Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) is proud to share a new project: “The Body Lives Its Undoing,” a reflection in poetry and visual art about autoimmune disease, the effects it reaps on the body and the lives of those living with it. 

“The Body Lives Its Undoing” is a collaboration between local poet Suzanne Edison, 10 artists (most of whom work at BRI), and 28 individuals who provided poignant perspectives on what autoimmunity means to them. These perspectives include people living with autoimmune diseases, family members supporting them, physicians treating these diseases, and scientific researchers working to find treatments and cures. The result is 16 breathtakingly honest poems complemented by curated artwork – an intersection between art and autoimmune disease.

This initiative was made possible through grants awarded to Suzanne Edison from 4Culture of King County, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and Artist Trust, and the generous support of Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

The Moth Eaten World

Finishing Line Press

Suzanne Edison’s The Moth Eaten World held me breathless. Poem by poem we explore not just a failing body, but a daughter’s disease and a mother’s journey through this world. The poems fill us with questioning concern—I left God in her Temple when you got sick—but she compassionately walks the reader through. Not many poets can write about illness well, especially the illness of their own child, with such precision and grace that Edison has. These poems offer so much to the reader—strength and struggle, beauty and fear, faith and doubt—Edison is not only the detailed observer, but the moth, the mother, and the world held together, she writes a powerful and necessary book for all.
–Kelli Russell Agodon, Author of Hourglass Museum & The Daily Poet

In The Moth Eaten WorldSuzanne Edison talks about a subject no one wants to talk about: the sick child, and accomplishes this onerous but fundamental task by invoking mythologies, African tradition, story telling and the use of fresh metaphors to guide us through a deep and challenging world. She describes the accouterment of illness with a cleverness that invokes sticks in the sand instead of IV poles, angels instead of nurses, always in the presence of a mother’s partially cloaked desperation, and her fervent desire to “stitch you back whole” once again. All in all the book is a clear view of a catastrophic situation made palatable by the skill of the writer and a vision that uses language as warrior against the sorrow of loss.

–David Watts, author of Bedside Manners, and The Orange Wire Problem.


Robbie Gamble

“Barriers”
(Available in Essential Voices: A COVID-19 Anthology)

West Virginia University Press; July 2023

Bringing together artwork, creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, Essential Voicesshares the perspectives of people from vulnerable populations as they were affected by COVID-19 in 2020, before the release of the vaccine. The pieces in this volume represent a range of writers and artists, some from international locations, whose work may be less likely to be seen because of race, ethnicity, or current legal status. Contributors include individuals who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, or seniors; those who are immunocompromised or undocumented; those working in medicine, food service, factories, and sanitation; and parents who were unable to work from home, along with individuals who were being held in correctional facilities or facing mental health concerns. This multigenre collection preserves the history of the pandemic by documenting and publishing these essential voices.

Essential Voices will be of interest to readers who want to consider the diverse lived experiences of people during the pandemic when outcomes were most uncertain. It will also be useful for teachers, students, activists, and policy makers in a variety of settings, including government, hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters, colleges, art schools, and secondary schools.

A Can of Pinto Beans

Lily Poetry Review; January 15, 2022

“I have admired Robbie Gamble’s work for many years as it appeared in print and online journals. However, in reading these poems all at once, in one stellar collection, I feel the top of my head taken off. The collage of forms: memo, logbook, persona poem, and prose poems all serve to insure that the reader cannot look away from people coming with “unanticipated speed, in waves, on leaky rafts, [  ] or blistered feet/ on their last/ drips of adrenaline.” Weeks after encountering this work,  the images of a Hello Kitty Backpack, a can of pinto beans, and the marked location of the scapula still rise unbidden in my mind. These are necessary poems; poems that will change you.” –Susan Rich, Gallery of Poems and Maps: New and Selected Poems


Boston Gordon

Glory Holes

Small Harbor Publishing; January 17, 2022

Here are Boston Gordon’s poems: glory holes, each of them, with a waiting want on the other side.  Where anything worth praying to is also worth desiring in lush quantity: “When you kissed / you remembered the prayers, and also / the dream.” Where we, the reader and the omnipresent, get smoked and listened to: “look, it’s the bad alleyway with the bathhouse. / Steam and men slink through the door cracks, hot.” Where “the other is howling, maybe.” 

What joy and ache l