Recent deals in my P.S. Literary agenting life, and current books out and about!
THE DUST ALPHABET by Rebecca Podos (Balzer + Bray, 2021): On her 17th birthday, a girl is cursed by a sheyd (a Jewish demon) as the price for a desperate bargain her mother made long ago; to break the spell, she and her brother must track down their mom's estranged family and discover a legacy they never dreamed of—one that traces back to the famous Golem of Prague.
TRASHLANDS by Alison Stine (MIRA, 2021): At a strip club at the end of the world, a single mother has to choose between love and survival in the region-wide junkyard that Appalachia has become after climate change floods re-draw the coasts of America, pitched as an Appalachian THE CHILDREN OF MEN.
SURRENDER YOUR SONS by Adam Sass (Flux, 2020): A gay teen is kidnapped and taken to a conversion camp on a forgotten island, where he’ll have to team up with the other LGBTQ+ teens to uncover the camp’s dark secrets and expose them to the world, pitched as a queer Lost.
I HOPE YOU’RE LISTENING by Tom Ryan (Albert Whitman, 2020): Ten years after witnessing her best friend's kidnapping, a teen copes by anonymously launching a podcast to help solve missing persons cases, but when a new abduction is revealed to have links to the original case, she has to decide how much she's willing to reveal to discover the truth.
A BEGINNING AT THE END by Mike Chen (MIRA, 2020): Six years after a global pandemic, it turns out that the End of the World was more of a new beginning. Coming out of quarantine, 2 billion unsure survivors split between big cities, hippie communes, and wasteland gangs. When the father of a presumed-dead pop star announces a global search for his daughter, four lives collide: Krista, a cynical wedding planner; Moira, the ex-pop star in hiding; Rob, a widowed single father; and Sunny, his seven-year-old daughter.
THE GROWER by Alison Stine (MIRA, 2020): A young marijuana farmer must free a teen mom and her daughter from an anarchist cult in a rural West Virginia ravaged by climate change, pitched as a feminist take on THE ROAD meets an Appalachian THE GIRLS.
RUINSONG by Julia Ember (FSG, 2020): Set in a world where magic is sung and a gifted teen girl is forced to use her powerful voice to maintain control over a kingdom, while her childhood best friend tries to encourage her to figuratively, and literally, use her voice to fight back, all the while the two wrestle with their feelings for each other.
HOW TO SPEAK BOY by Tiana Smith (Swoon, 2020): Pitched as You've Got Mail meets high school speech and debate, in which two rivals find themselves exchanging anonymous letters, and soon, their friendly notes turn into something more, but their competitive natures put everything at risk.
FINDING BALANCE by Kati Gardner (Flux, 2020): A companion novel to the author's debut BRAVE ENOUGH, in which teen cancer survivors Jase and Mari start to fall for one another during their time at cancer camp over the summer, only for Jase, who has kept his diagnosis a secret, to completely ignore Mari when school starts up again, afraid of being revealed.
THE QUEEN OF COIN AND WHISPERS by Helen Corcoran (O'Brien, 2020): In which a young queen and her young spymaster wrestle with feelings for one another, amidst a financially crumbling kingdom, treason, and the spymaster's investigation into who murdered her father, pitched as THE WINNER'S CURSE meets GRACELING.
MAD BAD & DANGEROUS TO KNOW by Samira Ahmed (Soho Teen, 2020): A Muslim-American teenager partners with a descendant of French author Alexander Dumas to unravel the mystery of a 19th-century Muslim woman who appears in letters between Dumas and Eugene Delacroix, told in dueling narratives that weave between past and present.
LOST AT SEA by Erica Boyce (Sourcebooks, 2020): Pitched as Liane Moriarty meets Celeste Ng, in which the disappearance of a beloved fisherman from a small village stirs up more than grief as hidden secrets bubble to the surface, touching friends, family, and colleagues.
MEET ME HALFWAY by Tom Ryan & Robin Stevenson (Running Press, 2020): Two cousins are on a roadtrip to Pride in Toronto as they search for love and adventure and uncover family secrets along the way.
ALL BOYS AREN'T BLUE by George M. Johnson (FSG, 2020): A joyous, difficult, and ultimately triumphant memoir that takes powerful stories from his life growing up as a queer black teen to show readers how they can fight for themselves or be allies in the struggle for equity and equality.
SPEAK THE OCEAN by Rebecca Enzor (REUTS, 2019): Pitched as THE LITTLE MERMAID meets BLACKFISH, in which a trainer at the world's first mermaid theme park has to risk his life and turn his back on the people he cares about, to let the world know that the park's ill-treated mermaids are just as human as we are.
PAX NOVIS by Erica Cameron (Entangled, 2019): A YA trilogy pitched as THE EXPANSE meets STAR TREK: VOYAGER, in which the human colonies spread across the Milky Way have been at war for centuries and everyone depends on the resources carried by massive cargo ships, and though they don't know it, some stowaway teens hiding on-board the NOVIS may be humankind's only hope when these ships start to vanish
Adams / Simon & Schuster, December 2019
Self-care is an important part of modern-day life, as we all strive to slow down and take better care of our minds, bodies, and souls. Now you can add some THC (or CBD) to your TLC—whether you prefer a warm bath with essential oils, lit by candlelight, and topped off with a soothing lungful of calming cannabis or relaxing in child’s pose, prefaced [More]
Soho Teen, November 2019
Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen has bought Sangu Mandanna's Color Outside the Lines, a YA anthology centered around interracial relationships and the complicated, rewarding and sometimes hilarious dynamics between friends, family, and first loves. The collection features Anna-Marie McLemore, Elsie Chapman, Karuna Riazi, Lydia Kang, L.L. McKinney, Lori M. Lee, Lauren Gibaldi, Tara Sim, Eric Smith, Caroline Tung Richmond, Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker, Samira Ahmed and Adam Silvera, and more
Sky Pony Press, September 2019
One kingdom. One crown. One family. “Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.” Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail? [More]
Katherine Tegen Books, September 2019
A teen girl responds to her school's overreaching book ban by starting an underground library-her secret book hustling sparks a reading rebellion that sweeps through the school, sparking a wildfire of unforeseen consequences, friendships, and conversations about the importance of empathy, pitched as THE BOOK THIEF meets Andrew Smith's WINGER.
Inkyard Press, September 2019
When it comes to being social, Athena Graves is far more comfortable creating a mixtape playlist than she is talking to cute boys—or anyone, for that matter. Plus her staunchly feminist views and love of punk rock aren’t exactly mainstream at St. Ann’s, her conservative Catholic high school.
Then a malicious rumor starts spreading through the halls…a rumor that her popular, pretty, pro-life sister had an abortion over the summer. A rumor that has the power to not only hurt Helen, but possibly see her expelled. [More]
Harper Perennial, August 2019
A Publishers Weekly Spring Preview Selection
A deeply personal collection of essays exploring Nigerian-American author Bassey Ikpi’s experiences navigating Bipolar II and anxiety throughout the course of her life.
Bassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria in 1976. Four years later, she and her mother joined her father in Stillwater, Oklahoma —a move that would be anxiety ridden for any child, but especially for Bassey. Her early years in America would come to be defined by tension: an assimilation further complicated by bipolar II and anxiety that would go undiagnosed for decades. [More]
Andrews McMeel, June 2019
A cocktail book with recipes for re-creating adult versions of your favorite '90s childhood drinks as well as original craft cocktails inspired by that iconic decade, Are You Afraid of the Dark Rum? is '90s nostalgia in a glass!
Are You Afraid of the Dark Rum? is a tongue in cheek cocktail book for the former '90s kid and those just discovering how cool old-school Nickelodeon and Delia's once were. With recipes for alcoholic versions of childhood favorites like Ecto-Cooler and Mondo as well as creative pop-culture inspired originals like the Rum and Stimpy and Semi-Warmed Kind of Cider, this is a perfectly giftable mix of humor… [More]
Da Capo, July 2019
A beautiful full-color cookbook addressing a hot topic for new moms, with creative meals, snacks, and drinks created to support breast milk supply and overall health
For breastfeeding moms, "eating for two" continues long after the baby arrives. But eating well can be hard enough before there's a newborn in the house, and moms who experience low milk supply or milk slumps face additional challenges. In their debut cookbook, the founders of Oat Mama share 100 simple, delicious recipes for breakfasts, [More]
Albert Whitman, May 2019
A starred review from Kirkus!
It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer terrorized the sleepy seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people before disappearing without a trace. Like everyone else in town, eighteen-year-old Mac Bell is trying to put that horrible summer behind him—easier said than done since Mac’s best friend Connor was the murderer’s final victim… [More]
Adams Media, May 2019
Astrology isn’t just for romance anymore! Let your sign lead the way to find true friendship with this enlightening guide to the stars.
Think astrology is only for romantic relationships? Think again! With this guide, you’ll learn which sign is the perfect friendship match for you! Learn why bold Leo and adventurous Sagittarius make such a good match. Discover how your grounded Capricorn best friend can support your practical Taurus nature. Introduce dreamy Pisces to nurturing Cancers for a caring, supportive friendship… [More]
Source Books, April 2019
Daniel Green makes crop circles. As a member of a secret organization, he travels across the country creating strange works of art that leave communities mystified.
He's always been alone; in fact, he prefers it. But when a dying farmer hires him in a last-ditch effort to bring publicity to a small Vermont town, Daniel finds himself at odds with his heart. It isn't long before he gets drawn into a family struggling to stitch itself back together… [More]
Little Brown, March 2019
A New York Times bestseller!
Optioned for film by Gotham & the Chariot Group!
Starred reviews from Kirkus, BookList, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Connection!
Rebellions are built on hope.
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside… [More]
Mira Books, January 2019
Starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal
Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.
Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late. [More]
Flux Books, August 2018
Starred reviews from Kirkus and ForeWord
Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory's artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason's life. But that's about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it's much worse than anyone imagines. [More]
Harper Teen, July 2018
No one looking at Morgan Kemper would think she had a secret—at least not one that she’s deeply ashamed of.
To everyone she meets, she comes across as sweet, pretty, and put together. But Morgan knows that looks can be deceiving. For over a year, she’s shoplifted countless pieces of clothing and makeup. Each time, she tells herself it will be the last, and each time, it never is. [More]
Soho Teen, January 2018
A New York Times bestseller!
Starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal!
In this unforgettable debut novel, an Indian-American Muslim teen copes with Islamophobia, cultural divides among peers and parents, and a reality she can neither explain nor escape. American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” [More]
Turner Books, November 2018
The summer before her junior year, paleontology geek Natalie Page lands a coveted internship at an Ice Age dig site near Austin, Texas. Natalie, who’s also a plus-size fashion blogger, depends on the retro style and persona she developed to shield herself from her former bullies, but vintage dresses and designer heels aren’t compatible with digging for fossils. [More]
Overlook Press, October 2018
Before Call of Duty, before World of Warcraft, before even Super Mario Bros., the video game industry exploded in the late 1970s with the advent of the video arcade. Leading the charge was Atari Inc., the creator of, among others, the iconic game Missile Command. The first game to double as a commentary on culture, Missile Command put the players’ fingers on “the button,” making them responsible for the fate of civilization in a no-win scenario, all for the price of a quarter. The game was marvel of modern culture… [More]
Sky Pony Press, September 2018
An ALA’s Hal Clement Pick for Excellence in YA Science Fiction
Starred review from Shelf Awareness!
The first book in a scifi retelling of the Mahabrahata. When Esmae wins a contest of skill, she sets off events that trigger an inevitable and unwinnable war that pits her against the family she would give anything to return to.
In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back. [More]
Sky Pony Press, May 2018
Seventeen-year-old Mira has always danced to her own beat. A music prodigy in a family of athletes, she'd rather play trumpet than play ball--and with her audition to a prestigious jazz conservatory just around the corner (and her two best friends at music camp without her), she plans to spend the summer focused on jazz and nothing else.
She only goes to the warehouse party in a last-ditch effort to bond with her older sister. Instead, she falls in love with dance music, DJing...and Derek, a gorgeous promoter [More]
Wednesday Books / St. Martin’s Press, December 2017
Winner of the Silver Award in the Cookbooks: Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian category of the 2018 Living Now Book Award
Lindsey Smith, The Food Mood Girl, shows how you can transform your lifestyle by learning from your cravings and using mood-boosting ingredients every day
Blending together Lindsey Smith’s passion for health and wellness, food and humor, Eat Your Feelings is a humorous, lighthearted take on your typical diet book. [More]
HarperTeen, August 2017
BEFORE: Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. Dara is the fearless one, Aubrey the prodigy, yet despite their differences, they support each other unconditionally. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.
AFTER: It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Now, after spending a year away from home in order to escape the constant reminders of what happened, Dara is back at her old high school to start her senior year. [More]
Sky Pony Press, November 2017
Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, his mother left, his older sister went with her, and his dad would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. And yeah, he spends his nights watching self-curated porn video playlists. But Adam is fine. When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice. He goes because he has to, but the honesty of the Knights starts to slip past his defenses… [More]