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Atheneum Books for Young Readers


On Sale: 07/20/21

Price: $17.99

Hardcover Picture Book

Ages 4 to 8

Also Available: Vampenguin Signed 6-Copy Carton Pack with Easel

Carton Pack ISBN: 9781534491694

Carton Pack Price: $107.94

*Available while supplies last. Ask your sales rep today!

Vampenguin is a Kids July/August 2021 Indie Next Pick! See full list HERE.

Download animated Vampenguin GIF's for your store website and social media:

From the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of A Hungry Lion and Stumpkin comes a charming, wryly humorous story of adventure, mistaken identity, and a vampire family’s day at the zoo.

On a Saturday morning, baby Dracula visits the zoo with his family, where baby Penguin lives with hers. But these intrepid young adventurers are not content with staying in their proper places.

Instead, baby Dracula slips into the Penguin House to spend the day eating, swimming, and hanging around, while baby Penguin waddles into the stroller to explore the rest of the zoo. Dracula’s family doesn’t even notice the switch—will they bring the right baby home?

Observant and adventurous young readers will love this tale of the shenanigans that happen when parents’ backs are turned.

Indie Booksellers Love Vampenguin!

“A normal day at the zoo for the Dracula family quickly goes awry when Baby Dracula switches places with a penguin! Definitely one of my new favorite Halloween-adjacent books.” – Abby Rice, Foggy Pine Books (Boone, NC)

“OH MY GOSH this is utterly delightful. A family of vampires decides to head to the zoo, and the littlest vampire secretly switches with a curious penguin, and the two have a great day in each others' places. The text is wry and the illustrations remind me of Bemelmans's lines, and I love the limited color palette. This is a great book for year round and is just such a fun read.” – Tildy Lutts, Belmont Books (Belmont, MA)

“Delightful! Little details throughout will make observant readers feel like they are in on all the jokes.” – Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company (Seattle, WA)

“A vampire-penguin switcheroo—what’s not to love? Lucy Ruth Cummin's sweet illustrations paired with her sly prose make for a charming tale filled with delightful shenanigans. Will the Draculas realize they've picked up a penguin? Will the zookeepers notice the extra in their enclosure? Readers will be on the edge of their seats to find out!” – Laura Graveline, Brazo’s Bookstore (Houston, TX)

"Fun and adventure abound when the Dracula family visits the zoo and baby Dracula and baby Penguin decide to see how the other half lives. Tired toddlers and preoccupied parents make for a hilarious tale that's just perfect for halloween or for any silly storytime." - Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop (Southern Pines, NC)

“When the Dracula family decide to spend a day at the zoo, there's more adventure in store than they realize—the youngest of their cauldron decides to switch places with one of the resident penguins. No one is any the wiser of the penguin strapped into their stroller while the baby relaxes in the penguin house! Vampenguin is a fun, clever switcheroo tale with lovely illustrations from acclaimed author Lucy Ruth Cummins that you don't want to miss!” – Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop (Seattle, WA)

"Adorable! The Draculas take a family outing to the zoo, where the littlest Dracula manages to switch places with a penguin. But they look so much alike that (almost) no one notices! I loved that the switcheroo was never acknowledged. This book is cute and fun!" - Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC)

Illustrated by Erin Kraan

Beach Lane Books

ISBN: 9781534460058

On Sale: 05/18/2021

Price: $17.99

Hardcover Picture Book

Ages 4 to 8

Available now!

Download digital Nerdycorn stickers for your store website and social media:

Make a toilet paper roll-unicorn inspired by Nerdycorn! Watch and share our how-to craft video HERE!

CLICK HERE to download Nerdycorn activity sheets!

Fern isn’t your usual unicorn…she loves chemistry and math more than glitter or flowers—and she refuses to change who she is in this sweet and empowering picture book about being yourself—and standing up for yourself, too!

Meet Fern! She’s a smart, creative unicorn who prefers building robots and coding software to jumping through shimmering rainbows and splashing in majestic waterfalls. Even though Fern is a good friend and always willing to help others, the other unicorns tease her and call her a nerdycorn.

One day, Fern has had enough and decides to stop fixing her friends’ broken things. But then the confetti machine, the rainbow synthesizer, and the starlight bedazzler all go haywire during the biggest Sparkle Dance Party of the year! Fern can certainly fix them…but will she?

Industry Love for Nerdycorn!

“Fern is her own unicorn. She prefers 3D printers to sparkles, reading to rainbows, and flow charts to flowing rivers, but she also knows friends come first over fun. So when the other unicorns make fun at her expense, Fern must decide what's really important. A silly story about a serious subject: being a true friend.” – Angie Tally, Bookseller, The Country Bookshop (Southern Pines, NC)

“A fun, smart, illustrated book for all, plus unicorns… Come for the unicorns and stay for the STEM.” - Daddy Mojo

“The idea of a Nerdycorn won me over immediately. Add the cover with a blowtorch and experiments bubbling in the background, and this unicorn had to be a creature after my own heart. This book is definitely original and is one that will capture unicorn fans' attention as well as anti-unicorn peeps, who actually would kind of love to love unicorns... if each one didn't fart rainbows and such… I couldn't help but smile as computer coding, multimeters and arc welders mixed right in with pure imaginative items like zero-gravity ice-cream experiments. The illustrations are brightly colored, pulse with energy and hold so many amazing, quirky details to add gazing enjoyment. But then, this is about unicorns and science, experiment-loving ones… This is a read young listeners are sure to enjoy as a read-aloud or simply gaze at on their own.” Bookworm for Kids

"Kraan’s extravagantly imagined wood block illustrations offer a feast of rainbow colors and subtle textures that are filled with lovely details, from the tiny red mushrooms by Fern’s front door to her zero-gravity ice-cream machine." - Publishers Weekly

Hardly Haunted
Illustrated by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9781534441705

On Sale: 07/20/2021

Price: $17.99

Hardcover Picture Book

Ages 4 to 8

Also Available: Hardly Haunted Signed 6-Copy Carton Pack with Easel

Carton Pack ISBN: 9781534491700

Carton Pack Price: $107.94

*Available while supplies last. Ask your sales rep today!

Hardly Haunted is a Kids July/August 2021 Indie Next Pick! See full list HERE.

Download animated Hardly Haunted GIF's for your store website and social media:

From the bestselling creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a delightfully spooky story about an old house who wants to be a home…even if her new family isn’t what she expected.

House has a problem. She’s a little spooky. She’s a little cobwebby. Oh, no! What if she’s haunted?

She’s not sure, but…her hinges creak. Her pipes bang. And on windy days, the branches scritch-scratch at her windows. She tries to hold her breath and be as still as possible. If she’s on her best behavior, maybe a family will move in.

How will House ever find a family that doesn’t mind being haunted?

Indie Bookseller Love for Hardly Haunted!

“*SCREAMS* I love this book so much! Such a cute story about a haunted house who learns to love her creaks and groans. And Jessie nailed it yet again with her pitch-perfect illustrations.” – Kelsy April, Savoy Bookshop & Café/ Bank Square Books (Westerly, RI/ Mystic, CT)

“Jessie Sima has done it again! Her books are always a delight and full of heart, and Hardly Haunted is no exception. When an old house is afraid it's too haunted and scary for a new family to call it a home, they try their best to quiet their creaks and groans. But maybe there's a perfect family for the house after all!” – Abby Rice, Foggy Pine Books (Boone, NC)

“Jessie Sima has once again found the direct line to my heart - this time through a personified 'haunted' house! This sweet story about a house who is worried about being haunted will resonate with readers who are finding ways to be comfortable in their own skin.” – Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books (Nashville, TN)

“It is impossible to not be completely charmed by a Jessie Sima book! This is the story of House, the sweetest old building you've ever had the pleasure to meet. House is worried, though-- because she's old, creaky, and empty, she's worried no one will want to move in... well, aside from the little black cat that traipses throughout her stairways. Thankfully, since she's such a polite architectural marvel, this haunted house is bound to become a haunted home. Original, sweet, and definitely heartwarming, even if House can't help letting in a draft.” – Andrew King, The Secret Garden Bookshop (Seattle, WA)

“Another winner from Jesse Sima! This time, an old house is lonely, so she thinks if she holds very still and keeps very quiet, she won't seem so spooky and maybe a family will move in. She wouldn't want anyone to think she's haunted, now would she? But what she discovers is that precisely by being herself, the perfect family will move in. Sima's illustrations are just so enchanting, and in her usual fashion, the story is pitch perfect. A great pick for any time of the year.” – Tildy Lutts, Belmont Books (Belmont, MA)




A Glasshouse of Stars

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9781534488830

On Sale: 06/29/2021

Price: $17.99

Hardcover Middle Grade Ficiton

Ages 8 to 12

On sale next week!

A moving coming-of-age story about one girl’s bravery and imagination in the face of the unknown. Perfect for fans of Front Desk and Mañanaland.

Meixing Lim and her family have arrived at the New House in the New Land. Her parents inherited the home from First Uncle who died tragically and unexpectedly while picking oranges in the backyard. Her Ma Ma likes to remind Meixing the family never could have afforded to move here otherwise, so she should be thankful for this opportunity.

Everything is vast and unknown to Meixing in this supposedly wonderful place. She is embarrassed by her second-hand clothing, has trouble understanding her peers, and is finding it hard to make new friends. Meixing’s only solace is a rundown greenhouse, that her Uncle called his glasshouse, at the far end of her backyard that inexplicably holds the sun and the moon and the secrets of her memory and imagination.

When her fragile universe is rocked by tragedy, it will take all of Meixing’s resilience and bravery to finally find her place of belonging in this new world.

Author Shirley Marr on A Glasshouse of Stars

Dear Reader,

When I first immigrated to Australia, there weren't a lot of kids like me. I had thick black hair, tanned skin and could hardly understand English. I guessed the answer to the first activity I did in class and got every question wrong. I felt so ashamed and stupid! Childhood was a difficult time for me and after I grew up, I didn’t’ want to revisit it again! Recently, I’ve been thinking how important it is to share my story. Families move to new countries all the time and they are not always treated with kindness. I believe if I can make people see what it is like to be an immigrant—how it feels to walk in their shoes—then maybe this is the way I can help change the world. I hope with all my heart that this story touches, inspires and heals you.

– Shirley Marr

Industry Love for A Glasshouse of Stars!

“From the first sentence's use of second person narration, this book announced itself as something unusual, noteworthy, and intimate. The story is sad, magical, confusing, hopeful, and so true to the heart that it ached. I keenly felt Meixing's grief, frustration, ambition, and curiosity, and I think readers of all ages and life experiences will, too.” – Tegan Tigani, Bookseller, Queen Anne Book Company (Seattle, WA)

"When her Uncle passes away and leaves his house to them, 11 year old Meixing and her family immigrate to a new land seeking better opportunities. The house which Meixing names 'Big Scary' seems to morph according to the family’s needs, growing bigger and smaller, adding rooms and taking them away. Overwhelmed by all of the change and feeling like she doesn’t fit it at school she seeks solace in the enchanted greenhouse behind Big Scary. Told in second person narration it is impossible not to feel every ounce of fear, hope, heartache and joy along with Meixing as she navigates her new world. A beautiful told story of resilience and belonging seeped in magical realism." - Shannon Grant, Indie Sales Rep, Simon & Schuster (Los Angeles, CA)

"A Glasshouse of Stars is heart-twisting and hopeful, bursting with big feelings and gentle magic. This is a special book from a powerful, compassionate new voice in children’s literature, destined to be read and loved for generations and held close in many hearts (including mine).” - Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Nevermoor series

"A Glasshouse of Stars is a rare and beautiful masterpiece; deeply heartfelt, dreamily magical, and glitteringly hopeful. I adored it!" - Sophie Anderson, author of Indie Next pick, The House with Chicken Legs

“It's a dreamy, disconcerting story, beautifully told in second person, present tense, giving the proceedings an intense urgency and intimacy. The style works to give readers a taste of Meixing’s bewilderment or joy, her intense sorrow or budding hopefulness. Familiar familial bonds and unexpected allies buoy Meixing through it all, and there’s a misty, magical quality that lends a fantastical lightness to even the darkest moments. A gorgeous meditation on the immigrant experience, the nebulous idea of home, and the beauty and sorrow found in every life and person.” – Booklist, starred review


Paula Wiseman Books

ISBN: 9781534465978

On Sale: 06/22/2021

Price: $17.99

Hardcover Middle Grade Fiction

Ages 8 to 12

Available now!

DOWNLOAD an Arrow quote graphic for your store website and social media!

Click HERE for our Guide to Using Environmental Fiction and Nonfiction in the Classroom

From the author of The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast comes a lush and timely tale about a boy who’s grown up as the only human in an enchanted rainforest and what happens when people from the outside world discover his home.

For the first twelve years of Arrow’s life, he has grown up as the only human in a lush, magical rainforest that’s closed off from the rest of the world. He was raised by the Guardian Tree, the protector of the forest, which uses the earth’s magic to keep it hidden from those who have sought to exploit and kill it. But now the magic veil is deteriorating, the forest is dying, and Arrow may be the only one who can save it.

Arrow has never seen another human until one day, a man in a small airplane crash-lands in the forest. Then, a group of children finds their way in, escaping from their brutal, arid world where the rich live in luxurious, walled-off cities and the poor struggle for survival.

The Guardian Tree urges Arrow to convince the trespassers to leave by any means necessary. Arrow is curious about these newcomers, but their arrival sets off a chain of events that leave him with a devastating choice: be accepted by his own kind or fight to save the forest that is his home.

Industry Love for Arrow!

“I don't think it is possible to explain how truly amazing this story is. It's like How to Train Your Dragon, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Princess Mononoke all wrapped up in one. Arrow is an incredible character and you will love getting to know him within these pages. While the story does deal with issues of pollution and rainforest destruction, at its core this is a story about friendship, family, and risking everything to save all those you love. Arrow is a prime example of how awesome middle grade co-fiction can be, and is absolute joy to read.” – Marielle Orff, Bookseller, Town Book Center & Café (Collegeville, PA)

“Through the observations of an unusual narrator–the Guardian Tree–readers will be immersed in Arrow’s magical rainforest home. Strong yet vulnerable, curious yet wise, Arrow risks everything to protect all that he knows and loves. Arrow is a compelling adventure about resilience, hope, and learning to trust your own heart.” – Lynne Kelly, author of Kids Top Ten Indie Next Pick, Song for a Whale

"Narrated by an ancient tree who counts years as rings and feels the emotions of forest creatures in her roots, Arrow is a richly-imagined fable about the need to connect with people of divergent tribes…and thereby heal a wounded planet. Clark blends fantasy and science into a lush and timely tapestry that enlightens and enchants." - Susan Fletcher, author of Golden Kite Honoree, Journey of the Pale Bear

Long Distance
Illustrated by Whitney Gardner

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9781534455658

On Sale: 06/29/2021

Price: $14.99

Paperback Graphic Novel

Ages 10 and up

On sale next week!

Simultaneous Hardcover Available:

Hardcover ISBN: 9781534455665

Hardcover Price: $21.99

Long Distance is a Kids May/June 2021 Indie Next Pick! See full list HERE.

Download animated Long Distance cover images for your store website and social media:

Download Long Distance GIF's for your store website and social media:

Check out Whitney Gardner's Long Distance read-aloud video for SimonKids!

Click HERE for our Drawn to Reading Guide to Using Graphic Novels in the Classroom

From the creator of Fake Blood comes another exceptionally charming middle grade graphic novel about friendships both near and far, far away.

Vega’s summer vacation is not going well.

When her parents decide it’s time to pack up and leave her hometown of Portland, Oregon, behind for boring Seattle, Washington, Vega is more than upset—she’s downright miserable. Forced to leave her one and only best friend, Halley, behind, Vega is convinced she’ll never make another friend again.

To help her settle into her new life in Seattle, her parents send Vega off to summer camp to make new friends. Except Vega is determined to get her old life back. But when her cellphone unexpectedly calls it quits and things at camp start getting stranger and stranger, Vega has no choice but to team up with her bunkmates to figure out what’s going on!

Industry Love for Long Distance!

“Whitney Gardner has such an incredible talent when it comes to graphic novels. This is no exception. I love this cast of misfits at camp just trying to be themselves and finding friendship along the way. I love the goofs and the heart behind it all.” — Kids May/June 2021 Indie Next List

“I love a good summer camp story! Vega gets sent to the mysteriously-named Camp Very Best Friend after her dads move to Seattle and decide she needs to make new friends. I loved the delightful awkwardness of a bunch of young campers sent to camp because they're bad at making friends, but I loved watching the group become friends even more. Great for fans of Lumberjanes!” – Kate Storhoff, Bookseller, Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC)

Long Distance is a sweet and quirky, delightful fun graphic novel recounting Vega's summer camp experiences in Seattle. Vega's dads have just moved from Portland to Seattle and which, unfortunately forces Vega to leave her very best friend in the world behind. And her dads do as all good parents would, try to help her make friends by sending her to camp. But, camp isn't exactly what it's supposed to be and Vega must join together with her other campmates to try to figure out exactly what is going on. Whitney Gardner has created an entertaining and enjoyable story full of heart, bravery, and just the exact right amount of silly and strange.” – Marilyn Robbins, Bookseller, BookBar (Denver, CO)

“This delightful, oft-comedic graphic novel injects familiar themes with ample imagination, as Vega and campmates learn that ‘Friendship is a renewable resource.” – Publishers Weekly

“This is a pleasantly goofy take on the perpetual middle grade conundrum of balancing new and old friendships, and the extraterrestrial twist offers a playful silliness but keeps a knowing sense of compassion for Vega’s struggles to negotiate new social dynamics.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor

Margaret K. McElderry Books

ISBN: 9781534460867

On Sale: 07/20/2021

Price: $14.99

Paperback Graphic Novel

Ages 12 and up

Simultaneous Hardcover Available:

Hardcover ISBN: 9781534460874

Hardcover Price: $21.99

DOWNLOAD an animated Dire Days of Willowweep Manor cover image for your store website and social media!

Click HERE for our Drawn to Reading Guide to Using Graphic Novels in the Classroom

Nimona meets Paper Girls with a literary twist in this wickedly funny graphic novel about a teenager who is swept up in a strange new universe and must save it from an all-consuming evil in order to return home.

One dark and stormy night, Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Since her greatest passion is Gothic romance novels, she knows her moment has come. But when Haley leaps into the water to rescue the stranger, she awakens in Willowweep. It certainly looks like the setting of one of her favorite books: A stately manor. A sinister housekeeper. Three brooding brothers. There’s even a ghost.

Except Willowweep is not what it seems. Its romantic exterior hides the workings of a pocket universe—the only protection our world has against a great force of penultimate evil, and its defenses are crumbling. Could cruel fate make Haley the heroine that Willowweep needs?

Industry Love for The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor!

"If you need a hilarious escape, The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor is the pick! It’s a wonderfully illustrated graphic novel about a girl obsessed with gothic novels that gets transported into another dimension that is literally a gothic novel—complete with a castle, brooding brothers, and a creepy housekeeper. I started laughing on page 3 with the mention of Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction and never stopped." - Melissa Hurt, Indie Sales Rep, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY)

"A triumphant story about being in charge of your own narrative... A delightfully spirited adventure." - Kirkus Reviews

"Baldwin’s expressive full-color art—reminiscent of Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant—and Garrity’s text both delight in their humor, conveying accentuated reactions, ranging from shocked to stoic, that lean into gleeful absurdity. A romp made especially enjoyable by Haley’s indulgent delight in Willowweep’s ability to make her literary dreams a reality." - Publishers Weekly

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9781534448667

On Sale: 08/10/2021

Price: $19.99

Hardcover Teen Fiction

Ages 14 and up

DOWNLOAD an animated Moon Fuentez cover for your store website and social media!

The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country.

When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible.

Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen.

Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was.

Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it?

Indie Bookstores Love How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe!

“Moon’s twin sister is a influencer and is asked to go on a tour with other influencers to raise money for charity and Moon is forced to go. I liked the love story but it was also covered some pretty tough topics like abuse and mental illness. The plot was really good and the characters were likable. - Teen Reviewer, East City Bookshop (Washington, DC)

"I really liked the characters as well as their different personalities. The story as a whole was an incredible read and I really loved it and would totally recommend it." - Teen Reviewer, East City Bookshop (Washington, DC)

“Raquel Vasquez Gilliland has written another YA novel that gets to the root of things and unearths the magic that was always there, waiting for us; this is her special power. Where Sia Martinez’ story brought us new worlds, Moon Fuentez’ story powerfully dissects our current one; the everyday magic of fireweed, moths, dragonflies, mulberries and salt burst off the page in Vasquez Gilliland’s kaleidoscopic prose. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe is also a story of sisterhood and grief, of trauma and religion, of abuse and mental health, but at its heart lives a romance of epic proportion. Moon Fuentez is the beautiful, artistic, fat, witchy Latinx heroine that we all need and I adore her gorgeous love story.” – Cristina Russell, Books & Books (Coral Gables, FL)

"I was completely mesmerized: Gilliland has not just written a love story, but a story about grief, self-worth, rebirth, and breaking through cycles of abuse. Only words of the highest caliber can be used to describe How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe. This novel is phenomenal, extraordinary, spiritual, and breathtaking—just to name a few. This book cracked open my ribcage and made both my heart and soul ache in the most wonderful way. Moon talks of how flowers become seeds, to flowers again, and how life remakes us anew through all sorts of experiences—just being on this journey with her had that effect on me. I was wholeheartedly immersed in this stellar narrative of bittersweet healing.” – Andrew King, University Book Store (Seattle, WA)

“This is one of those stories that is truly beautiful. A love story that rattles in your bones and seeps into your soul because it's about loving someone romantically, loving your family, and loving yourself just the way you are. As heartbreaking as it is triumphant, How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe will stay with you forever.” – Marielle Orff, Town Book Center & Café (Collegeville, PA)

More Moon Fuentez Industry Raves!

"Breathlessly atmospheric, with a voice that grabs you on page one and doesn’t let go. A gorgeous, hopeful book about spirituality, sexuality, and self-acceptance. I fell in love with Moon falling in love." - Rachel Lynn Solomon, Indies Introduce and multi-Indie Next bestselling author of You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone and Today Tonight Tomorrow

“As in her debut, the author’s prose is lush and lyrical, emphasizing the natural world and ancient spirituality. The story’s magical elements are integrated beautifully, as is the main characters’ Latinx heritage: the Fuentez sisters are Mexican American, and the Philips brothers have a Colombian mother and presumed White father. In addition to important sex-positive messages, the book sensitively explores grief, trauma, abuse, disability, and sisterhood as well as the negative impacts of homophobia and purity culture. Readers will fall in love with this poignant, powerful, and poetic coming-of-age tale." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"More than just a romantic drama of enemies turned lovers, this passionate novel is a sex-positive, body-positive celebration of self-love and self-confidence. With lyrical prose, the narrative flows between past and present, revealing pain, hope, and a mixed-up sense of self. Moon is a model of resilience, determined to thrive with her own gifts; Santiago is hot, dark, and brooding, with his own emotional damage, and their love offers a romance less about saving the damsel, more about supporting her… This will please those who loved Quintero’s Gabi, a Girl in Pieces or who love honest, romantic stories about young women surviving and thriving." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

After the Ink Dries
Illustrated by Emma Vieceli

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9781534473690

On Sale: 07/20/2021

Price: $19.99

Hardcover Teen Fiction

Ages 14 and up

What does it mean when you thought you knew someone? What does it mean when that person is your new boyfriend? Courtney Summers meets Deb Caletti in this page-turning suspense story of what it is to face hard truths about yourself and others, and how to find strength when you need it most.

Sixteen-year-old Erica Walker is a webcomic artist who wants to fit in at her affluent new high school. Seventeen-year-old Thomas VanBrackel is an aspiring songwriter and reluctant lacrosse goalie who wants out from under his father’s thumb. After their electric first kiss at Saturday’s lacrosse match, Erica and Thomas are both elated to see where their new relationship could take them.

The next morning, however, following a drunken house party, Erica wakes up half-clothed, and discovers words and names drawn in Sharpie in intimate places on her body—names belonging to Thomas’s lacrosse friends, including the boyfriend of Erica’s best friend. Devastated, Erica convinces herself Thomas wasn’t involved in this horrific so-called “prank”…until she discovers Thomas’s name on her skin, too.

Told in alternating viewpoints, Erica seeks to uncover what happened while battling to keep evidence of her humiliation from leaking out, as Thomas grapples with his actions and who he thought he was. Woven throughout, illustrated graphic novel interstitials depict Erica’s alter ego superhero, Erica Strange, whose courage just might help Erica come through to the other side.

Industry Love for After the Ink Dries!

"I finished this book faster than I've read any other in the past few years, I loved it that much... I know the exact moment where my heart broke, too, where I knew I was going to love how this book portrayed itself. The hallway. Anyone who has read or will be reading this knows exactly what I mean by that. I can't tell you how many times I could feel my heart aching for Erica after that moment. Had that moment been different, it may have changed the entire course of the book and those characters' lives... I love this book, and when it comes out you bet that I am going to do my hardest to get people to read it." - Makayla Richard, Bookseller, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, CO)

“Filled with hurt, honesty, rage, and beauty, After the Ink Dries follows a young woman who isn’t quite sure where she fits in the world. Erica’s journey of self-awareness, learning about true friendships, and betrayal is emotional and thought-provoking. Heart-wrenching and unapologetically real, Cassie Gustafson has written a brilliant debut novel that will stick with readers long after the final word has been read.” – Mary Nubla, Indie Sales Rep, Simon & Schuster (Houston, TX)

"After the Ink Dries is breathtaking. It’s books like these that make me proud to sell books for a living—books that have the power to change lives. It’s a poignant narrative of one girl’s assault that artfully depicts the impact, consequences, and complexities of sexual assault. You will cry, and it will be worth every tear." - Melissa Hurt, Indie Sales Rep, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY)

"Gustafson’s debut doesn’t pull punches; the book is open about Erica’s suicidal ideation, the male chauvinism Thomas is steeped in, and the bullying both experience. Vieceli’s graphic novel panels represent the superhero comic that Erica draws, and pages featuring her heroine appear as she tries to channel bravery to speak the truth and hold her abusers accountable... This all-too-believable book will open eyes and start conversations about sexual assault, toxic masculinity, and victim shaming." - Publishers Weekly

“The first page hits with Erica waking up to discover she's been assaulted by several people. The scene hits raw and harsh, and with the confusion and humiliation to make it break the heart. Thomas' opening chapter, the next one, clashes wonderfully with Erica's as he rushes through his next day totally oblivious to what he and his friends had done. The reader learns to know each of these characters as the tale delves deep into their thoughts and emotions, building well-done depth… Erica's interest in creating a graphic novel/comic also adds a unique touch. These illustrations are sprinkled in at just the right time. And while not humorous, they do add a bit of much needed release, and still deepen the emotional predicament Erica finds herself in at the same time. This is a well written read which packs a punch.” Bookworm for Kids