Teacher/artist Renée Watson makes her YA debut with This Side of Home, a novel about African-American teenage sisters navigating friendships, relationships, school politics and future plans. The sisters' identities are intertwined with issues of class, race and gender, allowing Watson to explore all of these issues through their eyes.
In the dusty, crowded streets of Kolkata, two species of monkeys struggle for dominance and power. It’s rhesus versus langur in Richard Kurti’s Planet of the Apes-eque debut novel, Monkey Wars. Political stakes are high, blood is spilled, morality becomes hazy and a forbidden romance ignites in this smart, fast-paced story. BookPage contacted Kurti to talk about the inspiration behind his debut, his career as a screenwriter, the darker side of teen lit and more.
Roald Dahl's timeless adventure, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Inside Charlie's Chocolate Factory is a fun and informative peek into the Wonka world. Featuring excerpts from early drafts, movie stills and behind-the-scenes photographs, early illustrations and so much more, it's like a wondrous boat ride down that chocolate river, but with journalist Lucy Mangan at the helm. We spoke with Mangan via email about the beloved classic, its lasting impact, candy and (naturally) squirrels.
From the brilliantly bizarre mind of A.S. King comes a haunting look at a bleak future—not only for teenager Glory O’Brien, but for all women.
Broadcast journalist and foreign correspondent Atia Abawi has spent years on the front lines of war and historical events, covering stories for outlets such as CNN and NBC. During her five-year residency in Afghanistan, Abawi became attuned to the stories of the people, their cultural traditions and the deeply rooted tensions and resulting violence that has plagued the country for so long. Her experiences inspired her first novel, The Secret Sky, which follows the budding romance of two teens from two very different tribes, who must struggle against opposition from both their families and the Taliban in order to forge a life together.
The last thing Emma saw before going blind was the bright, spinning colors of fireworks—and then it all went dark. In the sensitively rendered and beautifully written Blind, Emma shares her story of courage and resilience as she comes to terms with a world that is forever changed. And when her insular hometown is shaken by a local teen's suicide, Emma's own tragedy is placed in sharp relief.
Most of the time, interviews about an author’s new novel take place a year or so after the book’s completion. So it might take a bit of doing for an author to feel up-to-date, especially if he or she is already ears-deep into the next project. Carlos Ruiz Zafón had to travel much further back in time when he spoke with BookPage from his home in Los Angeles about his fourth young adult novel, Marina: A Gothic Tale, which was first published in his native Spain in 1999.
Katherine Howe’s new YA novel Conversion alternates between two narratives. In one, contemporary high school student Colleen Rowley’s senior year at the high-pressure St. Joan’s Academy for Girls is interrupted by the outbreak of an unexplained illness. In the other, set at the beginning of the 18th century, a woman confesses to the role she played as a teenager in perpetuating the Salem witchcraft panic of 1692. Taken together, the two stories dare their reader to rethink the differences between past and present, rumor and truth, and science and magic.
BookPage caught up with Howe to find out more about her writing process, her most influential book and her unusual family history.
In the final book in Julie Kagawa's popular dystopian vampire Blood of Eden trilogy, kick-butt heroine Allie Sekemoto finally gives in to her monster side following the death of her love, Zeke. She's on a mission to hunt down psychopathic vampire Sarren, and her journey takes her to the last vampire-free zone remaining—Eden.
It might be the end for Allie and the gang, but Kagawa won't keep fans hanging for long. We checked in with the author about the trilogy's finale and what she's up to next.
How do you talk about a story so shrouded in secrecy, its own heroine doesn’t know what’s going on? Here’s what we do know: The characters in E. Lockhart’s 10th novel are members of a privileged American family. We know that a private island is involved, on which both intense friendship and romance bloom. But anything else we think we know could be a lie.