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Sneak peek at Jen Wang’s 2017 graphic novel, “The Prince and the Dressmaker”

We’re very excited to share with you some sneak peek art from Jen Wang’s new graphic novel, The Prince and the Dressmaker, out with First Second Books in 2017!

The Prince and the Dressmaker is about a young 19th Century prince named Sebastian who secretly loves to wear dresses. He hires an ambitious young seamstress named Frances to make dresses for him and as their collaboration grows, so do their feelings for one another. Sebastian and Frances must find a way to balance their inner desires with the strict expectations of the royal family – or risk exposing Sebastian’s secret to the world.

“This book is really special to me because I basically wrote it for my teenage self, which is something I haven’t done before. I wanted a story that explored questions about gender and self-identity in a way that was also really colorful and fun and positive. The personal themes are there, but also lots of dresses and princesses. The idea was to create my ideal Disney movie, and writing this has genuinely been one of the most fun, liberating, experiences I’ve had making comics. My awkward confused fourteen year-old self would’ve really connected with this book and I hope it does the same for other young readers,” says Jen Wang.

Jen Wang is a cartoonist, writer and illustrator living in Los Angeles. Her young adult graphic novels Koko Be Good and In Real Life (co-written by Cory Doctorow) are published by First Second Books. She recently wrote the mini-series Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake Card Wars for BOOM Comics, illustrated by Britt Wilson.  Her upcoming graphic novel The Prince and the Dressmaker will be published by First Second Books in 2017.

Correction: An earlier version of this post included an incorrect publication date for The Prince and the Dressmaker; it will be published in 2017, not 2016.

New Releases – June 2015

The Six by Mark Alpert (Sourcebooks Fire)

“The Six are introduced as terminally-ill teens, but there’s plenty of high-speed action in which they engage. Their physical disabilities and limitations through disease are forgotten as the teens’ hearts, minds, and personalities shine through, even though their bodies are now steel data containers…questions of principle, power, and possibility keep this look at our modern, hardwired existence fresh and fascinating. ” — Booklist, starred review

Joyride by Anna Banks (Feiwel & Friends)

“Two teens form an unlikely bond across a racial and cultural divide. Sixteen-year-old Carly Vega lives with her older brother, Julio, both American citizens struggling to earn enough money to smuggle their undocumented, deported family back to the United States from Mexico. While studying her calculus homework during one dull midnight shift at a convenience store, Carly witnesses the old, irascible, and frequently drunk Mr. Shackelford getting mugged in the parking lot. She leaps to his aid, confronting the would-be perp before he gives up and escapes on Carly’s bicycle. The next day, the handsome and popular Arden Moss, an Anglo and the son of the local sheriff, confesses to Carly that he was the culprit … Banks offers a book brimming with original humor and mostly complex characterization (Mr. Shackelford is a delight) even as she tackles race and immigration issues. Both a heart-stopper and heart-tugger.” — Kirkus

The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell (Simon and Schuster)

“A Kyoto teenager diagnosed with ALS connects with two new friends and weighs how to approach his imminent death from the neurological disease in Benwell’s resonant debut. … It’s a memorable and haunting story of a boy’s determination to seize control of the limited time he has left.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

This Book Is Gay by James Dawson (Sourcebooks Fire)

Book Description: Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who’s ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU. There’s a long-running joke that, after “coming out,” a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You’re welcome. Inside you’ll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it’s like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations. You will be entertained. You will be informed. But most importantly, you will know that however you identify (or don’t) and whomever you love, you are exceptional. You matter. And so does this book.

Glittering Shadows by Jaclyn Dolamore (Disney-Hyperion)

Book Description: The revolution is here.

Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow anxious behind closed doors while Marlis watches as the politicians search for answers-and excuses-inside the Chancellery.

Thea, Freddy, Nan, and Sigi are caught in the crossfire, taking refuge with a vibrant, young revolutionary and a mysterious healer from Irminau. As the battle lines are drawn, a greater threat casts a dark shadow over the land. Magic might be lost-forever.

This action-packed sequel to DARK METROPOLIS weaves political intrigue, haunting magic, and heartbreaking romance into an unforgettable narrative. Dolamore’s lyrical writing and masterfully crafted plot deliver a powerful conclusion.

Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen (Philomel)

“Set in early 1990s Manhattan as the AIDS crisis was hitting its peak, Jensen’s semiautobiographical debut novel in verse explores how shifting parental dynamics can affect a household. … When Mira discovers her father in a compromising position with his male teaching assistant, both her image of him and her understanding of her parents’ relationship collapse. … Jensen’s spare free-verse poems and accessible imagery realistically portray the fraught moments of adolescent identity formation with great empathy. Compelling snapshots of contemporary family drama and the AIDS epidemic as captured through a teen’s eyes.” — Kirkus

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (Delacorte)

“Audrey, 14, is on a long, slow upswing from disabling anxiety disorders that resulted from the vicious abuse of bullies at school. Under the guidance of thoughtful Dr. Sarah, Audrey begins to deal with her inability to make eye contact—or even to leave the house—by crafting videos of her quirky, near-farcical family, a nifty narrative device that especially shows off her ”twitchy“ mom. … An outstanding tragicomedy that gently explores mental illness, the lasting effects of bullying, and the power of friends and loving family to help in the healing.” — Kirkus, starred review

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn (St. Martin’s Griffin)

“Kuehn’s lacerating third novel centers on three deeply damaged teenagers, the “delicate monsters” of the title. Sadie, the half-Chinese daughter of a well-to-do California vineyard owner, is a sadist who has returned home to Sonoma after her role in the near-death of a classmate at her most recent boarding school. … Kuehn (Complicit) once again proves herself a talented writer in a tough, punishing novel about the damages we inflict on others and the shaky defenses we build to mask trauma and guilt.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Outside Circle by Patti Laboucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings (House of Anansi Press)

Book Description: In this important graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers — both gang members — surrounded by poverty and drug abuse, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives. Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. After returning home one evening, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a violent struggle, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially maintaining his gang ties, a jail brawl forces Pete to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey and encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation through a traditional Native healing circle. Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of Aboriginal men who are gang-affiliated or incarcerated.

Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani (Tu Books)

“Claire’s parents are keeping secrets that could kill her. Sixteen-year-old Claire Takata is a spirited, inquisitive amateur locksmith and sleuth. Claire and her brothers have always believed their father died of a heart attack 10 years ago and that their mother met their stepdad after he died. … Claire’s grief and sense of loss are compounded when she eventually discovers that her father had been a member of the yakuza, transnational Japanese organized crime syndicates—and then her sleuthing attracts the attention of someone tied to her father’s past. … This fantastic debut packs a highly suspenseful blend of action, intrigue, and teen romance.” — Kirkus, starred review

Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil (HarperCollins)

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful sequel to Get Even. The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore … they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree under house arrest, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.

The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donté is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend … or die trying.

Surviving Santiago by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Running Press Kids)

“Tina, 16, travels from Madison, Wisconsin, to Santiago, Chile, to spend her summer visiting her father, whom she hasn’t seen in three years. Chile in 1989 is still under the rule of the Pinochet dictatorship, but the demand for democracy is growing. … She is bored and lonely until she meets Frankie. … Smooth dialogue, a quick pace, and palpable suspense combine to make a compelling read. Supporting characters are treated with compassion; violence brings suffering to those on all sides. A riveting story of love and acceptance amid a tumultuous political landscape.” — Kirkus

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler (Simon Pulse)

“Ockler’s breezy, seaside romance offers a modern spin on the classic tale of ”The Little Mermaid.“ After a boating accident steals her voice, Elyse d’Abreau leaves Tobago and her superstar dreams to seek solitude with friends in Atargatis Cove, OR. Unable to confront the fact that she will never sing again, Elyse cuts herself off from family and friends, until playboy Christian Kane recruits her to serve as first mate in a boating race to save the Cove from being ruined by developers. The race forces Elyse to confront her fear of the sea and the legendary mermaid, Atargatis, who helps her rediscover her inner power. Despite being unable to speak, Elyse’s lyrical and authentic voice shines through.” — School Library Journal

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (Arthur A. Levine Books)

“When walking corpses—and worse—show up in the city, a teen discovers family secrets and ancestral powers. … This story about ancestors, ghosts, power, and community has art and music at its core; Sierra’s drawing and painting turn out to be tools for spirit work. Sierra’s Puerto Rican with African and Taíno ancestors; her community is black and brown, young and old, Latin and Caribbean and American. Sometimes funny and sometimes striking, Older’s comfortable prose seamlessly blends English and Spanish. Warm, strong, vernacular, dynamic—a must.” — Kirkus, starred review

Make It Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life by Marcus Samuelsson with Veronica Chambers (Delacorte)

“Aspiring chefs and fans of the Food Network will appreciate learning about the incredible journey of celebrity chef Samuelsson from this new edition of his autobiography Yes, Chef (Random, 2012), adapted for a teen audience. Samuelsson’s perfectly imperfect life began in Ethiopia. An orphan whose parents died of tuberculosis, Samuelsson and his sister were adopted by a couple living in Sweden, where they thrived under the warmth and protection of their new parents. … This new edition is a delightful read, and Samuelsson effectively connects his love of food to his personal journey. He is a clear and thoughtful storyteller, conveying his frustration about how his race made him an outsider. His refusal to quit amid adversity is admirable.” — School Library Journal

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen)

“Aaron Soto, 16, lives in the projects in a Bronx similar to the real one except for the existence of the Leteo Institute, a neighborhood facility where patients can have painful memories erased. … If anyone deserves to have his past wiped clean, it’s Aaron, who has experienced poverty, his father’s suicide, and the violent death of friends in his short life. But what Aaron wants most to forget is that he’s gay. … Silvera pulls no punches in this portrait of a boy struggling with who he is in the face of immense cultural and societal pressure to be somebody else.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (Disney-Hyperion)

“Spa days. VIP concert tickets. The envy of the girls in the lunchroom. Sixteen-year-old Samantha and her friends, the Crazy Eights, have it all—at least, that’s what Samantha has always let everyone believe. Nobody can know the real Sam, the crazy girl with OCD. If they found out, it would cost her everything. But when an unlikely new friend introduces Sam to a secret society of student poets, speaking her truth becomes increasingly appealing. … Clueless meets Dead Poets Society with a whopping final twist.” — Kirkus

Storm by Amanda Sun (Harlequin Teen)

Book Description: After almost a year in Japan, Katie Greene has finally unearthed the terrible secret behind her boyfriend Tomohiro’s deadly ability to bring drawings to life—not only is he descended from Kami, the ancient Japanese gods, but he is the heir to a tragedy that occurred long ago, a tragedy that is about to repeat.

Even as the blood of a vengeful god rages inside Tomo, Katie is determined to put his dark powers to sleep. In order to do so, she and Tomo must journey to find the three Imperial Treasures of Japan. Gifts from the goddess Amaterasu herself, these treasures could unlock all of the secrets about Tomo’s volatile ancestry and quell the ink’s lust for destruction. But in order to complete their quest, Tomo and Katie must confront out-of-control Kami and former friend Jun, who has begun his own quest of revenge against those he believes have wronged him. To save the world, and themselves, Katie and Tomo will be up against one of the darkest Kami creations they’ve ever encountered—and they may not make it out alive.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas (Bloomsbury USA)

“Ollie and Moritz are at the center of a unique and oddly compelling friendship in this epistolary debut. Ollie has a form of epilepsy that renders him ”allergic to electricity,“ while Moritz, born without eyes, has a pacemaker to help control his cardiomyopathy. Both boys live in reclusive isolation, but when they begin to exchange letters, they find an unexpected opportunity to share their hopes, challenges, sorrows, and the tragic secrets that unite them.” — School Library Journal

“We look to books to take us to new places, to meet new people, to have new experiences. Yes. But we also look to books to find ourselves. To see yourself, your life experience, a face or name like yours in a book means something. I’m an adult who didn’t experience this as a child, and I still get goosebumps when I see a character that resembles me in a book. It legitimizes your place wherever you are. If you don’t understand this, if you can’t empathize with someone’s need for this sense of recognition, it’s because you have the privilege to not understand or care.”

Celia C. Perez, librarian, asking “Why are they always white children?”
at her All Brown All Around blog