Kathryn Ormsbee

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GZLA

CANDIDLY CLINE

Fall 2021, HarperCollins, TBD pp

Dumplin’ meets Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, CANDIDLY CLINE is a heartfelt MG Contemporary about one girl’s attempt to find her voice through all the changes, challenges, and heart-thumping crushes that come her way.

Thirteen-year-old Cline Louise Alden is convinced that she was born to be a musician. So when she finds out about a Young Singer-Songwriter workshop in the nearby city of Lexington, she knows it’s her destiny. Cline does whatever it takes to get to the workshop, even fibbing to her waitressing mama, who regularly reminds Cline that “music doesn’t pay the bills.” But her new classmates seem far more talented and trained than self-taught Cline, including her rock ’n’ roll-loving, cool-as-anything songwriting partner Sylvie Sharpe. Meanwhile, Cline’s best friend Hollie has been distancing herself more and more, opting to hang with her church friends instead of Cline. And when Cline awkwardly turns down a boy’s invitation to the middle school dance, she knows deep down she’d rather dance with—and maybe even kiss—a girl. And maybe not just any girl: Sylvie.

As Cline works harder than ever toward the workshop’s big final project, she finds her life complicated by her grandmother’s worsening Alzheimer’s, the web of lies she’s been telling Mama, and her growing crush. And when Cline’s mother finds out about the workshop, jeopardizing all Cline’s musical dreams and Sylvie’s too, Cline is left to try the truth of Emmylou Harris’ words: “You don’t get nothin’ unless you take the breaks.”


Beth Phelan


Middle Grade


Coming-of-Age

Commercial

Contemporary

Diverse

Family

Friendship

Humor

LGBTQIA+

Realistic

Romance


Dramatic

Translation

GZLA

THE SULLIVAN SISTERS

May 2020, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 384 pp

For readers who were riveted by mysteries like SADIE by Courtney Summers and TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET by Karen McManus.

The Sullivan Sisters used to be close, sharing secrets inside homemade blanket castles. Now, life in the Sullivan house means closed doors and secrets left untold. Fourteen-year-old Murphy, an aspiring magician, is shocked by the death of Siegfried, her pet turtle. Seventeen-year-old Claire is bound for better things than her Oregonian hometown—until she receives a crushing rejection from her dream college. And eighteen-year-old Eileen is nursing a growing addiction in the wake of life-altering news. Then, days before Christmas, a letter arrives, informing the sisters of a dead uncle and an inheritance they knew nothing about. The news forces them to band together in the face of a sinister family mystery . . . and, possibly, murder.

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS

GermanVerlagsgruppe Random House


Beth Phelan


Young Adult


Coming-of-Age

Contemporary

Family

LGBTQIA+

Mystery

Noir

Realistic


Dramatic

Translation

GZLA

THE GREAT UNKNOWABLE END

February 2019, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 400 pp

A humorous, lightly speculative novel for fans of “Welcome to Nightvale” with points of view from two teens with opposing beliefs who come together at what might be the end of the world in a small American town during the ‘70s.

Stella used to dream about becoming a space engineer—that was before she lost her mother to suicide and her brother ran off to join Red Sun, the local hippie commune. Galliard, on the other hand, has been in Red Sun his whole life, where people accept his Tourette’s, but when he’s denied the commune’s “resident artist” role he believed he was destined for, he starts to imagine life outside. The two cross paths at the same time peculiar things start to happen: pink lightning, blood-red rain, and a mysterious countdown clock over town hall. With time ticking, the two teens face questions of faith, family, and who they want to be when the world ends.


Beth Phelan


Young Adult


Coming-of-Age

Contemporary

Diverse

Family

Friendship

Historical

Speculative

Supernatural


Dramatic

Translation


GZLA

TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY

June 2017, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 384 pp

A refreshing LGBTQ+ coming-of-age novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and YouTube.

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and the obscure, amateur web series she runs with her friends, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr gifs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever or the tension it causes with her friends and cast/crew. And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with a fellow award nominee suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

STARRED REVIEWS

BOOKLIST – “It’s beyond refreshing to see an asexual character, and the complexities of Tash’s relationships with Thom, her friends, her sister, and, yes, fame make this a home run.”

KIRKUS – “A clever, thoroughly enjoyable addition to the growing body of diverse teen literature.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL – “Funny, well written, and compulsively readable, this will especially appeal to readers with an interest in web series. A strong voice for YA shelves.”

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS

PolishWydawnicto Otwarte
Portuguese/Brazil Seguinte/Companhia das Letras


Beth Phelan


Young Adult


Coming-of-Age

Contemporary

Diverse

Friendship

Humor

LGBTQIA+

Realistic


Dramatic

Translation


GZLA

LUCKY FEW

June 2016, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 384 pp)

A quirky black comedy about oddball teens facing mortality. Focused on strong friendships and madcap adventures, this is a John Hughes movie in novel form.

The life of homeschooler Stevie Hart gets all shook up when she meets Max, a strange boy who survived a freak near-fatal accident and is now obsessed with death. He enlists her and her best friend, Sanger, to help him complete his absurd “23 Ways to Fake My Death Without Dying” checklist. What starts off as fun fabricated demises, ranging from impalement to spontaneous combustion, begins spiraling downward when Stevie’s diabetes sabotages her fumbling romance with Max, Sanger announces she’s moving out of state, and then death—real death—cuts a little too close to home.

STARRED REVIEWS

KIRKUS – “The smart, efficient language features dialogue that pops. A sweet story told with intelligence, humor, and just the right amount of kissing.”

BOOKLIST – “Winsome characters, crackling dialogue… A well-rounded cast of secondary characters, a slant approach to a serious topic, and a sensitive exploration of the fraught dynamics of a home-schooling co-op add further depth.”


Beth Phelan


Young Adult


Coming-of-Age

Contemporary

Friendship

Humor

Realistic


Dramatic

Translation