Shakirah Bourne

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GZLA

NIGHTMARE ISLAND

May 2023, Scholastic, 304 pp

Serenity Noah has never told anyone about her recurring nightmare, where a silver butterfly leads her to a shadowy, silent monster. Her parents already favor her little brother, Peace, and as the “different one” in the family, she doesn’t want to be more of a problem child. So she channels her fear in a productive way–by trying to create a horror movie as scary as her nightmare.

When Peace suddenly becomes afraid of the dark and refuses to sleep alone, her parents take him for treatment on Duppy Island. Serenity immediately knows something is wrong on the island: it’s gray and foggy, completely silent and the facility is run by the creepy Doctor Whisper who acts like it’s more of a jail than a clinic. But she never expected that the island would be the home of douens–who are trapped between the world of the living and the land of the dead, and are eager for Peace to join their ranks.

From the author: “This is middle grade horror inspired by Caribbean folklore with the tone and atmosphere of a Jordan Peele film. I wrote this book because I really love spooky stories set in confined settings, where the characters have to face their fears, but just like Peele’s films, NIGHTMARE ISLAND is more than entertaining thrills.

It’s a story about tracking Black family ancestry, and repairing broken lineage. It explores issues such as dealing with high parental expectations and the danger of striving for perfection. It is a tale about sibling love, the strength of a family bond, and how that love conquers fear.”

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS

Spanish (US)Scholastic
French (Canada)Scholastic


Marietta Zacker


Middle Grade


Adventure

Diverse

Family

Horror

Supernatural


Dramatic

Translation

UK

GZLA

JOSEPHINE AGAINST THE SEA

July 2021, Scholastic, 304 pp

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste meets R.L.Stine’s The Girl Who Cried Monster.

11 year-old Jo discovers that her Dad’s new girlfriend is a powerful sea creature and has to convince everyone of the woman’s true identity before she loses her Dad forever.

Josephine Cadogan knows that no one is good enough for her Dad. Not since her Mum died. She plans to distract her Dad from dating by playing for her school’s cricket team and re-igniting his love for the game, but Coach Broomes says only boys are allowed. When Dad brings home a new catch, Mariss, Josephine immediately suspects there is something fishy about her. She never expected Mariss would be a vengeful sea creature eager to take her place as Dad’s first love! Josephine has to fight against supernatural forces and her own overwhelming emotions as life as she knows it begins to change.

This novel seamlessly combines serious topics, such as the loss of a parent and dealing with change, with the fantastical. The charming, relatable characters jump right off the page, from Ahkai a young boy with Asperger’s to Vincent who has to cope with being a single father.

STARRED REVIEWS

KIRKUS – “A heart-wrenching adventure with big laughs and well-earned surprises.”

BOOKLIST – “Filled with humor and vibrant, likable characters, the suspense of this fast-paced, laugh-out-loud fantasy will keep the pages turning. The food and culture of Barbados, plus a strong lesson about family, make this magical journey through Caribbean folklore one that readers will be left wishing to return to.”

ACCOLADES

  • 2018 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature Finalist
  • Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

NOTE: Scholastic has Spanish rights in the U.S. and French rights in Canada. Sequel, JOSEPHINE AGAINST THE HEARTMAN, coming 2023.


Marietta Zacker


Middle Grade


Contemporary

Diverse

Family

Fantasy

Folklore

Friendship

Humor

Sports


Dramatic

Translation

UK