My Books

Plus One
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers
April 8, 2014

From the publisher:

It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts. 

Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly segregated between people who live and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays, who populate the day. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol deliberately injures herself in order to gain admission to a hospital, where she plans to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to take the baby to visit her dying grandfather. By violating the Day/Night curfew, Sol is committing a serious crime, and when the kidnap attempt goes awry it starts a chain of events that will put Sol in danger, uncover a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population, and throw her together with D’Arcy BenoĆ®t, the Ray medical apprentice who first treats her, then helps her outrun the authorities—and whom she is fated to fall impossibly in love with.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the Day/Night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights—and a compelling, rapid-fire romantic adventure story.

Monstrous Beauty
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers
September 4, 2012

  • 2013 Odyssey Honor Award (Best Audiobook)
  • 2013 YALSA Best Fiction For Young Adults
  • 2013 YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
  • 2013 (Top Ten) Best Audiobooks for Teens, School Library Journal
  • 2012 Nerdies Book Award Nominee

From the Publisher: 

Monstrous mermaids, ghosts, and a century-old curse feature in this beautifully crafted, compulsively readable thriller.

In 1872, mermaid Syrenka falls in love with a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

One hundred thirty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger and feels drawn to him in a way she can’t explain or resist. For generations, love and death have been inextricably linked for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? Hester’s investigation of her family’s strange, sad history leads her to the graveyard, the crypt, and the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

Cricket Books (2002)
  • Named a 2003 ALA Best Book for Young Readers (one of only eleven books selected unanimously that year)
  • Received the 2002-2003 honor award for children's fiction, Society of Midland Authors
  • Nominated for five readers' choice awards:
  1. The Great Stone Face Award, 2003-2004, New Hampshire
  2. The Tayshas, 2003-2004, Texas
  3. The Rebecca Caudill Award, 2005, Illinois
  4. The Beehive Award, 2005-2006, Utah
  5. The Sunshine State Young Readers Award, 2006-2007, Florida
  • Starred Review: Kliatt (a bi-monthly review magazine of young-adult literature) 

From the inside flap:

One moment of rashness, and fourteen-year-old Emily Slake finds herself amid hundreds of panicked and drowning people in the dark ocean waters off Sumatra. Miles from shore without a life vest, she resolves to survive. But in facing the dangers of the ocean, the desperation of her fellow survivors, and her own growing exhaustion, Emily must summon wits and endurance she’s not sure she has.

Striking out on her own, Emily encounters Isman, a frightened young Muslim boy, floating in a life vest. Together they swim for their lives, relying on both Emily’s physical strength and Isman’s quiet faith.

Based on a true story, Overboard is both a riveting tale of survival and a sensitive portrayal of cross-cultural understanding in a time of crisis.

From Reviewers:

"A first rate nail-biter." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“In plain style, Fama conveys the elemental struggle and shows how Emily finds strength she didn’t know she had.” — Booklist

“Each moment brings. . . new problems — cold, hunger, sharks, a whirlpool, fear — and actively holds readers’ interest. An author’s note describes the inspiration for this unique book — a real ferry accident off the coast of Sumatra in 1996 when only 40 of the 400 passengers survived.” — School Library Journal