wandering wordsmith

Young Adult

Young Adult Books


The Great Unknowable End (Simon & Schuster)

Zareen Jaffery at S&S has bought two standalone YA novels from Tash Hearts Tolstoy author Kathryn Ormsbee. The first, The Great Unknowable End, is set in 1970s Kansas, about a NASA-loving girl and commune-dwelling boy who form an unlikely bond during a series of increasingly peculiar events that stir up speculation and panic in their small town. Publication is planned for spring 2019; Beth Phelan at the Bent Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.

Coming Spring 2019

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Tash Hearts Tolstoy (Simon & Schuster)

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar bloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, 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.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

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A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2017

A Chicago Public Library Best YA Book of 2017

A 2018 ALA Rainbow Book List Book

"Whip-smart, funny, flawed, and compassionate, these are characters readers will want to know and cheer for." - Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

"It’s beyond refreshing to see an asexual character, and the complexities of Tash’s relationships . . . make this a home run. The flip, irreverent tone, literary references, and peek into the creation of a web series are just icing on the cake." - Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Funny, well written, and compulsively readable." - School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Lucky Few (Simon & Schuster)

Stevie Hart is homeschooled, but don’t hold that against her. Sure, she and her best (okay, only) friend, Sanger, will never be prom queens, but that’s just because the Central Austin Homeschool Cooperative doesn’t believe in proms. Or dancing. Still, Stevie and Sanger know how to create their own brand of fun.

Enter Max Garza, the new boy next door. After a near-fatal accident, Max is determined to defy mortality with a checklist: 23 Ways to Fake My Death Without Dying. Dead set on carrying out fabricated demises ranging from impalement to spontaneous combustion, Max charms Stevie and Sanger into helping him with this two-month macabre mission. But as Stevie finds herself falling for Max, it becomes increasingly difficult to draw a line between his make-believe deaths and her real life. In this offbeat, hilarious, and charming novel, Kathryn Ormsbee introduces three unforgettable teens learning to live each day like it’s their fake-last.

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Selected as a 2017 Spirit of Texas Reading Program Book

★ "The smart, efficient language features dialogue that pops. A sweet story told with intelligence, humor, and just the right amount of kissing." - Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

★ "Winsome characters, crackling dialogue, and an effortlessly enjoyable writing style." - Booklist, STARRED REVIEW