SHORT STORIES

The Hero Next Door with author Ellen Oh

The Hero Next Door

From We Need Diverse Books, the organization behind Flying Lessons & Other Stories, comes another middle-grade short story collection–this one focused on exploring acts of bravery–featuring some of the best own-voices children’s authors, including R. J. Palacio (Wonder), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Linda Sue Park (A Long Walk to Water), and many more.

Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes teach martial arts. Others talk to ghosts. A few are inventors or soccer players. They’re also sisters, neighbors, and friends. Because heroes come in many shapes and sizes. But they all have one thing in common: they make the world a better place.

Published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, this vibrant anthology features thirteen acclaimed authors whose powerful and diverse voices show how small acts of kindness can save the day. So pay attention, because a hero could be right beside you. Or maybe the hero is you.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings with author Ellen Oh

A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS

Sixteen extraordinary authors―including New York Times bestsellers Melissa de la Cruz, Renée Ahdieh, and Julie Kagawa―reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. This exquisite paperback anthology includes an original bonus story from Ellen Oh. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called A Thousand Beginnings and Endings a “must-read.”

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.

Fresh Ink with author Ellen Oh

FRESH INK

All it takes to rewrite the rules is a little fresh ink in this remarkable YA collection from thirteen of the most recognizable diverse authors writing today including Nicola Yoon, Jason Reynolds, Melissa de la Cruz, and many more, and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print. This collection addresses topics like gentrification, acceptance, untimely death, coming out, and poverty and ranges in genre from contemporary realistic fiction to adventure and romance. It will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

Behind the Song with author Ellen Oh

BEHIND THE SONG

A song to match everyone’s heartbeat.

A soaring melody, a pulse-pounding beat, a touching lyric: Music takes a moment and makes it a memory. It’s a universal language that can capture love, heartbreak, loss, soul searching, and wing spreading-all in the span of a few notes. In Behind the Song, fourteen acclaimed young adult authors and musicians share short stories and personal essays inspired by the songs, the albums, the musicians who move them.

So cue up the playlist and crank the volume. This is an anthology you’ll want to experience on repeat.

Diverse Energies with author Ellen Oh

DIVERSE ENERGIES

The stories in Diverse Energies journey through many alternate histories and projections of the future, but all have one important element in common: the inclusion of people of color. At a time when some fans have criticized The Hunger Games for casting African American actors to play Rue, Thresh, and Cinna, it is more important than ever that science fiction and fantasy worlds include a truly diverse cast of characters.

“So often the future looks whitewashed in YA dystopias,” says Tu Books Editorial Director Stacy Whitman. “In general many authors, including Tobias, feel that there is a gap in which people of color looking for depictions of themselves in the future can’t find them, especially young readers. These outstanding stories show that even in a dystopian future, people of color have a place.”

Stories include Paolo Bacigalupi’s “A Pocketful of Dharma,” about a young boy in a futuristic China whose encounter with a Tibetan conspiracy changes his life. Malinda Lo’s “Good Girl” is about a girl searching for her brother in what they think is the last city on earth, a doomed, tightly controlled New York City. “It’s about manipulation and loss and the hope of possibilities,” says Whitman. Meanwhile, Ellen Oh’s “The Last Day” takes a second look at history and considers what might have happened had Nagasaki and Hiroshima not ended the Pacific Theater of World War II.

The title Diverse Energies comes from a quotation from John F. Kennedy that both Buckell and Monti felt encapsulated their desire for greater diversity in fantasy and YA: “No one can doubt that the wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.”

Click here for Diverse Energies reviews

“Conceived in an effort to more judiciously represent ethnic and cultural diversity in YA fiction, this provocative collection, edited by SF author Buckell and literary agent Monti explores dystopian themes through multiple lenses. Instead of the usual white faces, the stories feature protagonists from a broader spectrum, all doing their best to survive in hostile or frightening settings. While there’s not a single misfire in this anthology, particular works stand out. Ellen Oh’s “The Last Day” takes place in a world torn apart by a decades-long war, while K. Tempest Bradford’s “The Uncertainty Principle” sees time travel constantly altering one girl’s surroundings. Malinda Lo’s “The Good Girl” is a prickly love story set against the desire for a better life, and Cindy Pon’s “Blue Skies” is almost painful in its longing for escape. Not only do these stories feature racially diverse casts, set all over the world or in space, some have gay and lesbian protagonists, giving readers plenty with which to identify. Happy endings are infrequent, but readers will eagerly immerse themselves in each vividly constructed world.”
– Publisher’s Weekly 

“In an afterword, coeditor Monti writes about a heated 2009 discussion (dubbed “RaceFail 09”) regarding race in fantasy and science fiction, and how his reaction was to put together a collection showcasing “this wonderful, blended, messed-up world.” Hence this book, which feels different than the usual fare—characters, settings, and authors come from all across the global spectrum—and, maybe more to the point, proves to be not that different at all. It starts off with a fabulous one-two punch: Ellen Oh’s devastating “The Last Day,” about a future global war and the horrific Hiroshima-like aftermath; then “Freshee’s Frogurt,” a wild, violent, and funny excerpt from Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse (2011). In general, the subsequent stories fall on the more thoughtful, brainy side of the sf spectrum. Two standouts are Paolo Bacigalupi’s “A Pocket Full of Dharma,” about the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama on a portable storage drive; and Cindy Pon’s “Blue Skies,” a wistful have/have-not tale from a smog-filthed future Taipei. A solid introduction to a number of highly talented writers.”
– Daniel Kraus, Booklist

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