January is a very busy time for publishing, so this month’s list of debut authors is a long one. If you’re interested in seeing a more comprehensive list please visit our catalog.
“Green” by Sam Graham-Felsen
Based on Graham-Felsen’s own childhood growing up in Boston in the 1990s, comes this novel of friendship between David Greenfield and Marlon Wellings. David lives in a gentrified neighborhood and is one of the few white kids in his middle school. Marlon lives in public housing and challenges David’s assumptions about black culture. But as their friendship develops, David becomes increasingly aware of how little he actually knows about Marlon’s life, and he learns to recognize his own privilege.
“The Chalk Man” by C. J. Tudor
In the summer of 1986 childhood friends Eddie, Fat Gav, Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky entertained themselves by leaving each other messages—written with chalk stick-figures—around in their sleepy English village. Events take a grim turn when chalk figures appear which lead them to the body of Mickey’s drowned brother and, later, to the body of a teenage girl. A teacher is accused despite a lack of evidence, and when he commits suicide the case is closed. But 30 years later, Mikey returns home to recruit Eddie’s help with a documentary about that summer which will reveal the true killer. The next day, Eddie discovers chalk figures in his home and Mickey’s body is found, sending Eddie on a mission to uncover the truth of that summer.
“White Chrysanthemum” by Mary Lynn Bracht
During Japan’s occupation of Korea in 1943, 16-year-old Hana rescues her younger sister Emi from the attentions of a Japanese soldier only to be forced to become a “comfort woman”—the euphemism used by the Japanese for sex slaves—for the military. Confined to a brothel and repeatedly raped by soldiers, she clings to the hope of escape.
70 years later, her sister travels to Seoul searching for answers about Hana’s fate, while still struggling with the weight of her sister’s sacrifice.
“The Boat People” by Sharon Bala
Mahindan survived civil war and a prison camp in Sri Lanka to sail to Vancouver with his young son and hundreds of other refugees looking for a new life. But on arriving in Canada, instead of finding refuge, the immigrants are sent to a detention center, accused of terrorism and threatened with deportation. Assigned to a lawyer, Mahindan faces a hearing to determine if he and his son will be allowed to stay in Canada or sent back into the midst of a civil war they tried so hard to escape. This novel is based on true events.
Other debut titles for January: