Here’s a look at some of the most exciting books being published by first-time authors this August. For a longer list, visit our catalog.
“The Ventriloquists” by E. R. Ramzipoor
The Nazis stole their voices. But they would not be silenced.
Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene’s world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network that publishes dissident underground newspapers.
The Nazis track down Aubrion’s team and give them an impossible choice: turn the resistance newspapers into a Nazi propaganda bomb that will sway public opinion against the Allies, or be killed. Faced with no decision at all, Aubrion has a brilliant idea. While pretending to do the Nazis’ bidding, they will instead publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin — daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors.
The ventriloquists have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only eighteen days to tell it.
“Polite Society” by Mahesh Rao
In this modern reimagining of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” Delhi’s polite society is often anything but polite.
Beautiful, clever, and more than a little bored, Ania Khurana has Delhi wrapped around her finger. Having successfully found love for her spinster aunt, she sets her sights on Dimple: her newest, sweetest, and most helpless friend.
But when her aunt’s handsome nephew arrives from America, the social tides in Delhi begin to shift. Surrounded by old money and new; relentless currents of gossip; and an unforgettable cast of socialites, journalists, gurus, and heirs, Ania discovers that her good intentions are no match for the whims and intrigues of Delhi’s high society–or for her own complicated feelings toward her cherished childhood friend, Dev.
“Hollow Kingdom” by Kira Jane Buxton
S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (those idiots) and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos®.
Then Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn’t quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies — from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim’s loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis — fail to cure Big Jim’s debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity’s extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.
“A Particular Kind of Black Man” by Tope Folarin
Living in small-town Utah has always been an uneasy fit for Tunde Akinola’s family, especially for his Nigeria-born parents. Though Tunde speaks English with a Midwestern accent, he can’t escape the children who rub his skin and ask why the black won’t come off. As he struggles to fit in and find his place in the world, he finds little solace from his parents who are grappling with their own issues.
Tunde’s father, ever the optimist, works tirelessly chasing his American dream while his wife, lonely in Utah without family and friends, sinks deeper into schizophrenia. Then one otherwise-ordinary morning, Tunde’s mother wakes him with a hug, bundles him and his baby brother into the car, and takes them away from the only home they’ve ever known.
But running away doesn’t bring her, or her children, any relief from the demons that plague her; once Tunde’s father tracks them down, she flees to Nigeria, and Tunde never feels at home again. He spends the rest of his childhood and young adulthood searching for connection — to the wary stepmother and stepbrothers he gains when his father remarries; to the Utah residents who mock his father’s accent; to evangelical religion; to his Texas middle school’s crowd of African-Americans; to the fraternity brothers of his historically black college. In so doing, he discovers something that sends him on a journey away from everything he has known.
“Nottingham” by Nathan Makaryk
No king. No rules.
England, 1191. King Richard is half a world away, fighting for God and his own ambition. Back home, his country languishes, bankrupt and on the verge of anarchy. People with power are running unchecked. People without are growing angry. And in Nottingham, one of the largest shires in England, the sheriff seems intent on doing nothing about it.
As the leaves turn gold in the Sherwood Forest, the lives of six people — Arable, a servant girl with a secret, Robin and William, soldiers running from their pasts, Marion, a noblewoman working for change, Guy of Gisbourne, Nottingham’s beleaguered guard captain, and Elena Gamwell, a brash, ambitious thief — become intertwined.
And a strange story begins to spread …