Press Release: Four Michigan Young Adult Authors

For Immediate Release: 7.04.2012

For More Information contact: Colleen Kammer 248-968-1190

For Author Interviews & Review copies:

Beth Neff:

Amy Ackley:

Laura Zielind

Tracy   Bilen:

Greetings From Michigan: Four Michigan YA Authors

Book Beat and the Baldwin Public Library present Greetings from Michigan, an afternoon with four Michigan authors of young adult literature. Amy Ackley, Tracey Bilen, Beth Neff and Lara Zielin will be at the Baldwin Public Library (300 W. Merrill Street, Birmingham, MI 48009) from 1:30 to 3:30 pm on Tuesday, July 24. Combat any summer doldrums with an opportunity to meet four fresh new faces in the world of young adult fiction.

The authors have all recently released realistic fiction about tough situations faced by teenagers, with stories dealing with problems such as illness, death and abuse. Some of the books take place in Michigan and all of the authors live in Michigan. Come support our states’ talent and take home exciting books sure to spark thought and conversation. We welcome teachers, parents, media specialists and young adults to the event as these titles would be excellent discussion starters. Book Beat will be having a drawing at the event to win a grab bag prize of four signed books, one from each author!

Sign Language, Amy Ackley’s debut novel, follows the heart-breaking story of Abby North whose father has cancer. A thoughtful and realistic look at a life turned upside down by disease, Abby’s path to adulthood is painful, but provides a helpful look at loss. Ackley lives in Brighton, Michigan with her family and is a graduate of Oakland University.

“This is an amazing debut novel for readers who appreciate contemporary teen fiction. It is both moving and realistic, a result of the well-crafted family relationships.” ~VOYA (Voice for Youth Advocates), highlighted review

“Ackley taps into the loneliness of the grieving process, as well as the pain that comes with such a primary loss…readers who stick with it will appreciate Abby’s steady journey to acceptance.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

Tracy Bilen is the author of What She Left Behind, a suspenseful thriller about sixteen-year-old Sara and her mother who goes missing after they make plans to run away from the family’s abusive father. Filled with dark twists and turns, What She Left Behind is sure to keep readers riveted.

“In her debut young adult novel, Bilen takes us into the world of family secrets from a teen’s point of view. The ending includes a twist that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, and yet, once the book is closed, Sara’s story will remain with readers. This is truly a remarkable story of resilience with broad appeal for teens.” — VOYA, April 2012

Beth Neff’s Getting Somewhere takes place on a small farm that operates as a detention and rehabilitation center for girls. Once there, four delinquent girls are forced to work on healing the wounds that sent them down the wrong path. Neff is a former farmer, journalist and sustainability activist as well as author who lives in Constantine, Michigan.

‘Writing in third-person and alternating between the girls’ perspectives, Neff digs beneath the surface of her characters, exposing the vulnerabilities of both the teens and the adults in charge.’ – Publisher’s Weekly

Lara Zielin, who lives in Ypsilanti, is the author of several young adult books, including The Implosion of Aggie Winchester and her newest title, The Waiting Sky. The Implosion of Aggie Winchester concerns a troubled teenager who happens to be the principal’s daughter, which doesn’t help her popularity. Her life becomes much more complicated when she discovers that her best friend’s pregnant and that her mother has breast cancer. The Waiting Sky follows teen Jane McAllister who escapes from her alcoholic mother to live with her tornado-chasing older brother in Oklahoma. This is Zielin’s third novel.

“For teens confronting similar questions, Aggie’s realistically bumpy journey will be welcome, timely, and thoroughly satisfying.”- Publisher’s Weekly

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