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2015 Fall Lineup

Prison islands, martyrs, mason jar salads, hoaxes and con artists, literary maps and more: our fall titles maybe don’t share a lot of common themes, but they each make for startling, thoughtful, and meaningful fall reading. So, in chronological order, Zest’s 2015 fall releases!

Prison Island by Colleen Frakes
Sept. 1  |  preorder

Prison IslandMcNeil Island in Washington state was once the home of the last prison island in the US (accessible only by air or sea). Nearly everyone who lived there—convicts the exception, of course—worked in the prison.

In Prison Island, Colleen Frakes tells her story of growing up as a young girl on McNeil. Beyond the irregularities of living in a company town near a prison, remote island life posed other challenges to Colleen and her sister.Frakes_What Regular teenage activities like ordering a pizza or going to the movies became extremely complicated endeavors on the island, and the small-town dynamics were amplified by their isolation from surrounding cities. It’s a story that is simultaneously familiar and foreign (Colleen’s birthday party gets crashed by an escaped convict), but readers will be surprised to see parts of themselves in Colleen’s unique experience.

Whoppers by Christine Seifert
Sept. 1  |  preorder

WhoppersHistory is full of liars. Not just little-white-telling liars, but big, honkin’, whopper-telling liars—people who can convince us that even the most outrageous stories are true. And the worst part is we believe them. Whoppers chronicles history’s greatest liars and the lies they told—sometimes for money, sometimes for fame, and sometimes just for the heck of it.

Providing an enlightening and fun romp through history, with an eye on the fundamental absurdity of human behavior, Whoppers is backed by solid research and offers a vital look into what humans are both capable of fabricating and believing—because, let’s be honest, everyone’s lied (though, hopefully never quite like this).

Mug It! by Pam McElroy
Sept. 8  |  preorder

mugMeals for one have never been so fun! From blueberry muffins and quiches to mac ‘n cheese and chocolate peanut butter cake, Mug It! contains 60 simple, delicious, recipes for every taste and craving. Perfect for after-school snacks, dorm room dinners, quick lunches at the office, and more, this book will change the way you think about mealtime. Easy-to-follow recipes and four-color photographs of quirky, playful mugs make Mug It! the perfect cookbook for nearly anyone who has a mug, a microwave, and an appetite.

Martyrdom by Hallie Fryd and illustrated by Julia Gfrörer
Sept. 29  |  preorder

martyrdomThe lives of the saints are filled with inspiring, life-changing moments—but the deaths of the martyrs are where you’ll find the real “Oh, hell no!” moments of history. This adult (very adult, as the body count will quickly indicate) coloring book gives aspiring crayon and paper artists the chance to hone their craft while buffing up their knowledge of Catholic history and tales. The attending stories will go down pretty easy at cocktail hours as well.

Each intricately detailed illustration leaves plenty of room for interpretation. How will you render the sea that drowned St. Clement (or the anchor that was tied around his neck at the time)? The clubs and arrows that stilled St. Valentine’s heart? The gladiator that finished St. Perpetua? And what about the scene surrounding St. Elmo when he passed on? The lives and deaths of the saints are shockingly detailed, but in the text they always appear in black and white—and now it’s time to color. (Pro tip: Make sure you have more than one red crayon handy.)

Speak Up! by Halley Bondy, illustrated by Jordyn Bonds
Oct. 6  |  preorder

speakupCulture teaches girls at an early age to be sheepish, unsure, and apologetic. Middle school is a tough time for nearly everyone, but it can be especially hard on girls who must navigate these social and cultural pressures in addition to academic challenges, family dynamics, changing hormones, and a growing awareness of the world around them. Young girls often end up feeling voiceless and powerless, an unfortunate position that can last into adulthood.

Speak Up! confronts these issues head on, with interactive exercises, lists, real-life examples, and attractive graphics. In a relatable, frank tone, this book lets young girls know that what they have to say is important and their thoughts are worth hearing.

Plotted by Andrew DeGraff
Oct. 20  |  preorder

frederick_douglass_1frederick_douglass_2This incredibly wide-ranging collection of maps — all inspired by literary classics — offers readers a new way of looking at their favorite fictional worlds. Andrew DeGraff’s stunningly detailed artwork takes readers deep into the landscapes from The OdysseyHamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Invisible Man, A Wrinkle in Time, Watership Down, A Christmas Carol, and more. Sure to reignite a love for old favorites as well as spark fresh interest in more recent works, Plotted provides a unique new way of appreciating the lands of the human imagination.

See more maps over at BuzzFeed.

UnSlut by Emily Lindin
Dec. 29  |  preorder

UnSlut1When Emily Lindin was eleven, she was branded a “slut” by her classmates. For the next few years of her life, she was bullied incessantly at school, after school, and online. At the time, Emily didn’t feel comfortable confiding in her parents or in the other adults in her life. But she did keep a diary.

UnSlut presents that diary, word for word, with split-page commentary to provide context and perspective. This unique diary and memoir sheds light on the important issues of sexual bullying, slut-shaming, and the murky mores of adolescent sexual development. Readers will see themselves in Emily’s story—whether as the bully, the shamed, or the passive bystander. For more, be sure to check out Emily’s organization against shaming, The UnSlut Project.

To stay apprised of fall happenings, be sure to connect with us in all the usual places: facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, ad infinitum.

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