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Parched

Parched

I think it's fair to say that it's been a good couple of weeks for Melanie Crowder. Her debut novel, PARCHED, was just released to much acclaim, including a Junior Library Guild selection, and a review in which the Wall Street Journal dubbed it "an absorbing and strangely beautiful story of valor and survival."

Now, there's even more good news to share. Can you guess? YES! You are going to be reading more from Melanie Crowder. In her latest novel, AUDACITY, she tackles an extraordinarily important time in history:

In 1909, more than 20,000 young women walked out of shirtwaist factories up and down the New York garment district. They went on strike, fed up with the long hours and dangerous working conditions, and the patronizing disregard by the male union establishment. The figure who called them to action, "the spark that struck the tinder box," was a young Jewish immigrant named Clara Lemlich.

Clara's family fled the Kishinev pogrom of 1903 and she arrived in this country with dreams of becoming a doctor. But her parents couldn't find work because the factory bosses liked to hire young girls who had no union to demand fair pay, or fire escapes, or the Sabbath day for rest. So within a week of her arrival, instead of going to school, Clara went to work. But it was not in her to keep her head down and her thoughts to herself, and Clara soon found herself firmly planted at the front of the picket line.

A novel in verse, AUDACITY follows Clara's path from impoverished immigrant girl to powerful cultural icon.

I'm thrilled to say that AUDACITY was pre-empted in a two-book deal, by Liza Kaplan at Philomel, with a tentative release date of early 2015. Please join us in celebrating Melanie and her wonderful news!

—Joan