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Releasing April 4, 2023 simultaneously as hardcover and paperback
Sixteen acclaimed authors—including a National Book Award nominee, a New York Times best-selling novelist, and a beloved actress—join forces for a cross-genre YA anthology of linked short stories about the first days of college.
Jilly cannot believe her parents keep showing up at all of her orientation events. (Except, yes, she can totally believe that.) Isaac wants to be known as someone other than the kid who does magic and has an emotional support bunny. Lilly is stuck working at the college bookstore during orientation (but maybe new friends are closer than they appear). Hira, meanwhile, just wants to retire from ghost hunting once and for all, but a spirit in the library’s romance section has other ideas. For their sophomore effort, the contributing editors behind the critically acclaimed Battle of the Bands admit us to opening day at a fictional college, with a collection that makes an ideal high school graduation gift or “summer-before” read. This colorful array of stories spans genres and moods—from humorous to heartfelt to ghostly—tackling with sensitivity, humor, and warmth what it feels like to take those first shaky steps into adulthood.
With stories by:
Adi Alsaid * Anna Birch * Bryan Bliss * Gloria Chao * Jennifer Chen * Olivia A. Cole * Dana L. Davis * Kristina Forest * Lauren Gibaldi * Kathleen Glasgow * Sam Maggs * Farah Naz Rishi * Lance Rubin * Aminah Mae Safi * Eric Smith * Phil Stamper
Charming. . . The stories explore the push and pull of moving into a new, more independent life stage with humor and compassion, and they portray a wide range of experiences and identities. . . There’s an effortlessness to the representation, with fully fleshed-out characters grappling with their sense of self that isn’t defined by identity politics. . . . By turns realist and surrealist, funny and tender, these stories have something for any teen starting to think about college and will leave them with the reassurance that there’s plenty of magic ahead.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
These 16 contemporary stories about the first day of college address the unsettling mix of feelings caused by launching into a new life in an unfamiliar place. . . . The stories are cleverly interlinked, with characters making cameos in other stories or experiencing different sides of the same events. . . A strong short story collection focusing on a life-changing transition.