by Marieke Nijkamp
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Pub Date 21 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 16 Jan 2024
HarperCollins Children's Books, Greenwillow Books
“In this vibrant story about the power of the printed word and the strength of found families, every page is bursting with life and detail.” —Ethan Aldridge, creator of the bestselling Estranged
“Fabulous!” —Dan Santat, award-winning author of A First Time for Everything
“Glorious! This empowering read is absolutely unforgettable.” —Ellen Oh, acclaimed author of Finding Junie Kim
Every secret is a story waiting to happen.
From New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp and illustrator Sylvia Bi, this debut middle grade graphic novel celebrates the power that everyone—even those often overlooked—has to create change. In a vibrant city, two girls from very different walks of life join forces to fight censorship and protect the people they love.
Eleven-year-old Cinzia is a printer’s apprentice. She adores Mestra Aronne for taking her in—most guilds don’t have room for apprentices with a crippled leg—and she loves life in the raggedy workshop that smells of paper and printing, where secrets and stories are always circulating. So when Mestra Aronne is imprisoned for publishing accusations against the ruling family, Cinzia will do anything to prove that Mestra Aronne only told the truth.
Elena is the exact same age as Cinzia, but she’s forced to keep to her rooms and garden. To protect her, according to her mother. To protect the city, according to her uncle. Because Elena is not the charming, powerful noble her family wants her to be. According to them, she doesn’t communicate well. She’s too gullible and literal and struggles to understand other people.
After unexpectedly meeting face-to-face, the girls follow a trail of clues through their golden city, drawing supporters and learning more about their home and each other than they ever could have imagined. If one person—no matter how young—can change the course of history, just imagine what a whole flock of them could do.
Bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp and debut illustrator Sylvia Bi have crafted an indelible, vibrant story about finding and using your voice, perfect for fans of Lightfall, Tidesong, and The Prince and the Dressmaker.