OFFSITE: Celebrating Strong Voices in Young Adult Fiction with Jas Hammonds

Friday, February 9, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Location: Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland

Join Print: A Bookstore and the Portland Public Library for an evening to celebrate the paperback release of Jas Hammonds' We Deserve Monuments with a panel of amazing Young Adult Fiction authors including Sacha Lamb, author of When the Angels Left the Old Country and The Telling Room's Leela Marie Hidier, author of Changes in the Weather. These great authors will be discussing their writing journeys, the importance of centering marginalized voices in young adult literature, and so much more!

Cover image for Jas Hammonds' We Deserve MonumentsSmall-town drama, a swoon-worthy romance, and a slow-burn mystery collide in this YA debut that explores how racial violence can ripple down through generations.

What’s more important? Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?

Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson is convinced her senior year is ruined when she's uprooted from her life in DC and forced into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between Avery’s mom and Mama Letty makes for a frosty arrival and unearths past drama they refuse to talk about. Every time Avery tries to look deeper, she’s turned away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.

While tempers flare in her avoidant family, Avery finds friendship in unexpected places: in Simone Cole, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town’s most prominent family—whose mother’s murder remains unsolved.Headshot of author Jas Hammonds

As the three girls grow closer—Avery and Simone’s friendship blossoming into romance—the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town begin to hint at something insidious underneath. The racist history of Bardell, Georgia is rooted in Avery’s family in ways she can’t even imagine. With Mama Letty's health dwindling every day, Avery must decide if digging for the truth is worth toppling the delicate relationships she's built in Bardell—or if some things are better left buried.

Jas Hammonds was raised in many cities and in-between the pages of many books. They have received support for their writing from Lambda Literary, Sundress Academy of the Arts, and the Highlights Foundation. They are also a grateful recipient of a MacDowell James Baldwin Fellowship. We Deserve Monuments is their debut novel.

Cover photo for When The Angels Left the Old CountryFor fans of “Good Omens”—a queer immigrant fairytale about individual purpose, the fluid nature of identity, and the power of love to change and endure.

Uriel the angel and Little Ash (short for Ashmedai) are the only two supernatural creatures in their shtetl (which is so tiny, it doesn't have a name other than Shtetl). The angel and the demon have been studying together for centuries, but pogroms and the search for a new life have drawn all the young people from their village to America. When one of those young emigrants goes missing, Uriel and Little Ash set off to find her.

Headshot of author Sacha LambAlong the way the angel and demon encounter humans in need of their help, including Rose Cohen, whose best friend (and the love of her life) has abandoned her to marry a man, and Malke Shulman, whose father died mysteriously on his way to America. But there are obstacles ahead of them as difficult as what they’ve left behind. Medical exams (and demons) at Ellis Island. Corrupt officials, cruel mob bosses, murderers, poverty. The streets are far from paved with gold.

Sacha Lamb is a 2018 Lambda Literary Fellow in young adult fiction, and graduated in Library and Information Science and History from Simmons University. Sacha lives in New England with a miniature dachshund mix named Anzu Bean. Their debut novel, When The Angels Left The Old Country, was named a Printz Honor Book, a Sydney Taylor Award winner and a Stonewall Book Award winner.

Cover photo for Changes in the Weather

Four teenagers displaced by climate change.

WIND How will Isla fix her family in a world that’s blown apart? EARTH Can a romance bloom for artist Ava, even in a landHeadshot for author Leela Marie Hidier that’s parched? WATER Will songwriter Xenia find the words to express her flooding heart? FIRE How will Natasha put out the fire but still hold on to her spark?

For those coming of age in a time of uncertainty, it’s no longer a question of whether they will be impacted by climate change but when. In this ring of stories from debut author Leela Marie Hidier, four young people find sanctuary—and strength—in their families, friends, communities, and even strangers. Along the way, they learn to use their voices to create change and discover what home really means.

Leela Marie Hidier was born and raised in London, UK, and now lives in a three-generational household in Maine. Leela was one of 15 girls across the nation honored by The First Lady and White House Gender Policy Council for the first ever Girls Leading Change Ceremony at the White House on October 11, 2023. Changes in the Weather is her award-winning debut novel, which she wrote as part of The Telling Room’s Young Emerging Authors program.Leela enjoys playing the piano and mandolin, reading historical fiction, discovering new swimming holes and beaches, baking without recipes, and, of course, writing.  


We Deserve Monuments By Jas Hammonds Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250327932
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Square Fish - February 6th, 2024

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When the Angels Left the Old Country By Sacha Lamb Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646141760
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Levine Querido - October 18th, 2022

SKU: 9781737593867

Event address: 
Portland Public Library
5 Monument Square
Portland, ME