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Jessica Verdi | Young Adult Author

Picture Book News!

I am SO THRILLED to announce that my debut picture book, co-written with the amazing Rachel Lyons, will be published by FSG Books for Young Readers! When Rachel’s son came out as transgender, their family discovered there were NO picture books for children about trans boys. We set out to fix that. I’m so honored to be a part of this important project.

Here’s the announcement from Publishers Weekly:

Can’t wait to share illustrator news! 🙂

New Book Title!

After a whole lot of brainstorming and discussion with the amazing folks at Scholastic, we’ve finally landed on the perfect title for my upcoming novel. It’s called… AND SHE WAS.

This is actually the name of my favorite Talking Heads song, and I think it encapsulates Dara and Mellie’s story just right, and in so many ways. I love it!

I should have a cover to share soon, but in the meantime, here’s “And She Was” by the Talking Heads. 🙂

Rock the Vote 2016

The YA community is getting together to share their “first time voting” stories for Rock the Vote! Check out my story below, and be sure to visit and follow #FirstVote16 for more info on how to register to vote!

New book news!

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce my new book deal with Scholastic! We’re still working on finding the perfect title, but I do know it will hit shelves in 2018, and I can’t wait! Check out the announcement from Publishers Weekly, and stay tuned for more!


Deal announcement

Giveaway Time!!!

What You Left BehindHappy holidays, everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season, getting your menorah candles ready or Christmas tree decorated or Festivus pole set up, or doing some Winter Solstice reflection. 🙂

TODAY ONLY, December 5th, my newest book, What You Left Behind, is $1.99 across all e-book platforms. The book is today’s BookBub YA deal, and in an effort to get the word out, I’m holding a giveaway! I’ll be giving TWO winners a signed HARDCOVER copy of What You Left Behind, as well signed paperbacks of both The Summer I Wasn’t Me and My Life After Now. And this giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! 

To enter, all you have to do is tweet/retweet or Instagram/re-gram about the promotion, with a link to BookBub or direct to a retailer! (Don’t forget to tag me—@jessverdi—so I see it.) Winners will be chosen Sunday, December 6th.

Here are some sample tweets: 

The eBook of WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND by @JessVerdi is $1.99 TODAY ONLY! Treat yo’self. Romance + tear jerker + boy POV!

The eBook of WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND by @JessVerdi is $1.99 TODAY ONLY! Plus, retweet to enter international giveaway!

If you decide to write your own tweet, here are some links, so you don’t have to go searching:



Barnes and Noble

Google Play


Thanks, guys! And good luck! xoxo

Pretty Darn Cool

Tegan and Sara, one of my favorite bands, read The Summer I Wasn’t Me and Instagrammed about it! So cool!!!

Tegan and Sara Instagram


I’m so happy to be able to post the first author blurb for What You Left Behind — and it’s a terrific one!

“Ryden’s story is a moving illustration of how sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned to embrace the life you’ve been given. A strong, character-driven story that teen readers will love.” — Carrie Arcos, National Book Award Finalist for Out of Reach

Thank you so much, Carrie!! 🙂

Also, What You Left Behind is officially up for pre-order. Yippee! So soon now!

Cover Reveal for WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND!!!

Barnes and Noble’s awesome book blog hosted the cover reveal for my new book WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND last week, and I’m SO excited! The cover is gorgeous, and I got so many positive responses from TAL (Twitterers At Large). I can’t wait for this book to be out in the world—only 6 more months!

So here it is! What do you think?

What You Left Behind

























For the full cover reveal and my own personal thoughts/reactions to the cover, click here!

Join YA Authors and Readers in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign!

I’m so glad to be part of the We Need Diverse Books initiative. It’s our goal and hope that the literary industry will begin publishing more books (YA, MG, and picture books in particular) with lead characters who are people of color, LGBTQ, disabled, of varying religions, and diverse and many different ways. Here’s how you can help:


We Need Diverse BooksRecently, there’s been a groundswell of discontent over the lack of diversity in children’s literature. The issue is being picked up by news outlets like these two pieces in the NYT, CNN, EW, and many more. But while we individually care about diversity, there is still a disconnect. BEA’s Bookcon recently announced an all-white-male panel of “luminaries of children’s literature,” and when we pointed out the lack of diversity, nothing changed.

Now is the time to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored. Here’s how:

On May 1st at 1pm (EST), there will be a public call for action that will spread over 3 days. We’re starting with a visual social media campaign using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We want people to tweet, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, blog, and post anywhere they can to help make the hashtag go viral.

For the visual part of the campaign:

  • Take a photo holding a sign that says “We need diverse books because ___________________________.” Fill in the blank with an important, poignant, funny, and/or personal reason why this campaign is important to you.
  • The photo can be of you or a friend or anyone who wants to support diversity in kids’ lit. It can be a photo of the sign without you if you would prefer not to be in a picture. Be as creative as you want! Pose the sign with your favorite stuffed animal or at your favorite library. Get a bunch of friends to hold a bunch of signs.
  • However you want to do it, we want to share it! There will be a Tumblr at that will host all of the photos and messages for the campaign. Please submit your visual component by May 1st to with the subject line “photo” or submit it right on our Tumblr page here and it will be posted throughout the first day.
  • Starting at 1:00PM (EST) the Tumblr will start posting and it will be your job to reblog, tweet, Facebook, or share wherever you think will help get the word out.
  • The intent is that from 1pm EST to 3pm EST, there will be a nonstop hashtag party to spread the word. We hope that we’ll get enough people to participate to make the hashtag trend and grab the notice of more media outlets.
  • The Tumblr will continue to be active throughout the length of the campaign, and for however long we need to keep this discussion going, so we welcome everyone to keep emailing or sending in submissions even after May 1st. Read more…

New Book Deal!

I’m so excited to finally be able to announce the sale of my third young adult novel, What You Left Behind, to my awesome publisher Sourcebooks Fire! Here’s the Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf announcement:

“Annette Pollert at Sourcebooks Fire has bought Jessica Verdi‘s new novel,What You Left Behind, about a teen wrestling with guilt that if he hadn’t gotten his girlfriend pregnant, she wouldn’t have postponed her chemo treatments – and would still be alive. But as Rhy struggles to be a good father and grieve his girlfriend’s death, he uncovers secrets that will make him reconsider every relationship in his life. The book is scheduled for publication in 2015; Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.”

Yes, this book is my first one written in the point of view of a BOY. It was so fun being in Ryden’s head and being able to write in his voice. I hope readers love him as much as I do. Stay tuned for more info!


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