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Jessica Verdi | Young Adult Author


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 http://weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com/ that will host all of the photos and messages for the campaign. Please submit your visual component by May 1st to weneeddiversebooks@yahoo.com 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!

Enter to Win a Signed ARC of ‘The Summer I Wasn’t Me’ on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi

The Summer I Wasn’t Me

by Jessica Verdi

Giveaway ends March 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

My Life After Now to be Published in Poland!!!

My Life After Now PolandOMG you guys. Best Monday morning news ever.

My Life After Now has sold in Poland and will be published in that country February 5th, 2014!

I can’t wait to hold a book in my hands that I wrote but don’t have the first clue how to read. There’s something kinda awesome about that.

Here’s the back cover copy… in case you happen to read Polish:

Myślisz, że ciebie nie może to spotkać?

To był najgorszy dzień w życiu Lucy. Serio, najgorszy z najgorszych. To wszystko już ją przerasta – chce uciec. Z domu, od własnych myśli i od własnego życia. Chce zostać zupełnie nową Lucy. Decyduje się więc na coś, co dawnej Lucy nie przeszłoby nawet przez myśl. Teraz jej życie już nigdy nie będzie takie samo. Czy będzie mogła mieć teraz chłopaka? Co powie przyjaciołom? Czy będzie miała odwagę przyznać się rodzinie? Jej życie jest teraz zupełnie inne. Każda chwila to dar. A tych chwil może nie być już zbyt wiele… Ten jeden raz, który zmieni całe życie.

And what do you think of the Polish cover? I think it’s super pretty. 🙂

ALAN Workshop 2013

ALAN 2013I recently had the honor of speaking at the 2013 ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTW) Workshop in Boston. It was such a wonderful experience (terrible Amtrak experiences notwithstanding).

Dinner with the Sourcebooks team (including my fellow author Zoraida Cordova — author of the awesome Vicious Deep series), the opportunity to sit in on amazing panels (with Laurie Halse Anderson, Jacqueline Woodson, and Rainbow Rowell, just to name a very small few), and the chance to introduce The Summer I Wasn’t Me to a room full of over 500 English teachers and librarians. It was all incredible. Read more…

Cool Stuff That Happened This Week

The past week and a half has been a busy one! Here’s some cool stuff that happened:

Writers retreat1. I went on my first ever writers retreat! Last weekend, seven awesome writers (including YA authors Caela Carter, Alison Cherry, Mindy Raf, and Lindsay Ribar) and I drove up to Woodstock, NY (the damn near closest you’ll ever get to Stars Hollow), stayed at a gorgeous house in the woods (complete with hot tub!), and wrote wrote wrote for four days straight. I had so much fun, and made some great progress on my current project.

2. I signed copies of My Life After Now at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, NY — an AMAAAAZING independent bookstore. Seriously, their YA and MG sections are out of control.

3. I participated in a dramatic reading of the first chapter of Red at Alison Cherry’s book launch party at BookCourt in Brooklyn! I played the main character’s best friend Hayley. It was ridiculous and hilarious and so much fun. Read more…

Advanced Reader Copies of ‘The Summer I Wasn’t Me’ Are In!

Ahhhhhhhhhh!!! They are BEAUTIFUL! I can’t wait till the book hits stores in April!

The Summer I Wasn't Me ARCThe Summer I Wasn't Me ARC back cover


Guest Post on Tackling Tough Topics in YA Over at Writers Digest!

Super fun news today! I’m guest blogging over at Writers Digest today on the subject of Tackling Tough Topics in YA. (Writers Digest has over 413,000 Twitter followers, so, you know, I’m pretty excited. Maybe even more than when Lake Bell retweeted me last night!) 😉

Writers Digest tweetHere’s a little sample of the piece:

My number one piece of advice to anyone seeking to tackle difficult themes in YA: don’t forget the character while writing about the issue. If there’s a subject you are passionate about and want to write about, go for it, no matter how tricky the issue may be—teenagers can handle and understand a lot more than we sometimes give them credit for. But readers of any age also want to connect with the characters they’re reading about. If you are able to find that balance, you’ll have a successful story.

Click here to check out the entire post and enter to WIN A SIGNED COPY of My Life After Now!

Lake Bell retweet


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