During my first few months of agenting, I was lucky enough to get sent a manuscript from Elizabeth Keenan. It did what I love most when it comes to YA. It was a mashup of genres with a powerful message. On one end, it's a YA contemporary novel about female friendships and sisterhood. On the other, it's a historical punk rock protest novel about feminism, women's rights, and riot grrrls.
And in 2019, you'll be able to hold this fantastic book in your hands.
I'm thrilled to say that Elizabeth Keenan's YA debut, REBEL GIRLS, has been acquired by Lauren Smulski at Harlequin Teen, and will be in bookstores everywhere the Summer of 2019.
From the music, which will make teenagers everywhere load up Spotify to learn about Bikini Kill and other tunes of the era that are sprinkled throughout, to the powerful friendships that I just ADORE in these kind of stories, there's a lot to fall in love with here.
From the punk rock buttons to the patches on backpacks, Elizabeth's book made me think of when I was a teenager, sticking every New Found Glory and MXPX pin I could find on my jeans and backpacks. How the music that you almost literally wore on your sleeve could play such a huge part in your identity. That what you listened to, was a part of who you are.
And yes, yes, I know my pop-punk love isn't quite riot grrrl music, but you get my point. The characters felt like people I knew, and I loved them for it, and Elizabeth for crafting them so brilliantly.
Here's the full blip from Publisher's Weekly:
Lauren Smulski at Harlequin Teen has acquired Elizabeth Keenan's REBEL GIRLS, in which a pro-choice teen risks expulsion from her Catholic school when she rallies her friends to defend her pro-life sister, who has been accused of having an abortion. Through a campaign filled with riot-grrrl inspired protests, patches, and pins, she struggles to become the champion her sister needs, in the wake of intense anti-abortion protests in their city in 1992. Publication is scheduled for Summer 2019; Eric Smith of P.S. Literary brokered the deal for World Rights.
You did it, Elizabeth! We're here! Tell 2019 to hurry up.