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tae keller

Middle grade author


Middle school can make you feel like you're all alone in the universe . . . but what if we aren't alone at all?

Mallory Moss knows how the world works. After meeting the cool girl, Reagan, she finally has a best friend, and Reagan makes Mallory feel like she belongs, like she can fit in this infinite universe, as long as she follows Reagan’s simple rules: wear the right clothes, control your image, know your place. 

But when Jennifer Chan moves into the house across the street, those rules don’t feel quite so simple anymore. Because Jennifer is different. She doesn’t seem to care about the laws of middle school, or the laws of the universe. She’s willing to embrace the strange, the unknown… the extraterrestrial.  She believes in aliens—and what’s more, she thinks she can find them. 

Then Jennifer goes missing. The adults say she ran away…but where is she going? And why? Using clues in Jennifer’s journals about alien encounters, Mallory attempts to find her. But the closer she gets, the more Mallory has to confront why Jennifer might have run … and face the truth within herself.

Jennifer Chan is not Alone_cvr.jpg

Cover art by Dion Mbd

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         “A mesmerizing look at bullying and its aftereffects.”

—Kirkus, starred review


      “With an appeal to a wide variety of readers, this genre fusion is highly recommended for all library shelves.”

—School Library Journal, starred review


    “The emotionally absorbing story is full of thought- provoking explorations on self-confidence, forgiveness, and friendship while illuminating parallels between alien and human struggles.”

—Booklist, starred review

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         "By setting the victim, the missing Jennifer, into the narrative background, Keller directs the flood light onto Mallory and company and aims responsibility (and possible redemption) right where it belongs.”

—The Bulletin, starred review

        “Keller uses a vulnerable first-person narrative that alternates between past and present to sensitively detail the emotional roller coaster of navigating changing social rules, the anxieties of being oneself, and the process of coming to terms with one’s flaws.”                                    —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Keller’s skillful interior narration puts us inside Mallory’s skin, even when it makes us uncomfortable. Couched in the language and pace of a thriller, it explores the gray areas in which we all exist."

New York Times Book Review

“I absolutely loved this book! It’s not just Tae's glorious writing that had me hooked from the start, but her characters, so wonderfully imperfect and nuanced, that felt instantly relatable. In the end, Tae had me wondering which is more mysterious: the existence of extraterrestrials, or the beautiful, occasionally-heartbreaking intricacies of friendship.” 

—R.J. Palacio, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wonder


Winner of the Newbery MEdal

Winner of the Asian Pacific Award

Would you make a deal with a tiger?

When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history.


Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now, the tigers want it back. And when one of those tigers approaches Lily with a deal—return what Halmoni stole in exchange for Halmoni's health—Lily is tempted to accept. 


But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice… and the courage to face a tiger.

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Cover art by Jedit

     “Roars to life with just a touch of magic.”

–Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review



   “If stories were written in the stars and guarded by tigers, this wondrous tale would be one of the brightest ... Readers young and old will want to trap this story in a jar forever.”

–Booklist, Starred Review

    “[An] #OwnVoices journey through Korean mythology begins with a fantastical quest.”

–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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     “This deeply moving book is a must-purchase for all collections, showcasing vulnerable and mythic storytelling."                                                         –School Library Journal, Starred Review


      “A…satisfying story, one that foregrounds family and healing alongside a love for
Korean folklore.”                                                                               
–The Bulletin, Starred Review


When Mihi and her new friends Reese and Savannah discover that their librarian’s refrigerator is actually a portal into a fairy tale land, they expect: 


  • A world filled with magic.

  • A chance to meet (and maybe even become) princesses.

  • A shot to prove, once and for all, that they belong in their favorite fairy tales.

They do not expect: 

  • Scheming mice

  • Dangerous ladies-in-waiting

  • An apple that casts unexpected curses

  • And...zombies??

But when they find all that and more, they must ask themselves: Do they have what it takes to create a fairytale of their own? And even more…do they have what it takes to survive it? 


Cover + interior art by Gery Rodríguez

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How do you grow a miracle? 
For the record, this is not the question Mr. Neely is looking for when he says everyone in class must answer an important question using the scientific method. But Natalie's botanist mother is suffering from depression, so this is The Question that's important to Natalie. When Mr. Neely suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie has hope. 

Eggs are breakable. Hope is not.
Natalie has a secret plan for the prize money. She's going to fly her mother to see the Cobalt Blue Orchids--flowers that survive against impossible odds. The magical flowers are sure to inspire her mother to love life again. Because when parents are breakable, it's up to kids to save them, right?

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Science of Breakable_Yearling cvr[1].jpg

Paperback cover art by Jim Tierney

Hardcover + interior art by Alexandria Neonakis

    "Full of heart. . .Keller’s layered, accessible story offers beautifully crafted metaphors, a theme of mending old friendships and creating new ones, and an empowering teacher to a variety of readers. A moving story about fragility and rebirth."              —Booklist, starred review

    "A compassionate glimpse of mental illness accessible to a broad audience."              —Kirkus, starred review

"A sweet and hope-filled story.”                    —Brightly

"Holy moly!!! This book made me feel." 

—Colby Sharp, editor of The Creativity Project

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About the Author

Tae Keller is the Newbery award winning and New York Times bestselling author of When You Trap a Tiger and The Science of Breakable Things. She grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she subsisted on kimchi, purple rice, and stories. Now, she writes about biracial girls trying to find their voices, and lives in Seattle with her husband and a multitude of books.

Photo Credit: Saavedra Photography

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