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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Cover Reveal (and Excerpt!): Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri

Arthur A. Levine, Arthur A. Levine. Do you remember Arthur A. Levine?

Silly question. Of course you do. All you need to do is pick up an American edition of any Harry Potter book and you’ll see Arthur’s imprint there on the spine. Arthur has a gift, you see, for seeing the potential in any children’s book. Mind you, I’m not an uninterested party (The Great Santa Stakeout was one of the last books to be published under the Arthur A. Levine imprint with Scholastic) but I’m also not wrong. The world of children’s literature today would be a very different place if not for Arthur A. Levine.

Of course he’s not running that imprint anymore. Arthur, you see, left Scholastic almost a year ago and reappeared at an all new publisher called Levine Querido. His list’s mission:

“… seeking out the writing and artwork of exceptionally talented creators, with a distinct focus on building a platform for previously underrepresented voices. “

Switch focus now. Back it up. I want to tell you about an entirely different guy in children’s book publishing. Don’t worry, we’ll circle back to Arthur here but first I want to tell you a thing or two about Daniel Nayeri.

Daniel Nayeri could sell water to a drowning man and I mean that in the best possible way. I first met Daniel years ago when he was the Director of Children’s Publishing at Workman Publishing Company. If Daniel told you about a book, any book, you would be filled with an undeniable desire to purchase it. Even if you already owned it. Even if you owned two of it, Daniel could get you to want more. It would only later occur to me that this was because Daniel was, at heart, a writer. I’m not being poetic here, he really did write quite a lot of books. His range was incredible. There were YA novels with titles like Another Faust, Another Pan, and Another Jekyll, Another Hyde. There were silly interactive ones like The Most Dangerous Book (look that one up sometime) and the sublime Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow. More recently he’s been writing that Elixir Fixers series I like so much. And now, to top it all off, he’s the publisher of Macmillan’s Children’s Publishing Group Odd Dot (you can read an interview with him at ShelfAwareness about it here). He may even have been a board game designer or pastry chef somewhere in there. I dunno. After a while all this starts to sound a bit mythical.

Okay, let’s head on back to Arthur A. Levine. Why? What could these two men have to do with one another? Well, after we all got over our shock at Arthur’s departure, and reconciled ourselves to his new company, the question was what he was going to produce first. What book would premiere the official Levine Querido list? It would have to be good. Heck, it would have to be exceptional. Epic, even! A book that would get tongues wagging.

You see where I am going with this.

Ladies and germs, it is with great pleasure, that I present to you, not only a view of the first Levine Querido title, but also an excerpt from the book itself. Coming to you August 25, 2020 . . .

As book jackets go, this is the one to beat in 2020. Full credit to cover artist David Curtis, and jacket designers Elizabeth Parisi and Semadar Megged.

Here is the description of this middle grade novel:

His story is a true one—told from the point of view of middle-school-age Daniel recounting his family’s midnight run from the secret police in Iran, and their experiences as refugees, first in Dubai then a camp in Italy and finally Oklahoma. As young Daniel narrates to his disbelieving American classmates, the story unfolds from the recent past, reaching back to the ancient past. 

But Daniel’s story is not just heart-rending – it is full of humor and hope, a beacon of light in dark times. And most importantly, Daniel is a symbol of what it means to come to America and live out your dreams.

The best news? If you are attending ALA Mid-Winter, there will apparently be an exclusive galley drop of this book. You lucky dogs might have a chance to read this book long before I ever do. Me? No, I’m not jealous. I like sulking in corners. Scout’s honor.

And now, for your reading pleasure, an excerpt from the book itself:

Many thanks to Alex Hernandez, Arthur, and Daniel for the chance to share this book with the world.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Maggie Bokelman says

    Usually I’m the one seething with envy while the cool kids at conferences flash the hottest and latest ARCs on social media sites, but today it’s me. Snatched FOUR Levine Querido galleys at ALA midwinter and they all look like move-to-the-top-of-the-TBR listers. WOW. Can’t wait to read and share!