A Split Second

by Janae Marks

On Sale: 10/01/2024

A Split Second

Enlarge Book Cover

A Split Second

by Janae Marks

On Sale: 10/01/2024


About the Book

New York Times bestselling author Janae Marks delivers a stunningly crafted and twisty mystery about the tests of friendships that examines what matters most when everything can change in a split second—perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead and Anne Ursu.

That clock can’t be right. When Elise wakes up the morning after her birthday celebration, she’s surprised to find herself in her bedroom. Last she can remember, she had fallen asleep next to her best friends at her slumber party in her basement, and it was October. But now she’s alone, and her phone says it’s April 8. Elise doesn’t understand. How could she have woken up six months later?

No one else is acting like anything strange has happened, yet Elise can't remember the last half year. To make matters worse, her friends refuse to talk to her and Elise doesn't know why. She also has no idea how she got signed up for photography club or why her former best friend, Cora, is talking to her again. Is it a memory problem? Could it be magic? Every day that passes takes Elise further from the world she knew. Thankfully, Elise has Cora to lean on in this new reality, and the two come together to investigate why Elise woke up in the future—and, more important, how to get her back to her past and away from this nightmare.

Critical Praise

"Janae Marks writes characters you can't help but love and plots you can't help but devour. I couldn't put this book down." — Tae Keller, author of Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling When You Trap a Tiger

"A smart and sweet magical mystery, bursting with hope and heart." — Sarah Mlynowksi, New York Times bestselling author of the Whatever After series

"A fun and twisty story—A Split Second shines with charm and intrigue." — Jasmine Warga, Newbery Honor-winning author of Other Words for Home

Praise for A Soft Place to Land: "A Soft Place to Land confirms Marks’ status as one of the brightest new stars of contemporary middle grade. Whereas Zoe Washington explored injustice and systemic racism, A Soft Place to Land explores class in a story-driven way that never feels heavy-handed."  — BookPage

“Blending mystery with realistic fiction, Joy’s story of how complicated life is for a kid will resonate with readers in tender and poignant ways.”  — Booklist (starred review)

“A wonderfully timely story about connection, loss and the spaces we need to understand one and brave the other.”  — Paula Chase, author of Dough Boys and So Done  

"This relatable story touches on topics such as divorce (Joy's parents briefly separate, then reconcile), the ups and downs of having a job at a young age, and the difficulties that arise from keeping secrets from family and friends. An engaging coming-of-age story that will appeal to a wide range of readers."  — School Library Journal

“Marks has a keen eye and ear for the telling particulars of the family’s struggle to forge ahead in a new setting, and the book is sensitive to everyone’s need for a space to be alone from time to time. Fans will welcome her introduction to another determined and resilient Black tween heroine.”  
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

A Soft Place to Land perfectly captures how complicated it is to be a kid. Readers who have faced times of change and uncertainty of their own will recognize themselves in Joy and find hope in her courage, her ingenuity, and her fierce dedication to her friends.”  — Kate Messner, author of Breakout and Chirp

“A joyful story about the power of being kind and sticking together when life gets bumpy. A Soft Place to Land is a book that kids will love.” —  Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me 

“With a dash of mystery, sprinkle of passion, and whole lot of heart, From the Desk of Zoe Washington has found a winning recipe.” 
Coe Booth, author of Kinda Like Brothers

"This poignant look at friendship, loss, and facing consequences hits all the right notes. It will squeeze your heart in such a special way. Marks tenderly blends mystery, compassion and the highs and lows of friendship in a perfect melody. A Soft Place to Land will have readers cheering for Joy and longing for a hideout of their very own.” —  Lisa Moore Ramée, author of A Good Kind of Trouble and Something to Say 

Praise for From the Desk of Zoe Washington: “How could someone innocent end up in prison? With the help of her grandmother and her friend Trevor, Zoe begins to learn about systemic racism and how black people…are more likely to be wrongfully convicted of murder than white people. This powerful debut packs both depth and sweetness, tackling a tough topic in a sensitive, compelling way. An extraordinary, timely, must-read debut about love, family, friendship, and justice.” 
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"At turns poignant and affirmative, this novel by Marks imparts invaluable messages on growing up, being honest, and communicating feelings to loved ones."  — Publishers Weekly

“A touching, tender, and absorbing read!” — Jodi Kendall, author of The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City

“A delightful confection of a novel! Zoe is a wondrous heroine who inspires a deeper love for food, family, and friends. Advocating for social justice, she creates a new recipe for a better, sweeter world. An enticing and enthralling debut from Janae Marks.” — Jewell Parker Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Boys

“Marks doesn’t downplay the immense impact of mass incarceration on communities of color, but neither does she dramatize it, allowing the reader to focus, instead, on Zoe’s discovery of the amazing work of the Innocence Project, and the bittersweet blossoming of her relationship with her birth father. From the Desk of Zoe Washington tackles the complex costs of the pursuit of justice and motivates readers to feel equipped—and energized—to stand up for what’s right, right now. Readers will recognize that, like Zoe Washington, they need not wait until they grow up to make their actions count.”  — Tanita S. Davis, author of Mare’s War

"Never heavy-handed, Marks’ prose is as sweet as one of Zoe’s confections. And as the icing on the cake, From the Desk of Zoe Washington imparts important lessons about judging other people, whether by the color of their skin or by their presumed guilt or innocence." 

“Marks delivers a spirited central character whose determination to get to the truth is admirable. An involving family story, this novel could also serve as an introduction to social justice for elementary schoolers."  — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A smart, necessary, and hopeful middle grade debut that expertly balances a gentle, heartwarming tone with searing insight into systemic racism.” 
School Library Journal (starred review)

"Debut author Marks seamlessly weaves timely discussions about institutionalized racism into this uplifting and engaging story that packs an emotional punch." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This exceptionally sweet debut from Marks illustrates profound cracks in the American criminal justice system while telling an affecting story grounded in the middle-grade experience. The troubling ways race affects the characters…will facilitate important conversations about racial profiling and incarceration rates for people of color. Fortunately, Marks’ capable storytelling and engaging characters also combine into a wondrous confection of a book, full of heart and hope and promise.” 
Booklist (starred review)

"A bittersweet story of silent perseverance and kids working for themselves."  — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for On Air with Zoe Washington: "A worthwhile message about perseverance, not rushing to judgment, and, most importantly, standing up for what you believe in." — Kirkus Reviews

"Marks captures the exuberance and energy of early teens in her prose and delicately balances Zoe as a likable protagonist—one with room to broaden her horizons."
Booklist Online

"A delightful and inspiring read." — School Library Journal


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063212367
  • ISBN 10: 0063212366
  • Imprint: Quill Tree Books
  • On Sale: 10/01/2024
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price:24.99 CAD
  • Ages: 8 to 12
  • BISAC2 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
  • BISAC3 : JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / African American
  • BISAC4 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings

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