cover image The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night (The Pumpkin Princess #1)

The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night (The Pumpkin Princess #1)

Steven Banbury. Little, Brown, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-57298-9; $8.99 paper ISBN 978-0-316-57299-6

While making her latest escape from the orphanage in which she’s lived ever since her biological parents’ deaths, a white-cued tween encounters the mythical Pumpkin King, “the monster under your bed, the trick in the darkness, and the treat of it all.” When she shows no fear, the Pumpkin King—a terrifying figure with a jack-o’-lantern for a head—adopts her, names her Eve (for All Hallow’s Eve), and takes her home to the hidden Hallowell Valley, a refuge for all manner of spirits and monsters, where she is to be crowned the Pumpkin Princess. As the only human in town, Eve is an oddity, and not everyone is happy to welcome her. But she soon befriends fellow kids, which is fortuitous, because when dark forces threaten her new home and family, Eve will need her friends’ help to save the day. Banbury weaves a cozy tale in this thoroughly delightful debut reminiscent of The Graveyard Book and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The growing bond between Eve and the Pumpkin King is tender and inspiring as the grumpy gourd-headed guardian does his best to rear his unsure yet headstrong daughter. Ages 8–12. Agent: Lauren Galit, LKG Agency. (Sept.)