cover image We Are the Scribes

We Are the Scribes

Randi Pink. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-82031-0

A Black 16-year-old is spurred to action amid present-day political unrest when she’s visited by the ghost of an enslaved woman from the 1900s in this affecting novel from Pink (Angel of Greenwood). Reserved Ruth Fitz would rather write quietly in her journal than be in the spotlight, but attention is difficult to avoid when the rest of her family are prominent social rights activists; her mother is an Alabama senator, her father is an African American History professor, and her older sister Virginia is outspoken on social media. But Ruth’s life is thrown into disarray when Virginia dies during a protest, and mysterious parchment scrolls with the seal “We Are the Scribes,” sent by Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl author Harriet Jacobs (1813–1897), start arriving addressed to Ruth. Harriet’s letters provide comfort and courage as Ruth finds her voice, unites her grief-stricken family, honors her sister’s memory, and champions a better future for Black lives in America. Pink mindfully ruminates on the healing and lifesaving power of words, expertly highlighting Harriet’s experiences, as told in her autobiography, to reflect on Ruth’s tumultuous present. Ages 13–up. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt and Zacker Literary. (Oct.)