cover image Before the Devil Knows You’re Here

Before the Devil Knows You’re Here

Autumn Krause. Peachtree Teen, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-68263-647-3

In 1836 Wisconsin, Mexican American 17-year-old Catalina lives with her father and younger brother, Jose Luis. Following the appearance of three mysterious apples on their isolated wilderness doorstep, her father suddenly grows ill and dies. Soon after, the Man of Sap—a monstrous figure, made of bark and leaves, from the fairy tales her father spun for her—kidnaps Jose Luis. To recover her brother, Catalina pursues the man into the woods, along the way witnessing the trail of destruction he has left in his wake, and the myriad horrifying entities that populate the world undetected. Demons both physical and psychological plague Catalina as she endeavors to preserve what’s left of her family and discover how the Man of Sap’s mysterious past connects to her own. Via an intoxicatingly woven dual POV, Krause (A Dress for the Wicked) presents a narrative that splits equal time between Catalina, as she undergoes her fierce and unique journey, and John, the Man of Sap, whose history is enriched by complicated introspection that delves into class differences and addiction. By tapping into fears both folkloric and biblical, Krause pulls no punches, injecting this atmospheric telling with original and inviting horrors. Ages 14–up. Agent: Susan Hawk, Upstart Crow Literary. (Oct.)