New book: 'Almost Midnight' -- illustrated short stories

I'm very happy to share more details about Almost Midnight, a book that collects "Midnights" and "Kindred Spirits," with illustrations by my friend Simini Blocker. 

Both these stories have been published elsewhere, but this is a very beautiful gift edition with a sparkling cloth cover and black-and-white illustrations throughout. (It's really properly illustrated.) We went with this title because, coincidentally, both stories count down to midnight.

Almost Midnight comes out Nov. 2, 2017. If you're in the UK or Australia, you can order from your favorite bookshop! 

You can also preorder the book from all over the world. (Book Depository is a pretty good choice.) My editor has told me that only the first printing will have the sparkly cover. So if that's a selling point for you, definitely preorder. 

Now for the really good stuff! I've gotten permission to share some of Simini's illustrations. I met Simini online in 2013, when Eleanor & Park came out. (Simini's E&P fan art is lovely.)  We became friends, and I even named a character in "Midnights" after her. Which makes this book especially dear to me -- to have her illustrate her own namesake! 

I've loved watching Simini's illustrations take shape. She always shows such a rich understanding of the characters. Here are Noel and Mags from "Midnights"--

And here's Elena (also named after a friend, my assistant Elena Yip) and Gabe at the movie theater in "Kindred Spirits"-- 

The book features Simini's illustration throughout. Some of my favorite details are in the smaller illustrations, like on these pages from "Midnights"--

I think the book is going to be really lovely, and I'm so grateful to my editor, Rachel Petty at Macmillan Children's Books in London, and to book designer Tracey Ridgewell for working to make it happen.