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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa

Julian Randall

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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The Land of Stories meets Dominican myths and legends come to life in Pilar Ramirez and the Prison of Zafa, a blockbuster contemporary middle-grade fantasy duology starter from Julian Randall. Fans of Tristan Strong and The Storm Runner, here is your next obsession.

"A breathtaking journey . . . readers better hold on tight." —Kwame Mbalia, New York Times bestselling author of the Tristan Strong series

Everything in twelve-year-old Pilar Violeta “Purp” Ramirez’s world is changing, and Pilar doesn’t care for it one bit. Her Chicago neighborhood is gentrifying and her chores have doubled since her sister, Lorena, left for college. The only constant is Abuela and Mami’s code of silence around her cousin Natasha—who disappeared in the Dominican Republic fifty years ago during the Trujillo dictatorship.

So when Pilar hears that one of Lorena's professor's studies disappearances under the Trujillato, she hops on the next train. After snooping around the professor's empty office, she finds a folder with her cousin’s name on it . . . and Pilar literally falls into the blank page within. She lands on Zafa, an island swarming with coconut-shaped demons, butterfly shapeshifters, and a sinister magical prison where her cousin is being held captive. Pilar will have to go toe-to-toe with the fearsome Dominican boogeyman if she has any hope of freeing Natasha and getting back home.

Praise for Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa

"A breathtaking journey through a world teeming with fantasy and history—readers better hold on tight as Pilar swings into her next adventure." —Kwame Mbalia, New York Times bestselling author of the Tristan Strong series

"I love this book so much. Julian Randall is a brilliant, refreshing new voice in young people's literature and he has imbued this story with a whole mountain of love, humor, honesty, and adventure. ¡Pa'lante!" —Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author

"Incredible voice that jumps right off the page. Pilar is the hilarious hero we need right now. My Dominican hurt BURST reading this story, but in the best way." —Claribel A. Ortega, author of Ghost Squad

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Julian Randall

Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. His poetry and essays are published in the New York Times Magazine, POETRY, and Vibe. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian holds an MFA in Poetry from Ole Miss. His first book, Refuse, won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Julian has previously worked as a youth mentor, teaching writing workshops to children on house arrest. Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa is his debut children's novel. Follow him on Twitter!

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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