From Lisa Moore Ramée, author of the Walter Honor Award–winning A Good Kind of Trouble, comes her debut middle grade fantasy—an absorbing, imaginative adventure about a Black boy who has the magical ability to bring maps to life. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and A Tale of Magic.
When Walt and his family relocate to Blackbird Bay, Walt thinks it’s the most boring place on earth. While his twin sister, Van, likes to spend her time skateboarding, Walt prefers to hide out in his room and work on his beloved map world, Djaruba. But shortly after their arrival, Walt discovers something extraordinary: He has the ability to make maps come to life.
Suddenly his new hometown doesn’t seem so boring after all. And when a magical heirloom leaves Walt, his new friend Dylan, and Van stranded in the fantastical world that Walt created, he’ll need to harness his new power to get them home.
But things are changing. People have gone missing, and it’s clear that a malevolent rival to the kingdom—a fellow mapmaker—has nefarious plans for Walt. If he’s not stopped soon, Djaruba could become nothing but a shadow of itself or, worse, gone forever. And if a mapmaker can destroy one world, could Earth be next?
Lisa Moore Ramée was born and raised in Los Angeles and now lives in Northern California with her husband, daughter, obnoxious cat, and rambunctious (but sweet) dog. She's a devout believer in dreams coming true and is the author of A Good Kind of Trouble, a Walter Dean Myers Honor Book, Something to Say, and MapMaker. You can visit her online at lisamooreramee.com.
“Readers will be absorbed as they explore fantastical worlds through his curious and enthusiastic eyes. An exciting and imaginative read.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Ramée's fast-paced debut centering on a Black protagonist engagingly leaves gaps for the reader to fill in with their own creativity and imagination, and themes of pushing against gendered expectations give the story emotional weight. A perfect fit for fans of Kwame Mbalia's Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky.” — Booklist
“This is an exciting adventure full of friendship and heart with a likable nerdy-Black-kid protagonist…. Readers will enjoy the well-drawn characters as well as the fantastical landscapes and imaginative creatures in Walt’s magical world.” — Horn Book Magazine
“In an ambitious fantasy, Lisa Moore Ramée [explores] themes of gender norms and racism through a fantasy adventure with friendship elements. A creative story of embracing one’s prowess.” — Publishers Weekly
“The world building is inventive and cleverly constructed, but the heart of this novel is Walt’s evolution into a boy who knows his potential is boundless, regardless of where he is or who he encounters.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“In her first fantasy for young readers, Lisa Moore Ramée puts her distinctively authentic tween characters into a world where magic glimmers underneath the surface, creating an inventive fantastical adventure that explores the many ways to be tough and how powerful having a big imagination can be.” — Anne Ursu, author of The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy