Books

Freddie vs. the Family Curse
Clarion Books, May 3, 2022

Winner of the 2023 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Sid Fleischman Humor Award

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

2023-2024 Tome Society It List Book Award

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In this thrilling and hilarious middle grade adventure, a young Filipino-American boy must team up with his ancestor to break the curse that’s haunted their family for generations. . . or be trapped in an amulet forever.

Freddie Ruiz is cursed.

While other people may have bad days, Freddie and his family have had bad generations: from bird poop splatting on him during picture day to the many tumbles and trips that earned him the nickname Faceplant Freddie. He’s learned to lay low and keep himself out of trouble—which means no fun, no friends, and definitely no risks.

But when he discovers a family heirloom, a century-old amulet from the Philippines that’s supposed to bring good fortune, Freddie thinks his luck is finally about to change.

He couldn’t be more wrong. Because the spirit of Freddie’s cranky great-granduncle Ramon is trapped in the heirloom, and the evil spirits responsible for his death have returned with a vengeance. Now, Freddie and his cousin, Sharkey, have thirteen days to break the curse, or Freddie will join Ramon for an untimely afterlife in the amulet.

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This Is Not A Personal Statement
Quill Tree Books, January 17, 2023

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At sixteen, Perla is the youngest graduating senior of the hypercompetitive Monte Verde High. Praised—and not-so-quietly bashed—as “Perfect Perlie Perez,” Perla knows all the late nights, social isolation, and crushing stress will be worth it when she gets into the college of her (and her parents’) dreams: Delmont University.

Then Perla doesn’t get in, and her meticulously planned future shatters. In a panic, she forges her own acceptance letter, and next thing she knows, she’s heading to Delmont for real, acceptance or not. Perla’s plan? Gather on-the-ground intel to beef up her application and reapply spring semester before she’s caught.

But as her guilty conscience grows and campus security looms large, Perla starts to wonder if her plan will really succeed—and if this dream she’s worked for her entire life is something she even wants.

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The Takeout
Clarion Books, May 9, 2023

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When a celebrity chef’s new restaurant threatens Mila’s family’s food truck, she plans to expose them for the recipe thieves they are—even if that means dabbling in the Filipino folk magic she’s tried to avoid. Fans of Tae Keller and Lily LaMotte will cheer for this charming story about food, family, and finding the place you belong.

Mila may have moved to Coral Beach months ago, but it still doesn’t feel like home. She wants to belong, but a few awkward incidents with her new friends make her wonder if she’ll ever neatly fit into the super-samey small town.

Mila feels the only place she can be herself is at her dad’s Filipino-Indian food truck, The Banana Leaf. But when celebrity chef twins the Fab Foodie Brothers open a restaurant nearby, it turns out the food they are serving is exactly the same as The Banana Leaf’s–right down to the recipes!

Suspicious of the similarities, Mila teams up with family friend Ajay to investigate. She soon realizes that she needs to take the beloved Fab Foodie Brothers down before they run her family’s tiny truck out of town. But that means dabbling in the Filipino folk healing and magical traditions that she has shied away from her whole life . . . as well as alienating her new friends.

Does Mila have to choose between her family and fitting in? Or, like the best recipes, will a blend of the traditional and the unexpected mix into something truly special?

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Thea and the Mischief Makers
Clarion Books, October 15, 2024

Amy Cloud at Clarion has acquired Tracy Badua‘s next two middle grade titles: Thea and the Mischief Makers, about a girl who accidentally provokes the revenge of two grumpy duwendes after wrecking their home in a tree in her backyard, and must team up with her friends to fend off the havoc-wreaking goblins; and Airbnboo, about a boy who must figure out a decades-old mystery before the ghost haunting his family’s summer vacation rental takes over his body to enact revenge. Publication is set for fall 2024 and fall 2025; Natalie Lakosil at Irene Goodman Literary Agency handled the deal for North American rights.

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We’re Never Getting Home
Quill Tree Books, April 16, 2024

HBO’s Insecure meets Dazed and Confused in this messy, tender YA novel about a friendship breakup, set against the backdrop of a chaotic night at a music festival, from rising talent Tracy Badua.

Jana Rubio and her best friend, Maddy Parsons, have an epic senior year finale queued up: catching their favorite band at the Orchards, an outdoor music festival a two-hour drive away. When a blowup over Maddy’s time-sucking boyfriend exposes a rift that may have already been growing between them, Jana calls off their joint trip and gets a lift to the festival from her church friend Nathan…only to realize Maddy and her boyfriend are along for the ride, too.

All Jana wants is to enjoy the concert and get home as soon as possible. But then Nathan loses his car keys crowd-surfing, and it’s up to Jana and Maddy to find them. As they navigate stolen phones and missing friends, scale Ferris wheels and crash parties, the two of them are forced to reckon with the biggest obstacle of all: repairing their friendship.

Will Jana and Maddy find their way home—and also back to each other?

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The Cookie Crumbles
Quill Tree Books, June 11, 2024

The Great British Bake Off meets Knives Out in this fun and propulsive middle grade novel following two best friends who must solve the mystery behind a baking competition gone awry.

Laila gave Lucy a cupcake on the second day of kindergarten, and they’ve been inseparable ever since. But the summer before eighth grade, they find out that since they live on opposite sides of town, they’ll go to different high schools. Yuck!

Then Laila’s invited to compete at the Golden Cookie competition, which awards its winner admission and a full ride to the prestigious Sunderland boarding school, and it’s the perfect opportunity. Sunderland doesn’t just have an elite culinary program; it’s also home to an elite journalism track, if only newscaster-hopeful Lucy could build up a strong enough portfolio to impress the scholarship committee.

But when one of the celebrity judges collapses after sampling Laila’s showpiece, rumors of foul play swirl, with Laila rising to the top of the suspect list. Even worse, a major storm has effectively cut off all access to the outside world.

Can the girls find the real culprit and clear Laila’s name before it’s too late?

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