Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member and two-time Newbery Honoree Christina Soontornvat, who just signed a deal for her middle-grade graphic-novel memoir, THE TRYOUT, as well as its sequel, THE SQUAD! The books will be illustrated by Joanna Cacao. In THE TRYOUT, Christina tells the story of being the only Asian American in Weatherford, Texas to try out for the cheerleading team. Christina was represented by agent Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary.
In explaining the origins of the story, Christina writes, “My hometown of Weatherford, Texas played such a huge role in shaping the person I am today. It was simultaneously a truly wonderful place to grow up (with dear friends and a safe, caring community) and a difficult place to grow up as an Asian American (because of xenophobia and racism). This memoir is my attempt to articulate my relationship with Weatherford, with Texas, and with America. It’s a story of belonging, identity, and making yourself heard. Oh yeah, and it’s also an awkwardly hilarious story about trying out for middle school cheerleader! This was both the hardest book I’ve ever written and the most fun. I think that when readers finally get to see it, they will understand why!”
The TRYOUT is scheduled for release from Scholastic/Graphix in 2022.
Christina has also sold her new middle grade adventure novel THE LAST MAPMAKER, a searfaring mystery and critique of colonialism set in a Thai-inspired world. The book will be published by Candlewick Press in spring 2022.