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Santa Monica Press Celebrates the Successful Launch of Its Young Adult Line of Books

Santa Monica Press is honored to announce the enthusiastic reception—received from reviewers, librarians, booksellers, and readers from around the world—to its newly launched Santa Monica Press / Teen imprint.

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- "Fills a much-needed gap" — School Library Journal
"Gracefully written" — Kirkus
"An idiosyncratic, agreeable work of history" — Booklist
"A cathartic homage to the joys of adolescent years" — Publishers Weekly

Santa Monica Press is honored to announce the enthusiastic reception—received from reviewers, librarians, booksellers, and readers from around the world—to its newly launched Santa Monica Press / Teen imprint.

In January of 2022, Santa Monica Press, an award-winning independent publisher of adult non-fiction books for nearly 30 years, launched Santa Monica Press / Teen, an imprint focusing on Young Adult Historical Fiction and Young Adult Narrative Non-Fiction. Our initial releases have earned rave reviews from highly respected book industry and consumer media outlets, as well as endorsements from a diverse collection of influential, award-winning authors.

While Publisher Jeffrey Goldman was confident the Santa Monica Press / Teen releases would achieve some measure of success, he has been pleasantly surprised by the results. "I just thought it was going to take a while to establish ourselves in the Young Adult market, but to have the incredible reviews and endorsements we've received from the moment we launched has been unbelievably gratifying. The authors, editors, and other members of the team who have worked tirelessly on these books are overjoyed with the reception, and we look forward to continuing to build the audience for our YA titles."

Authors including Sandra Cisneros, Junot Diaz, Jack Gantos, and Julie Chibbaro have praised the titles, while enthusiastic reviews have come in from industry publications such as Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Booklist, as well as a host of consumer magazines and web sites, including Newsweek and Psychology Today.

"We've also been entering our YA titles into some of the major YA awards competitions, so our fingers are crossed that our titles will capture the attention of some of the judges," Goldman points out. "Winning a major ALA award in our first year would be a dream come true!"

Here is a round-up of the 2022 Santa Monica Press / Teen releases:

  • Pork Belly Tacos with a Side of Anxiety, by Yvonne Castañeda (978-1-59580-108-1)

-- "With deprecating humor and razor-sharp honesty, the clinical psychotherapist recounts her life—from birth to age 45—with the nostalgic feel of an older sister sharing advice. . . the figures portrayed, like the authors' parents and brother, are fully realized and are depicted with warmth. . . . this exploration of mental health from the Latinx perspective fills a much-needed gap."—Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal
-- "An astonishing memoir, overflowing with compassion, honesty and hope. Castañeda fearlessly captures how immigration can eat the body and the lifelong healing that such injuries require. One of the bravest debuts I've read in years."—Junot Diaz, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
-- "There are wounds of the spirit impossible to heal alone. Yvonne Castañeda is a healer healing others by sharing her own story. This book resonated deeply with me, as it will with many who are lost when their DNA contradicts the image of the ideal."—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

  • Mattie and the Machine, by Lynn Ng Quezon (978-1-59580-118-0)

-- "[A] gracefully written work that covers historical views of gender roles in the workplace and family. Mattie's relationships are well developed, the writing overall is smooth and engaging, and the historical setting very well drawn. An appendix shows the actual patent text and drawings for Knight's machine. An intriguing story about a little-known woman."—Kirkus Reviews
-- "Mattie is a marvel! Her cleverness and quick thought entertain and enlighten in this 19th century world of invention and intrigue. Lynn Ng Quezon's historical novel feels authentic and accurate to the time as Mattie holds her own against men less brilliant than she. A must read for STEM students and history buffs alike!"—Julie Chibbaro, award-winning author of Into the Dangerous World, Deadly, and Redemption

  • The Revenge of Joe Wild, by Andrew Komarnyckyj (978-1-59580-111-1)

-- "Joe tells his story in his own unlettered frontier voice, which successfully captures a time and place and is especially effective in describing the horrors of war. [An] idiosyncratic, agreeable work of history."—Booklist

  • Ventura and Zelzah, by J.G. Bryan (978-1-59580-100-5)

-- "Set in 1970s suburban Los Angeles, Bryan's slice-of-life novel of wild adolescence follows four friends as they navigate changing friendship dynamics amid the era's quintessential sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll hijinks. . . . [Douglas's] energetic approach to the pressure of impending adulthood is endearing. Bryan's cathartic homage to the joys of adolescent years wisely centers teens' unbridled capacity to live life untethered as they learn from their mistakes."—Publishers Weekly
-- "In J. G. Bryan's Ventura and Zelzah the social world of 1975 is evolving. A rising California culture provides the voice and look and ethics for young Americans. For these rising teens this new and dynamic culture is a backdrop for who they might become."— Jack Gantos, Newbery Medal Award-winning author of Dead End in Norvelt
-- "Ventura and Zelzah is a vivid portrayal of the iconic San Fernando Valley of the 1970s. Having grown up in the Valley, I delighted at the realistic details on every page, but the novel also captures the universal journey of a boy moving toward manhood, no matter the time and place."—Grant Farley, author of Bones of a Saint, a Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction Youth Book

  • Flowing with the Pearl River: Memoir of a Red China Girl, by Amy Chan Zhou (978-1-59580-106-7)

-- "The pacing is fast, and the book is stuffed to bursting with details. . . . For the curious reader of the Cultural Revolution era or of historical memoirs, you will find a quick and relatively affecting set of stories in its pages. . . . Fans of writing from the Chinese diaspora or memoirs will enjoy this."—Youth Services Book Review
-- "[Chan Zhou] never forgets to express her feelings and let readers feel the truth! . . . Her writing is exquisite. . . . You can feel the plot and heart of each and every paragraph of text."—Chinese American Voice

  • The Dressmaker's Daughter, A Novel, by Linda Boroff (978-1-59580-107-4)

-- "The historical relevance to current events makes it worthwhile reading for those interested in learning more about Romania during WWII."—Historical Novel Society

Upcoming YA titles include:
Acts of Resistance, A Novel, by Dominic Carrillo (978-1-59580-119-7) (March 2023)
One With the Waves, A Novel, by Vezna Andrews (978-1-59580-122-7) (May 2023)
Chasing Dreams: The True Story of the Youngest Female Tevis Cup Champion, by Sanoma Blakeley (978-1-59580-123-4) (June 2023)
Ventura and Winnetka: A Novel, by J.G. Bryan (978-15980-124-1) (August 2023)
Humphrey and Me: A Novel, by Stu Brody (978-15980-125-8) (September 2023)

About Santa Monica Press
Santa Monica Press has been publishing an eclectic line of non-fiction books for over 25 years. Our critically acclaimed titles are sold in chain, independent, on-line, and university bookstores around the world, as well as in some of the most popular retail, gift, and museum outlets in North America. Our authors are recognized experts who are sought after by the media and receive newspaper, magazine, internet, social media, radio, and television coverage both nationally and internationally. At Santa Monica Press, we're not afraid to cast a wide editorial net. Our list of lively and modern non-fiction titles includes books in such categories as pop culture, film, music, humor, biography, travel, and sports, as well as regional titles focused on California. We have recently added Young Adult Fiction and Young Adult Narrative Non-Fiction to our list! Remember to look for the shell! Distributed by PGW/Ingram. • 800-784-9553

Media Contact

Adriana Senior, Santa Monica Press, 800-784-9553,

SOURCE Santa Monica Press