My brain has more ideas than there are minutes in a day. But most of the snippets and characters I can capture on my phone, a scrape of paper, a gum wrapper, used napkin, or any empty inch of a plane or train ticket find their way into my heart. And at some point these ideas and personalities find there way into evolving stories and onto a page (typed or handwritten depending on the hour and what’s nearby).
I have piles of tales—some completed, though many in early stages. But here are two I’m ready to share:
ONE SHADOW ON THE WALL, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Summer 2017
Recently orphaned Mor and his sisters try to figure out their next steps in the world amidst bullying, and the threat of separation from their home and everything they love. Set in contemporary Senegal, One Shadow on the Wall is a story of family, unexpected friendships, courage, and outwitting one’s foe.
“To read Leah Henderson’s remarkable debut is to be utterly transported to a world that is at once mesmerizing, harrowing, and full of profound grace. Even as I rushed through this page-turner, I didn’t want it to end; I wanted to bask in its evocative language, and fell completely in love with its loyal, clever hero. Give this to book to anyone who has ever struggled to decide between doing what is right, and what easy – namely, everyone.”
– I.W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above
“A poignant yet hopeful story of surviving the world through the power of promises.”
– Kathy Erskine, National Book Award winning author of Mockingbird
THE MAGIC IN CHANGING YOUR STARS, Work-in-Progress
More than anything, Ailey wants to be in the school play. But with mastering his video games and searching out stars, he can hardly find the time to practice. And come audition day, it shows. With a little advice from his grandfather and a special pair of shoes, Ailey finds out what it takes to be a star.