My Writing

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:

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ONE SHADOW ON THE WALL, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Summer 2017
Middle Grade

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.

    Amazon     B&N    IndieBound     Goodreads

Reviews

“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

“In her debut, Henderson paints a detailed picture of life in Senegal. The author’s experience, research, and sensitivity shine, making this distinctive novel a valuable addition to the literature….A book that rewards patient, sensitive readers willing to dive in.”
– Kirkus Reviews, May 2017

“A poignant yet hopeful story of surviving the world through the power of promises.”
– Kathy Erskine, National Book Award winning author of Mockingbird

“Henderson creates a multifaceted portrayal of Senegalese village life. Senegalese vocabulary (presumably Wolof) peppered throughout enriches the text….A stirring tale”
– School Library Journal, June 2017

“Debut author Henderson’s depiction of Senegalese life is well researched and warm with affection….Mor’s drive to do right and his love for his family are unmistakable. Keep an eye on this author!”
– Booklist, May 2017

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THE MAGIC IN CHANGING YOUR STARS, Work-in-Progress
Middle Grade

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.