Middle-grade stories aim at the third through sixth-grade reader, and teen stories address seventh and eighth grades. Traditionally, these have been a mix of simplistic and more richly woven plots and writing styles. Webster Press is a new imprint aiming to imbue classic feeling stories in these two categories with contemporary characters and sensibilities: The best of classic and modern, or new classics.
Its first release, Silent Lee and the Adventure of the Side Door Key, garnered glowing reviews and a prestigious independent publishing industry prize (Ben Franklin Award). This title was followed by a second book in the series that was also reviewed very well. A third is planned for late 2023 along with the release of The Book & Cat and Norah and the Crow Witch.
The YA (young adult) category is trending toward sex, abuse, addiction, and trauma—which topics may be appropriate for older teens in the modern world, but are not in the scope of Webster Press. There has always been a gap between middle grade (4th through 6th grade) and YA (high school years), with the actual middle school years (7th and 8th grades, ages 11 to 12 approx.) minimized by mainstream publishers. Webster Press aims to support young readers from third and fourth grade all the way through middle school, rather than leave them out.
Our titles (including Silent Lee) will often feature 14 to 16-year-old protagonists instead of only the 10 to 12-year-olds of mainstream publishers’ middle-grades novels. Having launched just before the pandemic, Webster Press has multiple titles in the chute that were delayed by bookstore closings (such as Norah and the Crow Witch, A.B. Hawthorne, middle-grade fiction, and Blood by Ella Bathore, teen fiction).
Look for more exciting titles to come in late 2023 and early 2024! Subscribe.
NEWS AND REVIEWS
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“PUTNEY, VT. – Local author Alex Hiam, originally from the Boston area and now residing in Putney, has released his latest teen fantasy fiction book in his “Silent Lee” book series titled “Silent Lee and the Oxford Adventure.” Released in September, the new book is the follow-up to “Silent Lee and the Adventures of the Side Door Key.”
Nov 22, 2020. Read more.