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Stacey Lee

Cover Reveal for Stacey Lee’s Next Book – Outrun The Moon

We are so excited to share the lovely cover for Stacey Lee’s sophomore novel, OUT RUN THE MOON. Entertainment Weekly revealed the cover and has an exclusive excerpt!


Happy Book Birthday, UNDER A PAINTED SKY!

Our second March debut is Stacey Lee’s UNDER A PAINTED SKY, a diverse YA western with a beautiful friendship at its heart!


About the Book

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life.

With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

An unforgettable story of friendship and sacrifice—perfect for fans of Code Name Verity.

Add UNDER A PAINTED SKY on Goodreads

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Critical Praise

“A vivid, nontraditional western…with plenty of twists…Growing romantic undertones with hints of uncertain sexuality add bonus interest to a story that distinguishes itself by integrating strands of Chinese lore and wisdom, Christianity, and music with themes of friendship, diversity, and survival.”
Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

“Well-crafted and suspenseful, with more flow than ebb to the tension that stretches like taut wires across plotlines, Lee’s tale ingeniously incorporates Chinese philosophy and healing, music, art and religion, as well as issues of race and discrimination (including abolitionist views and examples of cruel slave treatment)…Emotionally resonant and not without humor, this impressive debut about survival and connection, resourcefulness and perseverance will keep readers on the very edges of their seats.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“High drama, tension, romantic longings, and touches of humor will entice historical fiction fans, and will be a perfect tie-in to social studies curriculum.”
School Library Journal

“You’re going to love this book. It has heroines that will fill your heart with courage, a plot that will keep your blood rushing, and a love story that will take your breath away.”
Francisco X. Stork, award-winning author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD

“Under a Painted Sky shines light on an underserved corner of American History in the Wild West with beauty, grace and humor, while deftly addressing race, class and gender politics. Gorgeously imagined, told with wit, insight and characters you grow quickly to love, Stacey Lee brings us a romance adventure of the best order.”
Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of FLYGIRL and ORLEANS

“Under a Painted Sky is a charming read: funny, poignant, and full of heart. Stacey Lee’s tale of unconventional romance in the West is sure to win fans for her intrepid heroines and their adventures.”
Elizabeth C. Bunce, author of William C. Morris Award-winning A CURSE DARK AS GOLD

“With seasoned confidence, a perfect sense of setting, and gorgeous prose, author Stacey Lee has created one of the most thrilling, compelling, and heartbreaking stories of female friendship and survival.”
Stephanie Keuhn, author of William C. Morris Award-winning CHARM & STRANGE

“A sweeping journey into the heart of the west and the glowing souls of two fugitive heroines. A tale so rich, so captivating, so real you’ll be shaking sand out of your boots.”
Barbara Stuber, author of William C. Morris Award finalist CROSSING THE TRACKS

“Deftly researched, Under a Painted Sky propels readers into the lawless west and life on the Oregon Trail. With a diverse cast, timeless themes, and an addictive plot, this is the YA western I’ve been waiting for.”
Erin Bowman, author of the TAKEN trilogy

“At its heart, UNDER A PAINTED SKY is a classic western full of stampedes, close calls, and saddle sores, but Stacey Lee enhances this familiar landscape and adds new depth and vigor with her unforgettable characters. Sammy reminds us how American it is to keep the best parts of your past while making the most of the present and building toward the future. UNDER A PAINTED SKY is an exciting new journey into the old west, packed with humor, adventure, and enduring friendships.”
J. Anderson Coats, award-winning author of THE WICKED AND THE JUST

“UNDER A PAINTED SKY left me speechless. Hopeful. Smiling. Stacey Lee’s debut is a powerful tale of loss, adventure, and sisterhood. Completely captivating.”
Jodi Meadows, award winning author of  INCARNATE series

“I didn’t know I needed this book until I fell passionately in love with it. I read it feverishly late at night and into the wee hours of the morning and then reread the entire book the very next day. I have always been a huge fan of westerns. But an American western about a Chinese girl and a Black girl who learn to become cowboys and survive the west? Where have you been all my life? Stacey Lee has now become my new favorite author. I’ll read anything she writes!”
Ellen Oh, Founder WeNeedDiverseBooks and author of the PROPHECY series


Congratulations, Stacey, on a beautiful, moving debut!

Moriah McStay and Stacey Lee Reminisce On Their Childhood Libraries

Moriah: The Old Memphis Main Branch Had Its Charms

My childhood library was demolished about fifteen years ago. Now, the city-block area holds new homes. A friend lives in one, right where the children’s section used to be.

The new library is amazing. Bright, Seuss-like trees dot the children’s section. There’s a little, multi-colored Plexiglas house in the rear, nestled against the windows. When they were younger, my kids and I would read picture book after picture in there, until the sun shone through so hot we started melting.

Lovely as it is, it’s not the same as the rundown library from my childhood, the Memphis Main Branch. I couldn’t find any photos of the old façade, let alone the battered wooden card catalog, full of yellowed, dog-eared index cards or the microfiche machine that took forever to load, let alone find whatever you were looking for.

So I can’t share an image of the semi-circular, laminate desk that marked the transition into the Children’s section. Or that long bank of windows overlooking Peabody Avenue, pretty much right where my friend’s house sits now.The library was one of the few places I was allowed to walk on my own, just five minutes away from home. On weekends and after school, I’d sit by that long bank of windows, devouring Roald Dahl and Judy Blume and Encyclopedia Brown until the sun shone through so hot, I started melting.


Stacey: Whittier Public Librarian Still Knows How to Pick Them

When I was growing up, my mom would take my sisters and I to Whittier Public Library every week, our sturdy canvas KCET bookbag in hand.  Mom was, and is a steadfast reader – a book a day keeps Alzheimer’s away – and desired to foster in us a love of books, as well.  Help in this effort came by way of a soft voice, hands clasped together in eternal delight, and a radiant smile.  Her name was Bonnie Weber, and she was the children’s librarian.

While my older sister always seemed to know exactly to which aisle she was headed, it took me forever to choose my books.

Bonnie would gently steer me to me such classics as THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, the works of historical fiction writer Mary Stuart, and Frank. L. Baum’s WIZARD OF OZ, and countless others. I wasn’t always convinced I would like her selection – especially when they had boring covers –but invariably, I would declare it “The Best Book Ever.”

Vivacious and young as ever, Bonnie continues to work at WPL, helping parents and children find the perfect books for their imaginations.




To celebrate their book debuts, Stacey (UNDER A PAINTED SKY) and Moriah (EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU) are giving away signed copies of their books and other awesome prizes, along with two other Fearless Fifteeners, NK Travers (DUPLICITY) and Jenn Marie Thorne (THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT).  Contest ends 3/16/15, 2 pm ET.


New Book Deal for Stacey Lee!

Huge congratulations to Class 2K15 member Stacey Lee on the sale of her second novel, UNSINKABLE MERCY WONG, to G.P. Putnam’s Sons!StaceyLeeNewDeal

We adore Stacey’s debut novel, UNDER A PAINTED SKY, and we can’t wait for another diverse historical YA from her. Learn more about Stacey and her books here!

Kirkus Calls UNDER A PAINTED SKY An “Impressive Debut”

Another starred review for a Class 2K15 member! Kirkus recently published a starred review for UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee:

UnderAPaintedSky-Cover“Emotionally resonant and not without humor, this impressive debut about survival and connection, resourcefulness and perseverance will keep readers on the very edges of their seats.”

Kirkus Reviews


We can’t wait for you to read this gorgeous debut, too!  Learn more about the book here and add it to your to be read list.

Author Stacey Lee Wins SCBWI Book Launch Award

Class of 2K15 member Stacey Lee was recently announced as a winner of 2014 SCBWI Book Launch Award!

From the SCBWI Announcement:

logo-scbwiCongratulations to Stacey Lee of Santa Clara, California, author of Under a Painted Sky, a young adult novel following the friendship of two girls and their brave journey across the untamed Oregon Trail in 1849.  Stacey plans to market her book with a book launch at a new local library, reach out to historical groups related to the California Gold Rush (and the history of Asians and Africans in America). She also plans to attend the ALA and BEA conferences next year.  Follow Stacey on Twitter @staceyleeauthor.