From Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, April 2012.
Matthew’s father had lion’s feet and his mother had gills, and both fled the modern-day city to live in underground Safe, a secret community of freaks, ghost-whisperers, and disabled outcasts hidden beyond the subways and sewers. Raised underground, Matthew is responsible for the keeping of both Safe’s histories and the traumatized shapeshifter Ariel, the girl he took in, fell in love with – and can’t stop from constantly running away.
But Safe is no longer safe: the night after a frightening encounter in the sewers, Safe’s founder Atticus is murdered by the one person Safe ever exiled: mad Corner, whose coup is backed by an army of mindless, whispering shadows.
Only Matthew, Ariel, and a handful of unstable, crippled compatriots escape to the city that cast them out; the dangerous place he knows only as Above. Despite Ariel’s increasingly erratic behaviour and with the odds against them, Matthew must find a way to rescue Safe from Corner’s occupying army. But as his quest leads him through abandoned asylums and the dregs of urban poverty, Matthew discovers that the histories he’s devoted his life to aren’t true: Corner’s invasion — and Ariel’s terrors – are rooted in a history of Safe much darker and bloodier than Matthew ever imagined.
And even if he manages to save both home and Ariel, he may well lose himself.
“Above pulls off that rare trick of being convincing and utterly magical at the same time.” —Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of Room
“Leah Bobet’s Above is that rarest of creatures, combining the outspoken honesty of a good first novel with the craft of a seasoned professional.” —Elizabeth Bear, Hugo Award-winning author of Dust
*”[A] dark, dazzling tale…Bobet effortlessly blends reality and fantasy, her characters are both gifted and broken—hers is a world that is simultaneously fantastic and painfully real. Heartbreaking, romantic, complex, and magical, this fantasy lingers on the senses.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Bobet fearlessly takes the reader to uncomfortable places, where, as Matthew discovers, there is always more than one side to a story.” —Quill & Quire
“A tremendous adventure, as well as a meditation on how our mythologies shape us…a gorgeous tale.” —Toronto Life
“[Readers] willing to go along with this captivating exploration of both individual and collective identity will find themselves pondering its implications long after the last page.” —Kirkus
“Bobet has crafted a genre-defying story that is as dark and twisting as the underground tunnels in which it is set.” —VOYA
“A genre-bending blend of dystopian fantasy, coming-of-age story, survivalist tale, psychological drama, allegory and profoundly moving meditation on how we treat the mentally ill, disabled and homeless …. Above is a soulful and spellbinding debut novel.” — The National Post
Named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012.
Commended in Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Spring 2012.
Nominated for the 2013 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy and the 2013 Aurora Award for Best YA Novel.
Above will also be available internationally from: