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September & October 2022 Jr. Top Picks

A Scatter of Light
By (author): Malinda Lo
Malinda Lo


Dutton Books for Young Readers



Product Form:



Young Adult : Age (years) 14, Grade (US) 9
Oct 04, 2022
$24.99 CAD


8.56in x 5.81 x 1.06 in | 0.99 lb

Page Count:

336 pages
Dutton Children's Books
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Award-winning author Malinda Lo returns to the Bay Area with another masterful coming-of-queer-age story, this time set against the backdrop of the first major Supreme Court decisions legalizing gay marriage. And almost sixty years after the end of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Lo’s new novel also offers a glimpse into Lily and Kath’s lives since 1955.

Aria Tang West was looking forward to a summer on Martha’s Vineyard with her best friends—one last round of sand and sun before college. But after a graduation party goes wrong, Aria’s parents exile her to California to stay with her grandmother, artist Joan West. Aria expects boredom, but what she finds is Steph Nichols, her grandmother’s gardener. Soon, Aria is second-guessing who she is and what she wants to be, and a summer that once seemed lost becomes unforgettable—for Aria, her family, and the working-class queer community Steph introduces her to. It’s the kind of summer that changes a life forever.

A standalone follow-up to Last Night at the Telegraph Club. Set over 50 years after the events of Telegraph Club, this novel follows a new set of characters as they come of age in similarly turbulent times while also offering a satisfying conclusion to Lily and Kath’s story.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club was the best reviewed and one of the bestselling Penguin YA novels of 2021. Eight starred reviews, three ALA awards, an NBA, and a New York Time bestseller.

Gorgeous writing combined with meticulous attention to historical detail. All the elements that earned overwhelming praise for Telegraph Club are back. 

Same burn, less slow. Aria and Steph aren’t 2013’s Lily and Kath, but their romance is no less compelling.

Another facet of the Chinese American experience. Aria is half Chinese and is related to Lily from Last Night at the Telegraph Club.

Malinda Lo is a great asset. Malinda has found her footing as an advocate for her own work online and in person.

Feifei Ruan will return to illustrate this cover. The Telegraph artist will create a companion cover that relfects the book’s more contemporary setting.

Malinda Lo is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of several young adult novels, including most recently Last Night at the Telegraph Club. Her novel Ash, a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s nonfiction has been published by the New York Times Book Review, NPR, the Huffington Post, The Toast, the Horn Book, and in many anthologies. She lives in Massachusetts with her wife.

Author Residence: Boston, MA

Author Hometown: Denver, CO

Marketing: 6-copy prepack with L-card (9780525489627; $113.94, $149.94 CAN) 

National media campaign 

Consumer advertising campaign 

Online promotion at social media outreach 

Librarian and educator outreach 

An NPR Best Book of the Year
A Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year
A BuzzFeed Best Book of the Year

“Full of yearning, ponderances about art and what it means to be an artist, and self-revelation, A Scatter of Light has a simmering intensity that makes it hard to put down."—NPR

"The intimate details and complex relationships of this perfectly rendered story of first love between two young women is reminiscent of Judy Blume's classic Forever."—Parents Magazine

★ "Raw and bittersweet ... [an] expansive tale of yearning, self-discovery, and first love."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "Aria’s story is...about what it means to be an artist, a friend, a daughter and a granddaughter, and about how identities of all kinds can converge and crystallize as part of the process of growing up."—BookPage, starred review

★ "Tells the powerful story of one young woman's life-changing summer of self-discovery....Both newcomers and longtime fans of Lo's work should enjoy this narrative of a young woman coming to understand herself and her wants better."—Shelf Awareness, starred review

★ "An excellent coming-of-age and coming-out story. Characters are complicated and messy but in a realistic and relatable way. The story is driven by Aria’s truthful narration, which is beautifully reflective of an 18-year-old at that time…. A must-have.”—SLJ

"A Scatter of Light is not one but many love letters—to art, to first crushes, and to friendships that span decades and ground you while letting you grow."—Booklist

"This deeply perceptive bildungsroman thoughtfully explores several absorbing topics, but first and foremost it is an intimate, exhilarating story of first love."—Horn Book

"A Scatter of Light is a book of crashes (and crushes) with effects that reverberate across time. It is queer in the best of ways — messy, raw, heartbreaking, freeing, and imperfect."—Autostraddle

Praise for Last Night at the Telegraph Club, a New York Times Bestseller and Winner of the National Book Award

“Lo's writing is so rich you can practically feel the glow of neon bar lights radiating off the page.”—bestselling author Casey McQusiton for Entertainment Weekly

"A must-read."—Us Weekly

“Lush, ambitious and layered, Malinda Lo’s sweeping historical novel is the queer romance we’ve been waiting for.”—Ms. Magazine

"This stunning work of historical fiction effectively depicts both the thrills of young queer love and the horrors of racism and the Red Scare."—Boston Globe

"This queer coming-out and coming-of-age story reverberates with dangers, dilemma and a dream deferred."—San Francisco Chronicle

"An enthralling historical lesbian romance."—WBUR

"A joy to read."—The Advocate

"Tender and meditative."—Glamour

"Malinda Lo is an absolute icon."—BuzzFeed

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