Back in December 2019, author Dana Alison Levy was kind enough to lend her voice to the blog’s annual ‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays series. Today I’m thrilled to welcome Dana back to Pop! Goes The Reader as we share the exclusive cover reveal for her young adult debut, Above All Else! Coming to a book store and library near you October 13th 2020 from Charlesbridge, Above All Else follows the story of best friends Rose and Tate, who set out to climb in Nepal, only to ultimately question their reasons for climbing and what they’ll do next when things go terribly wrong for others in their climbing party. Please read on to learn more about Above All Else, including an exclusive note from the author and an opportunity for five lucky readers to win advance reader copies of the novel!
About Dana Alison Levy
Dana Alison Levy is the author of several acclaimed books for younger readers. Above All Else is her YA debut. She lives in Massachusetts, at sea level, and really likes air with lots of oxygen in it. Dana loves traveling to Nepal and has stood in the shadow of Mount Everest, but she will never ever climb it. Her novels for kids, The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island, This Would Make a Good Story Someday and It Wasn’t Me have garnered multiple starred reviews, been named to Best Of lists, and were Junior Library Guild Selections. Also her kids like them.
I am not an artist (and this isn’t me being modest. I seriously can’t draw or paint or sculpt for beans). But when it comes time for the creative process around my book covers, and my publishers are kind enough to ask if I have any ideas, I always offer my random two cents.
“What about this?” I might write, sending along stick-figure drawings or clip-art collages.
“I think it needs these elements,” I might add, throwing in some stock photography.
For the cover of Above All Else, which takes place on Mount Everest, I knew that mountains would be involved, and I had other ideas about prayer flags and climbers and so on. It’s a book about mountains and summits, about climbing and falling, about who you trust to hold the rope that keeps you alive. It’s about these things literally, and also metaphorically.
The incredibly talented designers and artist came up with a couple of sample covers, one of which mirrored my suggestions. But when I saw their vision, so different from my own, my mouth literally dropped open, and tears filled my eyes.
It was so beautiful! It was so perfect! The art captured the beauty and vastness of the mountains, the relationship of the characters, the smallness of humans in this dangerous place. It was all right there. And it had none of my ideas at all.
It was a great reminder to me that while I have all kinds of confidence in my creative process, and in my ability to paint a picture with words, I don’t have to be able to do everything. Writing a book is a long and lonely process, but making a book can be wonderfully collaborative.
I’m over-the-moon in love with this cover, and feel like it does justice to the story I tried so hard to tell; the story of a girl and a boy who challenge themselves to reach the top of the world, but realize as they climb that they must decide what they’re willing to sacrifice for themselves, each other, and their dream of the summit.
I hope you love it too!
Cover design by Diane Earley, Cover art by Levente Szabo
Title Above All Else
Author Dana Alison Levy
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Publication Date October 13th 2020 by Charlesbridge
Find It On Goodreads
The Sun Is Also A Star meets Into Thin Air in this tale of friendship, love, and loyalty on the mountain.
High school seniors and best friends Rose and Tate have trained their whole lives to summit Mount Everest. In the spring of senior year they set out for Nepal, but as they travel ever farther from home, their relationship changes along with the landscape around them. The higher they go, the higher the stakes: altitude, weather, expedition politics, and their own feelings all threaten their long-held goal of reaching the summit.
Rose and Tate have to figure out what they owe each other, themselves, and the mountain they pledged to climb. Because at 29,000 feet, in the Death Zone, they must decide who — or what — they value above all else.
As an extra, exciting bonus, Dana and Charlesbridge have been kind enough to offer five lucky readers the opportunity to win advance reader copies of Above All Else! Five winners will be chosen at random at the conclusion of the giveaway and the prize will be distributed when ARCs become available. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!