Aesop Lake

 Seventeen-year-old Leda Keogh witnesses a hate crime against a gay couple from her school and must make some tough choices.

About the book:
Seventeen-year-old Leda Keogh is present when her boyfriend, David, commits a hate crime against a gay couple at the town reservoir on a warm May night. When David threatens to narc on her mother’s drug dealing if Leda confesses to what she’s seen, Leda tries to escape the consequences, by taking a summer job out of town. Jonathan Eales is one of the victims. When he and his boyfriend, Ricky, are caught skinny dipping by two high school thugs, Jonathan manages to swim out of reach, but watches in horror as Ricky is severely beaten. Jonathan wants to fight back, but fears the small rural community, where he is an outsider, will protect their own. When Leda and Jonathan unintentionally come face to face at a family camp in Northern Vermont, their hostility threatens to ruin the gathering. A violent attack on Leda elicits empathy from Jonathan. In the end, Leda chooses to take a stand on behalf of Jonathan and Ricky, accepting the repercussions to her family and to David.

Two voices weave a coming-of-age story that confronts diversity and bullying in rural America.

This YA book is structured using Aesop Fables, that are usually taught to children in elementary school. By using these fables to frame this story of morality, young adults who are faced with the challenge of making ethical and moral decisions every day, will find a connection to the characters and the familiar tales of Aesop. This novel uses three of the fables to provide structure to a story about ethics and moral dilemma, in a political climate that is fraught with injustice and a president who is trying to turn us back to the 1950’s. 45’s assault on the LGBTQ community and women’s rights is the reason that Aesop Lake is so timely.

About the Author
Sarah Ward writes young adult fiction, poetry and journal articles in the field of child welfare. Over a twenty-five-year career as a social worker, Sarah has worked with young adults and families with harrowing backgrounds. She won the 2007 Editor’s Choice Award for the New England Anthology of Poetry for her poem “Warmer Waters,” and she is a member of the League of Vermont Writers since 2008. As a social worker, Sarah has published several journal articles, and was recently a co-author on an article published (December 2016) in Child and Youth Services Review titled, “Building a landscape of resilience after workplace violence in public child welfare.” In her limited spare time, Sarah enjoys a good book, a little yoga and a cup of tea in her home in Williston, Vermont.

5.5 x 8.25; Paperback Original; Young Adult/FICTION
200 pages; $10.99
ISBN: 9780999499528 / Ebook/Audio to come
Pub Date: June 8, 2018
BISACS: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / LGBT, Coming of Age / Social Themes / Bullying, Emotions & Feelings

Distributor: Midpoint Trade,
Also available through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Pason Weems, and wherever books are sold.
Rights sold: All rights available. Rights Contact: Dede Cummings,

Advance galleys, digital or print, available upon request.