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:
One warm May night at the town reservoir, seventeen-year-old Leda Keogh sees her boyfriend do something awful. She wants to forget it ever happened, but David needs her to be his alibi—and is willing to destroy her family if she refuses. Trapped, Leda must choose between the truth, her boyfriend, and her family.

Jonathan Tanner-Eales feels like an outsider. He’s gay, and life in rural Vermont hasn’t been as idyllic as he hoped it would be. When Jonathan and his boyfriend, Ricky, are attacked during a night swim, Jonathan manages to escape, but must watch, helpless, as Ricky is beaten. Jonathan, plagued by trauma and fear, wrestles with anger and shame in the aftermath of the crime.

That summer Leda and Jonathan are swept together by chance, and both must reckon with fundamental questions of loyalty and courage. What does it mean to speak the truth when a lie protects the ones you love? Will Leda put the fate of her family and her boyfriend first, or can Jonathan persuade her to tell the truth?

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
Pub Date: July 24, 2018
BISACS: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / LGBT, Coming of Age / Social Themes / Bullying, Emotions & Feelings

Distributor: IPG; also available through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can order online at (see below), or contact your local,
independent bookstore to request (or order from their cart!).
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order through IPG.
Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Order Placement: (800) 888-4741

Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights & publicity contact Dede Cummings, publisher: