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Two New Titles in MG Historical Fiction Series Highlight Underrepresented American Experiences


SAINT PAUL, MN, May 23, 2019 – Jolly Fish Press, an imprint of North Star Editions, Inc. (NSE) is excited to introduce two new titles in the I Am America series, coming September 1, 2019.

The I Am America series for middle grade readers features fictional stories based on important historical events from people whose voices have been underrepresented, lost, or forgotten over time. The series continues with two new books in September, the lead title, If the Fire Comes: A Story of Segregation during the Great Depression by Tracy Daley and United to Strike: A Story of the Delano Grape Workers by Molly Zenk.

Journey to a Promised Land: A Story of the Exodusters, which launched this series in January, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, with Kirkus stating, “this well-written volume fills a major gap in historical fiction.”

More About If the Fire Comes: A Story of Segregation during the Great Depression
(ISBN: 978-1-63163-372-0)
Final Copy provided for review, additional titles available digitally upon request.

It’s 1935, and the Great Depression and California drought has left eleven-year-old Joseph McCoy shining shoes to help his family survive. Through his hard work and games with his sister, Joseph has figured out how to get by as one of the few black people in a mostly white community. But the order of the town is disrupted when an all-black Civilian Conservation Corps camp comes to Elsinore, sparking racial tension. It isn’t long before prejudice spreads like wildfire and threatens to force the work camp to leave. Could Joseph’s secret project save the camp and bring his family hope for the future? If not, the whole town just might go up in flames.

Also Available: United to Strike: A Story of the Delano Grape Workers
(ISBN: 978-1-63163-284-6)
Budding reporter Tala Mendoza thinks life in 1965 Delano, California, is boring. But that’s before her father and other members of the local Filipino grape workers’ union vote to strike. While the strike brings Filipino and Mexican farmworkers together, it threatens to tear Tala and her best friend, Jasmine, apart. Can Tala and Jasmine’s relationship withstand the strain and length of the Delano Grape Strike?

Books in the series are 160 pages, 5″ x 7.5″ with a trade paperback binding ($8.99). Additional formats available include reinforced library binding (list: $28.50, school/library: $19.99), multi-user hosted e-book ($23.99), and single-user e-book ($8.99). 

About the author (If the Fire Comes):
Tracy Daley has helped refine and edit dozens of books throughout her career. She has held many positions in publishing including editor, publicity specialist, and acquisitions editor. She lives with her husband and three kids in Taylorsville, Utah, but escapes to the mountains as often as possible.

About the author (United to Strike):
Molly Zenk was born in Minnesota, grew up in Florida, lived briefly in Tennessee before settling in Colorado. She is married to a mathematician/software engineer who complains there is not enough math or information about him in her author bio. They live in Arvada, Colorado with their three daughters.

About the illustrator
Eric Freeberg has illustrated over twenty-five books for children, and has created work for magazines and ad campaigns. He was a winner of the 2010 London Book Fair’s Children’s Illustration Competition; the 2010 Holbein Prize for Fantasy Art, International Illustration Competition, Japan Illustrators’ Association; Runner-Up, 2013 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award; Honorable Mention, 2009 SCBWI Don Freeman Portfolio Competition; and 2nd Prize, 2009 Clymer Museum’s Annual Illustration Invitational. He was also a winner of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award. 

About Jolly Fish Press and North Star Editions
Jolly Fish Press, an imprint of North Star Editions, is dedicated to promoting exceptional, unique new voices in fiction. North Star Editions, Inc. publishes fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages that inspires, informs, and entertains. For more information, visit

Contact: Taylor Kohn,, (651) 424-4623

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