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Amber McBride Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Me (Moth) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
We Are All So Good at Smiling (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gone Wolf (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Poetry Collections

Thick with Trouble (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Poemhood: Our Black Revival(2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Amber McBride
Amber McBride got her BA in English from James Madison University in the year 2010 and got her MFA in Poetry from Emerson College in the year 2012.

Amber has taught English Literature, English Composition, and Introduction to Poetry at Strayer University, James Madison University, and Northern Virginia Community College.

Her work has been published in Provincetown Arts, Ploughshares, and Decomp, as well as other places.

Poetry is her first love, and she began writing poetry when she was in the sixth grade. This was the format that made sense to her, as she likes the immediacy and brevity of poetry. She is mesmerized by the timelessness that poetry has. Amber also feels at home when she is writing in verse.

But she never thought to write in verse for young adults until she read other novels in verse like “A Long Way Down”, “Brown Girl Dreaming”, and “The Poet X”. The lyricism and complexity of each of these books were highly impactful on her, and “Me (Moth)” seemed to be the perfect story to tell in verse. She feels that just wouldn’t have worked as well as it does had she wrote it in prose.

“Me (Moth)” focuses on grief because Amber was dealing with her own grief as she wrote it. Her grandpa passed away in early 2019 and his absence opened up a tidal wave of grief in her immediate and extended family. She wanted to mold this pain into something more tangible.

Something that she could look at and go ‘yes, that is what the stages of grief are like’, but surprise, you just can’t do that. On some days it feels as though her grandpa just died and others it feels like his spirit hovers close, while others she just wants to speak with him.

When he died, somebody left coins at his grave, and she quickly decided to make the love interest in the novel Navajo and had a three hour long talk with her aunt about how to write the character of Sani in a respectful way. Amber’s aunt helped her develop Sani into a traditional modern Navajo boy.

They talked about stories and the different stages of the medical process in Navajo culture. Her aunt pointed her to the best resources for Navajo stories would be and, most importantly, they talked about her Navajo culture and its complexity.

It was also at this point that she began consciously studying and learning more about Hoodoo from countless books, teachers, and practice. She wanted to write about Hoodoo to allow other Black kids could see the magic and vastness which their ancestors had left behind for them.

After that conversation with her aunt, she simmered on this idea for close to a week before she drafted an outline. Sani’s character helped her see this story more fully and inspect exactly how marginalized teens in America universally feel unseen. Sani and Moth create a world together that are filled with love and stories and truly see each other.

She also found she wanted to incorporate the traditions and stories of some other marginalized groups in America that feel equally invisible as Moth does. Her aunt, who is Navajo and Amber’s family road tripped out to New Mexico to see her dad’s brother and cousins. During Amber’s time on the reservation, she was introduced to a lot of stunning traditions that aren’t ever taught in school. This was a crucial experience for her.

Amber’s debut novel, called “Me (Moth)”, was released in the year 2021. Her work is from the fantasy and young adult genres.

“Me (Moth)” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. A novel in verse that is a ghost story as well as a coming-of-age. About one teen girl that mourns the deaths of her family, and the teen boy that ends up crossing her path.

Moth lost her family in an accident. And even though she lives with an aunt, she feels uprooted and alone.

But then she meets Sani, a boy that’s also searching for his roots. Maybe if he knew more about where he comes from, then he would be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth could help him in feeling grounded, then maybe she too would learn more about the history that she carries in her bones.

Sani and Moth go on a road trip which has them chasing down ghosts and hunting for ancestors. The way that each moves forward is powerful, surprising, and unforgettable.

This is an uplifting and exquisite novel about first love, identity, and the ways that our roots and memories steer us on through the universe.

Amber’s writing in this novel is magical and surreal, and she’ll break your heart in the best way possible. She also teaches you about Navajo myths and creation stories, along with Hoodoo. The novel in verse writing style makes this story a breeze to get through, as you keep on turning the pages throughout. Some readers found that when they got into the swing of the writing style, they got lost in this captivating world that Amber had created here. Sani and Moth are two characters that are going to stick with readers after finishing it off.

“We Are All So Good at Smiling” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2022. A novel-in-verse about healing from trauma and clinical depression.

Whimsy is in the hospital again for treatment of her clinical depression. When she meets this boy, named Faerry, she recognizes that both of them have magic in the marrow of their bones. And he and his family move onto the same street as her, the two begin to realize that their lifelines might have twined and untwined many times previously.

They are both horrified of the forest located at the end of Marsh Creek Lane. The Forest whispers to her. It may just hold the answers to the part of Faerry that he feels could be missing. They find the Forest holds fairy tales, monsters, and pain they have each been running from for eleven years.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Amber McBride

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