March 16


THE MEMORY OF THINGS Cover Reveal by Gae Polisner

THE MEMORY OF THINGS is a powerful story of two teenagers finding friendship, comfort, and first love in the days following 9/11 as their fractured city tries to put itself back together.


On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows. She is covered in ash and wearing a pair of costume wings. With his mother and sister in California and unable to reach his father, a New York City detective likely on his way to the disaster, Kyle makes the split-second decision to bring the girl home. What follows is their story, told in alternating points of view, as Kyle tries to unravel the mystery of the girl so he can return her to her family. But what if the girl has forgotten everything, even her own name? And what if the more Kyle gets to know her, the less he wants her to go home? THE MEMORY OF THINGS tells a stunning story of friendship and first love and of carrying on with our day-to-day living in the midst of world-changing tragedy and unforgettable pain—it tells a story of hope.

“This book. It is so freaking good.”—Andrew Smith, Printz Honor-winning author of GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE

Memory of Things_HiRes

About our cover and book:

A Designer’s Inspiration…

“When making this cover, the graphic approach seemed the most fitting. I felt that a photo would not do this story justice, so I decided to render “The Girl” in a way that communicates silence and loss. And the imagery of her in the book wearing her costume wings was too powerful to leave out. The handwritten lettering was used to show the youth and innocence of Kyle and “The Girl” as they deal with tragedy and the unknown.” – David Curtis, St. Martin’s Press designer

An Editor’s Excitement…

“As an editor, I’ve never been one to shy away from a hard book. And that’s what this is. In The Memory of Things, Gae deftly tackles a subject that is a deeply personal part of our nation’s history and makes it accessible to a whole new generation in a way they cannot help but respond to. Gae has put her whole heart into this book because she knows teens need a way to understand this event, and because of that, every word sings with straightforward honesty, sensitivity, and candor. But ultimately, what I love about The Memory of Things is Gae’s understanding that in darkness there is also light. Her novel isn’t just one of tragedy. It is one of young love and hope and even humor. I could not have been happier to add this book to my list. And I’m just as thrilled to have this wonderful cover with its sky blue coloring that further sparks that feeling of hope.” – Vicki Lame, St. Martin’s Press editor

and. . .

An Author’s Love…

I have always wanted an illustrated or graphic design cover, and – thank you, David Curtis! — this is truly the cover of my dreams.

Two things I love best: First, I love how the girl and her wings are so powerful, it takes a moment to notice the twin towers forming the letter I. They hit the viewer like a gut punch, just how they should. I get choked up every time.

Second, and a friend pointed this out to me, I love how you see the girl at first, but if you look carefully, you can also see Kyle from the back, facing her, in the negative blue space within the girl. Below the girl’s white hair, is Kyle’s head (with spiked up hair), his turned up collar and shoulders (maybe his hands are in his pockets (they share their legs)).

If David didn’t actually intend this when he designed the cover, I can’t unsee it now — nor do I want to! — so I’m chalking it up to one of those magical, mystical things that happen when they are meant to!

Do you see Kyle with the girl?

Thank you, as always, to the amazing Nerdy Book Club for celebrating my cover with me.

THE MEMORY OF THINGS is available for pre-order and comes out September 6, 2016 from St. Martin’s Press Griffin.

Photographer: Rick Kopstein7 Richmond PlaceHuntington Station, NY

Gae Polisner is the award-winning author of The Summer of Letting Go (Teen Ink Editor’s Choice Badge of Approval) and The Pull of Gravity (Bank Street Best) (both Nerdy Book Club award winners!) and the forthcoming The Memory of Things. She also co-hosts Teachers Write!, a virtual writers’ camp for teachers and educators. She lives on Long Island with her husband, two sons, and a suspiciously-fictional-looking small dog she swore she’d never own. When she’s not writing, she can be found in a pool, or better yet, in the open waters of the Long Island Sound. She hopes one day soon to grow gills and become a mermaid.