A letter from Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed, authors of YES NO MAYBE SO

YES NO MAYBE SO by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
Available 2.4.20

Dear Reader,

In November of 2016, we watched in horror and panic as Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Like many people, we were anxious about the type of world our children would now grow up in. Trump’s hatred had given full license to others who shared his racist and bigoted views, in a way that felt very personal to us as Muslim and Jewish women. Antisemitism and Islamophobia rose sharply and vandalism of mosques and synagogues grew commonplace. In our home state of Georgia, a state senator proposed a bill that would have effectively banned Muslim women from wearing hijab in public. Days later, a high school in the Atlanta suburbs was graffitied with Trump’s name, a swastika, and several racist and homophobic slurs. The bad news was relentless—and here in Georgia, it felt like we were drowning in it.

But then we stumbled upon a bright spot: a special election for a newly vacant seat in our district for the US House of Representatives. The district had been firmly Republican for as long as we could remember, but now an Atlanta man hoped to change that. He stood for accountability and vowed to stand up against bigotry and hateful rhetoric. After weeks of feeling helpless against an onslaught of national horrors, this was exactly what we needed. His announcement was a raft in a sea of bad news.

We immediately threw ourselves into the campaign. Neither of us had knocked on doors for a political candidate before, and we were nervous—but it felt like something tangible we could do.

The process was strange, sometimes tedious, and often thankless—but it was also uplifting and rewarding. And it was the first time we truly grasped the power of local activism.

For us, these moments felt like the beginning of a story—one about love, resistance, and local activism. With Yes No Maybe So, our goal is to tell a story that doesn’t shy away from the complexities of our current reality, but nevertheless remains infused with joy and hope. We believe that activism and love can heal and connect us, even in the most difficult times.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read Yes No Maybe So. We love Maya and Jamie so deeply, and we hope you will too.

Aisha and Becky

About the Book

A book about the power of love and resistance from New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed.


Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone) Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.


Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.


Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely.

About the Authors

Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli is the author of William C. Morris Award winner and National Book Award longlist title, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (now a major motion picture, Love, Simon); the acclaimed The Upside of Unrequited; #1 New York Times bestselling Leah on the Offbeat; and What If It’s Us (co-written with Adam Silvera). Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.

Aisha Saeed is the New York Times-bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Amal Unbound—Global Read Aloud Middle Grade Selection for 2018, Summer 2018 Indie Next Pick, Amazon Best Book of the Month, and recipient of four starred reviews. Her debut novel, Written in the Stars was a best book of 2015 for Bank Street Books and 2016 YALSA Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers. Her forthcoming books include Far from Agrabah (Disney Press, April 2019) and picture book Bilal Cooks Daal (Salaam Reads, June 2019). Aisha is also a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books™. She has been featured on MTV, the Huffington Post, NBC, and the BBC, and her writings have appeared in publications including the journal ALAN and the Orlando Sentinel. Aisha lives in Atlanta with her husband and sons. You can find her online at http://www.aishasaeed.com.