A letter from Elana K. Arnold, author of RED HOOD

RED HOOD, by Elana K. Arnold, is on shelves now!

Dear Reader,

Once, there was a girl who left the path. Once, there was a wolf who waited for her.

We hear versions of this story all the time—in fairy tales and on the news. And these stories can leave us with unsettling questions. Whose story to we believe? And why?

Like my last YA novel, Damsel, the book you are holding in your hands now explores toxic masculinity and feminine power in a world laced with fantasy elements. This time, we are in modern-day Seattle, and Bisou’s homecoming night is shattered when she finds herself running through the woods beneath a full moon, a large and ferocious wolf on her heels. After managing to kill the wolf in self-defense, she arrives at school the next day to discover that the naked body of a boy in her class has been found in the forest. What truly happened in the woods? Is it possible she saw a wolf where everyone else saw a boy? These questions cause Bisou to distrust her memory, even the soundness of her mind… but they also prompt another concern. If she tells anyone what really happened, will they believe her? Is she alone in this fight?

Fairy tales and fables are powerful because they tell us truths we already know. They ring a bell deep inside us, striking a resonant, vibrating note that makes us nod yes with recognition. The truth is, I have been among wolves. I’ll bet many of you have been, as well. Red Hood asks us what we make of wolves in the woods. Do we see them? Do we name them?

I know my books can be uncomfortable. Truth often is. I want to thank you for spending time with me in the woods and for trusting that though I will take you to deep, dark places, I won’t abandon you there. Take my hand. Let’s go.

With love,

Elana K. Arnold

Read a sample now!

Elana K. Arnold is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel and the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of. Several of her books are Junior Library Guild selections and have appeared on many best book lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, a catalog of feminist titles for young readers. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets. You can visit her online at www.elanakarnold.com.

Praise for RED HOOD

"In the wake of her Printz Honor–winning Damsel (2018), Arnold blazes a new and equally powerful trail through toxic masculinity by way of a fairy tale. It is a book of blood, where menstruation empowers, predators bleed out, sisterhood is forged, and genetics bestow unasked for responsibilities. So read, shed your pelt, and be transformed—for blades are being sharpened."
Booklist (starred review)

“It’s unsettling how seamlessly Arnold incorporates dark fantasy elements of beastly wolves and cunning hunters into her all-too-realistic tale. A fantastic novel in the #MeToo era, empowering women to share their stories by reaching out, speaking up, and demanding a change.”
School Library Journal (starred review)

"At once a sharp critique of male entitlement and a celebration of sisterhood and feminine power, this story will linger with readers long after the final page."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Deeply and darkly enticing, Red Hood isn't a modern retelling so much as it is the story we should have had all along."
Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"A timely and unabashedly feminist twist on a classic fairy tale."
Kirkus Reviews

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