Published by
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (October 2012)
Current material
MS: Complete Edited
Original language
Books for very young children, children’s picture books & activity books


by King, A.S.

In ASK THE PASSENGERS, Printz Honor recipient A.S. King poignantly renders another instantly engaging, thoughtful, and multilayered read one that continues to prove that she is an important writer to watch.

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl. As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better. In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

A.S. King is the author of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS and the Edgar Award nominated, Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ, described as "deeply suspenseful and profoundly human" by Publishers Weekly and picked as one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books for Teens 2010. She is also the author of THE DUST OF 100 DOGS, described as "undeniably original" by Booklist and picked as an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. Recently returned from Ireland, where she spent over a decade living off the land, teaching adult literacy, and writing novels, King now lives deep in the Pennsylvania woods with her husband and children.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk



At once much more than a coming out novel and one of the best coming-out novels in years. Funny, provocative, and intelligent, King's story celebrates love in all of its messy, modern complexity.

Review: Publishers Weekly

Will appeal to any mature teen resisting the pressure to conform or rebel [and] anyone who wants to define herself on her own terms.

Review: School Library Journal

Quite possibly the best teen novel featuring a girl questioning her sexuality written in years.

Review: Kirkus Reviews

ASK THE PASSENGERS made the best of 2012 lists at Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal!

Quote: Client

For kids struggling with their own truths, it can be hard to believe how much light there is once you come out of the cave. This is a book that knows and understands that, and it's one that readers will believe.

Review: The Bulletin

Astrid has a lot of love to give, and she gives it freely to schoolmates, friends, and even her dysfunctional family. But most of all, she sends her love to the passengers in the planes whizzing high above her small, gossipy, intolerant town: “Because if I give it all away, no one can control it.” But she does love her coworker Dee and her best friend Christina, whose biggest secret she keeps. Printz Honor Book author King (Please Ignore Vera Dietz, 2010) continues to expertly plumb the lovely numbness of a young person struck by emotional paralysis. Afraid to come out, afraid to be boxed in, and afraid to fall under the scrutiny of her town, Astrid lives a rich inner life, which King depicts with deft magical realist conventions that recall Everybody Sees the Ants (2011). Astrid’s consciousness is exemplified by Socrates, an agent of truth and logic who silently judges her for not owning up to her personal truths. King also incorporates the first-person narrations of the passengers in the planes, whose stories unknowingly parallel and carry Astrid’s affections and desire for escape. Another thoughtful, and often breathtaking, achievement for King, whose star is ascending as quickly as one of Astrid’s planes.

Review: Booklist

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