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Colleen Nelson joins us at Queen Books for a signing and conversation about her new book, The Umbrella House. Colleen earned her Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba in her hometown of Winnipeg. Her previous works include the critically acclaimed middle-grade novels Harvey Comes Home, Harvey Holds His Own (a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award), Harvey Takes the Lead, and The Undercover Booklist. The titular building from Colleen’s 2023 novel The Umbrella House is a real place, which inspired Colleen during her years in New York City.

Indigo Top 50 kids’ book of 2023

In this intimate and inspiring novel about the power of art and the value of community, award-winning author and former New Yorker Colleen Nelson brings life and liveliness to an eccentric cast of New York City neighbors.

Middle-schooler and New Yorker Roxy Markowski wants to tell the truth fearlessly and powerfully, just like her idols at Veracity News. She and her best friend Scout already make YouTube videos together about East Village life, so when Veracity News announces a Young Voices video competition, Roxy knows it’s the perfect opportunity to make a name for herself, if only she can find a story worth telling. When a real-estate mogul threatens to buy her historic East Village apartment building, Umbrella House, Roxy sets out to create a video about the people who live in her building, depicting their love for art, community, and family. 

With time—and her options for saving Umbrella House—running out, Roxy finds herself caught up in the mystery of the Midnight Muralist, a famous East Village artist whose murals once made buildings famous and valuable. Could finding this enigmatic artist be the key to saving her historic East Village apartment building?

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