Marie-Helene Bertino reads from 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas (Crown Publishers, 2014)

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed aspiring jazz singer–and also a nine-year-old girl. As she mourns the recent death of her mother and takes care of her grieving, hermetic father, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day–and night–of her life. On the same day, her fifth-grade teacher Sarina Greene nervously anticipates a dinner party that will reunite her with an old love and old friends. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas nightclub, owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to save it. 2A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas tells the lively and engaging tale of how an unlikely cast of characters is thrown together over the course of one important night. As the stories race to the late-night climax, the paths of these searching souls bend and flex around one another, only to collide at the fateful hour.

“This book won me over heart and soul. With Madeleine … Bertino has created one of the most winning and wonderful characters I’ve met in a long time. Read this book to see a debut author … crafting a story where human kindness meets up with an inhospitable world and real magic happens in the aftermath.”–Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang