“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin…with the blood of its inhabitants: and this execrable Crew of Butchers…I winked at my own littleness as people do at their own faults.”—Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift

Lucas Baird never got much of a break when he was a child, but by his early twenties, his good looks and easy manner allow him to skate through life without having to put in much effort. On the cusp of manhood in years yet still a boy—what Anthony Trollope called a hobbledehoy—charming Luke has enjoyed his extended adolescence of drinking and small-time cons. But when a freak accident compels him to leave LA—and leave fast—he finds himself in New York, in the seemingly idyllic Long Island beach town of Shorelane, where through a drunken mistake, he becomes trapped in a life-or-death ordeal. Luke’s only potential saviors are a group of local children, who are themselves lost and destined for paths much the same as Luke’s—if not worse—and a young woman, equally lost. For Luke to finally cross into manhood, he will have to come to terms with his own poor judgment and mortality, and find the courage to stay sane in the face of irrational actors.

Reminiscent of The Beach and Lord of the Flies, Little Crew of Butchers is a masterful tale of the innocent savagery of children, but also of the redemptive power of love and courage, and the wisdom that comes from truly growing up.

Francine Pascal

Francine Pascal is the creator of the Sweet Valley High series and one of the world’s most popular fiction writers for teenagers. She is the author of several bestselling novels, including My Mother Was Never a Kid (Hanging Out with Cici), My First Love and Other Disasters, as well as the Fearless series. Her adult novels include Save Johanna! and If Wishes Were Horses and the nonfiction book The Strange Case of Patty Hearst. She has collaborated with Michael Stewart on the Broadway musical George M! and with Jon Marans and Graham Lyle she has written the musical The Fearless Girl. She is on the advisory board of the American Theatre Wing. Her favorite sport is a monthly poker game.