Nic Stone

Cindy Seip

Nic Stone is the New York Times bestselling author of Clean Getaway, Dear Martin and its sequel Dear Justyce, and the young adult novels Odd One Out and Jackpot. Stone spent several years on the softball field as a kid, and Fast Pitch (Crown Books for Young Readers) grew out of her love of the sport, the movie The Sandlot, and her desire to see more Black female athletes represented on the field and the page. Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds and the central character in Fast Pitch, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch softball regional championship. As the only team of all-brown faces, Shenice knows that she and the Firebirds have to work twice as hard to prove that Black girls belong on that field. But life, and old family secrets, have thrown some curveballs her way. The revelation of a career-ending and family name-ruining crime shakes her focus, and a broken focus means mistakes. She needs to find the truth about her family’s past – and fast – before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever. The New York Times welcomed Fast Pitch as “evidence that writers for young readers are continuing to move beyond narratives in which the primary problem is a character’s marginalization.”