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The Kaleidoscope Sisters


Fifteen-year-old Quinn faces an impossible decision in this quest of sisterhood and self-sacrifice.

$17.95 $13.46

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What people are saying…

“Simultaneously odd and intriguing.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In this affecting first novel about family, love, and sacrifice, 15-year-old Quinn discovers the lengths she will go to to save her sister, Riley . . . Stephens’ poetic writing is beautiful . . . and deftly blends realism and fantasy.”
Booklist Online

“This novel is a heartrending story of the deep love of family and the hardships of terminal disease and loss. In his debut, Stephens has created a touching novel that is Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper mixed with Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story or Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. VERDICT: A unique story for teens who enjoy fantasy and tragedy. Give this to fans of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or If I Stay by Gayle Forman.”
School Library Journal

“The Kaleidoscope Sisters is one of the most absorbing novels I have read in a long time. Stephens masterfully chips away at Quinn’s exterior, revealing a girl who is sometimes humorous, at times heartbreaking, and always authentic. This is a book you won’t want to put down.”
—Cecilia Galante, author of The World from Up Here

“A butterfly garden is a gateway to a whimsical world full of the light of courage and the hopes of the human heart. Written with the sweet clarity of a child’s eye and the depth of life’s toughest challenges, Ronnie K. Stephens’s The Kaleidoscope Sisters is adorned with an array of unforgettable characters in a realm touched by magic and wonder.”
—Morowa Yejidé, author of Time of the Locust

“Like a cocoon, The Kaleidoscope Sisters unfolds its magic slowly, then soars like the butterflies that Riley so loves. Ronnie K. Stephens has given us a book of love and loss and family, but, more importantly, in these times we are living, he has gifted us a much-needed book of selflessness and strong female characters.”
—Jeff Talarigo, author of In the Cemetery of the Orange Trees


To view and download a Book Club Companion guide, please click here.
Educators, to view and download a Teaching Companion guide, please click here.

The Kaleidoscope Sisters is the first novel in a young adult series hinging on the indomitable spirit of young women. It centers on fifteen-year-old Quinn and her younger sister, Riley, who is dying from a degenerative heart defect. As the novel opens, Riley is weeks away from her seventh birthday, and her decline is obvious. Years in and out of hospitals have left the family with no support system, but Quinn is determined to save her younger sister. In her quest, Quinn discovers a portal to another realm peppered with characters based in history, all of whom disappeared mysteriously. Aiding Quinn throughout her journey in the Other Realm is Meelie. Quinn learns that a new heart for Riley can be harvested in the Other Realm, but not without sacrifice. While Meelie helps Quinn come to terms with an impossible decision, Quinn uncovers the truth about Meelie’s disappearance and why she never returned home. The book chronicles Quinn’s journey, focusing on the inevitability of loss and the realization that no matter what Quinn decides, her mother must lose one of her daughters.

Part of Akashic’s Oddities Kaylie Jones Books imprint. Oddities Kaylie Jones Books is our experimental line that focuses on unconventional, edgy, risk-taking novels that boldly defy the traditional forms and conventions of the literary novel, with a focus on YA, horror, and mystery. While our primary emphasis is fiction, we will make space for exceptional memoirs with nontraditional elements and themes.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Published: 8/21/18
  • IBSN: 9781617757020
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757044
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617757037


RONNIE K. STEPHENS is a full-time educator and father of five, with a strong interest in poetry, fiction, and activism. He recently completed an MA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Fiction at Wilkes University. During his time at Wilkes, he was awarded two scholarships and won the Etruscan Press Prize. Stephens has published two full-length poetry collections, Universe in the Key of Matryoshka and They Rewrote Themselves Legendary, with Timber Mouse Publishing out of Austin. The Kaleidoscope Sisters is his first novel.

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