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The Great & the Small

Emily and Sam


A.T. Balsara

Ananda is a troubled teen who feels like a misfit at home and at her new school, and her unusual ability to connect with animals makes her feel like even more of an outsider. Still raw from the death of her grandmother, Ananda's dreams are haunted by a long-buried memory that causes her to push people away.

Fin is a Tunnel rat who lives in the passages beneath the city, in the dark places humans overlook or despise. Orphaned as a pup, he is the nephew of the Tunnel's charismatic leader, the Beloved Chairman, and is willing to do anything to please his uncle, including becoming his lead henchman.

The worlds of humans and rats suddenly collide when Ananda protects Fin during a chance encounter in the market. Neither can foresee how their lives will forever be inextricably linked, but as the Chairman launches a plague war against the humans, both Fin and Ananda wrestle with secrets so terrible that they threaten their very existence.

Told as mirroring narratives that reverberate with the effects of buried trauma, and informed by historical accounts of plague and dictatorship, this stunning tale examines what it takes to grasp for light in the darkness and survive the threats both beyond us and within us.

This updated second edition has new content including an expanded story and new illustrations.


September 2024

332 Pages | 6 × 9

Young Adult

ISBN 9781988761947



About the Author:

Andrea Torrey Balsara has published books for young children up to young adults, sometimes working as a writer, sometimes as an illustrator, and sometimes as both. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and has taken at least a million art workshops, but she's primarily a self-taught artist. She has an eclectic background, having worked as an American Sign Language interpreter, a school bus driver, and a zombie office worker. Back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, she even attended theatre school in London, England. She lives in an old Victorian manor house with her husband and family, and their two dogs, two cats, and two hives of bees (the bees live outside), where she can often be found in her cold attic of a workroom, pretending to be the heroine from Jane Eyre as she writes and draws with frozen fingers.

Visit Andrea at to book presentations and browse her publishing log, and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

About the Illustrator:

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