'The Lifters' is due out March 2018

By Nivea Serrao
July 13, 2017 at 01:49 PM EDT
Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Sundance; Knopf Books for Young Readers

Dave Eggers’ newest readers will be skewing a little younger than his usual ones.

It was announced Thursday that the A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius author will be publishing a middle grade novel. Titled The Lifters, the book will follow the story of Gran (a.k.a. Granite), a young boy who’s having problems at home, and his friendship with Catalina Catalan, a girl he befriends who places a door handle on a hillside and opens it up to reveal a whole new world filled with both wonders and terrors. This new development leads them on an adventure that might help them save their town and become heroes. The Lifters is the first of two forthcoming middle grade novels from Eggers.

The novel will also feature illustrations by Eric and Terry Fan (The Night Gardener).

The Lifters has been on my mind for almost ten years,” says Eggers in a statement. “That’s when I had the idea that a simple cupboard handle could open a hillside to a warren of kid-sized tunnels under a town — and that it would be up these kids to keep everyone living aboveground upright and safe. My goal was to write the book I would have wanted to read when I was a middle-grader, with enough adventure and jokes and mystery to keep even an antsy reader engaged. The Fan brothers added fantastic illustrations that give the book the timeless feel I was hoping for.”

This isn’t the only book fans of Eggers can expect next year. The Circle author will also be publishing The Monk of Mokha. The nonfiction novel is the true story of a young Yemeni American set on bringing back the ancient art of Yemeni coffee making, only to find himself trapped in the middle of a civil war.

The Lifters hits stores March 27, 2018, and The Monk of Mokha will be released January 30, 2018.