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News & Press

What folks have to say about PICTURE THE DEAD:

“A perfectly haunting combination of art and history-based story. In paperback. So you can read it now.”
Jon Scieszka, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, 2008

“Open Picture the Dead and step into the rich, nineteenth-century scrapbook filled with ghosts, betrayals, murder, and love. A haunting work, beautifully told.”
Brian Selznick, Caldecott Medal-winning author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

“A tour de force, a remarkable feat of visual and verbal storytelling, as playful as it is serious, as haunting as it is delightful.”
Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

“I loved Picture the Dead. Eerie, romantic, moody, and immersive. A beautifully illustrated gothic delight!”
Holly Black, New York Times bestselling author of Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale

“Love story, mystery, ghost story… Picture the Dead is a gripping, gorgeously graphic novel.”
Kit Reed, author of The Night Children

“Don’t believe in ghosts? Read this book. Adele Griffin delivers an atmosphere of creeping menace… Lisa Brown’s illustrations are beautifully twined into the text.”
Judy Blundell, National Book Award Winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied


Despite the powerful conclusion, it is moments of quiet perception that should most resonate, as when Mr. Geist distinguishes between memory and haunting: “For if memory is the wave that buoys our grief, haunting is the undertow that drags us to its troubled source.”

⇒ Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

Brown’s striking portraits, drawings displayed throughout as though in a photo album, animate this artful Civil War-era novel…The story is engrossing and the period details an added pleasure.

⇒ New York Times

Brown and Griffin have managed the uncommon feat of injecting originality and liveliness into a young-adult book of historical fiction.

⇒ San Francisco Chronicle


February 17, 2012

Drey’s Library

February 16, 2012

In the Hammock Book Reviews

February 16, 2012

Gone with the Words

February 14, 2012

To Read or Not To Read

November 14, 2011

Hey y’all! We were in Charleston at the first-ever YALLFest (YALL as in Young Adult Literature, plus an L), hosted by the incredibly wonderful Blue Bicycle Books. We donned our period costumes for the “Victorian Fireside Chat.” See the article in the Charleston City Paper, here.

Lisa and Adele in Victorian drag.

Lisa, with hat.

November 3, 2011

Small Review: Guest post and giveaway

October 9, 2011

Confessions of a Bookaholic: Haunted Halloween!

June 30, 2011

Picture the Dead wins 2nd place in the Young Adult Category of the 2011 Prism contest, from the Romance Writers of America’s Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter. Wheee! Our favorite thing about this contest was the contest categories, for sure:

  • Dark Paranormal
  • Light Paranormal
  • Futuristic
  • Fantasy
  • Time Travel/Steampunk
  • Erotica/Romantica
  • Novella
  • Young Adult.

February 9, 2011

Lisa Skypes with the good folks at the Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy in Jefferson, LA.

Lisa models her bonnet on screen.

And now she's on the laptop!

See what the Loud Librarian has to say about it on her blog.

But what have we done LATELY?

October 30, 2010

Hilarious author interview with Lisa and Adele at the Scarrlet Reader blog.

Quick Fire!

Angel or Demon?
Angel with a Vendetta
Demon. Duh.
(me: Love that they choose opposites XD)

Fangs or No Fangs?
Maybe one, well-placed fang
Fangs. Better for biting.

Ghosts: Believer or not?
All the way, every day, I Believe
Open to possibilities.

October 27, 2010

Lovely lil’ review on vvB32 Reads Blog, plus our creepy “Wereland” guest posts and giveaway just in time for Halloween!

Adele: Alice Meets Were-Ghouls

Lisa: Alice Meets Were-Puss

October 24, 2010

Educator and author extraordinaire Monica Edinger suggests Picture the Dead in her Huffington Post response “to Neil Gaiman’s Modest Proposal”

And finally, for teens, there is Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown’s Picture the Dead. Set during the Civil War when spiritualism, spirit photography in particular, was in vogue, Jennie Lovell tells her chilling story through text and the pages of her scrapbook.

September 3, 2010

Lisa rocks her new bonnet at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, California.

New bonnet, old corset, and a touch of red eye.

August 18, 2010

We love this photo from our ghostly-books-united event at Children’s Book World in Haverford PA with Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead.

Adele, Dianne and Lisa in front of shelves of invisible books.

June 26, 2010

Adele and Lisa rock our Victorian-costumed selves at the American Library Association annual conference in Washington, DC.


Adele is the one in the moustache. Lisa's in the corset.

June 9, 2010

Picture the Dead is reviewed in The New York Times Sunday Book Review!

Brown’s striking portraits, drawings displayed throughout as though in a photo album, animate this artful Civil War-era novel…The story is engrossing and the period details an added pleasure.

New York Times review

May 30, 2010

Terrific review in Lisa’s hometown rag, the San Francisco Chronicle:

Brown and Griffin have managed the uncommon feat of injecting originality and liveliness into a young-adult book of historical fiction.

San Francisco Chronicle review

May 27, 2010

Adele and Lisa present Picture the Dead to the students of PS 184 (Shuang Wen School) at the Seward Park Branch of the New York Public Library.

Here’s what it looked like that day:

And here’s what the library looked like in the early years of the 20th century:

Seward Park Branch

Seward Park, children waiting to get up stairs to the Children's Room, from the NYPL Digital Gallery.

And yes, the Children’s Room is still up those stairs.

The Seward Park branch of the NYPL’s claim to fame most important to us? It was the library branch to which the girls in the book All-of-a-Kind-Family used to go. Here we are, recreating the scene:

recreating the scene

And besides Book Expo America and the New York Public Library, highlight of NYC leg of the tour? Hair art, of course. At the American Folk Art Museum.

May 19, 2010

A book review and an interview at Novel Novice!

Picture the Dead is an incredible book, one that sweeps you up into the story, the history and the characters, without overwhelming. The history never becomes cumbersome, as it can in some historical fiction. Instead, the history sets the stage for a story about love, loss, and strength.

Novel Novice review

Novel Novice interview

May 17, 2010

Picture the Dead gets a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly!

Despite the powerful conclusion, it is moments of quiet perception that should most resonate, as when Mr. Geist distinguishes between memory and haunting: “For if memory is the wave that buoys our grief, haunting is the undertow that drags us to its troubled source.”

⇒ Publisher’s Weekly review

May 15, 2010

Lisa and Adele at the Brookline Booksmith. For more event photos, click here.

Brookline Booksmith

May 13, 2010

Lisa presents at a magical looking Barnes and Noble in Glendale, CA.


May 12, 2010

Lisa visits the Barnhart School in Arcadia, CA, and signs some hands.

signed hand

May 12, 2010

Here’s a guest blog from  She Is Too Fond of Books where Adele revisits her awkward teen years.

Say it was a June afternoon of 1989, when I slouched into my local bookstore, Readers’ Forum on North Wayne Avenue in Wayne, PA. Shy and sullen in my jams and jellies, eyes rimmed in burnt matchstick and my hair artfully moussed the requisite inch above my hairline. My question delivered on the breath of a patented teenaged sigh, as I slid my paperback across the counter. “You have anything in here as good as this?”

“This” being my dog-eared copy of Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.

⇒ She Is Too Fond of Books

May 6, 2010

Fabulous event at the Booksmith in San Francisco. Event photos can be found in the media section of this page, both in high resolution and low resolution. All photos by Kirk Crippens. Here’s a few of our favs:

Lisa and Adele signing books.

The raffle!

The Booksmith crew take a ghostly photograph.

BONUS! A full video webcast of the event can be seen here!

May 6, 2010

An “affirmation of femalehood” from Good Books & Good Wine:

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so let’s go into style. The story is told in first person, which has to feel authentic for me to enjoy it. Jennie’s voice never felt forced. You know how sometimes historical fiction doesn’t feel right because the voice is too modern? Or how maybe the author overwhelms you with antiquated language? Well, I thought Jennie embodied Civil War Era America.

Good Books & Good Wine review

May 5, 2010

Guest blog post at our pals LISA AND LAURA WRITE:

Outlining and writing a book that is told partly with words and partly with images is a challenge. Add to that the fact that we live on opposite coasts, and you’ve got a full-on capital C Challenge. We sent a lot of email, and were on the phone a lot more than we usually want to be. But really, we went about constructing our plot together much in the same way that we would have alone.

Lisa and Laura Write guest blog

May 3, 2010

JUST AS OUR FRIENDS at the very esteemed, San Francisco independent bookstore The Booksmith would never approve an inferior novel, authors Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown’s personal signatures upon the title page of their book, Picture the Dead, may be also considered as a guarantee of excellence.

Kindly place your order with The Booksmith via:

calling: 1-800-493-7323,


faxing: 415-863-2540,

or purchasing online from The Booksmith here.

Your edition will be prepared to meet your specific demand, and freely gift-wrapped, thusly ensuring a volume of rare interest and impressive value. Price $17.99.

Editor’s Table: “Reading whilst traveling fatigues the eyes, as every observant person well knows; this induces headache, with a slight congestion of the retina, which, if the subject is of a weak constitution, is liable to end in an attack of apoplexy.”

May 3, 2010

Another rave review, this one from Tempting Persephone

Stripped down to its most basic element, Picture the Dead is a ghost story. A ghost story set against the backdrop of the Civil War. It’s hard to express what makes that combination so potent. Spooky isn’t the right word to use, nor is scary; it was deliciously eerie. And it was all too easy to place yourself in the thick of things thanks to Griffin’s writing, which was uncluttered but lyrical, and always conveyed just enough to get one’s imagination racing.

⇒ Tempting Persephone review

May 1, 2010

Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews calls Picture the Dead “…a haunting story that is likely to stay with them for a long time.”

This extremely powerful and sometimes disturbing book will very likely cause readers to experience a spooky shiver more than once as they read. The author beautifully captures the sadness and fear that filled the hearts of family members and sweethearts as they waited for their loved ones to come home from the American Civil War. Beautifully merging fact and fiction, Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown give their readers a haunting story that is likely to stay with them for a long time.

Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews, review

April 28, 2010

“… a dash of Victoriana and a smidge of Gothic horror.” A lovely review by Booklust:

Picture the Dead is one of those books you see in a bookstore, pick up and thumb through, and then clutch to your chest as you move towards the cash wrap, as though someone might steal it from you.

Booklust review

April 14, 2010

Shelf-Awareness compares us to Daphne Du Maurier!

Adele Griffin here combines the supernatural elements she explored in The Other Shepards and the war themes of Sons of Liberty to chilling and riveting effect… Lisa Brown’s drawings, which evoke the period and also act as faux facsimiles of Jennie’s scrapbook, elevate the suspense and contribute to this gripping novel’s Daphne Du Maurier-like aura.

⇒ Shelf-Awareness Children’s Review

April 1, 2010

A little piece in Kirkus Review‘s Spring and Summer Preview:

“Our book takes place 150 years ago, but their language is spare and the images are modern,” says Adele Griffin. “While set in another time, we wanted to speak to our own.” Lisa Brown’s fanciful daguerreotype reconstructions accompany the spookily ethereal story, cunningly providing clues to the puzzle… through a bramble of lies, humiliations, yearnings and ghosts, readers are introduced to such historical riches as the lifestyle of Boston Brahmins, the wiles of spiritualist photography and the awful reality of Andersonville prison.

Kirkus Supplements: Spring and Summer Preview

March 23, 2010

Adele Griffin (left) and Libba Bray

Adele Griffin (left) and Libba Bray

Adele is the Image of the Day at Shelf Awareness with Libba Bray, Tiger Beat lead chanteuse and YA author extraordinaire.

⇒ Shelf Awareness Image of the Day

March 22, 2010

Our pals at The Rumpus are very complimentary.

There are book websites and then there are book websites. Lisa Brown and Adele Griffin’s site for their new young-adult-illustrated-Civil-War-ghost-story (yep), Picture the Dead, is the latter.

“Amusements of an Historical & Macabre Nature”

March 19, 2010

Lisa and Adele blog at the Huffington Post.

LB: Hey, so how would you describe this thing that we’ve been sweating over all this time?

AG: Picture the Dead is an American Civil War paranormal thriller ghost story, with extensive illustrations in the form of a working scrapbook. This book has everything you want. It can even cut through a tin can.

⇒ “An Interview Between Two Obsessive Ghost Aficionados”

January 26, 2010

Picture the Dead gets an early review by Fuse 8, and Lisa is outed as Mrs. Lemony Snicket.

Well, I can’t account for the writing (since it’s teen and I don’t read teen) but if the visuals are anything to go by Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin, illustrated by Lisa Brown, looks kind of awesome. —Elizabeth Bird

⇒ Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks (Spring 2010), School Library Journal

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