Ismée Williams

This Train Is Being Held

A nuanced and tenderly pitched story.” –Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author

“Ismée Williams has created an engaging urban romance that tackles difficult subjects such as mental health and racism, while celebrating poetry, dance, baseball, and the complexities of Latino families.” –Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree

Alex is a baseball player. A great one. His papi is pushing him to go pro, but Alex maybe wants to be a poet. Not that Papi would understand or allow that.

Isa is a dancer. She’d love to go pro, if only her Havana-born mom weren’t dead set against it…just like she’s dead set against her daughter falling for a Latino. And Isa’s privileged private-school life—with her dad losing his job and her older brother struggling with mental illness—is falling apart. Not that she’d ever tell that to Alex.

Fate—and the New York City subway—bring Alex and Isa together. Is it enough to keep them together when they need each other most?

Ismée Williams

Ismée Williams is the author of Water in May, a contemporary YA novel about a fifteen year old Dominican-American girl, Mari, who wants more than anything to have a baby so someone in her family will love her. Mari is forced to face challenges she never imagined when she learns the baby she’s carrying has only half a heart. Published by Amulet Books in the Fall of 2017, Water in May earned a Kirkus starred review and was called “Fierce and tender—and absolutely worth reading”, while VOYA described it as “realistic and compelling, heartfelt and heartbreaking.”  Her second book, This Train is Being Held, about a boy from the Heights and a girl from the Upper East Side who meet while riding the subway, is due in February 2020. Ismée has been an invited speaker at The Virginia Festival of the Book, The NYC Teen Author Festival, The Southern Kentucky Book Festival, and The Bronx Book Festival among others. Ismée is a pediatric cardiologist who trained and worked at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City for 15 years and now sees patients in the Bronx at Montefiore. She is the daughter of a Cuban immigrant and was partially raised by her abuelos.


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