Where Literary Legends Are Born

Happy Book Birthday To YOU OWE ME ONE, UNIVERSE By Chad Lucas!

Chad Lucas has a new book out today: YOU OWE ME ONE, UNIVERSE, a middle grade contemporary publishing with Abrams! A sequel to his lauded debut THANKS A LOT, UNIVERSE, this thoughtful and poignant book picks up where Brian and Ezra’s story left off.



Brian and Ezra’s story continues in the moving sequel to Thanks a Lot, Universe, which New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone called “a glorious ode to the beauty of preteen friendship.”

Brian knows that anxiety and depression aren’t things that are magically fixed overnight, but he still doesn’t understand why it’s all hitting him so hard right now. Sure, his dad is still in prison and middle school is still stressful, but he’s seeing a therapist, he’s got good friends, and he’s doing really well on the basketball team. He should be fine, so why does he feel too tired to get out of bed some days? And why does he turn into “Cursed Monster Brian” and snap whenever someone asks him what’s wrong?

Ezra is trying his best to look out for Brian, but he’s not sure that he’s actually helping. Sure, they’re still best friends, but as Ezra starts preparing for the talent show, he also starts talking with Victor—the kid who relentlessly bullied Brian last year. It seems like Victor’s changed, and whenever he and Ezra hang out and make music together, Ezra’s stomach feels a little bit swoopy. But even if he likes making music and talking with Victor, he still feels like he’s betraying his best friend whenever they’re together. And he worries that he’s falling for another boy who won’t return his feelings . . .

Earnest, heartfelt, and full of humor, Chad Lucas’s You Owe Me One, Universe explores the nuances and complications of middle school relationships—and shows how sometimes the smallest acts of caring can be the ones that matter most.



* “Chad Lucas has written another story full of heart, humor, and friendship. Your universe will be brighter if you read it.” —Eric Bell, author of Alan Cole is Not a Coward

* “Themes of identity, mental health, and responsibility are tenderly and expertly addressed through the authentic dialogue and interactions among the friends…Smart and heartfelt.” —Kirkus **STARRED REVIEW**

* A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection for 2023!




Chad Lucas has been in love with words since he attempted his first novel on a typewriter in the sixth grade. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, communications advisor, freelance writer, part-time journalism instructor, and parenting columnist. A proud descendant of the historic African Nova Scotian community of Lucasville, he lives with his family near Halifax, Nova Scotia. He enjoys coaching basketball and is rarely far from a cup of tea. He is the author of THANKS A LOT, UNIVERSE, LET THE MONSTER OUT, and many more to come!


We at McIntosh & Otis wish our heartfelt congratulations to Chad! His amazing book is out in hardcover and e-book. It can be found at Abrams, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, or your own favorite independent bookstore, like Woozles for our Canadian friends!


Be sure to visit Chad on Twitter, Instagram, and his website!