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The Vanishing Station: A Novel By Ana Ellickson Cover Image
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May/June 2024 Kids Indie Next List

“Ruby knows that ever since her mother died, her father has changed. As the book opens, Ruby follows her father in an attempt to find out what is really going on, only to discover a magical underworld full of secrets, art and trains. An outstanding debut!”
— Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI


Author Ana Ellickson’s The Vanishing Station is a lyrical and bold YA debut about an underground magic system in San Francisco—and the lengths one girl is willing to go to protect the ones she loves.
Eighteen-year-old Filipino American Ruby Santos has been unmoored since her mother’s death. She can’t apply to art school like she’s always dreamed, and she and her father have had to move into the basement of their home and rent out the top floor while they work to pay back her mother’s hospital bills.
Then Ruby finds out her father has been living a secret life as a delivery person for a magical underworld—he “jumps” train lines to help deliver packages for a powerful family. Recently, he’s fallen behind on deliveries (and deeper into alcoholism), and if his debts aren’t satisfied, they’re going to take her mother’s house. In an effort to protect her father and save all that remains of her mother, Ruby volunteers to take over her dad’s station and start jumping train lines.
But this is no ordinary job. Ruby soon realizes that the trains are much more than doors to romance and adventure: they’re also doors to trafficking illicit goods and fierce rivalries. As she becomes more entangled with the magical underworld and the mysterious boy who’s helped her to learn magic, she realizes too late that she may be in over her head. Can she free her father and save her mother’s house? Or has she only managed to get herself pulled into the dangerous web her father was trapped in?

About the Author

Ana Ellickson writes about fierce girls, family curses, and everyday magic. The Vanishing Station is her debut novel, inspired by daydreams about jumping portals in the San Francisco subway. Roman the Renegade—her graphic novel script about street art and Filipino monsters—was awarded the 2021 New Visions Honor by Lee & Low Books. She lives in sunny Santa Barbara.

Praise For…

“San Francisco is flipped upside down when Filipino American Ruby Santos ventures into a magical underworld to save her family. Against this rich, fantastical backdrop, Ellckson captures a complex character in Ruby that many will relate to, whose own dreams are sometimes offset by family burdens placed on young shoulders”
— Lilliam Rivera, author of Never Look Back

“A spellbinding thriller full of fantastical feats of imagination and perilous, world-traveling magic. At each breathless stop on the journey of reading this book I was struck by vivid moments of romance, deception, and grave danger as Ruby does all she can to save her father, her home, and herself.”
— Nova Ren Suma, New York Times bestselling author

“For those hungry for a unique contemporary fantasy, this book delivers. Prepare yourself for nuanced characterization, aching romance, and a slick underground world that you’ve never seen before . . . just don’t get too close to the tracks.”
— Emily J. Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel Magnifique

"Ellickson delivers an ambitious, fast-paced fantasy crackling with complicated family dynamics and forbidden love in this simmering debut."
— Publishers Weekly

"[I]t sets up threads that pay off once Ruby’s talent for magic and her growing closeness to Montgomery draw heat from those inside and outside the organization. The story wraps up neatly but leaves room for a sequel. An urban fantasy with an original premise."
— Kirkus

"At its heart, this debut novel is about the bond shared between father and daughter, dreams pursued at any cost, and how legacies both burden and invigorate parent-child relationships. Ellickson is a proficient storyteller, whether by bringing the various locales Ruby visits to life or by pulling from her own background to expand the history Ruby’s father carried from the Philippines to San Francisco."
— Booklist

"[L]yrical passages and moving prose...Captivating until the very end, this novel will leave readers hoping there is another book in the works...A must-have...Fans of espionage, romance, and magic will love this one." 
— School Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781419764226
ISBN-10: 1419764225
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: April 30th, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English