Marie-Helene Bertino confessed to a room full of librarians that her “real” first novel was not in fact published by Crown.  It was actually published by the Huntingdon Valley Library in Pennsylvania!  She poured her 12 year old heart and soul into it, laying the groundwork for a talent that has now brought us her transporting debut novel, 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas!


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“2 A.M. AT THE CAT’S PAJAMAS won me over heart and soul. With Madeleine Altimari, a nine year old aspiring jazz singer with a wonderful talent for cursing, Bertino has created one of the most winning and wonderful characters I’ve met in a long time. Read this book to see a debut author doing something really special, crafting a story where human kindness meets up with an inhospitable world and real magic happens in the aftermath.” –Kevin Wilson, author of THE FAMILY FANG

“Clever, charming and full of life…like the best jazz, 2 A.M. AT THE CAT’S PAJAMAS is a marvel of the unexpected, a buoyant, swinging tale of interwoven destinies that Marie-Helene Bertino tells with verve, wit, and warmth. I loved it.” —Maggie Shipstead, author of ASTONISH ME and SEATING ARRANGEMENTS

“Marie-Helene Bertino bops across Philadelphia like an alley cat on the run, energetic and wild. Her sentences are sharp and surprising, and her wonderful story is full of heart. There is funny poetry in the sound of loneliness, and Bertino has found it.” —Emma Straub, author of THE VACATIONERS

“2 A.M. AT THE CAT’S PAJAMAS is a recipe box full of wonders. With a wildly entertaining cast of characters, Marie-Helene Bertino soars through her native city of Philadelphia, zeroing in with great beauty, wit, skill and love on the exact moments in time that change our lives forever.” —Hannah Tinti, author of THE GOOD THIEF


2am at teh cat's pajamas

Visit Marie-Helene’s Website.

#FRIDAY READS: 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas

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